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RALLY NEWS No.4 - After SS4 - Saturday @ 15:50:08

RALLY NEWS NO.4 Maghera/Service/Saturday

1st (85) Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (Impreza WRC) 23.29.0
2nd (70) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Impreza WRC) 23.45.9
3rd (77) Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont (Mini WRC) 24.24.1
4th (1) Camillus Bradley/Crawford Henderson (Escort) 24.25.7
5th (84) Frank Wray/Joe McNulty (Impreza WRC) 24.33.5
6th (59) Anthony Cairns/Mark Preston (Impreza) 24.37.2
7th (8) Kevin Bradley/Graham Henderson (Escort) 24.44.4
8th (48) Alistair Cocrane/Paddy McCrudden (Escort) 24.53.0
9th (80) David Armstrong/Paul Mulholland (Escort) 25.03.4
10th (83) Seamus O`Connell/Sean Magee (Escort) 25.03.5

Following service after stage 3 the cars headed back to a repeat of the morning stages and through the short muddy Fields of Hope stage Derek McGarrity set fastest time, by 3s from Desi Henry. This whittles Desi`s lead from 20s down to 17s, but with just 2 stages remaining the odds are stacked against McGarrity taking the lead. The top few drivers reported a bit more grip in the stage than there was this morning, but then the black clouds rolled over and there was torrential rain making the stage just as wet and slippy for the later numbers as it had been in the morning. Camillus Bradley had a cracker of a time through the stage, and he is closing in on Alan Carmichael for 3rd place.

Gary Cairns remains the top group N contender in his Lancer, but he did drop a few seconds to Seamus O`Connell in his Escort in that stage 4. This allowed Seamus into 10th o/a and relegated Gary to 11th. Shane McGirr had a fairly miserable run through the morning stages, but changed the front suspension springs on his Starlet and he set a good time through stage 4, 20s quicker than his earlier time. However, having dropped so much in the morning Shane is back in an unaccustomed 21st o/a. In 12th overall is Fintan McGrady and he is 3rd in class 7 behind David Armstrong and Camillus Bradley. Ian Millar/Tommy Speers continue to lead cl.4 in their Escort despite the intercom woes this morning. Enda McNulty is in 25th place. Enda gradually becoming accustomed to driving a Mk2 Escort instead of his more usual Subaru Impreza.

Liam McFall reported a drop in turbo boost through stage 4 and that cost him a few seconds. Geoff McMahon stalled his Lancer at the stage start that cost him quite a few seconds, and indeed so tight is the battle for Group N honours that the slightest blink can cost a few places.

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

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