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Lurgan Park Rally
RALLY NEWS No.1 - Lurgan Park - Saturday @ 11:14:35

RALLY NEWS NO.1 Lurgan Park/Saturday
1st (3) Derek McGeehan/Laurie Smyth (Mini WRC) 2.14.4
2nd (1) Garry Jennings/Michael Moran (Impreza WRC) 2.14.5
3rd (4) Kenny McKinstry/Michael Gilmore (Impreza WRC) 2.15.2
4th (2) Derek McGarrity/Alan Beattie (Impreza WRC) 2.15.3
5th (15) Paul Barrett/Declan Tumilty (Impreza N) 2.21.1
6th (5) Melvyn Evans/Sean Hayde (Impreza WRC) 2.21.8
7th (7) Stuart Biggerstaff/Stephen Jess (Impreza WRC) 2.22.1
8th (16) Keith White/Willie McKee (Escort Mk1) 2.22.7
9th (12) Jonny & Geraldine Leonard (Lancer) 2.22.9
10th (10) Pat O`Connell/Mark Wiley (Lancer) 2.23.2

All the top drivers commented about how slippery the stage was following this morning`s heavy rain. Thankfully the sun has come out here at the lovely Lurgan Park and the cars have completed the opening stage with a few close shaves, but no real mishaps.

Derek McGeehan in his Mini WRC was 3rd here last year, and he certainly started the day with real flair, although he did admit to a couple of major slides through the trees. Garry Jennings, hoping for a hat trick of wins here today, reported that his Subaru actually shaved a tree that may have cost a fraction of a second. Eleven times Lurgan Park winner Kenny McKinstry was another to comment about just how slippery it was. Welshman Melvyn Evans said he was playing it very safe but even his Subaru had one small overshoot. Emma McKinstry is driving PJ McDermot`s Subaru and it may take Emma a stage or two to settle into the different car. Denis Biggerstaff set a time just outside the top 10 and he commented. `This Metro 6R4 will take some getting used to again`.

Keith White felt that he was very ragged through the stage and certainly his Mk1 Escort was very sideways through the stage, but he must have been doing something right, as he was fastest 2wd. It was expected that the Mk2 Escorts running further back the field would be setting times compatible with some of the 4 wheel drive machinery in the top 10, but that does not seem to be the case. Frank Kelly was the fastest of the Mk2 Challenge contenders and he set a time of 2.25.9. Wesley Patterson recorded 2.27.0, and that included a small overshoot. Martin Teggart was just behind Kelly in the times and he recorded 2.26.4.

As a guide to just how difficult the stage is in these conditions Robert Woodside in the Porsche 911 R-GT recorded a time of 2.33.1. Robert admitted it was a real handful in these conditions. The fastest front wheel drive is Alan Smyth in his Citroen C2R2 on a time of 2.29.5. Callum Devine lost a few seconds with a big slide on the gravel in his Opel Adam. Kyle Orr took it handy in his similar Citroen. In the History category Raymond Johnston is leading Stephen Mawhinney by just a few tenths. Alistair Cochrane has a flat shift gearbox problem in his Escort. While spinners include the ever spectacular Gary McElhinney and JT Warnock in their Escorts. More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON & MICHAEL & ZOE PATTERSON www.rallynews.net *Follow RallyNews on Twitter/Facebook @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews

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