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The leading competitors have just left the start ramp at Benone Tourist Park to start the MJE Wheel Repair Tyrone Stages Rally, the seventh and final round of the McGrady Insurance MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship.

Newly crowned champions, Derek McGarrity and Paddy Robinson, led the field away from the start ramp in their Citroen DS3 R5. The same car was used by Keith Cronin to win the Irish Tarmac Championship and McGarrity is hoping it will bring him just as much fortune at today’s event.

Connor McCloskey and Noel O’Sullivan are second on the road with their Fiesta ahead of the Impreza WRC belonging to Gareth Sayers and Gareth Gilchrist. A pair of Fiestas are next with Martin Cairns and Dominic McNeill behind the wheel of their mounts

Non-starters include Desi Henry (car 2) and Marty McKenna (car 7).

Crews will face 14 stages with service at Benone Tourist Park after every two stages. Results will be available from http://www.rallyscore.net and event news will be posted on fb.com/nirallying throughout the day.

I’ll send a further email update midway through the event and after the finish.

Start List (Top 10)

1 Derek McGarrity/Paddy Robinson (Focus WRC)
3 Connor McCloskey/Noel O’Sullivan (Fiesta)
4 Gareth Sayers/Gareth Gilchrist (Impreza WRC)
5 Martin Cairns/Peter Ward (Fiesta)
6 Dominic McNeill/Tommy Speers (Fiesta WRC)
8 Paul Britton/George Tinsley (Impreza STi N16)
9 James Laverty/Paul Hughes (Impreza N12B)
10 Jonathan Morrow/Simon Morrow (Mirage RS)
11 William Creighton/Liam Regan (DS3 R5)
12 Alan Atcheson/Martin Connolly (TBA)

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