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RALLY NEWS No.9 - After Lisburn - Saturday @ 13:34:36

RALLY NEWS NO.9 Titanic Quarter Belfast Saturday

1st (2) Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Fabia S2000)
2nd (5) Robert Barrable/Stuart Loudon (Fiesta R5)
3rd (4) Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (Fabia S2000)
4th (9) Robert Consani/Maxime Vilmot (Peugeot 207 S2000)
5th (8) Neil Simpson/Claire Mole (Fabia S200)
6th (7) Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Lancer)
7th (25) Daniel McKenna/Arthur Kierans (Citroen DS3)
8th (14) Jan Cerny/Pavel Kohout (Peugeot 208 R2)
1st (101) Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Impreza WRC)
2nd (102) Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Impreza WRC)
3rd (103) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Focus WRC)
4th (105) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Mini WRC)
5th (106) Kenny McKinstry/Noel Orr (Impreza WRC)
6th (107) Declan Gallagher/Ryan Moore (Starlet RWD)
7th Declan McNaughton 8th Alistair Cochrane 9th Davy Armstrong

Following the 2 spectator stages at Lisburn there are 3 stages remaining. Esapekka Lappi now has a lead of almost 2m over Robert Barrable but Sepp Wiegand is certainly breathing down Barrable`s neck. Esapekka told us. `We had no dramas this morning and we are in safe mode, but it is not so easy to drive this way`. When asked about the European Championship he continued. `I was only 4 points behind leader Craig Breen starting this rally so if I finish OK here I should be in lead and will get extra points for fastest today. Second placed Robert Barrable reported a slight rubbing noise from a back wheel on left hand bends. Seep Wiegand reports no problems so there could be a big battle this afternoon.

French driver Robert Consani said. `I am 4th at the moment and it is better than my target for this rally`. Neil Simpson`s co driver Claire Mole said. `It is flowing much better`. Daniel McKenna is using a newly homologated 17 inch Pirelli tyre this weekend. He reports the car to be faultless and the new tyres, based on the WRC pattern, to be working really well. Jonny Greer, who is 9th o/a is using the same tyres. He had a problem with the brakes overheating on the 29km Bronte stage, otherwise having a good run. Robert Woodside is dropping time with ongoing electrical troubles with his Lancer`s turbo, and also further power steering woes.

Garry Jennings leads the National Rally by by 54s from Declan Boyle with Donagh Kelly just 20s behind Declan. Garry told us here at service that his earlier drive shaft worry transpired to be oil coming out of the engine overflow and blowing back on to the car and going on to a rear tyre. He still does have a bit of a worry over a rose joint to a back wheel, but hopefully it should be OK. Declan Boyle lost time on the Bronte stage when he braked his Subaru down into a square right and the car got away from him. It slithered around and into a ditch. Approximately 25-30s lost. The Donegal man had another drama in the Lisburn stage when he half spun the Subaru and had to reverse. On top of all that the engine is showing signs of cooling pressure tantrums. Third placed Donagh Kelly has had his dramatic moments too. He took his Focus WRC on a contracting trip through a gate and into a field on stage 12. He only lost about 10s. Derek McGarrity`s co driver James McKee said they are just driving the car to the finish now and then Derek will put the `Sold` sign on it. By our unofficial reckoning Stanley Orr is leading the Historic category in his Escort despite a misfire. Ernie Graham retired his Escort in stage 13 with axle damage. Rory Byrne in the Modern Tyres Lancer is having 4th gear problems and he is having to hold the stick in place.

More news to follow: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net with thanks to Michael & Zoe Patterson: thanks also to Dr Dessie Nutt. *Follow RallyNews on Twitter @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews

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