Markethill’s Darren Gass heads Modern Tyres Mourne Rally entry!

Round five of the 2010 Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship takes competitors to Newry this Saturday for the Modern Tyres Mourne Rally!

Organised by Newry and District Motor Club, this year’s event will consist of nine special stages, totalling almost 80 stage miles.

And with the addition of closed road stages in the Newtownhamilton area, previously used by the Circuit of Ireland Rally, there is plenty of excitement surrounding the event.

“It is great to see so much support for the rally,” said Clerk of the Course, Des O’Loan. “I must thank our title sponsor Modern Tyres, and the associate sponsors, Formula Karting Newry, Glen Print, MT Waste, The Orchard Bistro and SuperBites.”

An impressive array of machinery will take to the roads this weekend, but championship leader, Derek McGarrity, is missing from the entry.

McGarrity, who won last year’s event after an intense tussle with Kenny McKinstry, is concentrating on other commitments. He also intends to miss round six, the Dogleap Stages Rally, which will give his rivals a massive opportunity to play catch up in the championship stakes.

Instead, local Markethill driver, Darren Gass, tops the entry list. Gass, who will be navigated by Sean Mullally, will have a Subaru Impreza WRC at his disposal. The 22-year-old driver will be aiming for his maiden Hankook series victory.

At number two, Cookstown’s John McGlaughlin will be hoping to put his mechanical problems behind him. McGlaughlin debuted his new Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 earlier this year, and as the top Sunoco Fuels production category seed, he will be hoping to stay in that position come the end of the event.

George Robinson and Tommy Speers are at number three. Ballymena’s Robinson was running inside the top six overall in 2009 until a minor road accident put him out of the event.

At number four, Camillus Bradley and Danny O’Neill are first of the two-wheel-drive competitors. They will start the event in their Ford Escort Mark 2, ahead of Raymond Johnston’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.

Johnston, from Enniskillen, was another driver who retired from last year’s event. He recently won a single venue event near his hometown, and is hoping to continue that success this weekend.

A number of two-wheel-drive entertainers complete the remainder of the top 10 seeds. Declan and Brian Boyle start at number six in their Escort, ahead of the potent Toyota Starlet belonging to Maurice Moffett and Jason McKenna.

Just outside the top 10, a number of crews could throw a spanner into the works, not least the Hankook Junior contenders.

Stuart Biggerstaff, who currently holds second in the overall series standings, starts the event at number 17 in his Subaru Impreza WRC. Just behind him, Mark Donnelly will be on top of the world after his top six finish at round four, the Tour of the Sperrins.

Action kicks of this Saturday morning at approximately 9am from the Modern Tyres depot in Carnbane Industrial Estate, Newry. After nine stages, the winners will be crowned at approximately 5.30pm in the Carrickdale Hotel, Newry.

Modern Tyres Mourne Rally – top 10 entries

1 Darren Gass/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC)
2 John McGlaughlin/Crawford Henderson (Lancer Evo 9)
3 George Robinson/Tommy Speers (Impreza WRC)
4 Camillus Bradley/Danny O’Neill (Escort Mark 2)
5 Raymond Johnston/TBA (Lancer Evo 9)
6 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Escort Mark 2)
7 Maurice Moffett/Jason McKenna (Starlet)
8 Damian Toner/Paddy McCague (Escort Mark 2)
9 Drew Stewart/Steven Park (Escort Mark 2)
10 Michael Conlon/Aidan Boyle (Escort Mark 2)

Go Motorsport

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