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RALLY NEWS No.5 - Castlewellan Forest Park Service - Saturday @ 17:24:04

RALLY NEWS NO.5 Castlewellan Service/Saturday

1st (7) Camillus Bradley/Crawford Henderson (Escort) 41.38.3
2nd (8) Damian Toner/Denver Rafferty (Escort) 41.47.0
3rd (1) Derek McGarrity/James O’Reilly (Fiesta WRC) 42.08.4
4th (3) Kenny McKinstry/Noel Orr (Impreza S14) 42.29.3
5th (16) John Devlin/John McCarthy (Talbot Sunbeam) 42.56.1
6th (83) Alastair Cochrane/Gary McElhinney (Escort) 43.02.4
7th (15) Martin Taggart/Dessie Wilson (Escort Mk2) 43.07.2
8th (18) Alan Smyth/Mac Kierans (Suzuki Swift) 43.12.7
9th (12) Keith White/Damien McCabe (Escort Mk1~) 43.31.1
10th (28) Kyle White/Sean Topping (Citroen C2R2) 43.44.3

Camillus Bradley, co driven by Crawford Henderson, in his Mk2 Escort had a fantastic drive today through conditions that varied from full flood to blazing sunshine at the end to take a very noteworthy victory. Damian Toner/Denver Rafferty in a similar Mk2 Escort harried Camillus all the way and in fact took the lead briefly, but had to settle for 2nd at the end. Derek McGarrity/James O’Reilly in their Fiesta WRC came from way down the order into a brilliant 3rd o/a which was more than enough to earn McGarrity his 7th NI Rally Champion’s title. Car preparation expert Camillus Bradley said at the end here in the beautiful Castlewellan Park ‘It was a great race with Damian, tight all day, the car went like a dream’. Derek McGarrity said ‘These were really good stages, but there was so much water this morning it was indescribable. Not mud just water. The last 4 stages were very good for us. At last the car is putting out proper power’. Kenny McKinstry was laughing when he finished the rally and he recounted starting the final stage with the full launch control on but the car in reverse gear. Besides that Kenny did very well to set more than decent times to clinch his 4th o/a.

A final stage drama was Clive Kilpatrick crashing his Lancer off the road. Provisionally this hands the Group N category in the rally and the championship to Colm McFall. This has still to be confirmed. William Herron could upset that particular apple cart, provisionally though we make Herron finishing 4s behind McFall. Brendan Cumiskey/Ronan O’Kane were a very solid 3rd going into the last loop of stages, but their Fiesta R5 slid into a ditch at a junction and got stuck. Brendan eventually got the Fiesta going and finished the rally.

Young Alan Smyth and his co driver Mac Kierans had a great run to 8th o/a and win class 4 in their Suzuki Swift. This will earn Alan the category in the NI Championship and also leave him well placed in the 2 wheel drive category. Kyle White set some very good times through the day to come up from 16th to 10th in his Citroen C2R2. Alastair Cochrane/Gary McElhinney had no recce for the rally but finished a very creditable 6th o/a. John Devlin also had a brilliant run today in his Sunbeam and wins the class on this rally but Alastair takes it for the championship.
Finally for now, our thanks to everyone at Rathfriland MC for putting on such a good rally today, particularly considering the weather. Well done to the whole team, especially CoC Paul Biggerstaff. Thanks also to all who helped and supported our Rally News service.

BRIAN & LIZ & MICHAEL & ZOE PATTERSON www.rallynews.net *Follow RallyNews on Twitter & Facebook @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews

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