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Clare Stages Rally
RALLY NEWS No.6 - Finish - Sunday @ 17:02:30

RALLY NEWS NO.6 Ennis Service/Sunday

1st (3) Brian OMahony/John Higgins (Impreza WRC) 1.14.19
2nd (1) Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 1.14.38
3rd (6) Kevin Kelleher/Ger Conway (Impreza WRC) 1.15.35
4th (5) Kevin Barrett/Conor Foley (Impreza WRC) 1.17.05
5th (9) Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Escort) 1.17.31
6th (7) Colm Murphy/Don Montgomery (Impreza N) 1.19.25
7th (15) Jonathan Pringle/Martin Byrne (Escort) 1.19.57
8th (10) Shane Maguire/Martin McGarrity (Impreza N) 1.20.245
9th (11) Anthony OHalloran/Charlie McEnery (Lancer N) 1.21.11
10th (16) Frank Sweeney/Jane Cogan (Escort) 1.22.47

Brian OMahony’s win here today on this tough Clare Stages Rally means that the Dunlop National Rally Championship could provide one of the closest finishes for years on the final round in Donegal. Niall Maguire’s 2nd place today keeps him in the championship hunt. Thomas Fitzmaurice did lead the rally earlier today but then retired with mechanical problems. Anyone of these three can take the National title. The championship pendulum has now swung OMahony’s way and he has 96 points. Fitzmaurice has 90 and Niall Maguire 80.

Kevin Kelleher has had all sorts of teething troubles with his recently acquired Subaru, but it all came good today with one fastest time and 3rd place o/a here at the finish. Kevin Barrett was keeping one eye on his Subaru temperature gauge through this afternoon’s stages but still finished 4th o/a.

Frank Kelly’s outstanding performance today in finishing best Escort and 5th o/a means he wins the Dunlop Mk2 Champions Trophy. Jonathan Pringle finished 7th today in his Escort and has won class 13. Pringle also set some scorching times. Frank Kelly wins Cl.14. Declan Gallagher was going very well earlier in his rear wheel drive Starlet but he retired near the end.

In the Group N category Colm Murphy staged a great fight back following a delay when his Impreza battery shorted out. His Subaru also suffered a damaged exhaust manifold through the afternoon stages. Murphy was 10th at 2nd service but has come back to 6th and has won the GpN category. He has also tied up the Motorsport Safety Team Group N Award for the C/ship. Anthony O’Halloran came out of semi rally retirement to finish 3rd GpN today with Shane Maguire 2nd in his Subaru despite worries about the car’s clutch. Derek Daly/Diarmuid Falvey were heading for 4th GpN but rolled their Lancer out of the rally in SS7. Another retirement was Declan Gannon/Alan Leonard when their Impreza broke a drive shaft between stages 7/8. In the Junior section today Bernard Foley won by 19s from Damien Boyle with Derek Butler 3rd – all three in Civics.

Finally for now well done to Clerk of the Course Dermot Kelleher and all his enthusiastic Clare MC team for their hard work in organising another great Clare Rally. Very many thanks to everyone that helped and supported us with our RallyNews service.

BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net Follow RallyNews on Twitter @PaceNotes or @Real_RallyNews

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