Title Contenders Ready for Battle at the Lakeland Stages

The McGrady Insurance Motorsport UK Northern Ireland Rally Championship heads into the forests this Saturday for the first time this year with the Enniskillen based Trailer Parts & Spares Lakeland Stages Rally!

Almost 100 of the country’s leading competitors will line up to tackle six stages in the County Fermanagh forests. The Enniskillen Motor Club organised event marks the beginning of the second half of the N.I. Rally Championship season and results at the Lakeland event could prove pivotal in the championship battle…

Title Contenders

Derek and Mark McGeehan head into the event as the championship leaders. The father and son team have topped the standings since round two with a string of consistent top three finishes in their Mini WRC helping them maintain their position at the head of the tables.

However, the threat from the chasing pack is still very much alive with Derek McGarrity and Stephen Wright keeping their sights set firmly on championship glory. McGarrity’s round one retirement left him on the back foot at the start of the year but a win at round two followed by podium places at the following two events have left him in second overall.

Stephen Wright, who missed round three of the series due to work commitments, is just two points adrift of McGarrity. However, he has two wins to his name, with victory at round four’s Down Rally ultimately encouraging him to continue with a championship campaign.

All three protagonists have entered the Lakeland Stages Rally and keeping them honest will be former N.I. Champion, Kenny McKinstry. The Banbridge rally ace is set to wheel out his Fiesta R5 and given he is only a handful of points adrift of Wright in the championship standings, a strong result in Enniskillen could entice him to continue with his championship campaign.

Also in the mix will be round three winner, Desi Henry. The Maiden City Stages event has been his only foray in the series so far this year but he’s ready to make a comeback with his Fiesta WRC on Saturday. He finished second overall at the 2018 Lakeland event and will be one to watch.

The N.I. Championship’s two-wheel drive category will almost certainly see a change for the lead. John Devlin currently heads the standings and holds an impressive fourth overall but he has decided to miss the event, giving rivals James Kennedy, Drew Stewart and Kyle White an opportunity to play catch-up.

The event is a joint-counter with the Valvoline Forestry Championship and forestry expert, Sam Moffett, whose brother Josh won the 2018 event, will lead the field off the start ramp on Saturday morning. Based from Grosvenor Barracks on the Coleshill Road, crews will leave the service area shortly after 10.30am before heading to the forests for six stages.

Crews will return to Grosvenor Barracks midway through the day for service and the winners will be crowned at approximately 6pm. Visit nirallychampionship.com or fb.com/nirallying to follow the latest news during the event!

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