UNOFFICIAL NAT. L/BOARD AFTER SS7
1st (15) Damien Tourish/Domhnall McAlaney (Escort) 1.01.39.6
2nd (88) Gary Kiernan/Keith Moriarty (Escort) 1.01.51.7
3rd (16) Kevin Eves/William Lynch (Corolla) 1.02.51.5
4th (12) Eugene Meegan/Sarah Whelan (BMW 1M) 1.04.13.3
5th (32) Tommy Cahill/Enda O’Leary (Lancer) 1.04.14.3
6th (20) Richard Whelan/James Whelan (BMW 1M) 1.04.19.1
Just as the first cars were finishing stage 7 the skies opened and there was a burst of very heavy rain that affected the cars in the stage and the ones about to start. Having set another fastest time Garry Jennings commented. “No bother”. In fact the Fermanagh man seemed more interested in how Ireland was doing at the Rugby, and it was Robbie McGurk who gave him the bad news!
Roy White in 2nd place said that he is “Having a ball”. Third placed Alastair Fisher was again quickest of the R5 contenders and he remarked on just how slippy and greasy the stage was. Sam Moffett is trying very hard to get back on level terms with Fisher but he was 0.7 of a second slower in that SS7. Not a lot but the situation is so tight among the top R5 contenders that every little counts. Stephen Wright picked a harder compound tyre for this one and although he was a fraction of a second faster than Barrable he did not make any impression on the cars on front. Josh Moffett finished the stage with a time of 6.40, just a few seconds down on Fisher but Josh reckons it is a matter of getting his car to the finish and trying to collect a few points. Aaron MacHale has replaced the anti roll bar on his Skoda and softened the suspension, but he is still down in 13th place.
There was no sign of Declan Boyle at the stage 7 finish. No sign either of Willie Mavity who was leading GpN4. Although in fact there is only one other car in group N4 and that is Stephen Hernon in his Impreza. He retired earlier with fuel pump problems and is now in Rally 2.
In the National Rally Kevin Eves was fastest through SS7 with his Millington engined Corolla. Damien Tourish reckoned he was lucky to escape a puncture in stage 6 but had a good run in SS7 and leads the Nationals by 12s from Gary Kiernan. In the Historic Rally Ernie Graham has over a minute in hand from Keith McIvor, both in Escorts. Andy Johnson was in the top 3 in his Chevette but the Vauxhall is sidelined with a broken oil pump belt. Ross Forde was also in the action but his Escort incurred a puncture and dropped several minutes.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ & MICHAEL & ZOE PATTERSON www.rallynews.net