Motorsport News



Halfway through the fourround Northern Irish Forest Rally Challenge Desi Henry continues to lead and he added victory on the Lakeland Stages by 11.4 seconds to the Ford Fiesta Rally2 driver’s Fivemileto­wn win back in February.

Niall McCullough was fastest through the 3.6-mile opener by 0.7s from Henry before going off the road on the second stage, Ballintemp­o North. From there Henry was ahead by 4.3s and increased the margin to 8.9s by the Enniskille­n service.

Cathan McCourt and Liam Moynihan, in an R5-spec Fiesta, were closest but the eventual winner added to his margin on the next two stages after service. McCourt knocked 1.8s off the 13.2s gap with a final stage win for the Omagh man’s efforts.

Conor McCourt, Cathan’s brother, was sixth on the opening stage but, on SS2, jumped to third where he remained until the finish, 35.1s back in a Skoda Fabia R5 by 12.8s.

Mark Donnelly and Stephen O’Hanlon went from seventh on stage one to finish fourth and kept fellow R5 Fiesta crew

Jonny Leonard and Niall Burns behind by 18.3s. It was a notable day for that crew: Leonard was on his first gravel R5 outing with RLAAutospo­rt and Burns has now clocked up 250 rallies.

Martin Cairns got the better of Derek McGarrity on the second loop to get ahead of the Skoda Fabia Rally2 contender for sixth place. The ever-popular Fiesta R5 was Cairns’ choice to split the two cars by 3.5s.

Derek Makarel won his class in eighth, Joe Hegarty survived a close encounter with a ditch and Alan Smyth rounded out the top 10 with a two-wheel-drive win.

Jason Mitchell was an expected frontrunne­r but rolled on the opening stage and Niall Henry was eighth before a stagefour exit.


Organiser: Enniskille­n Motor Club When: September 3 Where: Enniskille­n, County Fermanagh Championsh­ip: NI Forest Rally Challenge Starters: 59

Stages: six

1 Desi Henry/Paddy Robinson (Ford Fiesta Rally2) 27m49s; 2 Cathan McCourt/Liam Moynihan (Ford Fiesta R5) +11.4s; 3 Conor McCourt/Caolan McKenna (Skoda Fabia R5); 4 Mark Donnelly/Stephen O’Hanlon (Fiesta R5); 5 Jonny Leonard/Niall Burns (Fiesta R5); 6 Martin Cairns/Peter Ward (Fiesta Rally2); 7 Derek McGarrity/Graham Henderson (SkodaFabia Rally2); 8 Derek Mackarel/ Emmett Sherry (Mitsubishi Lancer E9); 9 Joe Hegarty/David Turkington (Fiesta R5); 10 Alan Smyth/Gary McCrudden (Ford Escort Mk2).

 ?? Photos: William Neill ?? Henry eked out his advantage throughout the rally
Photos: William Neill Henry eked out his advantage throughout the rally

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