2024 R2: Report

Jonathan Greer nurtures McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship lead

On the back foot for most of the day Jonny Greer and Niall Burns came through in the  end to make it two circuit-based victories in a row – this time the margin down to 3.7  seconds at the Race & Rally Stages, writes William Neill.

That same winning margin, for the Citroen C3 Rally2 team, was the exact advantage 
Aaron McLaughlin had over the Carryduff driver after the 4.5-mile opening stage, which  featured previously unused sections of the venue. With Darren Curran alongside, the Donegal-based Volkswagen Polo R5 led, despite  catching a car on a twisty section of SS5, until a revised layout for SS7 where Greer  stamped his name at the top and remained at the finish.

Aaron McLaughlin led early on to finish second at the Bishopscourt event – round two of the McGrady  Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship. Photo: William Neill / NeillPics.com

Kyle White, co-driven by Sean Topping, enjoyed the new stage format in the final podium  place – an improvement from a Kirkistown non-finish, with the Belfast man preparing his  Hyundai i20 R5 for the British Rally Championship. The gap to McLaughlin was 36.8  seconds but the place secured by 20.3 seconds.

The always spectacular Philip Allen and Welsh co-driver Dale Furniss started out seventh  fastest but moved into fourth on SS3 where they remained despite fifth-placed Jason  Dickson and Martin Brady going faster on SS5. Fifth was a copy of Dickson’s round one  finish, with more points on the board.

Barry Morris was sixth (see two-wheel-drive report) and Mark Massey recovered from  hitting a soil bank on SS5 to finish seventh with Conor Duffy in a Skoda Fabia R5. A fifth  fastest stage time suggests there is more to come from the Ballygowan driver if he  continues the McGrady Insurance-backed season.

Peadar Hurson was as low as 16th after three tests but jumped up to eighth to head class  winner Gary McEvoy. Emma McKinstry rounded off the top ten as lead lady finisher and 
Derek McGeehan brought his Mini John Cooper Works to the Ballynahinch Motor Club  event – a car we first seen in action in Northern Ireland back in 2012.


Barry Morris’ Darrian T90 GTR+ headed the two-wheel-drive class at the Race & Rally backed event.  Photo: William Neill / NeillPics.com

Barry Morris and Martin Harte recorded a dominant two-wheel-drive victory. The Darrian  T90 GTR crew were fastest on all but one stage despite a misfire on the morning half. 

Ryan Bradley and Ryan Crozier finished second and fastest of the Ford Escort Mk2s and  top of their class, 13.1 seconds ahead of round one two-wheel-drive winners Colin Price  and Bill Regan.

Jonny Cargo was fourth ahead of Toyota Starlet drivers Jamie Grant and Gareth Black. A  spin for Gareth’s brother, Jason, didn’t help his cause in 25th overall.


When an oil light came on Jimmy Mills played it safe by retiring and allowing John Adams  and Noel Watt to go on and win the category by over a minute and a half.

The RS1800 was followed by Stephen Nevin and David Christie while Mark Douglas 
joined the retirement list in the closing stages.


Stuart Biggerstaff pulled a wheel off on SS3 while in fourth and junior driver Ben McFall  continued to impress with 13th overall as the lead clubman 4WD contender. Gearbox trouble hit both Mark Faulkner and Letisha Conn while a broken driveshaft 
forced Nicky Caughey out.

Paul Flannigan was among the class winners in his Ford Escort Mk2 – a car popular in the McGrady  Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship. Photo: William Neill / NeillPics.com


1 Jonny Greer/Niall Burns (Citroën C3 Rally2);

2 Aaron McLaughlin/Darren Curran (Volkswagen Polo R5);

3 Kyle White/Sean Topping (Hyundai i20 R5);

4 Philip Allen/Dale Furniss (Volkswagen Polo R5);

5 Jason Dickson/Martin Brady (Ford Fiesta R5);

6 Barry Morris/Martin Harte (Darrian T90 GTR+);

7 Mark Massey/Conor Dufffy (Skoda Fabia R5);

8 Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly (Volkswagen Polo R5);

9 Gary McEvoy/Gary McEvoy Jr (Ford Fiesta R5);

10 Emma McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Ford Fiesta R5).


Class 1: John Adams/Noel Watt (Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2); Class 2: Joseph Kelly/Killian  McArdle (Peugeot 208 Rally4); Class 3: Stephen Whitford/Jonny Hart (Nissan Micra);  Class 4: Darragh Kelly/Ashley Boulton (Peugeot 208 R2); Class 5: Paul Flanagan/Michael  Casement (Ford Escort Mk2); Class 6: John Bradley/Ryan Crozier (Ford Escort Mk2);  Class 7: Barry Morris/Martin Harte (Darrian T90 GTR+); Class 8: Ben McFall/Damian  McAuley (Mitsubishi Lancer E9); Class 9: Richard O’Lone/James Turkington (Ford Fiesta  Rally3); Class 10: Jonathan Greer/Niall Burns (Citroen C3 Rally2); Class 11: Gary McEvoy/Gary McEvoy JR (Ford Fiesta R5).


Next up in the five round series is the Eakin Bros Brian James Trailers Maiden City Stages  on April 27 – the first of three road stage rallies. Entries remain open at 


There is more coverage from round one with an action photo gallery set to feature  on the McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship Facebook page and a highlights  package on YouTube.

Full results are available from www.rallyscore.net


Full points will follow on www.nirallychampionship.com

McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship 2024 Calendar remaining rounds

April 27 – Eakin Bros Brian James Trailers Maiden City Stages (closed road) – Maiden City  MC

May 18 – GO Tour of the Sperrins (closed road) – Magherafelt & District Motor Club

July 20 – Tyrone Stages – 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/ 

Editor note: Photography may be used for publication free of charge providing credit is  given to the photographer.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login