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RALLY NEWS No.1 - Maghera - Saturday @ 11:04:52

RALLY NEWS NO.1 Maghera/Saturday

Today`s Magherafelt and District Motor Club has attracted around 80 entries for this Modern Kitchens Supplies backed Tour of the Sperrins Rally. The seeding is not in the usual fashion and it will be Car 70 first away from the Walsh`s Hotel here in Maghera. That first car was to be a Mini WRC but in a last minute switch it is now a Subaru Impreza WRC S14 from the Kenny McKinstry stable. Derek McGarrity remains the driver and James McKee the co-driver. Derek explained. `The deal for the new Mini WRC did not work out and this is a last minute arrangement with Kenny. I have driven this car on several events and won with it so I know it is good. ` McGarrity is the current NI Rally Champion and at the moment is the clear leader in this year`s McGrady Insurance backed series.

When Derek was asked about the stages today laid on by Clerk of the Course Stephen O`Neill he said. `They are very good but fast in places and if it is wet they could be really slippy on shiny tar`. Starting behind Derek, 2nd on the road, is Portglenone man Desi Henry with Liam Moynihan co-driving in his Impreza. Desi has the number 85 on his Subaru and could be real opposition for McGarrity. At 3 is Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont in the McGeehan Mini WRC and running with No.77 today. Alan was unfortunate to retire from the last NI round on the Circuit of Ireland and he reckons he has to really go for it today and get good points or his NI c/ship bid is over. At 4 is Strabane man Frank Wray with Joe McNUlty co-driving in their Subaru. They carry the No.84. Then it is Camillus Bradley/Crawford Henderson running with No.1 on their Escort. Camillus put his car off the road on the Circuit so he has been busy to get the Escort ready for today. Kieron Graffin/Paddy Robinson round off the top half dozen in their Lancer Evo 10 and they have the number 65.

Alistair Cochrane (Escort) Shane McGirr (Starlet) David Armstrong and Fintan McGrady both in Escorts make up the top 10. Fintan is another driver who had to pull out all the stops to get his Escort repaired following his Circuit mishap. Making the trip from Galway is Tom Curley with Martin Brady co-driving in their Impreza WRC. They are 11th on the road and carrying the number 82.

A non-starter today is Conor McCloskey. He was due to drive his group N Impreza but the car broke down yesterday. The rally starts today at 11 am and there are 3 stages before service here in Maghera and then the same 3 stages are repeated this afternoon before the finish back at Walsh`s Hotel at 16.38.

Finally for now we would like to wish Seamus O`Connell a very happy 50th birthday for today. Seamus starts 18th on the road and with the number 83 on his beautiful Escort.

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net *Follow RallyNews on Twitter @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews (with thanks to Brian Duggan rally.iex

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