Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Beaten Moore has good day

Brian McGillin scored his first Northern Ireland championship victory on the Bushwhacker Rally but the big winner was Stephen Moore.

McGillin, who won by five seconds in his ex-World championship Hyundai Accent, isn't a contender for the NI title so it was Moore, in second place in his M-Sport Ford Focus, who took the lion's share of the points to extend his lead at the top of the standings.

Just as importantly, Moore's chief rival for the championship, Glenn Allen, had a troublesome day in a borrowed car and finished back in seventh place, allowing the gap at the top of the table to grow to 16 points.

However, it isn't as clear-cut as first appears and with each driver allowed to discard their three worst scores from 10 rounds, it is Allen who still holds the edge.

But the gap has narrowed dramatically over the past three rounds when Cookstown man Allen has been without his own Toyota Corolla, which has been marooned in Holland.

He was in his third different Corolla on the Omagh Club's Bushwhacker event and lost time in the middle of the rally with mechanical issues which also cost him road penalties.

But his four maximum points hauls from earlier in the season keep him in prime position, although Moore has now taken top scores on three rounds.

Already a winner of the Irish national gravel championship this season, Moore shadowed McGillin throughout the 12 Bushwhacker stages in the Tyrone forests but knew he didn't need to take too many risks.

McGillin led from stage two to the end, the Omagh businessman creating something of a record by winning the rally he was sponsoring.

McGillin Bushwhacker Rally: 1 Brian McGillin and David Doherty (Hyundai Accent) 39 mins 30 secs; 2 Stephen Moore and Tony McHugh (Ford Focus) 39.35; 3 Raymond Johnston and Richard Bell (Subaru Impreza) 41.13; 4 Peter McCullagh and Sean Ferris (Mitsubishi Lancer N) 41.30; 5 Kevin O'Kane and Martin Brady (Subaru Impreza) 41.32; 6 Raymond Mason and Peter Martin (Mitsubishi Lancer N) 41.40; 7 Glenn Allen and Damien Connolly (Toyota Corolla) 41.47; 8 Seamus Leonard and John McCaffrey (Mitsubishi Lancer N) 42.09; 9 Adrian Hetherington and Gary Nolan (Ford Escort) 42.34; 10 Damien Tourish and James McNulty (Mitsubishi Lancer N) 42.36.

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