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RALLY NEWS No.5 - Millstreet - Saturday @ 17:10:16

RALLY NEWS NO.5 Service/Millstreet/Saturday

1st (1) Daragh O`Riordan/Tony McDaid (Fiesta WRC) 52.51.4
2nd (2) Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Impreza WRC) 53.07.8
3rd (4) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Focus WRC) 53.31.3
4th (5) Kevin Kelleher/Ger Conway (Impreza WRC) 53.59.5
5th (9) Owen Murphy/James O`Brien (Lancer N) 54.24.9
6th (14) Seb Ling/Aled Davies (Lancer N) 54.35.1
7th (7) Sam Moffett/James O`Reilly (Lancer N) 54.43.0
8th (8) Stephen & Susanne Wright (Lancer N) 55.02.9
9th (12) Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Lancer N) 56.17.0
10th (3) Declan & Brian Boyle (Impreza WRC) 56.58.3
1st (11) Roy White/Liam Brennan (MG S2000) 54.08.7
2nd (16) Wesley Patterson/Sean Hayde (Escort) 56.42.6
3rd (22) Jim McKenna/Thomas Treanor (Escort) 57.18.3
4th (23) Jason Ryan/Tadgh O`Sullivan (Starlet) 57.43.6
5th (17) Phil Collins/Adrian Deasy (Escort) 57.49.9
6th (31) John Hickey/John McCarthy (Escort 4x4) 58.00.1

With an overnight lead of 16s Scariff Plant Hire man Daragh O`Riordan and his co driver Tony McDaid are looking good for tomorrow`s stages. Or are they? When Daragh brought his Fiesta WRC into service he first of all talked about the final stage today, Claragh Mountain, and told us. `We fitted hard compound tyres and did not come on until halfway through the stage.` Indeed, Daragh dropped almost 2s to Garry Jennings on that short stage. Two seconds does not seem a lot but when Garry is adamant that he is thinking more of the championship than winning the rally it has certain significance. Daragh went on to say. `The Fiesta is so different from the Subaru. I felt so relaxed in the Impreza. Tomorrow the Gortnagane stage is too straight for the Fiesta, it does not have the top speed in 6th gear.`

For his part Garry Jennings is still insisting that all he is thinking about is the championship. There is a small problem with his Subaru engine and he has cut back on the boost and anti lag to make sure that it does not overheat. Donagh Kelly in 3rd place said about his performance through stage 7. `I`m not going at it. The car is still spluttering and sort of choking itself off the start line`. Kevin Kelleher in 4th place dropped a handful of seconds over the 7th stage, the Clonakilty man told us. `There is a big steep uphill start to the stage and the boys in front just swallowed it. Tomorrow however should suit us well, we can keep the car flowing`. Kevin is course driving a 10 year old Subaru, a WRC S9, and technology has moved forward.

In Group N Owen Murphy has a 10s overnight lead on Sebastian Ling with Sam Moffett a further 17s in arrears. Owen reported a couple of 6th gear moments in stage 7. He said. `We are really enjoying it but a very fast rally and you have to trust the notes`. A big feature of the second day will be the battle for the group N Tarmac Championship title between Stephen Wright and Josh Moffett. Stephen has an advantage of well over a minute and he is determined to drive as carefully as possible through the Sunday stages to hold his advantage.

In the National Rally Roy White has built up a massive lead, the Tipperary man and his Cork co driver Liam Breen now 2m30s ahead of Wesley Patterson/Sean Hayde in their Escort. Phil Collins has now moved up to 5th following his earlier time loss after a puncture. Phil explained. `We did not feel anything, no explanation, we just kept going gently and did not damage the wheel. It cost us 2m. We will have a big race tomorrow with Wesley Patterson our target`.

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net (with thanks to Dougie Hughes, Aidan Harper and Chris McLean) *Follow RallyNews on Twitter @ Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews

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