Flu-ridden Mcgonigle wins Turkey Run
Organisers: Maiden City MC When: December 29, 2018 Where: Ballykelly, County Londonderry Stages: 5 Starters: 75 Leading from the start but with a narrow three-second margin at the finish, Joseph Mcgonigle, who was suffering with flu, won the Turkey Run for the second time in a row in a Mini John Cooper Works WRC.
For Galway co-driver Sean Hassett, it was his first win. From the off the duo set the pace, winning the 6.6-mile opener by 2s.
On the repeat both Alan Carmichael and Desi Henry set equal fastest times, moving Carmichael’s Hyundai i20 R5 into the joint lead with Mcgonigle.
On the 6.2-mile long SS3, Mcgonigle broke away by 4s. The gap remained after SS4 and then Carmichael took a second back on the 2.9-mile SS5 to finish second, keeping the Skoda Fabia R5 of Henry from runners-up spot.
Barry Morris had won the Dogleap Rally at the same venue in August in his father’s Darrian T90 GTR. Back to his more familiar Ford Escort Mk2, a top-three finish was a minute away. He was, though, the first two-wheel-drive home.
Conor Mccrossan jumped from 12th on SS1 to fifth, ahead of Trevor Mcconnell. Mccrossan was 3s from matching Morris but 9s up on Mcconnell at the end. Amy Cox was seventh and Scottish visitor Nigel Feeney overcame spins in eighth.
1 Joseph Mcgonigle/ Sean Hassett (Mini John Cooper Works WRC) 31m31s; 2 Alan Carmichael/jordan Mccaw (Hyundai i20 R5) +3s; 3 Desi Henry/ Mark Henry (Skoda Fabia R5); 4 Barry Morris/ Declan Campbell (Ford Escort Mk2); 5 Conor Mccrossan/ Niall O’kane (Fabia S2000); 6 Trevor Mcconnell/ Dean O’sullivan (Mitsubishi Lancer E6); 7 Amy Cox/ Caron Mccormack (Fabia S2000); 8 Nigel Feeney/ Paula Swinscoe (Mini WRC); 9 James Leckey/ David Kerr (Subaru Impreza); 10 Niall Henry/ Damien Duffin (Lancer E9).
Class winners: Joel Eakin/ Eathan Mccolgan (Peugeot 106); Henry/ Duffin; Ronnie Mcconnell/ Rachel Mcconnell (Nissan Micra); Marty Gallagher/ Rosalynn Patton (Peugeot 208 R2); Janice Magee/ Harry Johnston (Escort Mk2); Morris/ Campbell; Thomas Maxwell/ Harry White (Ford Focus); Carmichael/ Mccaw; Mcgonigle/ Hassett; Cox/ Mccormack; Stephen Mcferran/james Mckeefry (Escort Mk2); Martin Mccormack/ Laura Conlon (Escort Mk2).