Belfast Telegraph

McGonigle gobbles up Turkey Run success

 

By Sammy Hamill

Joe McGonigle ended the 2017 rally season by going one better than the way he finished 2016 - he won the Maiden City Club's Turkey Run at the former Shackleton army base.

The Muff service station owner swapped his regular R5 Skoda Fabia for one of the McGeehan Motorsport WRC Minis which won the event last year.

McGonigle showed he was at home in the WRC machine, leading from start to finish and setting fastest times on five of the six stages to win by 18 seconds from the R5 Skoda of Desi Henry with Niall McGonigle taking third on his debut in a McKinstry Motorsport S14 Subaru.

Henry was a late addition to the starting line-up after being 14th in the reserve list and, after a steady first stage left him in seventh place, he shot up the leaderboard to snatch second on the last of the tarmac slippery stages.

Alan Carmichael in another of the McGeehan WRC Minis had been McGonigle's closest challenger for most of the day but he slipped up on the final stage, dropping back to seventh.

Alan McGeehan (WRC Mini), Alan Smyth (Mitsubishi Evo) and Aaron McLaughlin (Ford Fiesta) completed the top six.

Meanwhile, Sam Wilson and co-driver Simon Brewster emerged as winners of the UAC's It's Not The Boxing Day Rally.

Initial results showed they had dropped back to third in their Austin Mini, being overtaken by the Citroen Saxo of Damien Mooney and Connor Nevin.

However, a review of the last test times showed Wilson and Mooney level with the verdict going to Wilson on countback.

Belfast Telegraph

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