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Topaz Donegal International Rally
RALLY NEWS No.14 - After SS20 - Sunday @ 17:29:53
RALLY NEWS NO.14 Letterkenny/Finish/Sunday
1st (1) Gareth MacHale/Brian Murphy (Focus WRC)
2nd (2) Eugene Donnelly/Paddy Toner (Fabia WRC)
3rd (12) Sean Devine/Robert McDaid (Impreza WRC)
4th (8) Daniel & Michael Doherty (Impreza WRC)
5th (7) PJ McDermott/Francis Regan (Impreza WRC)
6th (14) Glenn Allen/Damien Connolly (Corolla WRC)
7th (10) Seamus Leonard/John McCafferty (Lancer N)
8th (15) Damien Tourish/Domhnall McAlaney (Lancer N)
9th (17) Danny & Rory McBride (Lancer N)
10th (45) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Lancer N)
NATIONAL: 1st Wesley Patterson 2nd Rodney Wilton 3rd Manus Kelly 4th Gary McPhillips 5th Daniel McKenna 6th Maurice Moffett ABOVE RESULTS ARE PROVISIONAL: WILL BE MADE FINAL LATER TONIGHT

When Gareth MacHale and Brian Murphy brought their Ford Focus WRC to a halt at the end of stage 20, Atlantic Drive, as winners of this Topaz Donegal International Rally there was an ecstatic gathering of the MacHale family to cheer for Gareth’s first International Rally win. To do it here in Donegal, the arena for so many of his father Austin’s heroic drives, was very special indeed. Gareth took time to say. “It was a great race with Eugene and Eamonn. I was sorry to see Eamonn go out. Donegal has always been special to me since I started coming here with my Dad. Great competition on this rally. My co driver Brian has helped me a lot, he’s like a second father. It’s been a great rally”. (Eamonn Boland retired stage 19 when Subaru engine blew). Eugene Donnelly & Paddy Toner were naturally a little disappointed not to have won but they overcame many problems and showed great speed on their way to 2nd place. Eugene extends his lead in the Tarmac Championship to 60 points while Gareth MacHale moves into 2nd on 46 and Tim McNulty, despite pulling out of the rally today after his Subaru suffered a punctured, stays 3rd on 36 points.

It was a great result as well for Sean Devine and Robert McDaid who steered clear of trouble in their Subaru to finish 3rd o/a. Similarly Daniel & Michael Doherty from Carndonagh put up a great performance after a long lay off from rallying to finish 4th and best Donegal crew. Daniel said. “I’m amazed after the calamities we’ve had, it was a real mixed up weekend. I gave it a real cut today over the Glen stage to get ahead of PJ McDermott”.

Seamus Leonard & John McCafferty were just as pleased to win GpN in their Lancer. Seamus said. “Donegal is always a nice one to win. OK maybe I was racing against myself today but it was a hard course”. Donegal man Damien Tourish was 2nd in GpN with Danny McBride 3rd and Donagh Kelly 4th – all in Lancers. Gavin Harris finished 11th o/a in his Impreza and 5th GpN just ahead of Pat Kirk in his GpN Lancer. Conor Harvey was a brilliant 13th o/a and won Class 7 in his new Civic Type R. Daragh O’Riordan made the trip from Cork worthwhile to finish 14th and win class 6. Young Toni Kelly was well into the top 20 and finished 2nd in class to Conor Harvey. Alan Carmichael finished just inside the top 20 in his GpN Lancer. Alan was leading the GpN points in the Tarmac C/ship starting the rally but could just be pipped at the top of the table by Jer O’Donovan. We are still waiting for a time for Joe McGonigle for stage 20. Joe was heading for a very good class win in his Civic and it would reinforce his class lead in the Tarmac C/ship. In the National Rally Wesley Patterson/Martin McGarrity turned in some great times today in their Mk2 Escort to extend their winning margin over Rodney Wilton in his similar Escort. Wesley was very much at home on today’s twisty stages.
Finally for now our thanks to all who helped and supported the Rally News service this weekend. Well done to CoC Danny Gormley and all his team for putting on such a successful event. It was a long tough and very successful rally.
BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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