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RALLY NEWS No.2 - Service - Sunday @ 11:22:11

RALLY NEWS NO.2 End of stage 1/Sunday
1st (2) Thomas Fitzmaurice/Fionn Foley (Impreza WRC) 10.13
(3) Brian OMahony/John Higgins (Impreza WRC) 10.13
3rd (1) Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 10.27
4th (7) Colm Murphy/Don Montgomery (Impreza N) 10.30
(9) Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Escort) 10.30
6th (5) Kevin Barrett/Conor Foley (Impreza WRC) 10.31
7th (6) Kevin Kelleher/Ger Conway (Impreza WRC) 10.32
8th (8) Roy White/James OBrien (MG S2000) 10.38
9th (12) Declan Gallagher/Gary Gallagher (Starlet) 10.44
10th (15) Jonathan Pringle/Martin Byrne (Escort) 10.55
TIMES AFTER SS2: Niall Maguire fastest by 1s from Thomas Fitzmaurice with Brian OMahony 1s further back. This leaves Fitzmaurice leading the rally by 1s.

The reaction from the top drivers at the end of the opening 18.1km Spancill Hill stage ranged from “very slippy” to “surprising amount of grip”. Certainly the rain had been massive on the run up to the start of the rally but conditions were brightening all the time as No.1 seed Niall Maguire hove into sight. When his Subaru stopped at the end of the road Niall said. “We had a bad time. We were held at the start line for a while and then I just didn’t settle”. Thomas Fitzmaurice and Brian OMahony were next up and set equal fastest time. Thomas reported. “I was measuring the grip at the start”. O’Mahony’s comment was. “Bedding myself in. More grip than I thought”.

Further stories included. Kevin Kelleher said “Just glad to get a few miles up on the car. It seems quite torque steery at the back”. Colm Murphy, who in the absence of Sam Moffett this weekend, has won this year’s GpN category on the Dunlop National series, went on intermediate tyres on his GpN Impreza that was quite brave. Roy White felt there was a small problem with his MG 2000’s paddle shift. Shane Maguire’s Impreza seemed to be suffering from a slipping clutch. Anthony O’Halloran, who has Charlie McEnery co-driving, felt he had made his notes just a little slow for the stage. Charlie’s sister Grainne was at the ceremonial start last night in Ennis. It was great to see her out and about following her accident earlier in the season.

Jonathan Pringle reckoned his Escort was a little soft in the suspension department. The gearstick in Ed Synan’s Escort broke in the stage. Reportedly stage 1 has been blocked by an accident involving car No.31. Driver and co-driver, Tony Tuttle and Sean Kiernan, have been taken to hospital for check ups.

On Wales Rally GB after stage 16, Latvala still led. Loeb has got ahead of Solberg. Petter lost momentum when his Fiesta WRC landed badly after a jump. Craig Breen continues to lead the SWRC.

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

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