Some opted for slicks, some opted for intermediates and some opted for wets on stage four. And they all complained about selecting the wrong tyre for the stage! Fastest on the test was Derek McGarrity, who immediately said at the stage finish that he’d picked the wrong tyre (an intermediate)…but as it transpired shortly afterwards, he had struck gold!

The multiple NI Champion set the pace and rallied up the leaderboard into third overall, now just two seconds behind second-placed Phillip Allen. Meanwhile, early rally leader, Stephen Wright, dropped to fourth in the tricky conditions.

“It was strange,” Wright said. “It looks like it’s drying up but the stage was slippier than earlier.”

Most echoed his comments, including rally leader Jonny Greer who now holds a 9.1s lead over Phillip Allen. Reigning champion Greer managed to set the third fastest time on the test.

“We went out on a slick, “Greer said. “It took a while for them to heat up and it was slippier than I thought it would be.”

With Greer nine seconds in front and just two stages remaining, all eyes are on the battle for second overall. A mere 4.3s separate Phillip Allen, Derek McGarrity, Stephen Wright and Darren Gass. It’s all to play for!

Outside the top five, Joe McGonigle commented on the greasy nature of the stage while Mark Massey was understeering on his slick tyres. Ian Dickson opted for full wets but reckoned a dry line was beginning to appear and he would probably fit slick tyres for the next stage.

Kieron Graffin said it was so difficult to know what tyre would work best and Aaron McLaughlin lost time being stuck behind another competitor on the stage and dropped two places.

In the two-wheel-drive category, James and Heather Kennedy have moved into the lead despite saying the stage was “like a bottle”. They were 7.1s faster than Andrew White and Paul Hughes who had led the category since this morning. Kennedy’s advantage stands at 3.7s.

Latest results are available from

You must be logged in to post a comment Login