Muff crew, Joe McGonigle and Ciaran Geaney claimed first place in the Maiden City Motor Club’s Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally, following a dramatic final stage.
The rally was held at the Shackelton Complex in Ballylelly, with a new layout for the six special stages. The conditions proved very tricky for the drivers, who had to contend with heavy showers and slippery roads.
After posting fastest time on Stage 1, McGonigle, in the Skoda S2000, dropped back due to a mistake on Stage 2 but gradually made up time throughout the day.
Alan McGeehan and Niall Magee were joint leaders from the start in their Mini WRC and maintained a comfortable lead over Derek McGarrity and Nigel Magee in their rare Subaru Impreza N4.
Going into the last of the six special stages, McGeehan led by 14 seconds, while McGonigle had closed the gap to second place to just two seconds. It all changed when McGeehan suffered a spin in the slippery conditions and dropped more than 20 seconds. McGonigle posted the fastest time with the result that he and McGarrity tied for the lead. The winner was decided on the greatest number of fastest times, two to McGarriy and three to McGonigle.
The first Two Wheel Drive award went to Donemana crew Callum Devine and Eamon Conway in their Opel Adam.
The rally was also a round of the Junior 1000 Rally Challenge. Daniel Harper and Andrew Bushe took the win in their Peugeot 107, six seconds ahead of Michael McGarrity and Shauna Topping in a Citroen C1.