Sep 07, 2015
Rd 7-2015 MSA ANICC McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship
The seventh round of the 2015 MSA ANICC McGrady Insurance MSA Northern Ireland Rally Championship took place in the forests, for the Enniskillen Motor Club’s Tuffmac Trailers Lakeland Stages Rally. The event had received over one hundred entries, as the cars set off from the Old Grovenor Barracks for eight stages in fine weather conditions. Championship leader Derek McGarrity wasn’t amongst the entries, which gave Desi Henry in his Skoda S2000 a chance to claw in more points after a maximum on the Ulster.
Number one seed Martin Cairns in his S14 Impreza WRC got off to a fast start, but was side-lined with engine failure after stage three. Stage four didn’t run, but the dramas on the opening three stages were plenty. On stage one James Gillen, got his S10 Impreza stuck, and Niall Henry retired his S9 with a bad vibration. On the second Big Dog test Carryduff Forklift R2 Wales leader Rob Duggan, slipped off into a ditch and retired, leaving the way clear for local lad Jon Armstrong in his similar 208 R2, who ended up a fine seventh overall. “It was hard to concentrate after seeing Rob off” said Jon “but we had a good run on the long stage, and got through the day. It makes the series a lot closer going into the final round, but I think I would still need to win on the Bushwhacker.” Alan Smyth in his C2 R2 was second in that category, despite some handling problems with the car. The major drama on stage two was that Desi Henry had slid off on a square left and got the Fabia S2000 stuck, losing over a minute. He eventually clawed his way back to ninth, but the points haul could have been greater.
At the front it was Sam Moffett and James Fulton in their Fiesta WRC, reporting no problems, with Josh Moffett and Jason McKenna nine seconds behind and fitting a new fan to the Evo 9 at service. In third was Jonny Greer, testing his DS3 R5 on gravel, with Frank Kelly leading the two wheel drive race, from Shane McGirr. Adrian Hetherington was fastest two wheel drive on stage two- despite a big moment sliding off after the flying finish, but a more innocent spin on stage three- Ballintempo dropped him more time.
There was little change at the front on the second loop, with Sam Moffett taking an excellent win. “I really enjoyed the event, the stages held up very well and didn’t cut up. It was a great day” he said at the finish. Josh second in his Group A Evo 9 had a brush with a chicane, but also loved the stages, whilst Jonny Greer took third. “It’s a long time since I have driven on gravel, and it was a good test for me and the car. We had no problems and our times improved on the second loop” said Jonny.
Fourth after a fine display was Frank Kelly in his MK2 Escort, with Shane McGirr fourteen seconds behind him in fifth, the little Starlet quite nervous on the fast bumps. The drive of the rally came from Paul Barrett just three seconds further back in sixth in a Historic Pinto MK2 Escort. Jonny Leonard in his Group A Evo 6 took eighth after rear suspension issues, and with Niall McCullagh tenth in his similar machine.
Cathan McCourt won Group N in his Evo 9, but the championship race in that class is very tight between Clive Kilpatrick and Simon Woodside, and it’s all to be decided on the final round in Omagh, for the Bushwhacker Rally on 26th September.
McGrady Insurance MSA ANICC Northern Ireland Rally Championship 2015-Round Seven Results
1st Sam Moffett James Fulton Ford Fiesta WRC 37m 52.0s
2nd Josh Moffett Jason McKenna Mitsubishi Evo 9 +21s
3rd Jonny Greer Kirsty Riddick Citroen DS3 R5 +1m 01s
4th Frank Kelly David Vance Ford Escort MK2 +1m 56s
5th Shane McGirr Jackie Elliott Toyota Starlet +2m10s
6th Paul Barrett Glenn Alcorn Ford Escort MK2 +2m13s
7th Jon Armstrong Noel O’Sullivan Jnr Peugeot 208 R2 +2m39s
8th Jonny Leonard Niall Burns Mitsubishi Evo 6 +2m43s
9th Desi Henry Liam Moynihan Skoda Fabia S2000 +2m48s
10th Niall McCullagh Ryan McCloskey Mitsubishi Evo 6 +2m52s
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