McKinstry set to keep heat on McGarrity
The Northern Ireland Rally championship is set to move up a gear this weekend.
Reigning champion, Kenny McKinstry and the current points leader Derek McGarrity, return for the Hankook Down Rally, based at Castlewellan on Saturday.
Even though he sat out the previous round to focus on the Donegal International, McGarrity leads the Carryduff Forklift-backed series by nine points from Mourne Rally winner Drew Stewart.
McGarrity, who took maximum points from the first three rounds, is in the starting list for the all-tarmac Down event in his ex-Tim McNulty S12 Subaru.
McKinstry, who won the Down Rally back-to-back in 2009 and ’10, has missed the past two rounds after engine problems with his Subaru on the Circuit of Ireland.
Returning, too, in her Subaru is McKinstry’s daughter Emma who has missed the first half of the season with a broken foot.
The starting list also includes Donagh Kelly, who won last year in his production Mitsubishi when the event was staged in the Co Down forests. He will be looking for a first win in his WRC Subaru.
Derek McGeehan, who is third in the NI standings, will be in his WRC Mini. He lost out to his brother Alan, who was driving their WRC Toyota, and Ryan Graffin (Mitsubishi) in the non-championship Lough Neagh Stages.