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SS12: McGarrity leads while Wright slowed by an errant gate!

AFTER SS12: With just two stages remaining, Derek McGarrity and Paddy Robinson lead the MJE Wheel Repair Specialists Tyrone Stages Rally and there was yet more drama over stages 11 and 12, this time with Stephen Wright on the receiving end.

A gate was lying across the road near one of the chicanes, forcing Wright to come to a virtual stop and crawl over the top of it.

“It was a beefy looking thing,” Wright said. “I didn’t want to take any chances so I had to slow right down and crawl over it.”

He reckons he could have lost around 10 seconds with the incident but his navigator, Liam Moynihan, is raising the issue with the organisers in an attempt to get a nominal time.

Meanwhile, William Creighton had another solid run and Desi Henry admitted that he’s just going to cruise to the finish after all his dramas. The front bumper and headlights of his Fiesta WRC are looking decidedly second-hand. If positions stay as they are, Henry’s outside chance of the championship title will be dashed.

Gareth Sayers could be in a bit of trouble too as his Fiesta R5’s engine is overheating. Martin Doherty has retired his Escort from the event after they slid off. They drove back into service and handed in their time cards.

In the two-wheel-drive battle, James and Kennedy really laid down the gauntlet to take six seconds out of John Devlin and John McCarthy (pictured above) on that loop.

“I just relaxed a little bit and we had a really good, clean run,” James said.

Devlin admitted that he couldn’t go any faster without taking silly risks and he wants to get the car home in one piece.

Meanwhile, Fintan McGrady’s problem turned out to be a broken propshaft. Luckily, he had a spare one with him so he was able to get back on the attack.

There are just two stages remaining. Latest results are available from rallyscore.net and news available from www.facebook.com/nirallying

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