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RALLY NEWS No.4 - End of SS4 - Sunday @ 13:37:16

RALLY NEWS NO.4 End of stage 4/Sunday

1st (1) Patrick Elliott/Paul Goodman (Impreza WRC) 33.04
2nd (2) Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 33.10
3rd (3) Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 33.24
4th (9) Garry Jennings/David Moynihan (Lancer N) 34.39
5th (5) Kevin & Martin Kelleher (Lancer N) 34.42
6th (7) Eamonn Daly/Anthony O'Connaill (Lancer N) 35.00
7th (12) Trevor & Kenny Bustard (Lancer N) 35.25
8th (8) Thomas Fitzmaurice/Fionn Foley (Lancer N) 35.49
9th (14) Ed Synan/Denis O'Connell (Escort) 36.02
10th (10) Sean Flanagan/Brian Duggan (Lancer N) 36.39

Temperatures were still very high with the sun splitting the trees through the Co. Limerick countryside as the drivers tackled the Sugar Hill stage for the 2nd time. The only driver amongst the top 3 to improve on his first run through was Kevin Barrett and the Triton Showers man was fastest through that 4th stage. On stage 2 of the rally Kevin was originally given a time 30s more than co-driver Sean Mullally claimed they had done and with the help of Jakes Kelly, that has now been corrected so 20s now separates the top 3 cars with 5 stages still remaining. Kevin was very red and hot looking when his Subaru came to a halt at the end of that Sugar Hill stage. As Kevin removed his helmet at the crossroads beside the wee shop at the Goulburn Bridge he seemed a little exasperated and made a comment along the lines of. “You burst your b……s to set a time and then you don’t get the time. It is very annoying”.

Also not happy was rally leader Patrick Elliott as he recounted yet another stall and he said. “We lost a ball of time”. Niall Maguire was hardly bursting with joy either as he told us that at the end of a long fast straight he just couldn’t get the Subaru slowed down enough and overshot up a slip road and then the car stalled.

In Group N Kevin Kelleher had the fastest time in the category through Sugar Hill while Garry Jennings still leads group N overall but by just 3s. Kevin said at stage finish. “We had a very good run”. Garry Jennings was sweating hard at stage finish and was overheard to say. “Too much Bulmers last night!” Eamonn Daly ran wide at a hairpin and lost a few seconds. Thomas Fitzmaurice was reasonably well on the pace compared to his times through stages 2 and 3. Thomas’ mechanics discovered at service that his Lancer’s rear differential wasn’t working properly. Sean Flanagan in the plain white Lancer running at No.10 lost a lot of time, perhaps 30s. Co driver Brian Duggan told us. “Just having too much fun! We had a couple of huge overshoots. I think Sean has found the limit of the brakes!”

West Coast Champion Ed Synan has now moved to the front of the Mk2 Escort battle. He said earlier about overheating tyres but otherwise no problems. Mike Quinn had been up to 6th o/a but he put his Escort up a bank on a long 3 right and has dropped around 6 minutes. Joe Smullen driving a rear wheel drive Peugeot would appear to be up to 2nd in that class 13 and 11th o/a. Mark Kane is up to 14th o/a behind Richard Burke in 13th. Galway man Burke is driving an American specification Subaru, not quite a group A car but with a 2.5 litre engine and a big turbo restrictor. It is quite a bit different from our Group N cars. Mark Kane was forced to pull out of last week’s Cavan Rally when his Citroen C2R2 chipped a tooth on a gear. The gearbox seems OK today but the car has suffered a broken gearbox mounting in stage 3. Tom Cahill/Des Sherlock are up to 12th o/a in their Lancer, a bit of a change from their usual Civic. James Murphy/Francis Kenny have retired their Escort WRC at the end of the first stage following clutch problems.

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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