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The Ulster Rally
RALLY NEWS No.5 - Antrim service - Friday @ 21:38:07

RALLY NEWS NO.5 Antrim Service Friday

1st (W3) Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 36.59.5
2nd (W1) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Impreza WRC) 37.14.9
3rd (W2) Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Impreza WRC) 37.59.8
4th (W4) Darragh ORiordan/Tony McDaid (Impreza WRC) 38.22.7
5th (W10) Robert Barrable/Paddy Robinson (Fabia S2000) 38.40.9
6th (W6) Sam Moffett/James OReilly (Lancer N) 40.43.7
1st (R1) Keith Cronin/Marshall Clarke (DS3 R3) 39.11.6
2nd (R4) Elfyn Evans/Phil Pugh (Fiesta) 40.07.2
3rd (R9) Jonny Greer/Gordon Noble 40.36.2
4th (R10) Osian Pryce/Iestyn Williams (DS3 R3) 40.40.9
5th (R7) Tommy Doyle/Liam Moynihan (DS3 R3) 40.58.3
6th (R2) Tom Cave/Craig Parry (DS3 R3) 40.59.3
7th Donnelly 8th Wilks 9th Korhonen 10th Cathcart

Darren Gass and his co-driver Enda Sherry hold a 15s lead over Derek McGarrity/James McKee going into the overnight halt of this Ulster Rally. Darren said when he brought the car into service. “I was a bit slow towards the end of that sixth stage but overall it was a good day. A bit more of the same tomorrow will do”. Derek McGarrity reported having a very close shave with a sheep in shave with a sheep in stage 6, but otherwise his Subaru is also in good fettle. Derek commented. “When the sheep walked out I was flat in 6th gear and had to lift off. I am not too disappointed about today. The tyres just didn’t work tonight, I couldn’t get heat into them and I certainly tried. I am well away from Garry and O’Riordan and if I am on the right tyres in the morning I can gave a go at Darren”. Several other drivers mentioned sheep on the final stage but thankfully there were no major incidents.

Garry Jennings had a good run through stage 6 to hold on to 3rd place. He now has the hand brake on his Subaru sussed. He has to get his finger on the red button 7s before the critical moment and then slam on the handbrake. After a week at the Kesh Festival racing sheep, donkeys and ride-on lawnmowers sure a slow acting hand brake should be no problem for Garry! Darragh O’Riordan was disappointed to be 4th overnight. Following their excursion on Torr Head co-driver Tony McDaid said. “We don’t know what is bent in the suspension, we played pin-ball that much between the banks”.

Interestingly, the rain lashed down here at the service park for over an hour when the cars were out on the stages. The competitors escaped most of it apart from over the last couple of miles of stage 6. Robert Barrable reckoned the bit of rain at the end of the stage cost him a couple of seconds. On our last RallyNews we mentioned that Willie Mavitty’s Lancer had not appeared at the end of Torr Head. It seems that the car’s kill switch broke between the arrival and the start control. Sam Moffett in 6th place reckons he is in a no-man’s land at the moment. He can’t catch Barrable in front but is keeping a weather eye out for Steve Perez behind. Steve is gradually settling in to driving his Focus WRC again on these difficult roads.

In Rally NI Keith Cronin was fastest through stage 6 by over 7s from Tom Cave with Elfyn Evans a further 6s down. Keith said the car felt a lot better on the harder compound tyres and he backed off on the very slippy places where the mud had been pulled out by the cars in front. Tom Cave was a lot happier over the last few stages and feels the set up on his Citroen is much improved. Jonny Greer has now moved up to 3rd o/a, and feels there is more to come tomorrow. Osian Pryce was disappointed to lose a place to Jonny and felt he was being just a little too conservative.

Guy Wilks had to back off at one point in stage 6 as the low sun blinded him, then before the stage finish had to back off because of the rain. Mark Donnelly did well to hold on to 7th place this evening as the hydraulic bearing in the gearbox of his Clio combined with something not quite right in the clutch department made driving the car very difficult. Alastair Fisher laughed when he said about not having a good rally so far. When his Fiesta got the puncture on Torr Head he then fell flat on his back running around the car with the jack. Kevin O’Connor’s Citroen C2R2 Max has reportedly stopped on the road section into Antrim because of a fuel pump problem. Kevin had got ahead of David Carney in the Irish Citroen Racing Trophy standings, but that situation may change.

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ & MICHAEL PATTERSON Thanks to Christel Patterson www.rallynews.net Follow RallyNews on Twitter @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews

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