Lurgan Park Rally 2003

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With the crowds gathering thick and fast, it was clear that this year’s Lurgan Park Rally was going to be pretty big event. What a line-up it was too, with all the great names of Irish rallying! All the big stars had turned up for a sprint round the Park, including the 9 time winner Kenny McKinstry in his Subaru Impreza WRC, Eugene Donnelly in his Subaru Impreza WRC, Belgian legend Patrick Snijers (Subaru Impreza WRC) and Denis Biggerstaff in his amazing Metro 6R4.

As soon as stage 1 was finished the rain was on again, but I managed to get to see stage 2 in full with many a picture taken coming off the long straight into a wide-ish 90 degree left. What a glorious sight to see the cars flat out down the straight and then so hard on the brakes and gears to get slowed into the turn. Once into the turn it was nearly all sideways up to the bridge where they had to be in a straight line otherwise the tight bridge would have got the better of most drivers. The later stages of the day included the forest section round the lake which means pure bred sideways as the drivers battle on the gravel under the shade of the trees, this caught the best of the drivers out as Maurice Gass came pretty hard round a sweeping right hand bend and reaslised that trees are very very solid, the impreza was about 3ft shorter at the back, thankfully no one was hurt in the accident! The same corner was great craic to watch from and the drivers where on the limits of control and I have to say the mk2 escorts came round in some style!

So at the end of the day Kenny McKinstry celebrated his record 10th victory on the Lurgan Park Rally, which is outstanding driving ability, while Eugene Donnelly was runner up.

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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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