NEWS NO.1 Greenmount..Sunday 09.00
Its all stations go for this inaugural RT Greenmount Rallysprint, with a top class entry and a fabulous location here at the new racecourse. Well done to Sean and Declan Mullally, along with the crew from Limerick MC, they have all done a fabulous job to get the event up and running, and constructed a great stage as well.
Adding spice to the day's proceedings we have a category for The Ford Ireland Ka Challenge (John Carroll leads the points from Gerry Keyes and Declan Magee). Then there will be some historic rally cars. The Ford Ka's will run first on the road, and then the historics, followed by the main field, which runs in reverse order - 'the last shall be first!'
The big action will therefore come from the men at the back - Austin McHale, Kenny McKinstry, Frank Meagher, Niall Maguire, Michael Barrable, Ollie O'Donovan, Kevin Barrett, Rory O'Connor, Peter McCullough, Barry Coleman and so on. As the minutes ticked away to the start there was no sign of James Cullen, who is listed in the programme, while Tommy Graham is a non-starter, his Escort WRC inflicted with gearbox trouble.
Kenny McKinstry, who has Declan Tumelty in the hot seat today, is driving his white GpA Impreza, the gold coloured WRC having been damaged on a rally in Wales last weekend. Kenny is sporting a black eye from that Clocaenog incident. Ollie O'Donovan, driving his fabulous ex works Legacy, is carrying an RPM 'in car' camera for Plum Tyndall, who will be putting out a full programme later in the season. McKinstry has also got an in-car camera.
Still on the McKinstry theme, his daughter Emma is co-driving for Kevin Barrett in the Triton Showers backed Subaru. Austin McHale commented about today's new stage "Very good, very interesting, quick towards the end". Frank Meagher, whose Focus is receiving some backing from Lyons of Limerick (Ford) today, had a minor hiccup this morning when he discovered a flat battery in the rally car, a throw back to his Tipperary Stonethrowers weekend.
Just one of the special features of today's event is the new perpetual Bertie Fisher memorial award commissioned by sponsor RT Communication's Declan Mullally. This is an oil painting of Bertie's most successful Impreza, the same car being driven today by Barry Coleman. Sadly Bertie Fisher's father Tommy, founder of Fisher Engineering over 50 years ago, died on Wednesday and was laid to rest in the family grave in Ballinamallard on Friday. Tommy was
a very special man. He spent several years as a prisoner of war in Singapore before setting up his small agricultural engineering business in a shed in Ballinamallard. Originally from Leitrim, Tommy was awarded an MBE for his services to the community. He always supported Bertie and Mark throughout their rally careers. We extend our condolences to Elsie, Tommy's wife of over 50 years, as well the family circle.
BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON
ã 2001 www.rallynews.net (Patterson Agencies). All rights reserved. Unauthorised duplication is a violation of applicable laws. 26/08/01 11:49