Round 2: Discover NI Circuit of Ireland Rally, 18-19 April
Derek McGarrity and co-driver James McKee scored maximum championship points with third place overall on the Circuit of Ireland Rally.
The Mini WRC driver had a good event, despite picking too hard a tyre on the early stages and suffering from some clutch slip. Next up among the championship crews was Kenny McKinstry, who had no chance of catching McGarrity after sustaining a puncture.
The rally was one of attrition. An over-heating engine forced Desi Henry’s retirement on day two. Alan Carmichael retired with rear diff failure on his Mini WRC, while Johnny Leonard retired his Evo 6 on the first stage of day two. George Robinson broke the transmission on his Lancer, Kieron Graffin also retired his Evo 10, and Wesley Patterson’s transmission failed on day one.
Results (championship competitors emboldened)
1 Declan Boyle / Brian Boyle (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h58m47.5s
2 Donagh Kelly / Kevin Flanagan (Ford Focus) +0m40.1s
3 Derek McGarrity / James McKee (Mini Countryman WRC) +3m11.4s
March 15: Bishopscourt Stages
April 18/19: Circuit of Ireland
May 10: Tour of the Sperrins
June 7: Mourne Rally
August 15/16: Ulster National Rally
September 6: Lakeland Stages
September 27: Bushwhacker Rally (reserve event)
October 18: Down Rally
October 25: Kirkistown Stages (reserve event)