Derek McGarrity secured victory at the McKelvey Bushwhacker Rally, round eight of the NI Rally Championship, but second placed points for Derek McGeehan has ensured that the title battle will go down to the wire at the Down Rally on 19 October!
While McGeehan only managed to finish ninth overall, a little over one minute behind series leader McGarrity, he was the second championship registered competitor to cross the finish line. As a result, he gained second placed points, ensuring that he still has a mathematical chance of lifting the spoils.
However, the odds are very much in McGarrity’s favour. For McGeehan to snatch the title at the final round, he must score maximum points and hope that McGarrity fails to finish. Given McGarrity’s consistency this year with five victories from five starts, it’s an unlikely scenario but anything is possible in rallying.
At the Bushwhacker event, McGarrity and navigator James McKee used an S14 specification Impreza WRC to head home Martin Cairns and Kevin Flanagan by just eight seconds after a day long battle.
Third for Michael O’Brien and Greg Shinnors in their Ford Focus WRC saw them secure the Irish Forestry title, while Pat O’Connell and Andrew Purcell secured fourth from Enda McNulty and Paul Sheridan.
The final round is at Rathfriland Motor Club’s Down Rally on 19 October.