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RALLY NEWS No.3 - Service - Saturday @ 15:37:52

RALLY NEWS NO.3 End of stage 4/Saturday

1st (1) Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Impreza WRC 35.23
2nd (7) Declan & Brian Boyle (Impreza WRC) 35.34
3rd (5) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Impreza WRC) 35.42
4th (4) Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 36.28
5th (3) Thomas Fitzmaurice/Fionn Foley (Impreza WRC) 36.42
6th (2) Brian OMahony/John Higgins (Impreza WRC) 36.43
7th (9) Kevin Kelleher/John McCafferty (Impreza WRC) 37.36
8th (18) Declan Gallagher/Eamonn Doherty (Starlet) 37.38
9th (37) Dessie Keenan/James McCarville (Escort) 38.04
10th (20) Martin Doherty/Damien McAuley (Lancer N) 38.15

Garry Jennings and his co-driver Neil Doherty arrived at the end of stage 4, the 2nd run over the Ballintra stage, and Garry said. “That’s the first time I really broke sweat. The grip was ten times worse than the first time through and there was no grip in the village at all”. Still, Garry was fastest, by 2s from Declan Boyle with Donagh Kelly 3rd fastest. Declan Boyle reported that the handling of his Subaru was much improved following adjustments at service. While Donagh Kelly said. “Very lucky to be here. The car broke away on a 5 right and something nice and solid in the hedge pushed the car back on to the road”.

In the National Championship battle between Maguire, Fitzmaurice and OMahony Niall Maguire was fastest of the three through stage 4 by 2s from Thomas Fitzmaurice with OMahony a further 9s back. Thomas Fitzmaurice was happy with his tyre choice for that stage. OMahony reported an overshoot at a junction that also caused further pain in his wrist.

Frank Kelly arrived at stage finish in a bit of a fluster. Damage to the front right of his famous blue Escort reinforcing what he said. “We were having a real good cut in the stage but then went off on a shiny 6 left into a garden.” Frank had said earlier that he was driving middle of the road with the championship in mind, but obviously he forgot about that!

Alistair Cochrane emerged from stage 4 with the right rear tyre on his Escort punctured. Gary McPHillips’ Escort has stopped in the stage. Dessie Keenan had a great run through SS4 as he regained all his old magic and was just 7s down on Declan Gallagher and equal with Jonathan Pringle. The reason for Shane Maguire’s retirement earlier was gearbox problems. American visitor Enda McCormick put his Lancer into the scenery briefly in stage 4 and is continuing despite crushed boost pipe.

Martin Doherty continues to lead group N while both Pat Kirk and Josh Moffett improved their performance through stage 4 but were still shy of Doherty’s time. Joe McGonigle is finding his Clio very difficult over the bumps and he lost the back end while flat in 6th gear and then in another place he was in the hedge for about 20 yards at about 10mph. Young Cork driver Damien McCarthy is setting good times but reckons the stages are too bumpy for his Civic. Martin McGee has his 16-year-old daughter Clodagh co-driving today for the first time and they are not too far off the pace.

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

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