UNOFFICIAL NAT. L/BOARD AFTER STAGE 14
1st (20) Kevin Eves/William Lynch (Corolla) 18.104.22.168
2nd (47) Kevin Gallagher/Brendan McElhinney (Darrian) 1.59.08.4
3rd (18) Eugene Meegan/Sarah Whelan (BMW M1) 22.214.171.124
4th (27) Vincent McSweeney/Michael Kearney (Civic) 2.00.41.2
5th (60) Ray O’Sullivan/Gavin Sheehan (Escort) 2.01.42.1
6th (63) Wayne Evans/John Smithwick (Escort) 2.01.56.7
The rally leaderboard looked fairly settled when the cars set off from service for the final loop of three stages. Donagh Kelly was fastest through stage 12 to reinforce his overall lead but behind the flying Focus there was general mayhem. Sam Moffett who had been second had a front puncture on his Fiesta and he had to stop and change the offending wheel. This cost several minutes and meant Sam slipping from second to fourth. Unbelievably Robert Barrable’s Hyundai suffered a puncture on the same corner. Where this happened the road was particularly muddy and dirty and neither of the drivers saw anything untoward in the road but obviously there was. Robert dropped more time than Sam Moffett and he was relegated to fifth. However worse was to follow for Dublin Hyundai dealer Robert as his i20 R5 could not continue into stage fourteen because of a badly broken brake disc. Another driver to suffer a puncture and retirement was Stephen Wright in his Fiesta R5. Stephen had been sixth. Joe McGonigle steered past all these stricken cars and then Sam Moffett zipped past Joe’s Skoda further down the stage and promptly spun in front of him. Then Joe spun his Skoda and got stuck!. All these dramas certainly affect the Clonakilty Blackpudding championship.
There was drama as well in the National section of the rally when Brian Brogan / Damien McGettigan ground to a halt in stage twelve when their Escort suffered a broken wheel bearing. They had lying second at the time. This appeared to leave Gary Kiernan / Ryan Moore with an unassailable National lead. However it all went wrong for them also when their Escort blew it’s engine in stage thirteen. This left Kevin Eves back in the lead (he did lead for most of Saturday) but even Pettigo man Kevin had his problems as he slid his Corolla off backwards and damaged the rear of his car. Kevin Gallagher seemed to disappear from the results for a while, all of a sudden the Darrian driver found himself in second place in the national category with Eugene Meegan in his BMW up to third. Patrick McHugh was lying fourth earlier but our last report was that he was trying to struggle his Escort to the finish. However it was not looking good as the car was lapsing onto three cylinders.
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