Image thanks to Kevin Glendinning-

McCormack Takes Home Win on Round Three of the 2016 MSA ANICC McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship!

Marty McCormack and his co-driving niece Caron took victory on the Tour of the Sperrins Rally, run by the Magherafelt and District Motor Club, for round three of the MSA ANICC McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship. “It’s been a child-hood dream to win this rally” said Marty at the finish. “I can’t believe it. I’m just delighted! ”It was not an easy win for the local driver in his Skoda Fabia Super 2000 as for much of the event Desi Henry in an R5 version of the Fabia led the field. Indeed the Portglenone driver, had moved ahead of McCormack by stage three, and held a narrow 5.9 second lead heading into the seventh Wolf’s Hill test. But it was here that’s Desi’s challenge came unstuck, or as the case was- he got stuck, the Skoda running wide on a tight right hander and into a Sperrins bog. Derek McGeehan in his Mini WRC who was also sponsoring the rally finished an excellent second ahead of Michael Carbin’s Evo in third.

But what of Derek McGarrity, the NI series leader going into this round? Once again the reigning champion was having issues with his Fiesta WRC, the over-heating and missing once again. He started stage one after his allotted time and was later issued with a ten minute penalty which left him forty-first overall. Without the penalty he would have been third, and when the car was on song he was on the pace- being fastest on stage three. Ending the rally in an excellent fourth place was Group N winner- Niall Devine with Crawford Henderson on the pace-notes in their Subaru. Second in Group N was Simon Woodside in eleventh overall with his Evo 9. The two-wheel drive battle was led initially by Oran Donnelly’s MK2 Escort before diff failure, and Shane McGirr soon took over the front running in the nimble Starlet. He romped home a fine fifth overall ahead of David Crossen, John Gordon and Micky Conlon’s Escorts in that contest. Other top ten finishers were Brendan Cumiskey in seventh despite a one minute jump start penalty in his Fiesta R5, and Stephen McKenna ninth with his Evo 6.

Heavy rain at times made the conditions very tricky, and the attrition rate was high due to both off-road excursions and mechanical mayhem. Retirements included a slow to start Kenny McKinstry with problems in his Impreza WRC, Adrian Hetherington who got his Corolla WRC stuck, Darren McKelvey’s Evo 8 with mechanical issues, Mark Donnelly who slid off his new Super 2000 Fiesta, and visiting driver Shaun Sinclair’s S9 Impreza with transmission failure.

Other class winners on the event were: Jason Dickson – class 1 (Ford Fiesta), Ruari Maguire- class 3 (Vauxhall Corsa), Alan Smyth- class 4- (Swift S1600), John Gordon- class 5 (MK2 Escort) and Shane McGirr- class 6 (Toyota Starlet). Round four of the McGrady series is back on tarmac on the 11th June for the Newry Motor Club’s Mourne Rally.

2016 McGrady Insurance MSA ANICC Northern Ireland Rally Championship 2016-Round Three results
1st Marty McCormack / Caron McCormack
Škoda Fabia S2000 29:50.9
2nd Derek McGeehan / Arthur Kierans
Mini WRC +0:22.8
3rd Michael Carbin / Darragh Kelly
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV +2:03.5
4th Niall Devine / Crawford Henderson
Subaru Impreza “N” +2:21.1
5th Shane McGirr / Liam McIntyre
Toyota Starlet +2:26.6
6th David Crossen / Chris McSherry
Ford Escort Mk2 +2:44.2
7th Brendan Cumiskey / Ronan O Kane
Ford Fiesta R5 +2:48.5
8th John Gordon / Thomas Wedlock
Ford Escort MK2 +2:58.9
9th Stephen McKenna / Mark Donnelly
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI +3:01.7
10th Michael Conlon / Ciaran Mc Phillips
Ford Escort Mk2 +3:05.5

2016 McGrady Insurance MSA ANICC Northern Ireland Rally Championship 2016—Remaining Rounds
4 Mourne Rally Tarmac Newry Motor Club 11th June
5 Tyrone Stages Rally Tarmac Cookstown Motor Club 30th July
6 Ulster National Rally Tarmac Northern Ireland MC 19th-20th August
7 Bushwhacker Rally Gravel Omagh Motor Club 24th September
8 Down Rally Tarmac Rathfriland Motor Club 15th October
*Reserve events- Enniskillen MC- 3th September, Ballynahinch & District MC 12th November

To keep up to date please check out for the series regulations and latest points. Rally results available on
Images thanks to Kevin Glendinning-
Press Release issued by Andrew Bushe Promotions- F-Andrew Bushe Promotions t-@andrew_bushe