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Galway International 2014
RALLY NEWS No.1 - Pre Start - Friday @ 19:17:40

RALLY NEWS NO.1 Galway/Friday evening

Despite some flooding in the area of the Saturday Gort stages, it is all stations go for this Colm Quinn BMW backed Galway International Rally. Clerk of the Course Kieran Donohue and his hard working team have been burning the midnight oil re-scheduling the Saturday stages. The Skehanagh stage is particularly affected and has been severely shortened - just the first few kms can now be run. Spectators may forget about the format in the programme. The stage order for Saturday is now Ballybuck at 11.41 and Skehanagh at 12.27. The competitors then go to service at Gort. The afternoon order is Ballybuck (13.40), Skehanagh (14.26), Ballybuck (15.16) and finally Skehanagh again at 16.05. There is then a service at Gort again (16.37) before the overnight halt in Galway. Full details of the shortened stages, plus the flooded access roads around the stages are on the Galway Motor Club web site. www.galwayinternationalrally.com and click on `event`

Meanwhile it is still all go for the drivers, and the buzz was palpable as they lined up for the Eyre Square ceremonial start. Garry Jennings and his co-driver Rory Kennedy in their Subaru WRC S12b will be first on the road of the approximately 90 cars, with the Historic cars tucked in behind. When we spoke to Tarmac Champion Garry a couple of hours before the ceremonial start, he was going for a lie down in the Clayton Hotel, resting his back at every opportunity. The Kesh man commented. `My back is still sore but it will be OK. I had a wee run in the Subaru and it seems fine. So we`ll give the rally a go. It`s a real shame we have lost stage mileage on the Saturday, but the organisers have done a fantastic job re-jigging things`.

Behind Jennings is Eugene Donnelly in the `state of the art` Mini WRC. Five times Tarmac Champion Eugene will certainly be a force to be reckoned with here, although the shortened Saturday stages may do him no favours. Derek McGarrity was to have started at No.3, but it looks as if his newly acquired Minis have not arrived in time, and he will be non-starting. Next up then will be National Champion Declan Boyle, his Impreza WRC re-liveried and totally overhauled for this season. If Declan produces the same speed as he had last year, he must surely be another vying for a top podium position. Similarly Donagh Kelly at No.5 in his Focus WRC is capable of a big result here. The man who could really surprise everyone is Sam Moffett at 6. The young Monaghan driver will have to switch on to a new car, the M-Sport Fiesta WRC, but he proved last year on his first outings in an Impreza WRC when he won the Monaghan and Donegal rallies, that he can switch on to a new car without any problem.

Midleton`s Daragh O`Riordan was to have started at 7 in his Fiesta WRC, but it looks like he is not going to make the rally. No.8 has been left blank in respect of JJ Fleming. Then it is Steve Simpson and Peadar Hurson, Subaru and Escort WRC respectively, who make up the top ten.

Just outside that we have Stephen Wright in his new Fiesta R2. Then there is a brilliant array of GpN and modified machinery. Colm Murphy, Josh Moffett and Martin Doherty will almost certainly be the GpN yardsticks. In addition Aaron MacHale is a late entry in Brendan Cumiskey`s Evo 9. Modern Tyres man Rory Byrne could also be in the GpN hunt in his new Evo XR4. Former Tarmac GpN Champion Jer O`Donovan is a non-starter. Also not able to take his place in the line up is former Tarmac Champion John Coyne, due to a problem with his Sunbeam engine. John has generously donated his entry fee to the event chosen charity – Domestic Violence Response.
More news to follow: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

2018 Patterson Agencies

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