UNOFFICIAL NAT. L/BOARD AFTER STAGE 6
1st (15) Damien Tourish/Domhnall McAlaney (Escort) 54.41.8
2nd (88) Gary Kiernan/Keith Moriarty (Escort) 54.56.6
3rd (16) Kevin Eves/William Lynch (Corolla) 55.56.7
4th (26) Patrick McHugh/Pauric O’Donnell (Escort) 56.14.6
5th (32) Tommy Cahill/Enda O’Leary (Lancer) 57.03.2
6th (12) Eugene Meegan/Sarah Whelan (BMW 1M) 57.05.1
There was a slight skiff of rain before the cars arrived on to stage 6 but fortunately it did not come to anything, although rally leader Garry Jennings having set another fastest time, reported that the stage was still very slippy, and the mud seems to be getting polished. On our last Rally News we reported that the Fiesta WRC of Declan Boyle had suffered a puncture in SS5 as did the Fiesta R5 of Josh Moffett. Declan told us that he was just over-driving the car to make up for the lack of power and it over-steered coming out of a corner. The rear end caught the bank and that is what punctured the tyre. Declan did not seem too down hearted, but what is concerning him is that the engine seems to have gone off a cylinder in stage 6, and they simply do not know what is wrong with the unit. Declan lost 5m with the puncture but is amazingly in 13th place o/a in the International category.
Josh Moffett reported that his puncture was caused by a rock in the middle of the road, possibly pulled out in the Boyle incident, but we do not know for sure. Josh had an overshoot in stage 6 that also cost a few seconds. This was nothing of course compared to the 2m he lost in stage 5. He has slipped from 6th o/a to 11th in the International.
Alastair Fisher continues to set the R5 pace in the race for Tarmac championship points and he said on his way into service. “We really need to give these roads respect. It is easy to under-estimate them”. When Sam Moffett saw the Fisher times he commented that he was going to have to revise his strategy, perhaps go for a different tyre.
Outside the top International 6 Robert Barrable is slowly but surely upping his pace, but he was still for example, 13s down on Sam Moffett. Similarly Joe McGonigle has upped his place since changing the tyres on this Skoda and he is 8th. Brendan Cumiskey is gradually becoming more accustomed to his new car and his 9th with Stephen McCann 10th in his Fiesta S2000.
William Creighton in his Peugeot continues to lead Class 2 while Jon Armstrong is pushing his M-Sport Fiesta very hard to try and catch the young driver from Finaghy but is 19s in arrears.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ & MICHAEL & ZOE PATTERSON www.rallynews.net