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RALLY NEWS No.5 - Service - Sunday @ 14:56:01

RALLY NEWS NO.5 Service/Ennis/Sunday

1st (3) Brian OMahony/John Higgins (Impreza WRC) 49.27
2nd (1) Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 49.49
3rd (6) Kevin Kelleher/Ger Conway (Impreza WRC) 50.18
4th (5) Kevin Barrett/Conor Foley (Impreza WRC) 51.19
5th (9) Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Escort) 51.40
6th (12) Declan Gallagher/Gary Gallagher (Starlet) 52.30
7th (15) Jonathan Pringle/Martin Byrne (Escort) 53.04
8th (11) Anthony OHalloran/Charlie McEnery (Lancer N) 53.10
9th (10) Shane Maguire/Martin McGarrity (Impreza N) 53.28
10th (7) Colm Murphy/Don Montgomery (Impreza N) 53.44

Fastest through stage 6 was West Cork man Kevin Kelleher. Kevin has had a difficult time since he got his Impreza WRC so it was understandable that he was thumping the steering wheel with delight when he discovered he was fastest through the 17.4km Kells Cross test. Kevin said. “Everything worked that time and it was our first time on Pirelli slicks, they were really good”. In overall terms Brian OMahony has a 22s lead over Niall Maguire with 3 stages to go.

Both have the Dunlop Championship in mind but at the same time both of them would love a victory here today. OMahony was fastest through SS4 and then possibly backed off slightly when he saw his other championship rival, Thomas Fitzmaurice, stuck in stage 5. He may have relaxed just a little to allow Maguire to nibble a couple of seconds back. In SS6 Maguire and OMahony were equal on a time of 9.06 while Kevin Kelleher did a 9.02. OMahony reckons he will try and maintain his current pace through the final 3 stages. Maguire, although the roads are drying rapidly, feels there are still a few slippy patches. Kevin Barrett in 4th is keeping an eye on his Subaru’s rising coolant pressure gauge.

Fifth placed Frank Kelly said. “It’s a matter of doing nothing stupid now, just keeping the car on the road”. Jonathan Pringle had the fastest 2-wheel drive time through SS5 although he was 8s down on Frank Kelly through SS6. The reason for Colm Murphy’s slow time earlier was that the bonnet stay shorted across the battery. Colm stopped his Impreza to fix it and then when he re-started the bonnet flew open.

David Guest had a similar problem, but at the other end of his car. His Civic tailgate flew off after a big jump. The tailgate was parked securely in a ditch without even breaking the glass. David kept going but then started to feel unwell because of the fumes getting sucked into the car. Ironically, his Civic never went better! Shane Maguire got his Impreza clutch sorted through stages 4 and 5 but in stage 6 it started to give trouble again. Ed Synan is now settling down and he is holding station just outside the top 10, just ahead of Derek Daly/Diarmuid Falvey in their Lancer. Neil Pierce is a couple of places further back and leads cl.11.

BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net (with thanks to Angus Sealy: Martin Walsh: Dougie Hughes). Follow RallyNews on Twitter @PaceNotes or @Real_RallyNews

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