SS3: McGeehans Hit Trouble, Kennedy Loses 2WD Lead

SS3: There was trouble for second placed Derek and Mark McGeehan on stage three as they went on a big push in an attempt to reel in rally leader Derek McGarrity and Damien Garvey. Just five seconds adrift going into the stage, the McGeehans opted for a brave tyre choice that unfortunately didn’t pay off.

“We pushed too hard over the jump and then we had a big sixth gear moment and hit some trackside tyres,” McGeehan said. “I knew I was going to have to be careful on the track and that’s what caught us out. We’ll just have to try and get second position now.”

There were no such troubles for leader McGarrity as he arrived at the stage finish with another big smile on his face. He now leads the event by almost 15 seconds from the McGeehan father and son crew, with Gareth Sayers and Gareth Gilchrist third in their Fiesta.

“I’m starting to turn the wick up,” Sayers said. “We had a lot more grip that time.”

Kieron Graffin lost a bit of time when another car spun in front of him and Aaron Mitchell’s Fiesta has been restored with full power after being diagnosed with a boost pipe that had been disconnected.

“It’s not going to be our day but we’ll just try and set some good times now,” Mitchell said.

Chris McGurk echoed a lot of other drivers’ thoughts that the new section introduced for the third stage was really slippy. PJ McDermott tried a new setup for his Subaru and it seemed to work a lot better while Emma McKinstry lost more time with another spin.

“There was a lorry tyre pulled out onto the track and it confused me,” McKinstry rued.

Kevin Kelleher lot a few seconds at the same corner as marshals tried to more the errant tyre while Joe McQuillan admitted to laughing the whole way around as his Evo struggled to find grip. He also lost a bit of time with an overshoot.

George Robinson had a brush with some trackside tyres on two occasions and navigator Mo Downey was mighty impressed by Andy Bustard’s efforts over the Bishopscourt jump.

“That’s as high as you ever want to be!” Bustard smiled.

In the two-wheel-drive category, James and Heather Kennedy have dropped down the order after getting a trackside tyre stuck underneath their Escort.

“I reckon we lost about 25 seconds,” Kennedy said. “It was a big mistake.”

Rival Alastair Cochrane also lost time with an overshoot so Drew Stewart and David White are the new category leaders ahead of Jonny Morrow and Adam Semple. Less than one second separates the two crews.

Crews are now lining up for stage four. Latest results are available from

You must be logged in to post a comment Login