Jonny Greer will carry the number one doorcard on his Citroen C3 Rally2 when he tackles his home event later this month – the popular Down Rally.
The asphalt rally run by Ballynahinch and Rathfriland Motor Clubs has received over 110 entries with an intriguing array of R5, Rally2, World Rally, and modified cars inside the top 30.
The Down Rally is a counting round of both the Northern Ireland Rally Championship and the Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship. Ireland’s local asphalt aces will face opposition from England, Scotland, and Wales on the end-of-July event – a feature that has been an added aspect to Down Rally’s most recent editions.
Stephen Wright, Donagh Kelly, and Darren Gass are welcome additions to NI Rally Championship’s usual frontrunners from the Emerald Isle. They’ll join championship regulars Derek McGarrity, Joseph McGonigle, and Aaron McLaughlin in the mission to hunt down Northern Ireland’s 2022 pacesetter Greer.
Two points separate the Asphalt Rally Championship’s top two drivers after the series’ first three rounds. John Stone holds that slender advantage over Blackpool’s Neil Roskell with both seeded towards the end of Down Rally’s top 10.
Aberdeen’s Freddie Milne is seeded fourth with Welsh co-driver Patrick Walsh set to guide him through Down Rally’s infamous tests through the Mourne Mountains. It will be the Ford Fiesta crew’s first outing outside Scotland this year.
William Creighton will take a break from his World Rally Championship efforts to compete on his home event. The Junior WRC competitor will pilot the same Ford Fiesta Rally3 that impressed many on the West Cork Rally and Circuit of Ireland earlier this year.
Creighton is on the hunt to fill his passenger seat, however, as usual co-driver Liam Regan is set to debut his recently acquired Skoda Estelle.
Damian Toner and Denver Rafferty lead Down Rally’s two-wheel-drive entry, seeded one place ahead of Loughgall Stages Rally rival McLaughlin.
Their nearest two-wheel-drive competitor is Alan Smyth who continues his NI Rally campaign in a Ford Escort Mk2. Smyth finished third in modifieds on the last round, the Tyrone Stages Rally. The Omagh-based driver was running in Down Rally’s top 10 in 2018 before damaging his Mitsubishi Evo’s radiator on the iconic Hamilton’s Folly jump.
Camillus Bradley, John Devlin, and Alastair Cochrane are further Ford Escort entrants with Kyle White adding a front-wheel-drive dimension in his Peugeot 208 Rally4.
The eight-stage event takes place on Saturday 23rd July with service based in Lisburn’s Lagan Valley Island.
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