Orchard Motorsport Lurgan Park Rally

This Saturday (31st July) some of the best rally drivers and cars in the country will compete through the lanes of the beautiful Lurgan Park. The rally, which first took place in 1980 and was won by the late Bertie Fisher, is a real showcase event featuring both exciting competition and a unique social atmosphere radiating from the central service paddock.

Banbridge man Kenny McKinstry has rightly been dubbed ‘King of the Park’. He drives one of his own Subaru World Rally Cars. Kenny will be doing his utmost to make it his 12th Lurgan Park win this weekend. He has maintained over the years, that to win in Lurgan Park, “you have to get the first stage just right, as well as the final one, plus all the stages in between, as the slightest slip can cost victory.”

Kenny will however face strong opposition. Ironically, if Kenny doesn’t win, he could well be beaten by one of his own cars. He has hired Subarus to Darren Gass and Garry Jennings and also prepares Dubliner Kevin Barrett’s Triton Showers backed Impreza.

Derek McGarrity, this year’s Circuit of Ireland winner and former multiple Tarmac Champion, could perhaps be McKinstry’s chief stumbling block for that 12th win. McGarrity has come close to winning Lurgan Park several times, but it has always slipped from the Glengormley man’s grasp.

As ever, Lurgan Park has a select and very interesting entry. There are a couple of Metro 6R4’s to provide a contrast to the Subarus and there is a terrific line-up of Escorts, which should provide plenty of all sideways exciting motoring. Several drivers are making quite a trip to compete on the event. Callum Duffy and James MacGillivray are bringing their respective Escorts from the Isle of Mull. Ray Brammer is travelling from Kings Lynn in Norfolk to compete in his Subaru Impreza WRC.

Just over forty cars will tackle the 8 special stages and an added bonus this year will be a high quality selection of rally cars from the GpB era – a full house Audi Quattro, a Peugeot 205T16, a Ford RS200 and several more equally exciting cars. The start ramp will be in the park beside the paddock. The first car goes over the ramp at 10.15, with the first stage commencing at 10.30. The champagne finish should take place at 5pm.

The Orchard Motorsport Lurgan Park Top Ten
1 Kenny McKinstry/Emma McKinstry (Impreza WRC)
2 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Impreza WRC)
3 Darren Gass/Andrew Cullen (Impreza WRC)
4 Kevin Barrett/Paul Barrett (Impreza WRC)
5 Garry Jennings/Damien McPartland (Impreza WRC)
6 Mark Doyle/Cormac Doyle (Toyota Celica)
7 Gary White/Alan Purdy (Impreza WRC)
8 Denis Biggerstaff/Graeme Stewart (Metro 6R4)
9 Brian O’Mahony/John Higgins (Metro 6R4)
10 John McGaffin/Lesley McGaffin (Impreza WRC)

At a reception in Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre on Monday to launch this year’s rally, the Worshipful the Mayor of Craigavon, Alderman Stephen Moutray MLA, emphasised on behalf of Craigavon Borough Council how welcome the event is in Craigavon. Orchard Motorsport’s Brian Stinson commented, “This is my 2nd year to sponsor the rally and it is great that in these difficult times it is shaping up so well. The rally has a great history and I’m more than happy to play my part in keeping that going.”

Clerk of the Course Barry Taggart and Event Director William Fullerton represented the organisers, The North Armagh Motor Club. William Fullerton commented. “The event has reached such a state of sophistication over the years that without the help of many organisations and individuals the rally wouldn’t be able to take place, and on behalf of the organisers we express our sincere thanks.”

Issued by: Brian & Liz Patterson:
Patterson Agencies Ltd.
Tel: 02890 844111: Email: PATTPACE@aol.com

Filed Under: Event newsNAMC


About the Author

North Armagh Motor Club Ltd was originally known as North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club Ltd, and more specifically the “car section”, which was formally constituted in 1969.