Richard “Hoggs” 2013 Lark in the Park Rally

Action at the Maiden City Motor Club Lark in the Park on Saturday. (2904SL06)
Action at the Maiden City Motor Club Lark in the Park on Saturday. (2904SL06)

RICHARD Hogg claimed the 2013 John Mulholland Motors sponsored “Lark in the Park” which attracted large crowds to St. Columb’s Park last Saturday afternoon.

But it was a close win for the Limavady man, driving his Mitsubishi Evo6, co-driven by Marc Hanna, after a strong battle with the WRC Mini and it’s driver/engineer Derek McGeehan and Laurie Smith.

The tight confines of the City of Culture’s St. Columb’s Park, saw thousands of spectators descend on the sun-soaked grass banks with the action appreciated by all the family, both young and old.

Children were accommodated in the entertainment section, while their parents could watch the rally action or even enjoy the view in Ebrington Square, and mix with all the other attractions taking place on what was a very busy Saturday afternoon.

In fact, during this eventful afternoon, there were no shortage of “brides” who gathered to have their photograph taken in some of the beautiful open top sports models, before assembling in the Guildhall Square for the Foyle Hospice “Brides on the Bridge” world record attempt.

Meanwhile, in St. Columb’s Park’s narrow tracks, rally cars dodged carefully laid bale chicanes, chosen to prevent any major drama’s and provide some fancy ‘footwork’ driving skills of the 40 plus starters who made it onto the entry list.

There were a few spills, one provided by Derek Jobb’s little Citroen coming to a halt against one of the harder bales, proving too much for the steering rack and forcing early retirement during Special Stage 3.

There were a few other retirements as well, but the majority of drivers and their co-drivers negotiated the event safely without any damage to their vehicles.

The overall winners, who led from the start, were Richard Hogg and Mark Hanna in a time of 5 mins. 48 secs. with Derek McGeehan and Laurie Smith a close eight seconds behind.

The third placed pairing was Darren McKelvey and Denver Rafferty with a total time of 6 mins. 4 secs. .

The best two wheel drive team was Bready’s Derek Gurney and Keith McEvoy who negotiated the Lark in the Park in a time of 6 mins. and 6 secs.