The final round of the 2012 Carryduff Forklift MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship takes competitors to Omagh this weekend for the McKelvey Bushwhacker Rally.
A stunning line-up of competitors has been received for the popular event, with more than 90 crews set to do battle in the woods. And it seems that series leader, Derek McGarrity, is a man on a mission as he has entered in his S14 specification Subaru Impreza WRC!
The Glengormley driver had entered the penultimate round of the series in an older specification Subaru but he seemed to struggle in the mount, eventually finishing fifth overall behind title rival Derek McGeehan.
But that will change this weekend and for the first time on home ground, an S14 WRC Impreza will be seen crackling through the forest tracks!
McGarrity is seeded first on the road alongside navigator James McKee, while Banbridge’s Kenny McKinstry is set to make a return to action aboard his Impreza WRC. McKinstry is a former champion, although he has only contested a limited number of events this year.
Joining them will be Irish forestry contenders, Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy. The Group A Impreza mounted crew were involved in a great tussle at the Lakeland Stages with Jonny Greer, only to slip off the road on the final stage. Jennings is in the hunt for the separate Irish forestry title and a repeat of that incident at the Bushwhacker would be disastrous for his campaign.
Other leading entrants include Group N crews Vincent McAree and Colin Britton, as well as Mark Donnelly and Stephen Wright in their class 9 Mitsubishis. The remainder of the top 10 is completed by a trio of World Rally Car crews, with Martin Cairns and James Gillen aboard their Imprezas while Derek McGeehan will pilot his MINI WRC once again.
McGeehan is McGarrity’s only challenger for the 2012 Carryduff Forklift title, but he really has to score maximum points and hope that McGarrity essentially fails to finish. It’s a tall order but anything is possible in rallying.
Other potential challengers include both Sam and Robert Mofett, while the two-wheel-drive field also has a strong showing. Vivian and Paul Hamill are set to do battle with the likes of Frank Kelly, Seamus O’Connell, Adrian Hetherington, Drew Stewart and Shay Power.
It really is a stunning entry for the final round of this year’s Carryduff Forklift N.I. series, and the spectators will be out in force to cheer on their local heroes. More details can be found online at www.nirally.com.
- Carryduff Forklift N.I. Series Returns to the Sperrins
- Carryduff Forklift N.I. Series Heads to Ulster Rally
- McGarrity Wins Carryduff Forklift N.I. Rally Series Opener
- The Opening Round Malaysian Rally Championship round up
- Carryduff’s Jonny Greer Seals Lakeland Rally Victory
- Derek McGarrity Tops Entry For Circuit of Ireland Rally
- 2011 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship retains support from Tourism Ireland
- Irish Tarmac Championship Tussle Continues At Ulster Rally
- Irish Tarmac Championship returns to Armagh
- Pirelli-supported WRC Academy set for thrilling final-round showdown