McGarrity is Champion!

October 18, 2013 by  
Filed under R 9: Down Rally, Rally News

Derek McGarrity is the 2013 Carryduff Forklift MSA N.I. Rally Champion in all but name after Derek McGeehan failed to submit an entry in time for tomorrow’s Down Rally, the final round of this year’s series.

McGeehan has been left on the sidelines despite the teething problems with his Mini WRC being ironed out earlier today.

The Draperstown driver had not submitted an entry for the event, and now it is too late to slot him into the start list.

“Every other championship round has accepted entries up to the day before their events this year,” McGeehan said, “but the Down Rally Clerk of the Course won’t allow it. I hold my hands up and admit I didn’t submit an entry but I have been in touch with the club since the start of the week and was led to believe it would be OK.”

Meanwhile, Clerk of the Course Andy Gilmore said: “We didn’t receive a completed entry form nor any sort of payment. I know he has been in touch with our event secretary but he was told that any late entry would be subject to approval by the Clerk of the Course.”

“To grant entries at such a late stage is generally frowned upon and it isn’t fair on the other competitors,” he added. “The seeded entry list had already been released and all of the road books and decals were completed. If all competitors had the same approach then rallies simply wouldn’t happen.”

McGeehan had been working hard all week in an attempt to get his Mini WRC ready. It had been at Prodrive’s headquarters in England where it was treated to an engine rebuild and upgrade. But there were some teething troubles with the car when the Draperstown driver went to collect it a few days ago, hence his hesitance in submitting an entry.

“I didn’t know if we were going to be able to get the car sorted in time,” he explained. “We had a lot of work to do to get it ready. I brought it back home knowing that there were teething troubles but I flew an engineer over to help iron out the problems today. Now we’ve got it sorted but I can’t get an entry.”

“I probably would have finished second in the championship anyway but you never know,” he added.

With McGeehan unable to score points at the final round, Derek McGarrity is set to be confirmed as the 2013 Carryduff Forklift MSA N.I. Stage Rally Champion for the second consecutive year. It will be his fourth N.I. title success, having won in 2002, 2009 and 2012.

Go Motorsport

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