Stages Rally 10th March
BISHOPSCOURT NEWS 6 (Final): Derek McGarrity has secured his sixth consecutive McGrady Insurance Bishopscourt Stages Rally victory! Navigated by Paddy Robinson,… the Impreza WRC mounted crew dominated all six stages of the event to win by the substantial margin of more than one minute!
“It’s great to win the event again,” McGarrity said at the finish. “Those were difficult conditions today but we didn’t make any major mistakes and kept out of trouble.”
In winning the event, McGarrity has moved to the top of the McGrady Insurance MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship tables as he bids to regain the crown that he last won in 2016.
Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont had some troubles over the final stage as they struggled with a broken manifold. Their Mini WRC started misfiring again and they dropped a few seconds to Connor McCloskey but Carmichael still secured second overall.
Third placed McCloskey had to dodge a trackside tyre pulled out onto the track by another competitor but McCloskey was content with taking the final podium position. Meanwhile, Denis Biggerstaff had his own dramas during the final stage as he forgot to switch his car into stage mode.
There were more dramas for MkII Escort pilot Wesley Patterson on the final stage. He spun off the road and was stuck on the grass until some bystanders helped to push him back on track. There were final stage woes for former champion Kenny McKinstry as suspected engine problems forced him to retire midway through the test.
Mark Massey and Niall Burns safely finished the event in fourth while Barry Morris and Declan Campbell secured the top two-wheel-drive honours and fifth overall in their Escort. Young Peter Bennett and had an equally impressive first drive in his Evo 9 and secured sixth overall.
James Laverty and Paul Hughes were left frustrated after catching another competitor who spun in front of them on the final stage but they still managed to secure the Group N category win as well as seventh overall while Rory Young and Allan Cathers were eighth and full of smiles. They decided to enter the event after a number of rallies closer to home were cancelled due to the weather conditions. Safe to say he has thoroughly enjoyed his trip to Bishopscourt and hopes to come back again!
Completing the top 10, Denis Biggerstaff and Stephen Jess brought their Impreza home in ninth ahead of Kyle White and Sean Topping who completed the top 10.
Please note: all results are provisional until declared final by the event organisers.
Provisional Top 6 after SS6 (final stage)
1 Derek McGarrity/Paddy Robinson (Impreza WRC)
2 Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont (Mini WRC)
3 Connor McCloskey/John Rowan (Fiesta WRC)
4 Mark Massey/Niall Burns (Impreza WRC)
5 Barry Morris/Declan Campbell (Escort MkII)
6 Peter Bennett/Simon Jones (Evo 9)
Full results can be found HERE
A few pictures from a wet and windy Stages Rally at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit
By Neil Biggerstaff
Stages Rally 10th March 2018
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