Ulster Rally at Mid Ulster

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With this being one of the few rallies left that run into the dark of the night it all kicked off at 4.30pm on Friday with all the big names out for the win and the all important points. At the end of day1 Higgins led by a good margin with local man Nesbitt lying second and Donnelly lying in 3rd with it all to play for on Saturday. In Grp N David Higgens was well in the lead with Seamus Lenoard 2nd and Alan Nesbitt going well in 3rd GrpN. The Nationals and Historics didn’t come out until later on on Friday meaning there all got a go at the night stages and with 4 Metro 6R4’s in the field along with a string of mkII escorts it was set to be a great to watch evening.

Leaving home at 5.30am on Saturday we landed down at first stage which started at 7.30 and although i was half sleeping the drivers certainly werent setting blistering times from the 1st coutdown they got. There was a lot of drama through the day with a couple of heavy impacts in the grp N field and the 2 favorites for the event having problems, Nesbitts engine went on his subaru forcing him to retire and Higgins having a broken prop shaft leaving him with FWD and a lot of computer problems within the car due to this dropping him way out of the running for a win but he managed to get home in a very respectable 8th overall. 

With all this going on the "Genie" got what he was waiting for, a safe rally to pay off and all he had to do was to keep the pace up and cruise home ahead of a hard pushing McNulty for the win and max tarmac points which he done to a lot of fans delite including my own. McNulty drove very well for the 2 days and got 2nd overall with McGarritty taking the final podium position in a "down on power" Subaru. McHale, Wilson and Boland managed to bring the 3 Focus’ home safe to finish the top 6 with Peadar Hurson taking 7th.

In Grp N Leonard took the win after some problems with a hard charging and improving Alan Nesbitt taking 2nd and the most spectacular GrpN driver Jennings finishing the podium in class and getting 11th overall in his aging evo but he still leads the grp n tarmac championship so i would say he was happy to get home and collect the points

So with all this happening it’s good to say the weather held out for most of the rally and well done to all those who got to the finish in Armagh town!

Top 10 thanks to www.rallynews.net 

<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”MARGIN: 0px 0cm”><span style=”FONT-SIZE: 10pt”>1<sup>st</sup> (3) Eugene Donnelly/Paul Kiely (Corolla WRC) 1.54.59.5</span>

<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”MARGIN: 0px 0cm”><span style=”FONT-SIZE: 10pt”>2<sup>nd</sup> (5) Tim McNulty/Anthony Nestor (Impreza WRC) 1.55.07.4</span>

<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”MARGIN: 0px 0cm”><span style=”FONT-SIZE: 10pt”>3<sup>rd</sup> (4) Derek McGarrity/Dermot O’Gorman (Impreza WRC) 1.55.37.9</span>

<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”MARGIN: 0px 0cm”><span style=”FONT-SIZE: 10pt”>4<sup>th</sup> (9) Eamonn Boland/Francis Regan (Focus WRC) 1.55.46.5</span>

<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”MARGIN: 0px 0cm”><span style=”FONT-SIZE: 10pt”>5<sup>th</sup> (6) Austin MacHale/Brian Murphy (Focus WRC) 1.56.23.4</span>

<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”MARGIN: 0px 0cm”><span style=”FONT-SIZE: 10pt”>6<sup>th</sup> (8) Matthew Wilson/Scott Martin (Focus WRC) 1.56.31.4</span>

<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”MARGIN: 0px 0cm”><span style=”FONT-SIZE: 10pt”>7<sup>th</sup> (7) Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly (Impreza WRC) 1.56.44.3</span>

<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”MARGIN: 0px 0cm”><span style=”FONT-SIZE: 10pt”>8<sup>th</sup> (1) Mark Higgins/Bryan Thomas (Focus WRC) 2.00.46.5</span>

<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”MARGIN: 0px 0cm”><span style=”FONT-SIZE: 10pt”>9<sup>th</sup> (18) Seamus Leonard/Gerry McVeigh (Lancer N) 2.02.27.0</span>

<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”MARGIN: 0px 0cm”><span style=”FONT-SIZE: 10pt”>10<sup>th</sup> (20) Alan Nesbitt/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 2.03.01.06

Pictures of most drivers available by e-mailing myself – [email protected] </span>

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About Author

Graham is a professional photographer and motoring writer with over 15 varied years of coverage from manufacturer press launches to international motorsport and rally events throughout the world. Graham is a full member of the Guild of Motoring Writers. See more at grahamcurry.com

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