Darren returns to defend title

LAST year’s winner of the Lurgan Park Rally, Darren Gass, will return to defend his title.

Rallying again takes centre stage in Lurgan’s magnificent parklands on Saturday, July 30, with support from Orchard Motorsport and Craigavon Borough Council.

The event brings the cream of rally drivers and cars to fans and families in the setting of Lurgan’s Historical Park and Lakeland environment.

Twenty three year old Darren Gass will return to defend his title, however stiff opposition will come from 11 times winner and Lurgan Park master Kenny McKinstry, multiple Irish Rally Champion Derek McGarrity, former Rallycross Champion Denis Biggerstaff and the ever reliable Kevin Barrett.

Local man Mark Doyle, in a Toyota Celica, is usually near the sharp end of the leaderboard, while the spectacular crowd pleasing Mk2 Escorts will fight for rear wheel drive honours with drivers, Wesley Patterson, Adrian Hetherington, Camillus Bradley and Frank Kelly.

Other two wheel drives of note are Simon Woodside’s beautiful E30 BMW M3, Stephen Mawhinney‘s ex-works Sunbeam Lotus and worldwide rally legend Jimmy McRae in an interesting Vauxhall Firenza.

The colourful history of rallying is very well represented this year with the inclusion of the hugely popular ‘Slowly Sideways’. Around 20 top classic rally cars that have competed around the world will be in attendance, including Porsches, BMWs, Peugeots etc from the 70s, 80s and the 90s.

As a prelude to the main event The Orchard Motorsport Lurgan Park Rally Preview Spectacular is taking place this Saturday, July 23, between 11am and noon at Rushmere Shopping Centre Craigavon.

Cool FM and Downtown Radio will bring their Roadshow along, Kenny McKinstry and Wesley Patterson will be doing rally car demonstration runs, and there will be family orientated activities with prizes and rally car displays, including the ex Stig Blomqvist Audi Quattro and ex Ari Vatanen Rothmans Escort.

Admittance is free to the Preview Spectacular and everyone is welcome to get a taster of the rally flavours.