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Lurgan Park Rally: Derek McGarrity is man to watch

It will be Circuit of Ireland winner Derek McGarrity versus Kenny McKinstry Inc in the Orchard Motorsport Lurgan Park Rally on Saturday.

Multi-champion and rally hire team boss McKinstry will field four of the top five cars — including one for himself — in the North Armagh Club’s annual showpiece in the park.

As he bids for a record 12th victory in the event, McKinstry will also have Darren Gass, Garry Jennings and Kevin Barrett alongside him in WRC Subarus from his Banbridge stable.

The McKinstry team will also have a hand in overseeing the Subarus of John McGaffin and English visitor Ray Brammer.

However, the outsider — and probably the biggest threat — is reigning Northern Ireland champion McGarrity who will be bidding for his first Lurgan Park victory in his Circuit of Ireland-winning S12 Subaru.

The line-up also includes Mark Doyle in his Toyota Celica and the Metro 6R4s of Denis Biggerstaff and Cork’s Brian O’Mahony.

The 45-strong “invitation-only” starting list also includes over 20 highly-modified Mk2 Ford Escorts driven by the likes of Wesley Patterson, Camillus Bradley and John Waring, winner of the Circuit of Ireland national rally, as well as Callum Duffy and James MacGillivary from Scotland.

And in a throw-back to another era, several of the mighty Group B supercars from the Eighties, including a Peugeot 205 T16, an Audi Quattro and a Ford RS200 will be in action on the stages which wind through the park and around the lake.

The action will begin at 10:30am.

Top of the entry list: 1 Kenny McKinstry/Emma McKinstry (Subaru Impreza), 2 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza), 3 Darren Gass/Andrew Cullen (Subaru Impreza), 4 Kevin Barrett/Paul Barrett (Subaru Impreza), 5 Garry Jennings/Damien McPartland (Subaru Impreza), 6 Mark Doyle/Cormac Doyle (Toyota Celica), 7 Gary White/Alan Purdy (Subaru Impreza), 8 Denis Biggerstaff/Graeme Stewart (Metro 6R4), 9 Brian O’Mahony/John Higgins (Metro 6R4), 10 John McGaffin/Lesley McGaffin (Subaru Impreza).

Belfast Telegraph