Stunning Entry for Down Rally!

Down Rally organisers at Belfast Metropolitan College

Spectators attending this Saturday’s Carryduff Forklift Down Rally, round four of the McGrady Insurance MSA Northern Ireland Rally Championship, are in for a real treat! A capacity entry of 130 crews from across the UK and further afield, including almost 20 high-specification World Rally Cars and R5 rally cars, are ready to do battle in County Down…

Headquartered at the Eikon Centre near Lisburn, the event will feature a total of 11 stages that include closed road tests in County Down as well as a spectator stage at the Eikon Exhibition Centre.

The Centre will also host scrutiny and the service area where crews will fettle their cars after each loop of stages, giving spectators an opportunity to get close to the rally cars, mingle with the competitors as well as watch some high-octane action, not to mention a bouncy castle and face painting for the kids!

Outline Schedule

The rally blasts off with a stage around the Eikon complex at 8.30am where competitors will bed themselves in over the short opener. They will then tackle three closed road stages between Hillsborough and Castlewellan, including the famous Hamilton’s Folly, before returning to the Eikon Centre shortly before 11am for Service A.

The second Eikon spectator stage gets underway around 11.40am and is followed by the same loop of closed road stages before entering Service B at approximately 2.10pm. The final blast through the Eikon stage starts shortly before 3pm and is followed by another two closed road stages before the winners cross the Eikon finish ramp around 5pm.


The competition will be fierce! As a round of both the McGrady Insurance N.I. series and the Protyre MSA Asphalt Championship, the event has received entries from as far away as France, ensuring the tussle for the rally spoils will be intense!

Topping the entry list is Welshman Melvyn Evans with co-driver Mark Glennerster. They are officially entered with a Subaru Impreza WRC but Evans has since sold the Subaru and is expected to use a Ford Fiesta WRC for the first time.

At number two, Wales’ Jason Pritchard and England’s Phil Clarke add to the international flavour in their Ford Focus WRC, while Scotland’s David Bogie and local navigator John Rowan are at number three in their Skoda Fabia R5.

Slotting in at number four in another Fabia R5 is the first of the McGrady Insurance N.I. crews with Desi Henry and Irish co-driver Liam Moynihan ensuring there are leading competitors from all corners of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Jonny Greer and Kirsty Riddick, the reigning Northern Ireland champions, are set to make a return to the series for the first time since securing the 2017 title back in November. They start the event at number five while current N.I. Championship leaders, Derek McGarrity and Paddy Robinson, are at number six in their Subaru Impreza WRC.

Newry’s Peadar Hurson and navigator Damien Connolly make a return to the series in their Fiesta WRC after their opening round retirement, while former champions, Kenny McKinstry and Noel Orr, start at number eight in their Impreza WRC.

Wayne Sisson and Max Freeman are the current Protyre Asphalt Championship leaders and start at number nine in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X ahead of the Mini WRC belonging to Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont.

There are many more notable entries throughout the field including Daniel Harper, Stephen Simpson, Paddy McVeigh, Kevin Barrett and another two former McGrady Insurance N.I. champions – Stuart Biggerstaff and Robin Phillips – all in World Rally Cars.

The two-wheel-drive entry is equally impressive with the likes of former Down Rally winner, Camillus Bradley (Escort Mk2), Rodney White (Sunbeam), Kyle White (208 R2), Welshman Meirion Evans, Wesley Patterson (Escort Mk2) and N.I. Championship sponsor, Fintan McGrady, on the start list.

Event Programmes

Spectators can find the essential event information, including stage maps and schedule, in the official event programme which be purchased in local shops. More information can be found online at as well as the official event and championship social media channels.

Entry List – Top 30 Seeds
(Download full entry list HERE)

1 Melvyn Evans/Mark Glennerster (Fiesta WRC)
2 Jason Pritchard/Phil Clarke (Focus WRC)
3 David Bogie/John Rowan (Fabia R5)
4 Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (Fabia R5)
5 Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Fiesta R5)
6 Derek McGarrity/Paddy Robinson (Impreza WRC S14)
7 Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly (Fiesta WRC)
8 Kenny McKinstry/Noel Orr (Impreza WRC S14)
9 Wayne Sisson/Max Freeman (Lancer Evo X)
10 Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont (Mini WRC)
11 Alan Smyth/Mac Kierans (Lancer Evo X)
12 Daniel Harper/Chris Campbell (Mini WRC)
14 Stephen Simpson/Patrick Walsh (Impreza WRC S12b)
15 Paddy McVeigh/Gary McElhinney (Impreza WRC S12b)
16 Barry Groundwater/Neil Shanks (Lancer Evo X)
17 Camillus Bradley/Crawford Henderson (Escort MkII)
18 Brian Watson/Sean Donnelly (Impreza WRC S11)
19 Stuart Biggerstaff/Anthony Nestor (Impreza WRC S9)
20 Rodney White/Sam McMullan (Sunbeam)
21 Robin Phillips/Laura Phillips (Impreza WRC S10)
22 Adrian Spencer/Matt Daniels (Impreza WRC S11)
23 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC S14)
24 Emma McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Impreza WRC S14)
25 Richard Clews/Hamish Campbell (Impreza)
26 Amy Cox/Caron McCormack (Fabia S2000)
27 David Hardie/John McCulloch (Impreza)
28 James Laverty/Barry McNulty (Impreza N12b)
29 Paul Britton/George Tinsley (Impreza N12b)
30 Gary Rodgers/Geoff Patterson (Lancer Evo 9)
31 Jonny Morrow/Simon Morrow (Mirage RS)

Download full entry list HERE

Photo: Down Rally organisers headed to Belfast Metropolitan College in June to speak to students about the event. Competitor Kyle White brought along his Peugeot 208 R2 rally car, giving the students a chance to see a competition car before the event gets underway.

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