McGrady Insurance Bishopscourt Stages: News after SS4

Rain at Bishopscourt

BISHOPSCOURT NEWS 4: The heavens opened once again and more rain pounded Bishopscourt Race Circuit as competitors tackled stage four of the six-stage event. Conditions were treacherous with rally leader Derek McGarrity left frustrated by his misted-up windscreen. “I can’t see!” he exclaimed at the stage finish. However, he still set fastest time and now leads by 41.3 seconds.

Connor McCloskey has jumped up to second overall. He was embroiled in a huge battle with Mark Massey but Massey, who had a new gearbox fitted before the stage, lost time with a spin and dropped to fifth.

Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont have moved up to third overall in their Mini WRC. He lost a few seconds with a misted-up windscreen and he also caught Mark Massey during the stage.

Barry Morris was all smiles after putting in another stunning drive with his Ford Escort MkII. While plenty of his rivals were spinning all around him, he enjoyed another faultless run to move up to fourth overall. It’s a truly impressive drive in these conditions with a two-wheel-drive car.

James Laverty and Paul Hughes continue to lead Group N in their Subaru Impreza and hold sixth overall while Peter Bennett and Simon Jones are up to seventh in their Evo 9 ahead of Alan Smyth and Mac Kierans who spun and stalled their Evo X. Amy Cox is the leading lady driver in 14th overall and is happy with her progress.

Plenty of crews hit trouble on what was another extremely wet stage. Wesley Patterson (Escort) lost time with a few big spins. Paul Britton (Impreza) lost around 20 seconds with a spin while Kyle White commented that it was “the scariest stage of my life” as he struggled with virtually no tread in his front tyres.

Scottish visitor Rory Young is still enjoying himself despite the conditions. He said “for some reason these tyres don’t like grass” after a small excursion that he reckons cost him around 10 seconds, while John Devlin (Escort) said: “I’ve never been as sideways in fifth gear in my life…big tank slappers!”

Jonny Morrow also commented on the slippery conditions saying: “I don’t know how many moments were had in there…and big moments too. We were going from lock to lock!”

Crews are now back in service while event organisers are making a few alterations to the stage layout in preparation for the final two stages.

After SS4: Top 6 (Provisional)

1 Derek McGarrity/Paddy Robinson (Impreza WRC)
2 Connor McCloskey/John Rowan (Fiesta WRC) +41.3s
3 Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont (Mini WRC) +44.9s
4 Barry Morris/Declan Campbell (Escort MkII) +57.5s
5 Mark Massey/Niall Burns (Impreza WRC) +1m04.3s
6 James Laverty/Paul Hughes (Impreza GpN) +1m05.6s

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