Saturday’s annual Lurgan Park Motorsport Rally has once again got all the ingredients for a superb family day out, starting with the excitement of top seed Garry Jennings in his Subaru Impreza WRC chasing a Lurgan Park victory hat-trick.
Fermanagh man Garry, fresh from a superb win on the Donegal Rally, will face some talented top drivers in what is an extremely interesting entry. The organising North Armagh Motor Club has allowed for an increase in the number of competitors, for this event, up to 60 plus reserves.
Seeded behind Jennings is multiple Circuit of Ireland winner Derek McGarrity, also in a Subaru, Derek McGeehan in a Mini WRC, 11 times Lurgan Park winner Kenny McKinstry in his Subaru WRC, Melvyn Evans (Subaru) from Wales, a former Irish National Champion, Kevin Kelleher (Subaru), a former National GpN Rally Champion, Stuart Biggerstaff (Subaru) a former NI Rally Champion and the very talented driver Emma McKinstry (Subaru) at No.8.
That is just the top layer of a very interesting line up. Former Irish Forestry Champion Pat O’Connell in his Lancer for example is at 10. There is a fantastic line up of Mk2 Escorts further down the list – with drivers such as European Championship leader Craig Breen and former five times Scottish Champion David Bogie, as well as such brilliant home drivers as Frank Kelly, Wesley Patterson and Adrian Hetherington. There is variety aplenty in the line up as well with Robert Woodside in the charismatic new Porsche 911 R-GT, Denis Biggerstaff in his MG Metro 6R4, young Callum Devine in the new Opel Adam to name just a few.
There will be eight special stages through the Park on Saturday, starting at 10.07 am from the ramp in the central paddock/service area. The North Armagh Motor Club team headed by Rally Director William Fullerton and Clerk of the Course BarryTaggart emphasise that throughout the day, safety and security will be the watchwords.
The champagne finish, still in the paddock, will be at 5.15pm and the prize giving will take place in the bowling pavilion at 5.45pm.
In recognition of the rally being on American Independence Day, 4th July, there will be an American Theme vehicle display, as well as a display of cars from the “Scooby Club’, the ‘Droop Snoot’ Club, the Ford Classic cars and the ‘Mazda Rotary’ club. In addition to all this, there will be comprehensive entertainment activities for children and various trade shows.
As well as Brian Stinson of Orchard Motorsport sponsoring the rally, the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council are lending their full support, especially with the use of the beautiful Lurgan Park. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Darryn Causby, represented the Council at a reception in the Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre earlier this week and will be present at the event on Saturday.