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Donegal International Rally
RALLY NEWS No.9 - After SS11 - Saturday @ 14:55:29
RALLY NEWS NO.9 Saturday/Service
1st (1) Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Impreza WRC) 58.48.9
2nd (5) Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 58.55.4
3rd (8) Sam Moffett/James O`Reilly (Impreza WRC) 59.34.2
4th (3) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Focus WRC)
5th (6) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Focus WRC)
6th (7) Seamus Leonard/Paul McLaughlin (Impreza WRC)
1st (17) Gary McPhillips/Paul Sheridan (Escort)
2nd (16) Manus Kelly/Donal Barrett (Escort)
3rd (19) Frank Kelly/Stephen Quinn (Escort)
4th (11) Craig Breen/Karl Atkinson (Escort)
5th (34) Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Escort)
6th (21) Damien Gallagher/Mac Walsh (Escort)

Heavy rain made stage 11 very difficult for the drivers. Garry Jennings was fastest despite his Subaru windscreen misting up. Darren Gass was 2nd fastest but less than 1s in arrears. Derek McGarrity just pipped Sam Moffett for 3rd quickest. When Garry Jennings finished the stage he stopped for a quick confab with the spectating Kenny McKinstry, to see if Kenny could come up with a solution regarding the screen misting. It was much worse on the co-driver side than the drivers, but it was still difficult for Garry. Darren Gass who remarked at service earlier that he had nothing left in his efforts to catch Jennings reported an overshoot at a junction. He had to put his Impreza up an escape road to get room to spin it round and lost about 10s. It was so slippy that Derek McGarrity said. `It does not matter what tyres you have on in there, nothing is going to work. Over the last 3 miles even forest tyres would have been no good`.

When Sam Moffett finished the stage he went to great pains to say to McKinstry. `I am genuinely not pushing!` Donagh Kelly continues to impress in his new Focus WRC and he feels he is now getting the handling of the car. John O`Donnell had a good time on what is his home stage, although he was involved in an unfortunate incident at the start of the stage when he made contact with the passenger side door of Darragh O`Riordan`s Fiesta WRC. He not only squashed the Fiesta door he also squashed co-driver Tony McDaid`s hand. Darragh and Tony completed the stage with a decent time, but Tony is in a lot of pain.

In Group N Martin Doherty continues to lead the category but Stephen Wright in a similar Lancer is chipping away at Martin`s lead which is now down to 6s.

In the National Rally Manus Kelly was quickest through that stage 11 to reduce the lead to Gary McPhillips down to less than 3s. Frank Kelly also had a great time and he moves up to 3rd. Craig Breen has dropped back after over-correcting coming out of a junction and damaging the steering of his Escort. Paul & Karl Reid were another crew on their local stage and they indulged in a spin – familiarity breeds contempt! John McQuaid & Seamus O`Connor were up to 9th in the Nationals but they ran into a problem changing the differential on their Escort at service and they could be over maximum lateness.

Spirit of rallying – New York based Liam Egan travelled here to Donegal specially to do the rally and is driving the McGeehan Corolla WRC. Liam was caught in the rain on a stage earlier today. He overshot a corner and put the Corolla into a hedge. He said after the stage. `We dropped about 40s but we are still smiling and looking forward to the rashers and sausages in service`.!
Finally for now our thanks to Brigid Wilhaire for her generous hospitality.
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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