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RALLY NEWS No.3 - Service after stage 3 - Saturday @ 15:27:18

RALLY NEWS NO.3 Service/Saturday

1st (3) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Impreza WRC) 20.34.1
2nd (4) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Impreza WRC) 20.41.7
3rd (1) Camillus Bradley/Charlie Beatty (Escort) 20.49.2
4th (6) Derek McGeehan/Michael Orr (Mini WRC) 20.52.3
5th (5) Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly (Escort WRC) 21.03.1
6th (87) Desi Henry/Damien Duffin (DS3R3) 22.04.1
7th (95) Declan McNaughton/Sean Hayde (Escort) 22.04.7
8th (88) Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 22.08.2
9th (104) Mark Donnelly/Barry McNulty (DS3R) 22.27.1
10th (18) Jonny Leonard/Niall Byrne (Lancer) 22.33.1

A combination of difficult terrain and hail showers has made stages 2 and 3 extremely difficult. Several well known drivers have put their cars off the road. Racing driver Steven Kane is off in stage 2 as is Tommy O1Connoll & Brian Duggan, rally.ie man Brian reckons they need a Massey Ferguson to get their Escort out of the bog. James Laverty`s Impreza finished its rally in a stage 2 ditch and Trevor Ferguson`s similar group N machine crashed in stage 3, near the Davagh Forest. Those in mechanical bothers include Kevin Barrett, his Impreza WRC suffering a chipped 4th gear cog. Vivian Hamill`s Escort is stuck in 5th gear here at service and is going no further. Anthony Cairns reckons there is something broken in his Impreza gearbox and he may not continue.

Out at the front of the rally Derek McGarrity leads Donagh Kelly by 7s with Camillus Bradley now 3rd a further 8s back. McGarrity told us that his Impreza WRC is still bouncing at the rear but he is fairly certain that they can dial that out here at service. Donagh Kelly said. `We are being a bit too cautious but going alright`. Camillus Bradley said. `We could have done with a harder compound tyre. Where the road is clear there is fantastic grip`1. Derek McGeehan said. `I am comfortable with my pace. I picked a soft compound wet tyre which was cautious.` Peadar Hurson who is doing a good job to hold 5th in his Escort WRC said. `The car is very nervous and weaving on the straights`.

David Armstrong reported a good steady run with no problems. Declan McNaughton reckons he needs to step it up on the 2nd half of the rally. Kieron Graffin is hitting a good pace and is now the bench mark in group N. Desi Henry said he is settling down as he re-adjusts to tarmac stages. Mark Donnelly in the similar Citroen reported his DS3R3 bouncing very badly over the jumps, but then as he said himself. `The tarmac set up was only finished last night and we are here to get prepared for the Jim Clark Rally`. Jonny Leonard reckons he needs something done to the suspension of his Lancer to cope with these stages. Stanley Ballantine found that when he pressed the brake pedal the engine was revving up and then it seemed to cure itself on the way into service.

Paul Barrett reported a few very big moments over the opening stage then had a puncture so admitted `Not a great run`. Niall Henry has brake issues on the rear of his Impreza. Anthony Cairns has a misfire on his Impreza. The last time the car was out was on Sligo Rally last year and it misfired there too!

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net (Thanks to Christel Patterson, Michael Patterson & Dougie Hughes) *Follow RallyNews on Twitter @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews

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