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RALLY NEWS No.1 - After stage 1 - Saturday @ 11:16:23

RALLY NEWS NO.1 Castlewellan/Service/Saturday
1st (13) Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (Impreza WRC) 8.37.0
2nd (1) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Mini Countryman) 8.39.0
3rd (2) Kenny McKinstry/Noel Orr (Impreza WRC) 8.40.5
4th (6) Alistair Cochrane/Ian Kidd (Escort) 8.56.4
(12) Paul Killen/Enda Kennedy (Escort) 8.56.4
6th (37) Damian Toner/Barry McPartland (Escort) 8.59.9
7th (9) Emma McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Impreza WRC) 9.03.1
8th (22) Ashley Dixon/Wendy Blackledge (Lancer N) 9.04.9
9th (8) David Armstrong/Damien Fleming (Escort) 9.06.3
10th (11) Ray Brammer/Gary McElhinney (Impreza WRC) 9.08.5

Desi Henry & Liam Moynihan were a late entry on this Down Rally as they thought the Impreza WRC engine would not be ready in time. It turned out it was ready and when the car arrived in here to the Square in Castlewellan for the start ramp it was immaculate. Obviously it is going as well as it looks as Desi was fastest through the opening stage. Desi seems unperturbed about carrying the number 13 and indeed said it is generally a lucky number for him. Interestingly Desi spun and stalled his Impreza on that first stage but still set fastest time.

Derek McGarrity reported a huge moment over a crest when his Mini WRC lost grip and went slithering at a great rate of knots into a square left. He said that for a split second he could see a lot of damage coming. Derek had to withdraw the car last weekend from the Donegal Harvest when the turbo boost control gave trouble. The car has been away to Prodrive to get sorted, and he now has a spare air chamber boost control taped to the roll over cage in the car. It is called a `Vuvuzzala`……heavens to Betsy, what next? We thought maybe that was a musical instrument….or a fine Italian wine!

Kenny McKinstry overheated his Subaru clutch on the start line of that Loughisland Reavy stage and had to drive gently for a mile or so that he reckons cost him 10s. Camillus Bradley recorded a time of 9.13.8 and said at stage finish. `The stage is a bit of a lottery, dry in some places and very wet in others, but overall it is drying out well`. Alistair Cochrane turned in a good time, equal fastest Mk2 Escort, with Paul Killen. Alistair has the 2wd part of the McGrady Insurance NI Rally C/ship more or less sewn up and if he has a good run today could get into the top 3 o/a points. Joe McGonigle thinks his new Skoda S2000 is fantastic but struggled a wee bit on that opening stage as he became accustomed to the new car, his time was 9.28.3. George Robinson`s Lancer seemed to be leading oil and there was some smoke at stage finish.

Ashley Dixon stalled his GpN Lancer and he reckoned he dropped 10s but was still fastest GpN from Geoff McMahon. Geoff & Ashley are fighting for the GpN honours in the NI C/ship. William Armstrong`s Escort has reportedly stopped at the stage 1 finish with engine problems. Several drivers reported a manhole cover to have popped up near stage finish. It does not appear to be causing a problem.

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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