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Ulster Rally 2017
RALLY NEWS No.2 - Ebrinton Service - Friday @ 17:38:04
 
RALLY NEWS NO.2 Ebrington Service Friday

UNOFFICIAL LEADERBOARD AFTER STAGE 3 – Butterlope 1

1st (5) Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Fiesta R5) 24.43.3
2nd (1) Fredrik Ahlin/Torstein Eriksen (Fabia R5) 24.44.8
3rd (4) Osian Pryce/Dale Furness (Fiesta R5) 25.03.0
4th (3) Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson (Fiesta R5) 25.13.8
5th (8) Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroen DS3R5) 25.38.2
6th (7) Marty McCormack/David Moynihan (Fabia R5) 25.49.4
7th (9) Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (Fabia R5) 25.51.2
8th (11) Joe McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney (Fabia R5) 26.12.3
9th (10) Stephen Wright/Arthur Kierans (Fiesta R5) 26.28.6
10th (15) Alex Laffey/Patrick Walsh (Fiesta R5) 26.40.3

Through stages two and three Fredrik Ahlin and Keith Cronin were swapping seconds in the race for British championship honours. In contrast Sam Moffett has found himself with an almost unassailable lead as regards the Tarmac championship following the retirement of Alistair Fisher. As the cars waited to go into service Keith Cronin took time out to tell us “the conditions were tricky but over the loop the tyres worked okay. We might make a few changes to the setup here at service as the test road we used for the rally did not have any big jumps and I am finding the car crashing out here”.

Norwegian driver Fredrick Alhin commented “I am happy enough and not trying anything silly I do not need to win the rally to win the championship and I am pushing on were it is safe. Certainly the conditions are changeable”. Osian Pryce is also in with a shout for the British championship, former Ulster rally winner Osian saying on the first stage “we had an overshoot, then a spin on a SqL, stage two we had no issues but we were a bit cautious and then on stage three we had a spin at a Hairpin right then had to reverse, wasting more time”.

Sam Moffett was philosophical “believe it or not I was really sad to see Alistair Fisher out of the rally, I am gutted for him and for myself. The work and preparation for this rally has been immense and I was looking forward to a really good race with Alistair. Of course I am happy to be in this position for the Tarmac but it would have been good to have a real race with Alistair and to compare our pace with the top BRC drivers.

Further stories, there was big disappointment for both Marty McCormack and Desi Henry. When Marty came into the regroup control he said “it is what it is but I did loose heart a bit, the rain on the first stage was difficult then I clipped a stone and slowed down because I thought I had a puncture. Then on stage 2 we did have a puncture. Stage three was a bit better but maybe I should take up golf!”. Interestingly Marty had no sooner finished talking to us than he was on the phone to some of his men in Oxfordshire that some digger has broken down on one of the jobs. The joys of it!.

Desi Henry explained that on the first stage he was also caught on the wrong tyres on the torrential rain then on the second stage he punctured the front right tyre of his Skoda going over a stone that had been pulled out of a ditch. He did say though that he had a decent third stage where he was 3rd fastest but overall it was a frustrating start. Jonny Greer reckons he is still there or thereabouts following the first three stages. Stephen Wright reckons he was a bit rally rusty but still enjoying it. Joe McGonigle got more to grips with the conditions through stages two and three and he has moved up the order somewhat.

Alan Carnmichael continues to lead the national category in his Mini WRC despite a spin and stall in stage two. Rally sponsor John Mullholland has slid his Skoda into a ditch on a long left into a hairpin. Matt Edwards, who had such a good result on the Ypres Rally in his Fiesta R5 is struggling here with a recalcitrant throttle body and slipped from 5th to 11th in stage three. Rhys Yates has put his Fiesta into a ditch in stage 2 on a 6L corner with loose stones. Callum Devine had a bit of a moment on the second stage and lost his confidence somewhat and William Creighton closed the gap a little and is just five seconds back in the race for R2 honours. Marty Gallagher is third in R2 and not a mile away. Camillus Bradley is second in the nationals with Eugene Meegan third despite two spins in his BMW. Kevin Eves is fourth and he has some power steering issues, though he says that it is nothing major.

Over in Rally Germany after stage eight Tanak leads from Mikkelsen with Ogier third. Craig Breen is sixth. Back here on the John Mullholland Ulster rally Stanley Orr appears to leading the historic section in his Mk1 Escort.

Brian, Liz, Michael & Zoe Patterson www.rallynews.net *Follow RallyNews on Twitter & Facebook @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews


 
 
 
 



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