Enda McNulty and Paul Sheridan scored a fine win today on the Fivemiletown Spring Rally. McNulty moved his Impreza into the rally lead on Stage 3 and then had a great day-long battle with Gareth Gilchrist and Gareth Sayers. The Lancer crew eventually finished a career best 2nd, just 7 seconds down on the rally winner. Shane McGirr was the top 2wd car all day and he and Jackie Elliott claimed the final podium place in 3rd after another skilful drive in the McGirr Fuels Starlet.
Marin Cairns led the rally after SS1 but he beached his Impreza on SS 2 on a deceptive square corner and although undamaged, he and Barry McNulty would go no further. Stage two would also claim Seamus O’Connell when a stub axle sheared off his Ml2 Escort while Daniel McKenna stopped with an electrical fault on his ex Ali Fisher Fiesta.
Frank Kelly admitted to a huge spin on stage two, dropping almost 30 seconds to the rally leaders. Fastest times on the following three stages was of little consolation when he slid off the road into retirement. It was an interesting venture in the 4wd Lancer, but almost certainly a one off, as his escort engine has been promised to be back soon.
Notable drives on the day included a great run again by young Jon Armstrong in 6th. Desi Henri really flew over the afternoon stages to claim 5th on his DS3 while Brendan Comiskey debuted his own brand new DS3 and got progressively quicker as the day went on.
Marty McCormack had a strong drive to 4th as a warm up for his BHRC campaign while Adrian Heatherington was pleased to get a result on an event that hasn’t been so kind to him the past.
Full results @ www.rallyscore.net
More in depth stories on Irish Notes Every Wednesday.
More news later……
Not normally associated with gravel rallying is Lisburn man Wesley Patterson. He was scheduled to do this Saturday’s Fivemiletown rally in his historic Mk2 Escort which would have been a rare venture into the woods for the Tarmac National Champion. Engine troubles following the recent Galway Rally have put an end to this outing after Wesley told us at RallyNews.net ” Adrian Heatherington had me all geared up to have a go at the gravel, but after the engine trouble in Galway, it might take a little time to sort out the car but I really want the Historic car ready for the Rally of the Lakes so I can have a go at the European Championship end of things”.
Monaghan cousins Vincent and JP McAree have reluctantly had to withdraw from both this Saturday’s Fivemiletown Spring Rally and the following week’s Moonraker Forestry. Driver Vincent suffered a broken ankle while playing football recently, the injury forcing this top gravel crew onto the subs bench for the time being.
The McAree engineering team are considered to be serious contenders for this season’s Valvoline Forestry Championship and plan to be back as soon as is possible.
Moonraker Forestry notes made and finished yesterday. The Munster MC&CC have taken a new more compact approach to the rally route and it should prove a success. With only two stage locations incorporating six stages, one stage done twice, then a complete variation and the other stage done three times, coupled with a single central service it has all the right ingredients to be a resounding success.
As a result of the compact stages we have reduced the price of the notes Euro 35.00 from the normal 40.00 Euro price in line with the recent Mini Stage event in West Limerick.
Notes and DVD’s will begin posting tomorrow Thurs 21st and can be ordered online via the following link: http://bit.ly/Zr6R7J
So this is our new blog site where hopefully, we can keep the site updated with some of the things that wouldn’t normally be included in our main web site. It is a new and slightly different look at what we normally do, with some different news, views, images and surprises planned.
While our normal RallyNews service will continue on our main site, we have felt for some time, that we could expand a little, and give a more colourful account of the day to day comings and goings that we encounter.
It might or might not work out but we think that it can be worth a go. If you have anything interesting going on whether its on-event, before or after, please get in touch and maybe we can put a little story on the blog.