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RALLY NEWS No.1 - End of Stage One - Saturday @ 11:45:46
RALLY NEWS NO.1 Saturday

1ST (1) Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Ford WRC) 10.17.2
2ND (3) Declan Boyle/James O’Reilly (Ford WRC) 10.35.5
3rd (4) Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes (Fiesta R5) 10.35.6
4th (2) Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson (Fiesta R5) 10.43.3
5th (5) Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly (Fiesta R5)10.57.3
6th (7) Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (Fiesta R5) 11.03.3

1st (16) John Dalton/Gwynfor Jones (Darrian) 10.57.8
2nd (14) Gary Kiernan/Ryan Moore (Proton)11.08.7
3rd (41) Stuart Darcy/Wm Lynch (Darrian) 11.14.1
4th (29) Kevin Gallagher/Ger Callaghan (Darrian) 11.20.5
5th (20) Ed O’Callaghan/Raymond Scott (Escort)11.22.4
6th (27) Vincent McSweeney/Michael Kearney (Lancer) 11.24.5

The opening Ring Stage is always a favourite with the drivers. The fast wide flowing roads, partly along the coast, make for some spectacular driving. Donagh Kelly made good use of his winning experience during the last four years, to set a stunning time this morning, a full 18s faster than Declan Boyle. Declan, however, had problems, his Fiesta WRC slithering into a ditch on a left hand corner. The car was stuck for quite a few seconds and when Declan got it going he felt there was damage to the front track control arm. Sam Moffett reckoned he was a bit rusty in the stage, while his brother Josh was fastest of the R5 cars and 3rd o/a. Jonny Greer was settling into his first drive in the Fiesta R5. Robert Barrable was in much the same situation. Desi Henry has also switched to a Fiesta but the brake fluid in his car was cooking by stage end. This left him uncertain of the stopping power.

Eugene Donnelly said before the start of the rally that he would take the first stage especially cautious in his new Hyundai R5. As well as it being a new car and a new co-driver for Eugene, he is on brand new tyres. It transpires that the MSX rubber that was on the way from India did not arrive. It seems that the container fell off the ship in a huge storm. So the Indian company has air-freighted in just under 100 tyres for Eugene, but he has not yet had an opportunity to try them.

In the Modified category Kevin Eves got off to a bad start when his Corolla engine died just over the line. The cause was a faulty fuel pump. He was able to switch to the spare. However, he was then keeping an eye on the rear view mirror for Gary Kiernan and spun the Corolla, dropping almost a minute. Rob Duggan started the stage with blue smoke emitting from his Escort and has reportedly stopped 600yds into the stage with a pool of oil underneath. Kiernan reports his hired Millington engined Proton to be good, but the steering is very heavy. Wesley Patterson reported that he felt the stage to be very slippy.

Non-starters included Brendan Cumiskey (No.11) and No.18 Declan Gallagher. Further non-starters include: Car No.68, 99, 111, 119 and 135. No.10 and 16 in the Historic category are non-starters. Gary McNamee joins the Junior list and has reverted to a H pattern gearbox in his Civic.

More news to follow: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON & MICHAEL & ZOE PATTERSON www.rallynews.net
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