Jonathan Greer nurtures lead in McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship

That same winning margin, for the Citroen C3 Rally2 team, was the exact advantage Aaron McLaughlin had over the Carryduff driver after the 4.5-mile opening stage, which featured previously unused sections of the venue.

aaron mclaughlin in a green and white VW rally car at this weekends rally eventAaron McLaughlin led early on to finish second at the Bishopscourt event/

With Darren Curran alongside, the Donegal-based Volkswagen Polo R5 led, despite catching a car on a twisty section of SS5, until a revised layout for SS7 where Greer stamped his name at the top and remained at the finish.

Kyle White, co-driven by Sean Topping, enjoyed the new stage format in the final podium place – an improvement from a Kirkistown non-finish, with the Belfast man preparing his Hyundai i20 R5 for the British Rally Championship. The gap to McLaughlin was 36.8 seconds but the place secured by 20.3 seconds.

The always spectacular Philip Allen and Welsh co-driver Dale Furniss started out seventh fastest but moved into fourth on SS3 where they remained despite fifth-placed Jason Dickson and Martin Brady going faster on SS5. Fifth was a copy of Dickson’s round one finish, with more points on the board.

Barry Morris was sixth (see two-wheel-drive report) and Mark Massey recovered from hitting a soil bank on SS5 to finish seventh with Conor Duffy in a Skoda Fabia R5. A fifth fastest stage time suggests there is more to come from the Ballygowan driver if he continues the McGrady Insurance-backed season.

Barry Morris takes a sharp turn sending grit flying at this rally event

Barry Morris’ Darrian T90 GTR+ dominated in the two-wheel-drive class at the Race & Rally backed event.

Peadar Hurson was as low as 16th after three tests but jumped up to eighth to head class winner Gary McEvoy. Emma McKinstry rounded off the top ten as lead lady finisher and Derek McGeehan brought his Mini John Cooper Works to the Ballynahinch Motor Club event – a car we first seen in action in Northern Ireland back in 2012.


Barry Morris and Martin Harte recorded a dominant two-wheel-drive victory. The Darrian T90 GTR crew were fastest on all but one stage despite a misfire on the morning half.

Ryan Bradley and Ryan Crozier finished second and fastest of the Ford Escort Mk2s and top of their class, 13.1 seconds ahead of round one two-wheel-drive winners Colin Price and Bill Regan.

Jonny Cargo was fourth ahead of Toyota Starlet drivers Jamie Grant and Gareth Black. A spin for Gareth’s brother, Jason, didn’t help his cause in 25th overall.


When an oil light came on Jimmy Mills played it safe by retiring and allowing John Adams and Noel Watt to go on and win the category by over a minute and a half.

The RS1800 was followed by Stephen Nevin and David Christie while Mark Douglas joined the retirement list in the closing stages.


Stuart Biggerstaff pulled a wheel off on SS3 while in fourth and junior driver Ben McFall continued to impress with 13th overall as the lead clubman 4WD contender.

Gearbox trouble hit both Mark Faulkner and Letisha Conn while a broken driveshaft forced Nicky Caughey out.

paul flanagan in a vintage ford escort in this weekend's rally

Paul Flannigan was among the class winners in his Ford Escort Mk2


1 Jonny Greer/Niall Burns (Citroën C3 Rally2);

2 Aaron McLaughlin/Darren Curran (Volkswagen Polo R5);

3 Kyle White/Sean Topping (Hyundai i20 R5);

4 Philip Allen/Dale Furniss (Volkswagen Polo R5);

5 Jason Dickson/Martin Brady (Ford Fiesta R5);

6 Barry Morris/Martin Harte (Darrian T90 GTR+);

7 Mark Massey/Conor Dufffy (Skoda Fabia R5);

8 Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly (Volkswagen Polo R5);

9 Gary McEvoy/Gary McEvoy Jr (Ford Fiesta R5);

10 Emma McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Ford Fiesta R5).


Class 1: John Adams/Noel Watt (Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2); Class 2: Joseph Kelly/Killian McArdle (Peugeot 208 Rally4); Class 3: Stephen Whitford/Jonny Hart (Nissan Micra); Class 4: Darragh Kelly/Ashley Boulton (Peugeot 208 R2); Class 5: Paul Flanagan/Michael Casement (Ford Escort Mk2); Class 6: John Bradley/Ryan Crozier (Ford Escort Mk2); Class 7: Barry Morris/Martin Harte (Darrian T90 GTR+); Class 8: Ben McFall/Damian McAuley (Mitsubishi Lancer E9); Class 9: Richard O’Lone/James Turkington (Ford Fiesta Rally3); Class 10: Jonathan Greer/Niall Burns (Citroen C3 Rally2); Class 11: Gary McEvoy/Gary McEvoy JR (Ford Fiesta R5).


Next in the five-round series is the Maiden City Stages on April 27, the first of three road stage rallies. Entries remain open at

There is more coverage from round one with an action photo gallery set to feature on the McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship Facebook page and a highlights package on YouTube.


Full results are available from


Full points will follow on

McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship 2024 Calendar remaining rounds

  • April 27 – Maiden City Stages (closed road) – Maiden City Motor Club
  • May 18 – GO Tour of the Sperrins (closed road) – Magherafelt & District Motor Club
  • July 20 – Tyrone Stages (closed road) – Cookstown Motor Club
  • November 16 – Reserve date (may be used in the event of a cancelled round)

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Editor note: Photography may be used for publication free of charge providing credit is given to the photographer.