Feb 14, 2016
The cream of the crop of Northern Ireland’s rally talent are revving up for this weekend’s Pacenotes Rally Magazine Stages Rally, round one of the 2016 McGrady Insurance MSA Northern Ireland Rally Championship!
More than 80 entries have been received for the North Armagh Motor Club Ltd rally spectacular, including three former champions – Derek McGarrity, Kenny McKinstry and George Robinson.
In fact, it is six-times champion McGarrity who heads the entry list in his Ford Fiesta WRC. And he must be the hot favourite, having secured victory at the same venue just last month at the non-championship New Year Stages Rally.
However, hot competition will come in the form of number two seed, Kenny McKinstry. He had led the New Year Stages event until mechanical troubles with his Subaru Impreza WRC put him out of the rally. The Banbridge driver, who last won the title in 2011, is out to make amends this weekend.
Peadar Hurson completes the top three seeds in his Impreza WRC and is another driver who is no stranger to the top step of the podium, having won last year’s Tyrone Stages Rally in July.
Other World Rally Car pilots include Emma McKinstry (Impreza WRC) and Mark Massey (Fiesta WRC), while a host of Group A, Group N and two-wheel-drive machinery will provide plenty of entertainment for the spectators that are expected to descend on County Down’s Kirkistown venue.
Among the leading two-wheel-drive entrants are Wesley Patterson (Escort Mk2), championship sponsor Fintan McGrady (Escort Mk2) and Dessie McCartney (Darrian T90 GTR), whose late brother Ronnie was the first ever Northern Ireland Rally Champion back in 1977 – a feat he later repeated in 1980.
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