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‘Devine’ outing for Daryn as Mitchell also impresses

LOCAL crews were in fine form at Shackleton during the annual Turkey Run Rally at the end of December when Jason Mitchell and Daryn Devine particularly caught the eye.

Newtownstewart’s Mitchell made an impressive debut behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta R5, finishing sixth overall and third in class 10, while Artigarvan’s Devine was in inspired form in a 1600cc Honda Civic, finishing 16th overall and first in class four.

Devine, who had Ballymagorry’s Sean McNamee on the notes, was seeded last at the event, which attracted 90 entries. He made a mockery of that pre-rally standing, racing into eighth place overall after the first two stages, while Mitchell, who had Kenny Bustard navigating, found himself second after the first test.

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Once the surface dried out, the more powerful machines took over and Devine slid down the leaderboard slightly, but he still finished 49 places above his seeding, while Mitchell also excelled well inside the top 10.

At the conclusion of the event, which saw 25 retirements, Barry Morris and Declan Campbell were the top Tyrone finishers as they powered their Darrian T90 Gtr+ to third place overall and the two-wheel-drive honours.

The Dungannon duo finished 47 seconds behind winners, Donegal pairing Aaron McLaughlin and Darren Curran in their Ford Fiesta R5 and 12 seconds adrift of runners-up, Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont in a Hyundai R5.

The Draperstown quartet of Niall Magee & Joe Devlin and Alan & Mark McGeehan were fourth and fifth respectively, just ahead of Mitchell & Bustard.

The Strabane pairing of Anthony and Gary Cairns brought their Subaru Impreza home in eighth place overall, and first in class eight, with Draperstown’s John Bradley and Ryan Crozier ninth overall and first in class six, just ahead of Cookstown’s Ryan Loughran, assisted by Frances Doherty, who finished 10th overall in their Ford Escort and third in class seven, which was won by Morris & Campbell.

Outside the top 10, Dunamanagh’s Paul Britton and Niall Devine, brought their Subaru Impreza N16 home in 13th overall and first in class two.

Devine and McNamee finished 16th overall and first in class four, with Drumquin’s Jason and Stephen Dickson second in the same class and 18th overall in their Ford Fiesta R2.

Castlederg duo, Gareth Sayers and Gareth Gilchrist, were 22nd overall and third in class eight in their Ford Fiesta R5, just ahead of Bready driver Derek Gurney, who was next to stop the clock in 23rd overall in his Ford Sierra, followed a short time later by Strabane’s Stanley Ballantine, with Lisa Black navigating, in 26th overall and second in class two in a Mitsubishi Evo X.

Raphoe’s Dean O’Sullivan, assisted by Marty Gallagher, was 34th overall and second in class one in a Honda Civic, while Sion Mills driver Darragh Cairns and his Strabane navigator Andrew Gillespie were 51st in their Mitsubishi Evo VI and Raphoe’s Ronnie and Rachel McConnell in a Honda Civic were the 60th of 65 finishers.

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