McKinstry Heads Stunning Bushwhacker Rally Entry!

Kenny McKinstry, the newly crowned 2011 Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Rally Champion, heads the entry list in his Impreza WRC for this Saturday’s McKelvey Bushwhacker Rally.

Navigated by Kenny Hull, McKinstry will head the 104 strong field off the start line for what is a joint round of the Hankook series and the Valvoline Irish Forestry Championship.

With seven World Rally Car crews seeded inside the top 10, Omagh Motor Club has attracted one of the strongest fields seen in the series this year. McKinstry will have his work cut out to secure another Bushwhacker victory, as a number of former champions are set to join the fray.

Derek McGarrity and James McKee, the 2009 series winners, start at number two in their Impreza WRC, with Martin Cairns and Andrew Purcell seeded third in their Impreza. Cairns will be in the hunt for his second consecutive Bushwhacker win.

Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan are first of the Sunoco Fuels Production category crews. It was Kelly who gave McKinstry a run for his money at round seven’s Lakeland Stages, and could be one to keep an eye on at the Bushwhacker.

Connor McCloskey is another former champion. Seeded at number five with Francis Regan calling the pace notes, McCloskey will be looking to get back into the groove on gravel, and is more than capable of joining the fight for victory.

James Gillen and Jason Harron finished second overall last year, losing out on victory by eight seconds. They start at number six this year, ahead of World Rally Car newcomers, Vivian and Paul Hamill.

Irish Forestry Championship front runners Owen Murphy and James O’Brien are at number eight in their Group N Evo 9, ahead of Ian Cochrane and Ray Fitzpatrick. 2010 N.I. Champions, Stuart Biggerstaff and Anthony Nestor, completed a very strong top 10 with their Impreza WRC.

Competitors will face a total of 11 stages on Saturday. Crews will leave the Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh, at approximately 9.30am before starting stage one shortly after 10am.

Service, which will be based in Aiken’s Caravan Centre, Castlederg, will start at 12.30pm and 2.40pm, while the winners will be crowned shortly after 5.30pm at the Silverbirch Hotel.

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