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Tour of the Sperrins
RALLY NEWS No.5 - Service - Saturday @ 14:52:15

RALLY NEWS NO.5 Service/Saturday

1st (1) Derek McGarrity/Diarmuid Falvey (Impreza WRC) 24.01.0
2nd (2) Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (Impreza WRC) 24.14.9
3rd (5) Marty McCormack/James O/Reilly (Fabia S2000) 24.22.1
4th (6) Derek McGeehan/Arthur Kierans (Mini WRC) 24.22.8
5th (3) Paddy McVeigh/Gary McElhinney (Impreza WRC) 24.23.3
6th (4) David Bogie/Kevin Rae (Fiesta R5+) 24.39.9
7th (9) Frank Kelly/David Vance (Escort) 24.55.1
8th (8) Camillus Bradley/Crawford Henderson (Escort) 25.10.9
9th (12) Adrian Hetherington/Ronan O/Neill (Escort) 25.21.9
10th (16) David Armstrong/Martin McGarrity (Escort) 25.53.2

With just 2 stages to go on this Sperrins Rally Derek McGarrity is looking fairly secure at the front, 13.9s up on Desi Henry. Of course the rally is still not over. Desi Henry was fastest through stage 5 so keeping the pressure on McGarrity. Derek also had a big moment at the end of that 5th stage when his Subaru came around a corner to find oil and cement dust all over the place. Co-driver Diarmuid Falvey told us later `It is not often I go quiet but I certainly went quiet there`. Desi Henry admitted to a moment at the same place but he already had an indication about the oil slick.

Marty McCormack was a few seconds slower than he had been previously through SS5 and it looked as if his Skoda tyres were past their sell by date when he got to the stage finish. The saving grace for Marty was that Derek McGeehan was also a bit slower on that stage, so Marty actually improved from 4th to 3rd. Marty admitted to a tank slapper! McGeehan reckoned the stage did not suit his Mini WRC so well, and that he had no real problem otherwise. Paddy McVeigh remained in 5th place despite a second fastest time in the stage, just 0.2 of a second down on Desi Henry.

Frank Kelly continues to lead the 2-wheel drive contingent although he was very slightly slower in stage 5. This was down to Frank`s Escort sustaining a puncture on the road section on the way to the stage, and then he fitted the spare that was not the same compound as the other tyres. Camillus Bradley is 2nd best Escort and he said. `We have had a nice run, but maybe too wise!` Adrian Hetherington was kicking himself when he reached service having stalled his Escort at the start of SS4 and losing perhaps as much as 15s. Seamus O`Connell arrived into service with a rear rim on his black Escort filled with muck, and when quizzed his co-driver Sean Magee rolled his eyes skywards and said. `The note was absolutely right, 5 left narrows into 3 right, tight kink. Seamus was a bit ambitious!`

In the race for R2 honours Callum Devine`s Opel Adam has been sidelined out of the lead in stage 4. The cause is as yet to be ascertained but it would appear to revolve around a broken drive shaft or rim. This leaves Jon Armstrong 13s up on Rob Duggan. Jon is trying as hard as he can, as is Rob Duggan, but Killarney man Rob reckons his Fiesta is just that tiny bit down on power compared to the Peugeot 208.

Another retirement is father and son team Michael & Dessie Nutt. Their Civic had a coming together with a hedge. Their class rivals Neil & Jamie Monaghan stopped with them to make sure they were OK.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON & MICHAEL & ZOE PATTERSON www.rallynews.net *Follow RallyNews on Twitter @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews

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