McKinstry battling time with car rebuild
If he had time Kenny McKinstry would be keeping his fingers crossed.
The three-times Northern Ireland rally champion is hoping to return to the series in tomorrow's second round of the McGrady Insurance Stages at Bishopscourt.
But efforts to get his latest car ready are going down to the wire.
McKinstry has bought the S14 Subaru in which reigning champion Derek McGarrity won the opening round at Kirkistown three weeks ago but last night it remained without an engine at his Banbridge base.
"We are waiting on the engine coming back from the builders in England as well as the turbo and the transmission has been stripped too," said McKinstry. "It is going to be touch and go."
McGarrity, of course, is the top seed for the 14-stage event at the race circuit near Downpatrick but he, too, is switching cars.
The five-times Circuit of Ireland winner is taking over the S12 Subaru belonging to Irish forest champion Garry Jennings.
It proved troublesome in Jennings's hands on the Galway International and he has asked Subaru expert McGarrity to drive it at Bishopscourt in an effort to iron out the problems ahead of the next round of the Irish Tarmac championship, the Easter Stages Rally, at the end of the month.
There is a full entry list for the Bishopscourt event including first round runner-up Kevin Barrett in his S11 Subaru and Derek McGeehan in his WRC Mini.
And added attraction will be the appearance of a number of iconic Group B supercars from the 1980s including a Peugeot 205 T16 and an Audi Quattro.
The start is scheduled for 10am.