NEWTOWNABBEY’s Derek McGarrity has claimed his third Northern Ireland title with victory at Saturday’s McKelvey Bushwhacker Rally - the final round of the 2012 Carryduff Forklift MSA NI Stage Rally Championship.
Navigated by James McKee, the Glengormley man needed to pick up a handful of points from Saturday’s event, but he decided to secure his third success in style, battling hard with Martin Cairns through the closing stages to secure the rally spoils.
Cairns had led the event from the start but came under increasing pressure from McGarrity’s S14 specification Impreza WRC during the final miles. Going into the last stage, the two rivals were neck-and-neck, but McGarrity pulled out all of the stops to go 13 seconds faster and secure the rally win.
McKelvey Bushwhacker Rally - Top 10
1 Derek McGarrity / James McKee (Impreza WRC) 34m33s
2 Martin Cairns / Kevin Flanagan (Impreza WRC) 34m46s
3 Kenny McKinstry / Noel Orr (Impreza WRC) 35m00s
4 Colin Britton / Arthur Kierans (Evo 9) 35m09s
5 Mark Donnelly / Sean Ferris (Evo 9) 35m14s
6 Frank Kelly / Liam Brennan (Escort Mk2) 35m36s
7 Derek McGeehan / Damien Connolly (MINI WRC) 35m38s
8 Stephen Wright / Suzanne Wright (Evo 6) 35m50s
9 Vivian Hamill / Paul Hamill (Escort Mk2) 35m52s
10 Vincent McAree / J.P. McAree (Evo 9) 35m54s
Provisional Championship Points after final round:
1 Derek McGarrity 78 points
2 Derek McGeehan 65 points
3 Drew Stewart 51 points
4 Trevor Ferguson 36 points
5 Ray Brammer 34 points
6 Kenny McKinstry 28 points