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Galway International Rally
RALLY NEWS No.7 - Ballinasloe - Sunday @ 17:03:57

RALLY NEWS NO.7 Service/Sunday

1st (3) Keith Cronin/Marshall Clarke (Impreza WRC)
2nd (13) Eugene Donnelly/Mark Mini (Mini WRC)
3rd (7) Declan & Brian Boyle (Impreza WRC)
4th (2) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Impreza WRC)
5th (6) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Impreza WRC)
6th (4) Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Impreza WRC)
7th (8) John Joe Fleming/Robbie Ward (Focus WRC)
8th (11) Alan Ring/Adrian Deasy (Lancer N)
9th (16) Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Lancer N)
10th (10) Sam Moffett/James O`Reilly (Lancer N)
1st Paddy Kiernan 2nd Tom Flaherty 3rd Stephen Hernon 4th Fergus O`Meara 5th Jim McKenna 6th Pat Kelly

Triple British Rally Champion, Keith Cronin along with his co-driver Marshall Clarke, really showed his class through this afternoon`s slippy and tough Galway stages. Despite using mostly second-hand Pirelli tyres Cronin just upped his pace on virtually every stage to win this Safety Direct Galway International Rally by xxxx seconds from Eugene Donnelly/Mark Kane. Former multiple Irish Tarmac Rally Champion Donnelly held the lead initially but had to eventually give way to Cronin and his ex-Thomas Fitzmaurice Subaru. Conditions were damp and slippery most of the way and it was to Cronin`s credit that he switched on so well to the right hand drive world rally car on his first outing in it.

Keith`s win today means that he also leads the Tarmac Championship and it should make for an interesting Round 2 – the Circuit of Ireland/Easter Stages if all the top drivers here today head for the Co. Down Easter classic. Keith said after the final stage. `It was a good day. I am not getting the most out of the car, there is more to come`. Donnelly commented. `I take my hat off to Keith. I am going to have to get a dress as I seem to be the bridesmaid now. We had some understeer with the Mini on the last loop but the cornering and braking of the is brilliant`.

Declan Boyle drove brilliantly this afternoon to move into 3rd place ahead of Derek McGarrity, both in Subarus. Derek had some early problems with the launch control and intercom as well as a wrong tyre choice but still looked secure in 3rd until Boyle made his charge. Donagh Kelly took a while to get going but he set some good time son his way to 5th o/a ahead of Thomas Fitzmaurice in 6th. Garry Jennings had an off day and had to be content with 7th place. John Joe Fleming and his co-driver Robbie Ward, on their 21st Galway International Rally as a team, are the highest placed Galway crew this weekend. Thomas Fitzmaurice was a last minute retirement when his Subaru stopped, reportedly with a seized differential.

Alan Ring/Adrian Deasy finished 8th o/a and won Group N. Sam Moffett in a similar Lancer was putting Ring under pressure going into the final stage but Sam`s Lancer developed a misfire and he dropped 30s that allowed his young brother Josh to get into the runner up spot in the Production category. In the Historic Rally Wesley Patterson was leading for most of the day but his Escort reportedly blew its engine on stage 7 which allowed James O`Mahony in his Volvo to take the lead and that was despite an early puncture.

Finally for now we would like to thank everyone who helped and supported our RallyNews service. Congratulations also to Victor Farrell and all his hardworking Galway MC team for putting together the rally. As ever, it has been a most enjoyable and interesting visit to Galway. Our thanks also to Dougie Hughes (Distribution) and Angus Sealy (Results) and Michael & Zoe Patterson.
BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net Follow RallyNews on Twitter @Pacenotes or @ Real_RallyNews

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