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Ulster Rally 2017
RALLY NEWS No.6 - Ebrinton Service - Saturday @ 10:40:01
 
RALLY NEWS NO.6 Ebrington Service Saturday

UNOFFICIAL LEADERBOARD AFTER STAGE 8 - Drumnahoe

1st (5) Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Fiesta R5) 1.04.23.7
2nd (4) Osian Pryce/Dale Furness (Fiesta R5) 1.04.27.7
3rd (1) Fredrik Ahlin/Torstein Eriksen (Fabia R5) 1.04.38.3
4th (8) Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroen DS3R5) 1.05.56.8
5th (3) Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson (Fiesta R5) 1.06.12.5
6th (7) Marty McCormack/David Moynihan (Fabia R5) 1.06.20.2
7th (9) Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (Fabia R5) 1.06.57.7
8th (11) Joe McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney (Fabia R5) 1.07.50.8
9th (10) Stephen Wright/Arthur Kierans (Fiesta R5) 1.08.36.2
10th (15) Alex Laffey/Patrick Walsh (Fiesta R5) 1.08.37.7

Rally leader Keith Cronin made a fabulous start over today’s leg but then on the second of today’s stages Drumnahoe Keith struggled with a flat tyre on his Fiesta R5. Fastest through the 8.9 mile stage was Fredrik Ahlin on 8.43.4, two seconds up on Osian Pryce. Jonny Greer was just one second slower than Pryce. At stage finish Cronin said he did not know what caused the flat tyre at the back of his Fiesta but he drove for 5 kms on the flailing rubber and did well to hold onto his lead.

Weather conditions at the rally HQ here in Ebrington are fairly good this morning and the drivers were hoping that the stage roads would be reasonably dry but stage 8 was patchy, there is light rain and stages 9 and 10 are reportedly wet. Tyre choice was once again the main topic of conversation from the top drivers. Osian Pryce went for a tyre suitable for wet conditions but he reckons that the tyres were too soft a compound on that 8th stage but could be good for stages 9 and 10. Fredrik Alhin held onto 3rd place despite smacking the back of his Skoda against a bank and then had a front tyre deflate at the finish so all in all did well to set that fastest time. Marty McCormack also had a narrow escape, his Fabia indulging in a spin at a 5R over bridge. Marty thought that he had punctured a wheel and was cautious for a mile or two but then realised that he was in the clear and was able to go for it once more.

Desi Henry reckoned he picked too hard a compound tyre and that cost him a few seconds while Stephen Wright admitted to having no confidence in his tyres. Matt Edwards had all sorts of problems with his Fiesta over the latter stages on Friday. His team had a new knock sensor flown in from Germany and that was fitted to the car early this morning. This seemed to cure the cutting out syndrome but unfortunately it returned on stage 8 and he dropped another load of time.

In the race for R2 honours William Creighton set a good time on stage 8 to increase his lead over Callum Devine from 8 seconds to 13. Callum reckoned he picked too soft a tyre. Marty Gallagher had been 3rd in the R2s but his Peugeot has not appeared at the end of Stage 8, the supposition being that his 208 has succumbed to gear box failure. We mentioned on the last RallyNews that James Wilson was going well and certainly had another good run through that 8th stage.

Paul Britton continues to lead GpN with his Subaru, Stanley Ballantine is second and William Herron third. In the modified section Camillus Bradley is holding onto his lead, Alan Carnmichael is setting a scorching pace in his efforts to catch him. Both Michael Dunlop and Oran Donnelly are setting really good times and they are also closing in on the national lead. Slightly further back Jimmy McRae is motoring along nicely in his Firenza. At service Jimmy was saying to his mechanics that he nearly has too much power for the conditions. In nearly 40 years of rallying we have never heard former tarmac champion, multiple Circuit of Ireland and Ulster Rally winner Jimmy say he has too much power!. The Lanark man explained “I have to be nice and gentle with the throttle, the car has bags of torque but sometimes half way up a straight if you hit shiny tar the rear wheels just spin up and the Firenza shoots sideways. It keeps you on your toes, but saps the confidence as well!”.

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


 
 
 
 



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