Belfast Telegraph

Derek McGarrity looks to an old favourite

By Sammy Hamill

Derek McGarrity's plans to field his new WRC Mini on tomorrow's Tour of the Sperrins have been put on hold. Instead he will line out in a car in which he has already experienced some success, the McKinstry Motorsport Subaru S14.

McGarrity, the first four-time winner of the Northern Ireland rally championship and the leader of the series again this year, was expected to head the line-up for round three of the series in an ex-Dani Sordo Prodrive Mini.

But the car is still in England and with two of the Minis he bought from the Motorsport Italia team earlier in the year already sold on to new owners, McGarrity has reverted back to the McKinstry Subaru, a car he originally owned and won in.

"The new Mini is still being finished off at Prodrive and rather than rush things I've hired the Subaru, a car I know pretty well.

"The Mini will be here for the next round, the Mourne Rally," he explained.

The late switch is unlikely to lessen McGarrity's chances of another Sperrins victory even though the line-up also includes two other past winners, former NI champion Connor McCloskey in a Subaru and Peadar Hurson in a WRC Ford Escort.

The Maghera-based event starts at 11am and consists of six closed road stages.

Meanwhile, Ulsterman Kris Meeke was a solid sixth fastest over the test stage ahead of last night's start to the Rally Argentina.

The times were headed by the Volkswagen trio of Jari-Matti Latvala, World champion Sebastien Ogier and Andres Mikkelsen.

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