UNOFFICIAL NAT. L/BOARD AFTER STAGE 9
1st (20) Kevin Eves/William Lynch (Corolla) 1.05.19.3
2nd (11) Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan (Escort) 1.05.42.8
3rd (12) Gary Kiernan/Ryan Moore (Escort) 1.05.41.6
4th (14) Adrian Hetherington/A. Grennan (Escort) 1.07.23.5
5th (18) Eugene Meegan/Sarah Whelan (BMW M1)
Clerk of the Course Greg McCarthy decided to introduce a night stage to this West Cork Rally just for an interesting change. It certainly gave the drivers a real challenge as the Sams Cross road is difficult anyway and quite heavy fog patches made it even more tricky. Donagh Kelly/Connor Foley were first on the road through the stage and Donagh said at the end ‘We picked the wrong tyres, too hard a compound and the fog made it difficult anyway’. Still, Donagh carries a 31s lead into the overnight halt, and must be in with a chance of scoring his 4th West Cork Rally win. There are of course 6 big stages tomorrow so it certainly will not be plain sailing.
Sam Moffett pushed hard through Sams Cross and said at the finish ‘We just ignored the fog’. His brother Josh had a big moment in the stage when he was flat out over a right hand crest and his Fiesta hit the bank at very high speed. Damage was superficial and Josh shrugged it off. He was actually fastest R5 car through that stage. Alastair Fisher struggled in the fog and he dropped quite a few valuable seconds. Rob Barrable by his own high standards did not go that well either and he dropped just over 4s to Josh. Rob said ‘I did not get into it’. Joe McGonigle had a fairly average run and he dropped about 20s in the fog, while Brendan Cumiskey commented. ‘I am a bit disappointed that I did not go hard enough’. Joe McGonigle is provisionally lying around 7th o/a, Tomas Davies 8th, Brendan Cumiskey 9th and Pauric Duffy 10th.
In the National Rally Kevin Eves was stunningly fast to increase his lead. Gary Kiernan had only an average time in the fog and dropped from 2nd to 3rd place with Brian Brogan just nipping ahead. News from earlier was that Clonakilty Blackpudding man Ed Twomey retired his Punto S2000 with suspected gearbox problems.
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