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RALLY NEWS No.7 - Gort Service - Sunday @ 10:13:12
RALLY NEWS NO.7 Gort Service/Sunday 10.15

1st (4) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Focus WRC) 44.04.4
2nd (5) Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson (Fiesta WRC) 44.55.3
3rd (3) Eugene Donnelly/Paul Kiely (BMW Mini WRC) 44.55.8
4th (7) Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Fiesta WRC) 45.24.0
5th (1) Declan & Brian Boyle (Impreza WRC) 47.02.0
6th (6) Dean Raftery/Mark Kane (BMW Mini WRC) 47.24.1

1st (8) Declan Gallagher/Ryan Moore (Starlet rwd) 47.01.1
2nd (21) Liam Howlett/John McGrath (Escort) 48.33.4
3rd (19) Mickey Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips (Escort) 49.10.1
4th (82) John & Thomas Lynch (Escort) 49.17.7
5th (50) Ross Marshall/Dave Robson (Escort) 49.23.5
6th (34) Declan Wilmott/Anthony Nestor (Escort) 49.44.2

Today`s opening stage, Black Road, was quite icy in places but clear of fog and it was Donagh Kelly who made the best of the conditions to set a fastest time. Indeed, Donagh blitzed the opposition, 6s quicker than Sam Moffett who was 1s faster than Declan Boyle. Declan was of course relegated from 1st to 5th on the overnight results when a 3m penalty was applied following an incident at the start of stage 4 when Declan`s Subaru refused to fire up. Ironically, the stage actually started late which is why Declan switched the car off in the first place. There has been a small ongoing worry with his Impreza regarding this refusal to start when hot. Declan`s engineer Robbie McGurk has taken an electronic module from Garry Jennings` car overnight and has fitted it to Declan`s Subaru this morning to see if this will alleviate the problem.

When the top drivers reached the end of the Black Road test (SS7) they were more or less singing from the same hymn sheet in their comments about the ice and how difficult the conditions were. Eugene Donnelly said. `It was unpredictable and knocks the confidence`. Sam Moffett did have a good run and moved from 3rd to 2nd place. Sam`s brother Josh was a bit downhearted when he saw that he had dropped 16s. Declan Boyle was cool and calm at stage finish and did not seem too concerned about losing the time to Donagh. The name of the game now for Declan is try and have a good fast run to the finish and collect as many Tarmac C/ship points as he can. Dean Raftery was 18s down on the fastest time and he said. `That was not easy. Very tricky`.

Declan Gallagher continues to lead the National section and although he was much faster than the Escorts behind Declan said that his Starlet was simply getting no grip on the ice. Joe McGonigle had a bit of a moment at the start of the stage and then caught an Escort halfway through, so his time suffered slightly. Gus Kearney`s Group N Lancer was having a brake problem at the stage start. We have some news just in that stage 8, Lough Cutra, will not run because of the fog and ice, so if Kearney can get his Sepam Lancer through the Black Road he will be able to come straight back here to service.

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON & MICHAEL (with thanks to Aidan Harper) www.rallynews.net *Follow RallyNews on Twitter & Facebook @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews

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