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Sligo Stages Rally 2012
RALLY NEWS No.4 - Service - Saturday @ 14:32:55

RALLY NEWS NO.4 Service/Saturday

1st (2) Trevor & Kenny Bustard (Lancer N) 37.38
2nd (1) Shane Maguire/Martin McGarrity (Impreza N) 37.41
3rd (7) Arthur & Mac Kierans 9Escort) 38.55
4th (15) Shaun & Claire Gallagher (Lancer N) 38.58
5th (6) Alistair Cochrane/Jonathan Charlesson (Escort) 39.01
6th (104) John & James Cairns (Lancer N) 39.02
7th (8) Daniel Conaghan/Terence Magee (Escort) 39.15
8th (3) Pat Kirk/Peter Ward (Lancer N) 39.16
9th (21) Andrew Mullen/Elaine Doherty (Lancer N) 39.17
10th (4) Jim McKenna/Thomas Treanor (Escort) 39.19

The above totals are very provisional. There has been a blockage on stage 4 that affected some of the cars running just after eighth on the road. Jonathan Pringle/Martin Byrne had been a very strong 3rd in their Mk2 Escort but unconfirmed reports suggest the car is parked in a bog. Columba Heena/Declan Gallagher were lying 4th o/a after stage 3 and they are reported to have stopped in stage 4 and this may have caused the problem with some of the stage times.

Out at the front of the rally Pat Kirk was fastest through stage 4 which brought him up the leaderboard somewhat. Kirk had been 4th earlier but lost time in stage 3 when a rear wheel on his Lancer filled with mud and he had to stop to clean it. Significantly Shane Maguire was 2nd fastest, 3s up on Trevor Bustard which means that Bustard’s overall lead is reduced to 8s to 5s starting stage 5.

Further news is that Glen Alcorn who was leading the Junior category has stopped with an engine problem and Paul Clarke is also believed to have stopped, his Escort having alternator trouble. Paul said earlier that his Escort had a bent wishbone and would go anywhere but stay on the road.

Garry Jennings is still going, but he is very far down the order. His stage time for stage 4 was 16s off the fastest time. The mechanics still have not quite discovered why Garry’s Corolla WRC stopped on the first stage. They have had a good look at the computer in the car but perhaps there is a touch of the Ulster Bank about it as it is not giving up its secrets easily! Garry told us after stage 3 that he caught a wee Peugeot on a long bumpy straight and having driven one years ago knows their characteristics well. When he spotted the Pug doing a few bumpy weaves he backed off and sure enough it eventually spun. Garry thought the driver had got away with it but then it took a leap on to its roof!

Barry McGill/Derek Heena are front runners in the Border c/ship but their Escort suffered a broken gear knob in stage 3. At service one of their crew, PJ Bonner, designed a new gear change thingy made out of a bit of suspension. Bush engineer5ing at its best! Sean McHugh had a very big moment when his BMW, weighted down with the big 6 cylinder engine at the front, landed nose first at the big jump in stage 2 that caught out several drivers. The car survived and is still going strong.

On the Down Rally after 4 stages Donagh Kelly is leading by just over half a second from Derek McGarrity with Kenny McKinstry 3rd a further 15s back. Geoff McMahon was 4th and leading GpN. Derek McGeehan was 5th in his Mini WRC and Vivian Hamill was 6th in his Escort.
More news to follow: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net
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