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McGrady Insurance Bishopscourt Stages: News after SS5

SS5 start

BISHOPSCOURT NEWS 5: Derek McGarrity is on the verge of sealing his sixth consecutive McGrady Insurance Bishopscourt Stages Rally victory. Navigated by Paddy Robinson, the Glengormley driver leads the event by 55.6 seconds with one stage remaining.

Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont had fresh spark plugs installed in their Mini WRC and that seems to have cured their misfire woes. The crew were second fastest on the stage and moved up to second place ahead of Connor McCloskey.

McCloskey, who is now in third, will simply be happy to get to the end of what has been a very challenging event. He hasn’t been too keen on the treacherously wet conditions and will be happy to finish in one piece.

“I’m just going to take it easy now,” McCloskey admitted. “In these sort of conditions, you could make a mess very easily.”

Kenny McKinstry, who is 10th overall, echoed McCloskey’s views. He said: “This is not what a rally car is for, I know that much!”

Mark Massey’s fresh gearbox is working wonders and he had a clean run through the stage, helping him put his previous stage spin behind him. He has moved up to fourth overall.

Barry Morris and Declan Campbell continue to dominate the two-wheel-drive field. They are fifth overall ahead on what is their first visit to the circuit. Meanwhile, young gun Peter Bennett is enjoying his first outing with his Evo 9 and is in an impressive sixth overall.

Wesley Patterson admitted to holding up Gary Rodgers’ Evo and admitted that he didn’t see him until they were rallying through a tight section of the stage. Denis Biggerstaff called his son Stuart over at the finish and asked him to apologise to David Armstrong. He thought he had tapped the flailing Escort, which was struggling with a front puncture, midway around the track but it transpired that no contact had been made.

There were more dramas for Alan Smyth as he hit a barrier, damaging the front left corner of his Evo. Paul Britton clipped a few trackside tyres while Gary Rodgers was frustrated with being stuck behind Wesley Patterson’s Escort.

Kyle White finished the test a bit more upbeat having fitted two new front tyres to his Peugeot. Jonny Morrow was another man in the wars having overshot and lightly damaged the front of his brother’s Evo.

Amy Cox and Caron McCormack are keeping it steady in their Skoda Fabia while Andrew and Robert McCormick thought they were going to collect a few trackside tyres but survived to tell the tale!

A number of crews are still struggling with misted-up windscreens including Johno Doogan and Ciaran Marron. They didn’t have any spins this time and were still full of smiles despite their windscreen issue!

The rain has eased off now and just one stage remains before the winners of the 2018 McGrady Insurance Bishopscourt Stages Rally will be crowned!

SS6 is about to start… live results available from www.rallyscore.net.

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