2024 R1: Preview

McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship opener fronted by champions

Four-time champion Jonny Greer and Niall Burns head the entry list for the opening
event of the 2024 McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship – the 25.6-mile
Echlinville Distillery Stage Rally.

Caryduff’s Greer may start favourite with number one on the door but Derek
McGarrity and Paddy Robinson, in a Skoda Fabia R5, will be keen to get back to
winning ways at the North Armagh Motor Club event, given the pair have had much
success at Kirkistown Race Circuit in the past.

A pair of R5-spec Volkswagen Polos will be driven by Peadar Hurson and Aaron
McLaughlin, in cars four and six respectively under the guidance of Damien Connolly
and Darren Curran.

Two-time Motorsport UK National Rally champion Alan Carmichael moves up to the
top-flight BRC1 category this season with a right-hand-drive option in a Hyundai i20
Rally2 and, following a test session at Nutts Corner, starts Kirkistown as car five. Kyle
White, in another JKS Automotive run Hyundai, has stepped up from junior level to
make it a two-car outfit.

Philip Allen’s rally debut was at the circuit back in 2017 and despite the lack of
competition seat time won his class. The Cookstown man’s pace is there to make it
an overall win this year in one of the four Ford Fiestas making up the rest of the top
ten also driven by youngest NI champion Stuart Biggerstaff, rally clothing provider
Gary McEvoy and Drumquin’s Jason Dickson.

Familiar names continue right through the 80-car entry including former champions
Kenny McKinstry and Robin Phillips, the latter in the co-driver seat for daughter Laura
in the cost-busting Micra Challenge.

Popular two-wheel-drive category names include Darrian T90 GTR+ entrant Barry
Morris and last year’s category runner up James Kennedy.

A mix of the main circuit, along with a gravel and concrete infield the format has long
proven to produce a challenging competition attracting spectators. The six-stage
rally, all held within the circuit, is due to start at 9.15am with a winner decided before

The rally can be followed on the day via the McGrady Insurance NI Rally
Championship Facebook page, live results will be provided by www.rallyscore.net
and both a YouTube show and rally report will follow.
Entry list can be viewed at www.namcc.com.

McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship 2024 Calendar
February 17 – Echlinville Distillery Rally (Kirkistown Race Circuit) – North Armagh
Motor Club
March 9 – Race & Rally Stages (Bishopscourt Race Circuit) – Ballynahinch & District
Motor Club
April 27 – Maiden City Stages (closed road) – Maiden City Motor Club
May 18 – GO Tour of the Sperrins (closed road) – Magherafelt & District Motor Club
July 20 – Tyrone Stages (closed road) – Cookstown Motor Club
November 16 – Reserve date (may be used in the event of a cancelled round)

Follow YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/@NIRally
Follow Facebook page – www.facebook.com/nirallying and
Bookmark website – https://www.nirallychampionship.com/

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