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RALLY NEWS No.7 - Ebrinton Service - Saturday @ 12:56:18
RALLY NEWS NO.7 Ebrington Service Saturday


1st (5) Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Fiesta R5)
2nd (4) Osian Pryce/Dale Furness (Fiesta R5)
3rd (1) Fredrik Ahlin/Torstein Eriksen (Fabia R5)
4th (8) Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroen DS3R5)
5th (7) Marty McCormack/David Moynihan (Fabia R5)
6th (3) Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson (Fiesta R5)
7th (9) Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (Fabia R5)
8th (11) Joe McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney (Fabia R5)
9th (12) Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod (Fiesta R5)
10th (10) Stephen Wright/Arthur Kierans (Fiesta R5)

“Pepi”, the ex Pirelli, now Dmack rally tyre wizard was straight into conversation with Keith Cronin when he arrived here into service. Keith increased his lead over Osian Pryce over the last few stages to 33 seconds. Still Keith cannot afford to relax and tyre choice from here to the finish is going to be critical. He remarked about the last couple of stages “we were not taking any big risks, but it is still easy to get caught out, the road surface is so changeable and it is hard to read everywhere”. When asked about the British championship title Keith continued “even a win here doesn’t really keep our hopes alive. For Fredrik (Ahlin) a couple of third places would probably do”. When Osian Pryce came into service he was straight into deep conversation with his engineer and the Welshman explained afterwards that in the Rousky stage the car felt strange, and snapped sideways a couple of times. In overall terms Osian thought he had made a safe option on tyres and was reasonably happy with his run through the loop. For his part Fredrik Ahlin told us that he had had a few big moments in the Rousky stage and his Skoda had been in the ditch a couple of times. In one of those moments a wheel got filled with mud and this led to a big vibration in the car.

Jonny Greer set a second fastest time through stage 10 so in overall terms he was happy and he did say that on the drier sections he had the right tyres and pushed on hard. Sam Moffett is now 40 seconds in arrears of Greer. This is important in terms of the tarmac championship as Jonny is registered. This means Sam is looking at second placed points today which means he cannot clinch the title here today. He will have to enter the last round in Cork although the start bonus points there will be enough to ensure that he does take the tarmac title. Desi Henry was a bit disappointed when he reached service here after stage 10. He thought that there would not have been as much mud and dampness on the roads which meant that he was on the wrong tyres.

Matt Edwards had a great run through stages 9 and 10. His misfire / cutting out problem reappeared in stage 8. He disconnected the new knock sensor on his Fiesta R5 for stage 9 and the car ran fine!.

In the tussle for R2 Callum Devine has departed the fray. This leaves William Creighton more or less out on his own. Callum and William were tying on points for the British junior title starting this rally. It transpired in stage 10 that Callum’s Opel Adam was only getting 50% throttle and then the alternator failed. Callum was just 6 miles from home so that is where he towed the car. In a very sporting gesture he sent a text to William’s co-driver Liam Regan and wrote in it “you bring it home guys”. William is also in the running for the title in the category of the tarmac championship so the young man has certainly plenty to play for this year. Following Marty Gallagher’s retirement as well James Wilson is now up to second in R2. Also now going strong is the young Norwegian driver Oscar Solberg. Oscar has little experience of asphalt roads and certainly these stages through the Sperrins are very new to him. He said “it is really strange to me, but good practice”.

We have a mixed picture in GpN – Willie Mavitty is leading the category in the international part of the rally and also holds the advantage in the tarmac championship while Paul Britton leads GpN in the national section. Gavin Kelly is also well into the tarmac picture and going strong. Overall in the national section Camillus Bradley still leads and Alan Carnmichael, despite making too conservative a tyre choice still continues to close the gap. Michael Dunlop hasn’t registered a time at the end of stage 8 so we presume has stopped. Oran Donnelly continues to set good times and comes into the hunt for national honours. Brian, Liz, Michael & Zoe Patterson www.rallynews.net *Follow RallyNews on Twitter & Facebook @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews


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