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Tour of the Sperrins
RALLY NEWS No.2 - Maghera - Saturday @ 13:53:02

RALLY NEWS NO.2 End of stage 1/Saturday

1st (1) Camillus Bradley/Charlie Beatty (Escort) 4.08.6
2nd (6) Derek McGeehan/Michael Orr (Mini WRC) 4.11.1
3rd (3) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Impreza WRC) 4.13.3
4th (4) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Impreza WRC) 4.15.5
5trh (5) Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly (Escort WRC) 4.17.8
6th (14) James Laverty/Francis Regan (Impreza N) 4.26.2
7th (88) Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 4.30.0
8th (11) David Armstrong/Paul Mulholland (Escort) 4.40.8

The above times are from the top few cars only. A few more times include – Alistair Cochrane 4.43 and Keith White 4.49 while racing man Steven Kane recorded 5.04. This is very unrepresentative as Kane`s Mini WRC had a throttle problem on the stage start line and he went into the stage on tick over until eventually he got it sorted. This cost him at least 25 or 30s.

Early times from stage 2 show Derek McGarrity fastest by 1s from Donagh Kelly so Derek now leads from Donagh with Camillus Bradley 3rd, Derek McGeehan 4th and Peadar Hurson 5th.

Sods Law being what it is driving rain and hailstones descended over Sawel Mountain just as the cars were about to start. Minutes earlier it had been bright sunshine and drying roads, which combined to make it difficult for the drivers. Derek McGarrity was first on the road and when he brought his Impreza WRC S14 to the finish of the stage he said to Kenny McKinstry, who just happened to be standing there. `It is crashing out over the bumps`. Kenny as quick as a flash said. `Turn the high speed knob in, clockwise, that will cure it!`

Indeed that opening Sawel Mountain stage is very full of crests and lots of high speed jumps. It was all the more surprising then when Camillus Bradley brought his Mk2 Escort to the stage finish and was showing a fastest time. Co-driver Charlie Beatty showed us his card and it was very definite. Charlie shrugged his shoulders and said. `Time will tell through the day`.

Derek McGeehan was 2nd fastest and his co-driver Michael Orr reported. `No dramas`. Donagh Kelly said. `Slippy and tricky in there!`. Peadar Hurson had a good run in his Escort WRC, The car almost certainly a real handful over that stage.

James Laverty was the first of the group N cars through the stage and he set a very respectable time and reported no problems. Keith White in the Mk1 Escort said he had a couple of big scares that took the wind out of his sails.

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

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