Belfast Telegraph

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Henry suited and booted but still out in the cold


By Sammy Hamill

The Maiden City Motor Club's traditional final fling of the rally year, the Turkey Run, would be an ideal opportunity for Desi Henry to try out his special Christmas present - a new racesuit.

Trouble is, the former Irish forestry champion is way down the reserve entry list and there is no guarantee his R5 Skoda Fabia will be on the start line at the former Shackleton army base at Ballykelly tomorrow (9.45am).

"Loving the new racesuit that Santa left, just need a rally to do now. What's the chances of 14 dropouts in @MaidenCMC lol," he tweeted.

By last night the odds of Henry getting in had shortened slightly with 'just' 11 reserves ahead of him including his brother Niall.

The packed entry list is headed by last year's winner Joe McGonigle but instead of his usual R5 Skoda, the Muff driver is switching to one of the McGeehan Motorsport team's WRC Minis.

With new business commitments, McGonigle is planning to opt out of the Irish Tarmac Championship next season and focus on the national series. He sees the short sprint stages of the Turkey run as an ideal opportunity to sample the WRC Mini for the first time.

Lining up behind him will be another of the McGeehan Minis, this one in the hands of Alan McGeehan with Frank Wray at three in his WRC Subaru.

But a lot of attention will focus on the driver starting at No.4, British Junior champion Callum Devine who will step up from his title-winning Opel Adam to drive the Ford Fiesta in which he made such an impressive R5 class debut on Rally GB.

Meanwhile, there was another nail-biting finish to the UAC's It's Not The Boxing Day Rally with Damien Mooney and Connor Nevin snatching victory in their Citroen Saxo. They edged out the Toyota MR2 of Robert Woodside and Steven Dowd by one second with Sam Wilson and Simon Brewster third in their Mini.

Belfast Telegraph

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