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Swap shop for Greer and Henry ahead of Easter Rally mission

 

By Sammy Hamill

Jonny Greer is still waiting to get his hands on a new R5 Citroen DS3, so he will be back on board a Ford Fiesta for the Easter Stages Rally this weekend.

His DGM team are still waiting for the delayed arrival of the parts which saw the reigning Northern Ireland champion sit out the first round of this year's McGrady Insurance series before he switched to a hired R5 Ford Fiesta for the start of the Irish Tarmac Championship in West Cork. He picked up ninth place points after a late puncture dropped the Fiesta back down the finishing order.

But now in a car merry-go-round, Greer will start the rally in the R5 Fiesta originally entered for Desi Henry and which the Portglenone driver steered to fifth place in West Cork.

It was always a stop-gap for Henry while he waited for the arrival of a new Skoda Fabia but it has turned up sooner than expected and he will make the switch to join an Easter entry list which is headed by Championship leader Josh Moffett and his brother Sam, the 2017 Tarmac champion, in their R5 Fiestas.

Greer starts at No.6 in the Fiesta behind Henry, who for the first time will be joined in the R5 division by his brother Niall, who switches from his production Mitsubishi Evo to a DS3 Citroen - a car from the DGM stable.

The top 10 are all in R5 cars with the exception of the WRC Subaru S14 of Derek McGarrity, the former Tarmac champion starting at No.3 in a rally which is much centred on his home area of east and mid-Antrim.

The two-day event, which this year replaces the Circuit of Ireland, starts from Ballyclare at lunch time on Friday.

An unfortunate clash with the Circuit of Kerry sees the Irish rally community split with a number of drivers, including Donagh Kelly - winner of the opening Tarmac round in West Cork - heading for Tralee.

But with WRC cars such as his Ford Focus ineligible for Tarmac points, Kelly and others like fellow Donegal driver Declan Boyle are focused on the Irish National Championship.

Boyle leads the Kerry line-up in his WRC Ford Fiesta with Kelly at No.2. Among the group of NI drivers heading south are Joe McGonigle, seeded four in a WRC Mini, and Kenny McKinstry at eight in a WRC Subaru.

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