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RALLY NEWS No.3 - Service - Friday @ 16:32:47

RALLY NEWS NO.3 Service/Letterkenny/Friday

1st (3) Declan & Brian Boyle (Fiesta WRC) 24.03.4
2nd (2) Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Focus WRC) 24.06.6
3rd (10) Manus Kelly/Donal Barrett (Subaru S12) 24.11.6
4th (6) Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Fiesta R5) 24.37.5
5th (11) Seamus Leonard/John McCafferty (Subaru S14) 24.37.9
6th (8) Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson (Fiesta R5) 24.40.5
7th (9) Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Fiesta R5) 24.45.1
8th (16) Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroen DS3 R5) 25.20.2
9th (7) Keith Cronin/Mikie Calvin (Citroen DS3 R5) 25.28.3
10th (15) Joe McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney (Fabia S2000) 25.32.0

1st (20) Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan (Escort) 25.21.2
2nd (24) Damien Tourish/Domhnall McAlaney (Escort) 25.22.2
3rd (17) Jonathan Pringle/Alan Keena (Escort) 25.25.7
4th (18) Declan Gallagher/James McNulty (Starlet RWD) 25.26.5
5th (22) Damien Gallagher/Mac Walsh (Escort) 25.36.0
6th (21) Frank Kelly/Michael Coady (Escort) 25.39.9

Declan Boyle was fastest on this 2nd run over Trentagh, 1s up on Manus Kelly with Donagh Kelly half a second further back. Tight stuff indeed. Declan Boyle commented. ‘It took the tyres a while to heat up so it was a bit hairy at the start.’ Seamus Leonard set another good time despite a worrying few moments when he cracked the front left wheel of the hired McKinstry Subaru against the scenery and damaged a rim. Fortunately the tyre did not deflate. In the battle of the R5s Alastair Fisher turned in a scorcher of a time to move to the front and he said his Modern Tyres backed Fiesta felt a lot better having been breathed upon by Dom Buckley at service! Keith Cronin had led the R5 category but his Fiesta suffered a puncture and he dropped about a minute. In his desperation to pass the struggling Cronin Sam Moffett clipped the corner of Keith’s Citroen resulting in a little superficial damage to the Moffett machine. Stephen Wright set a good time making up for some of his time loss earlier. Josh Moffett also went well so it is very tight at the top! Eugene Donnelly had asked Derek McGeehan to tighten up the suspension in the Mini WRC and Eugene reported that the car felt fantastic.

When asked how he was getting on, 7 times Tarmac Rally Champion Eugene Donnelly told us. ‘In pure enjoyment terms, one hundred per cent. Donegal has something special. It is 7 years since I have done this rally. (He was 2nd in the Skoda). I have got older and slower, but anyway you can’t come to Donegal after 7 years and expect to be on the pace. It is interesting that the R5s are going so well. The time is coming when an R5 will get an outright win on this type of event. You cannot halt progress. I hope to be in the top 10 on the first day and the top 5 at the end.’

In the National Rally we have unconfirmed news that Vivian Hamill, who was 5th, has blocked stage 4. Out at the front of the National Brian Brogan still holds the advantage and when the top drivers were quizzed about how they got on in the stage, all they wanted to know was how the other drivers had fared. Four of the top drivers finished on the same second – which is pretty amazing.

Clerk of the Course of this rally, Eamonn McGee, has again done a brilliant job to get this huge event up and running and to top it all he became a Grandfather this week. We understand the new arrival Daisy, is doing well. We offer our congratulations.

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ & MICHAEL & ZOE PATTERSON *Follow Rally News on Twitter and Facebook @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews

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