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Donegal International Rally
RALLY NEWS No.7 - After SS8 - Saturday @ 11:40:53
RALLY NEWS NO.7 Service/Milford/ 11.40

1st (1) Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Impreza WRC) 45.02.1
2nd (5) Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 45.10.3
3rd (8) Sam Moffett/James O`Reilly (Impreza WRC) 45.39.7
4th (3) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Focus WRC) 46.33.5
5th (6) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Focus WRC) 46.39.3
6th (7) Seamus Leonard/Paul McLaughlin (Impreza WRC) 46.55.4
1st (17) Gary McPhillips/Paul Sheridan (Escort) 47.20.3
2nd (16) Manus Kelly/Donal Barrett (Escort) 47.29.9
3rd (11) Craig Breen/Karl Atkinson (Escort) 48.12.1
4th (19) Frank Kelly/Stephen Quinn (Escort) 48.19.0
5th (34) Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Escort) 48.19.0
6th (21) Damien Gallagher/Mac Walsh (Escort) 48.23.5

Knockalla is always a daunting stage but the 19.6km test is pretty terrifying on a wet morning. Garry Jennings was fastest with a time of 10.36.2. Darren Gass did 10.37.0 and Sam Moffett 10.46.6. Donagh Kelly also had a good run and his time was 10.54.5. For Derek McGarrity it was a disaster as his Focus WRC gearbox started playing up and was jammed in 5th gear for a while. Derek`s time was 11.20.8. He reckons that if he cannot find an answer to this gearbox malady there is no point in continuing. Garry Jennings commented after the stage. `It was very slippy. We did have a slight problem when the gearbox refused to downshift. I have been able to re-programme it on the road section and it seems alright for the moment`.

Darren Gass made little comment after the stage but did echo the sentiment about being slippy. Sam Moffett said he was being a bit cautious. Seamus Leonard stalled his Subaru at one point and is struggling to stay on the pace. John O`Donnell was 7th overnight but has lost at least 1 place after clipping the rear left wheel of the Subaru and bending a suspension arm that leave the wheel askew. Darragh O`Riordan was 25s off the fastest time for Knockalla, but he does seem a little happier with his Fiesta WRC. It is behaving itself a bit at the front but the rear suspension is still chopping all over the shop.

In the race for Group N honours Stephen Wright was fastest over Knockalla, despite an overshoot at the crossroads, about a third of the way through. Martin Doherty continues to lead the category and said he had no confidence over Knockalla. Joe McGonigle/Mac Kierans are now knocking on the top 10 and leading class 3. They did have some brake issues with their Clio but all now seems OK.

In the National Rally Adrian Hetherington was fastest over Knockalla which was quite some birthday present for him! Manus Kelly was just over a second faster than National leader Gary McPhillips. Manus thought he had not gone so well as he had picked a narrower rim and felt it was a disaster, but the clocks would indicate otherwise. McPhillips said he found the stage very shiny and slippery. Craig Breen reported a spin at the hairpin and he said. `Every man who was watching the rally was there at that hairpin!` Craig still had a very good time, just a few seconds down on the fastest Escort. Daniel Conaghan also had a good time, faster than Manus Kelly, just a smidgeon slower than Adrian Hetherington. Paul & Karl Reid had a spin in the stage and dropped about 10s.

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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