Greer Victorious in Glorious Glens Rally by Andrew Bushe – MSA NI Championship.
Jonny Greer from Carryduff with his Scottish co-driver Kirsty Riddick guided their Citroen DS3 R5 to a resounding victory on the third round of the 2017 MSA ANICC McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship on Saturday. The Glens of Antrim Rally run by the Mid-Antrim Motor Club, was basked in glorious weather for six spectacular stages that featured legendary sections of Glendun and Torr Head, stages which are in the folklore of rallying in Ireland.
On the first Pollan test, and indeed the second Ronan’s Way test, the top three cars driven by Greer, Derek McGarrity and Alan Carmichael all beat the bogey times. They headed into the third Torr Head test on the same joint total time. It was here however on the terrifying twists of the Antrim coast test that Jonny Greer took over ten seconds off McGarrity in his Fiesta WRC, and over thirty from Alan Carmichael in his Mini WRC. With the bogeys coming into play again on stages four and five, it was all down to the final run over Torr Head. Greer repeated his ten second advantage over seven times Northern Ireland Rally Champion- Derek McGarrity with co-driver Diarmund Falvey to end the rally with a superb twenty one second victory.
Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont were almost a minute back from Greer in third, but nevertheless it was a fine run for the Ballymena pairing. The two wheel drive battle was an intense one, and local ace Declan McNaughton in his MK2 led the early stages and quite remarkablyne also beat the bogey time on srage 2. It all came to nothing as McNaughton crashed out on stage three. Armagh’s Damien Toner in his MK2 moved into fourth overall until the final stage, when he ran into problems, taking a maximum time. That left Draperstown’s Camillus Bradley in his similar MK2 to take fourth and the two wheel drive win, just under four seconds ahead of another local hero Oran Donnelly had was slowed earlier in the day with bent steering on his Escort Mk11. Others drivers to drop out of the two wheel drive race included Stephen Whitford in the DFGM Toyota GT86 with a broken clutch, and championship sponsor Fintan McGrady whose MK2 suffered gearbox problems.
Aidan Wray in his Evo 10 was the comfortable Group N winner in 6th overall after an excellent showing from the Irish National Group N front runner in the Antrim hills. Seventh was a good effort by Bushmills farmer Alastair Cochrane in his MK2, just ahead of the second R5 car home, the Peugeot 208 of former racing driver Richard Tannahill. Portglenone’s Niall Henry took class eight in his Evo 10, nine seconds ahead of class rival Lee Hastings. The Scottish visitor had a fine showing to complete the top ten in his Subaru Impreza.
Just outside the top ten was Belfast’s Kyle White in eleventh, and first in class four with the Peugeot 208 R2. Kyle entered the final test a handful of seconds behind in the class as young Armagh charger Jason Black was flying in his modified Toyota Starlet until he dropped time after running wide on the final stage, eventually collecting thirteenth place behind Michael Carbin’s Mitsubishi Evo 4.
The Historic race was interesting as Philip Wylie beat his brother Drew in their similar class eleven MK2 Escort RS1800’S with Raymond Johnston’s similar class twelve FIA specification machine sandwiched between them. In all it was an event very much enjoyed by the competitors with seventy seven crews finishing the six super stages.
Other class winners were: Michael McCarroll- class 1 (Ford Fiesta), Colm Kearns- class 3 (Ford Escort MK2), Paddy McToal- class 5 (MK2 Escort), Philip Wylie- class 11-Historic (MK2 Escort RS1800), Raymond Johnston- class 12- FIA Historic (MK2 Escort RS1800).
Round four of the McGrady Insurance series will be an exciting closed road event held by the Cookstown Motor Club on the 29th July, which replaces the cancelled Mourne Rally event which was to have run in June.
2017 McGrady Insurance MSA ANICC Northern Ireland Rally Championship-Round Three results
1st Jonathan Greer /Kirsty Riddick Citroën DS3 R5 0:35:37.8
2nd Derek McGarrity/Dairmuid Falvey Ford Fiesta WRC +0:21.5
3rd Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont Mini WRC +0:59.3
4th Camillus Bradley/ Crawford Henderson Ford Escort MK2 +1:33.6
5th Oran Donnelly/Paul Hughes Ford Escort MK2 +1:37.3
6th Aidan Wray/Brian Hoy Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +2:10.9
7th Alastair Cochrane/Patrick McCrudden Ford Escort MK2 +2:16.5
8th Richard Tannahill/Aileen Kelly Peugeot 208 R5 +2:18.6
9th Niall Henry/ Aaron Johnston Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +2:26.2
10th Lee Hastings/Alistair Wyllie Subaru Impreza +2:35.3
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|Copyright free images if using please credit- Philip Stewart-www.philpics.net|
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