Derek McGarrity may have emerged from the confusion surrounding the standings in the Northern Ireland rally series as the new champion but he intends to make doubly sure by winning the final round.
After a dispute over bonus points for marshalling, McGarrity now seems to have an unassailable 16-point lead over Kenny McKinstry but a win on next weekend’s Glens of Antrim Rally would clear up any lingering doubts.
To that end, the former triple Circuit of Ireland winner hopes to switch to an 05 Ford Focus, the fifth different car he has driven in the series this season after starting out in a pair of Subarus before moving to a Toyota Corolla and then an 02 Focus.
“The 02 Focus I drove on the last round is a good wee car but I want something with a bit more go in it and I’m hoping to do a deal to drive an 05 car,” says the Mossley driver.
McGarrity has won the Glens’ rally a number of times in the past, including last year, but so has McKinstry who is a former three-times champion. He has won three times this year to McGarrity’s four and they are seeded at the top of the entry list for the Mid-Antrim Club’s final round. The production category has still to be decided and the three main protagonists, Donagh Kelly, Raymond Johnston and Neil McCance are seeded at three, four and five respectively in their Mitsubishi Lancers.
The rally is based at the Millennium Centre, Loughguile, and starts at 9.30am.
Top of the entry list: 1 Derek McGarrity (Ford Focus), 2 Kenny McKinstry (Subaru Impreza), 3 Alastair Fisher (Mitsubishi Lancer), 4 Jonathan Greer (Mitsubishi Lancer), 5 Donagh Kelly (Mitsubishi Lancer), 6 Raymond Johnston (Mitsubishi Lancer), 7 Neil McCance (Mitsubishi Lancer), 8 Damien Tourish (Mitsubishi Lancer), 9 Kieron Graffin (Mitsubishi Lancer), 10 Colin Britton (Mitsubishi Lancer).