McGarrity lands narrow Dog Leap victory

Thursday, 10 August 2017

McGarrity lands narrow Dog Leap victory thumbnail

DEREK McGarrity recovered from a half spin mid-way through the Dog Leap Rally to win by just a second.
In one of the closest battles in the history of the event, little more than two seconds separated him and the Skoda Fabia R5 being driven by runner-up Joseph McGonigle over the course of the six special stages.
A new engine fitted to McGarrity's Subaru following its troubles on the recent Tyrone Stages Rally proved the difference as he regained the lead from McGonigle after getting his bearings wrong on the third test.
“We only got two stages on our last visit here before a broken driveshaft put us out," said McGarrity, "so to come back here again and win it is just fantastic. It was close, though. There wasn't a lot in it all day."
McGonigle, meanwhile, rued failing to capitalise on McGarrity's mistake by pushing on when the chance arose. "It's hard matching an S14 Impreza round here, although I could maybe have gone faster," he said.
Alan Carmichael brought his McGeehan Motorsport-prepared Mini Countryman home in third. Last year's winner Alan McGeehan surrendered the position when his Mini's engine dropped a valve after stage four.
Martin Cairns, with Clare Gamble navigating, had a steady run to fourth in their Ford Fiesta World Rally Car while Kilrea's Connor McCloskey managed fifth on his very first drive in an R5 version of the Ford Fiesta.
*Read the full story in this week's Chronicle


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