McGarrity the Bishopscourt Master Once Again!
The McGrady Insurance Bishopscourt Stages Rally, round two of the Hankook Northern Ireland Rally Championship was won in convincing fashion by Glengormley's Derek McGarrity on Saturday.
With a margin of 1 minute 14 seconds after the 6 special stages, over second placed George Robinson, it was a convincing victory for Derek and co-driver James McKee in their S12 Subaru. Derek having won the event and the Summer Stages at Bishopscourt last year did not disappoint. Another great drive came from third placed Stuart Biggerstaff, the 21 year old in the S9 Subrau impressing yet again with third place, whilst Gary White took a fine fourth in his older 555 Subaru.
Cool but dry conditions greeted the crews for the Ballynahinch and District Motor Club event, which ran like clockwork. Clerk of the course Paul Conlon was delighted with the day. "I think the event ran well, and the competitors enjoyed the stages. A couple of new sections proved popular with the competitors, and we also resurfaced the jump, which seemed to encourage even more air! It was a good day and thanks to all the marshals involved." The battles on the stages were intense amongst the 94 starters, and the Group N Production battle was one of the closest fought, with Kieron Graffin taking the spoils, ahead of Alan Carmichael, Raymond Johnston and surprise newcomer Graham Ballantine, all in Evo 9 Mitsubishi's. Just behind them Drew Stewart took the honours in the two wheel drive race and class 7 by just 2.9 seconds ahead of James Kennedy, James having been up late the night before fitting a new engine to his MK2 Escort. Event sponsor Fintan McGrady, was a fine 14th overall, with young Jonny Greer sampling the co-driver's seat of the MK2 Escort.
Other class winners included, Jonny Leonard- Fiesta, class 1, Gareth Sayers- Nova, class 3, Brian Quigley- Peugeot 205, class 4, Andrew Wilson- Toyota Starlet, class 5, Oran Donnelly- Ford Escort, class 6, and John Waring- Ford Escort, class 8. In the Historic class Phillip Hunter in his sideways MK2 BDA Escort edged out Andy Johnson's rare HSR Chevette by just 1.3 seconds in what was a closely fought day.
McGrady Insurance Bishopscourt Stages 2010 - Top 10
1 Derek McGarrity / James McKee | Subaru Impreza S12 WRC | 37m 11.9s
2 George Robinson / Tommy Speers | Subaru Impreza P2000 WRC | +1m 14.1s
3 Stuart Biggerstaff / Damien McCann | Subaru Impreza S9 WRC | +1m 31.8s
4 Gary White / Dominic Carson | Subaru Impreza 555 | +2m 10.8s
5 Kieron Graffin / Neil Doherty | Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 "N" | +2m 17.3s
6 Alan Carmichael / Ivor Lamont | Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 "N" | +2m 30.9s
7 Raymond Johnston / Fabian McAleer | Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 "N" | +2m 38.2s
8 Graham Ballantine / D O'Callaghan | Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 "N" | +2m 40.0s
9 Drew Stewart / Steven Park | Ford Escort MK2 | +2m 44.2s
10 James Kennedy / Heather Kennedy | Ford Escort MK2 | +2m 47.1s