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Donegal International Rally
RALLY NEWS No.2 - After SS1 - Friday @ 12:51:08
RALLY NEWS NO.2 Service Park/Friday
1ST (2) Declan & Brian Boyle (Impreza WRC) 4.26.7
2ND (1) Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Impreza WRC) 4.27.2
3RD (3) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Focus WRC) 4.31.3
4th (5) Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 4.35.3
5th (8) Sam Moffett/James O`Reilly (Impreza WRC) 4.35.9
6th (4) Darragh O`Riordan/Tony McDaid (Fiesta WRC) 4.38.8
1st (17) Gary McPhillips/Paul Sheridan (Escort) 4.38.6
2nd (16) Manus Kelly/Donal Barrett (Escort) 4.43.7
3rd (18) Rodney Wilton/Conor McMahon (Escort) 4.44.6
4th (21) Damien Gallagher/Mac Walsh (Escort) 4.46.5
5th (34) Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Escort) 4.50.1
6th (22) Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan (Escort) 4.51.6

The above times are from the first cars on the road only. Weather conditions at the end of that opening 9.4km Brenagh stage were brilliant, warm and dry. As can be seen above Declan Boyle was fastest by just a whisker from Garry Jennings. Boyle did say that there seemed to be something overheating underneath the car and there were fumes coming into the Subaru. News coming in from Kevin O`Driscoll on stage 2 is that Boyle is slowing and has been passed by Derek McGarrity. Boyle`s Impreza seems to be crabbing or locking a wheel or possibly a puncture. Garry Jennings reckoned his tyres had gone off slightly on that first stage, overheating.

Derek McGarrity felt that his Focus suspension was set too low. Similarly Darragh O`Riordan felt his Fiesta was too low and bouncing on some of the jumps. His Fiesta WRC has the facility for the driver to adjust the ride height himself between stages. Darren Gass, who celebrates his 25th birthday today, had a really good time and reported his car in good shape. Donagh Kelly dropped a few seconds when he stalled his Focus at the start of stage 1. Sam Moffett reported all well while Seamus Leonard felt there was something not right about hi Impreza clutch.

Further WRC times include: Donagh Kelly on 4.50.3: Seamus Leonard 4.50.2: Martin Doherty was the fastest of the GpN runners on 4.46. Stephen Wright 4.49. Josh Moffett 4.55. Shane Maguire 5.12. As expected it was hot and heavy stuff between the Escort men. All the top drivers made it through the stage. Craig Breen was just outside the top 6 in the Nationals, his time was 4.52.7. Craig was struggling with the handling on the Escort. Some other National times include – Frank Kelly on 4.53.3 and Phil Collins on 4.54.3.

One of the first retirements of the rally is sadly the larger than life F1 pundit, Tony Jardine and his famous journalist co-driver Maurice Hamilton. They struggled to the end of the first stage with their Lancer clanging and banging. It looks like a broken drive shaft may be the culprit and they do not want to risk going into stage 2 in case they hold up another competitor.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net With thanks to Michael & Zoe Patterson) *Follow RallyNews on Twitter @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews

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