I’ve always been happy to drive more than a few miles to watch any kind of motorsport, so when there’s a rally event less than 20 minutes from home it would be rude not to attend. Loughgall Rally may just seem like a spectator event, but its tight, challenging stages attract plenty of drivers every year.
Loughgall is an event that is cursed with bad weather year after year. This year looked to be different as drivers started the day with some dry tarmac. The mkII Escorts have dominated the circuit for years and this year would be no different. Damian Toner would be the man to beat on the day and some great driving saw him complete the day on top 22 seconds clear of Keith White.
Daniel Hamill and Brendan McCann would have a mixed day. After a hairy first stage the pair picked up momentum through the morning. A technical issue during the afternoon stages would see a time penalty take them out of the running for Class 4.
Niall carey was a name i recognised from Ni Drift Series. Since then he’s changed the compacts set up for rallying and was ripping up the park all day with some consistent driving. Class 7 was tough and the BMW Compact found it hard to keep pace with the likes of Damian Toner and Keith White.
Back in class 4 Garth Neil and Keith Neil were putting down consistant times. Garth would take second place in the class managing to avoid contact on the last stage through the worsening conditions. Kevin Kelly would grab 4th in Class 4 in his Citroen Saxo loosing 45 seconds to third place runner Barry Scott.
A disapointing day for Andrew McCormick and James Connolly. Their beautifully finished Vauxhall Chevette wouldn’t finish the day and the pair retired after stage 3.