2009 Townparks Rally Report

7 November 2009

McKinstry seals third victory on the trot at the Townparks Rally!


Banbridge's Kenny McKinstry and Bangor's Noel Orr claimed their third Hankook Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship victory on the trot at last Saturday's Townparks Glens of Antrim Rally!


The crew sealed a start to finish win at the Mid-Antrim Motor Club season finale, while young Group N contenders, Alistair Fisher and Jonny Greer, claimed the remaining podium positions.


"Everything went according to plan," McKinstry said afterwards. "We managed to build a lead after the opening stages and maintained it from there on. After stage five, I think we were something like 25 seconds ahead of Derek but I didn't realise young Alastair Fisher and Jonny Greer were so close in their Group N cars."

"Alistair was only something like 10 seconds behind," McKinstry continued, "so I had to push harder over the following couple of stages. We extended our lead and after that, it was a question of keeping an eye on their times. But young Alistair and Jonny were the stars of show!"


Fermanagh's Alistair Fisher, who finished third overall in this year's Irish Tarmac Championship, claimed a very impressive second overall and topped the Sunoco Fuels Group N tree. Driving their production category Mitsubishi Lancer, and navigated by Barry McNulty, the crew finished just 15 seconds behind McKinstry.


"We set a couple of fastest times which was a great feeling," Fisher admitted. "It's great to finish second at a round of the Northern Ireland Championship for the second time."


Fisher tussled with Jonny Greer and Kirsty Riddick for the runner-up slot, but in the end, Greer had to settle for the final podium position. He was also embroiled in a battle with provisional 2009 overall champion, Derek McGarrity, but it was Greer who claimed third overall on a tiebreak, after both crews finished with equal times!


In fourth position, Derek McGarrity and James McKee wheeled out their Toyota Corolla WRC for Saturday's rally, and struggled to get into the 'groove'. The new champions had to settle for fourth in the end, ahead of Neil McCance and Sean Ferris, while Raymond Johnston and Rodney Hicks completed the top six.


Further down the order, in the Superdrive two-wheel-drive category, Trevor Moore and Ray Fitzpatrick sealed the victory aboard their Mark 2 Escort. The crew finished comfortably ahead of their rivals, and claimed 12th overall in the process. William Carey and Declan McNaughton were best of the rest, with Stephen Wright and Paul McGee taking third in their Ford Fiesta ST.


Finally, in the Montgomery Motorsport historic category, Tommy O'Connell and Sean Magee claimed the spoils in their Escort. They finished 29th overall, while Philip Hunter and Michael Faloon took second in class.


The championship points after round 10 have been released and they will be declared final after a committee meeting on Tuesday 17 November. The prizegiving will take place on 30 January, before the 2010 season gets into full swing in February!



Jonathan MacDonald

Posted by PMcCollum on 10/11/2009; Last updated by PMcCollum on 10/11/2009