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Lakeland Stages
RALLY NEWS No.1 - Ballinamallard - Saturday @ 08:55:02

RALLY NEWS NO.1 Fisher Engineering/Saturday morning.

This Lakeland Stages Rally has shaped up well as regards entries, and almost 70 competing cars will tackle today’s 9 special stages through the Fermanagh forests. Kenny McKinstry in his Subaru Impreza WRC will lead the cars away from Fisher Engineering, or Severnfield-Rowen Fisher to give the company it’s proper new title. The rally is the 6th round of the Hankook NI Rally Championship, the first of the series on gravel, and provides Banbridge man McKinstry with every opportunity to extend his impressive points lead in the series.

Donagh Kelly and Neil McCance in Lancers, Martin Cairns and current NI Champion Stuart Biggerstaff, both in Imprezas, make up the top five. Stuart had a last minute worry about the suspension on his Impreza, but Seamus Devine stepped into the breach and kindly loaned his suspension. Fisher Engineering man Ian Cochrane is at 6 in his Lancer. (Ian has borrowed the ECU from Alastair Fisher’s Lancer for this weekend. Any of these drivers, and a few more besides, is capable of giving McKinstry a run for his money today. A real dark horse for victory is Vivian Hamill. Normally he competes in an Escort, but this time he is driving Derek McGeehan’s Corolla WRC and is seeded at 14.

A couple of drivers seeded even further back include Trevor Ferguson in his Subaru at 26 and Liam Regan at 28. Liam finished 8th o/a last week in the highly competitive Merrick stages through the Scottish forests, driving his 4wd Peugeot 206. Ferguson currently lies 3rd in GpN in the points, with Neil McCance leading from Donagh Kelly in the GpN points. Just some of the other drivers in 4 wheel drive machines who could make an impression include Ray Brammer, who has made the trip across the Channel to compete in his Impreza WRC and Co Down’s John McGaffin, who also drives a Subaru World Rally Car. Enda McNulty has had another new turbo fitted to his Impreza, and although he has had the boost turned down a bit, could well figure highly. Kieran Graffin is driving a GpA Evo 6 today. This is a bit of an unknown quantity for him but should go well in these forests.

Highest seeded driver in a 2WD car is Frank Kelly. He has just rebuilt the gearbox of his Escort and fixed the brakes following escapades on the Galway Summer Rally a few weeks ago. Frank will probably be the benchmark for all the Escort crews and is seeded at No.9. Shane McGirr is another who goes exceptionally hard and is seeded at 15 in his Starlet. Just one of the several last minute entries is Monaghan man Andy Mackarel and he is driving a most unusual RWD V6 3 litre Vauxhall Calibra with Raymond Conlan co-driving. There will be a re-seeded entry list courtesy of Paddy McCollum shortly and we will update at Bellcoo service.

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON (With thanks to Michael Patterson) www.rallynews.net

2020 Patterson Agencies

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