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RALLY NEWS No.14 - Letterkenny Finish - Sunday @ 17:01:11
RALLY NEWS NO.14 Finish/Sunday 17.00

1st (10) Manus Kelly/Donal Barrett (Subaru S12)
2nd (7) Keith Cronin/Mikie Calvin (Citroen DS3 R5)
3rd (8) Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson (Fiesta R5)
4th (9) Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Fiesta R5)
5th (14) Stephen Wright/Arthur Kierans (Fiesta R5)
6th (6) Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Fiesta R5)
7th (29) Aaron MacHale/Paul McGee (Fabia)
8th (34) Aidan Wray/Kieran McGrath (Lancer N)
9th (37) David Guest/Paddy Robinson (Lancer N)
10th (56) Callum Devine/Keith Moriarty (Opel Adam)

1st (19) David Bogie/Enda Sherry (Escort)
2nd (21) Frank Kelly/Michael Coady (Escort)
3rd (22) Damien Gallagher/Mac Walsh (Escort)
4th (24) Damien Tourish/Domhnall McAlaney (Escort)
5th (18) Declan Gallagher/James McNulty (Stalet RWD)
6th (30) Frank Wray/Joe McNulty (Subaru WRC)
7th Patrick McHugh 8th David Moffett 9th Patrick Boyle 10th Gary Kiernan

It was a grandstand finish to this 2016 Joule Donegal International Rally with Donegal men Manus Kelly & Donal Barrett coming out on top in their Subaru WRC. They went into the final stage over 9s down on Keith Cronin and came out 0.4 seconds in front. The blink of an eye but a very important blink of the eye. Keith Cronin and his co driver Mikie Galvin deserve every credit and it could have been so different a result if their Citroen DS3 R5 had not lost fuel pressure half way through that deciding final Fanad stage. Of course ifs and buts are irrelevant in rallying. Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson drove an immaculate rally to bring their Fiesta R5 into 3rd place. For the R5 drivers the name of the game is Clonakilty Blackpudding Tarmac C/ship points, and the points tally now is: Alastair Fisher and Sam Moffett equal first on 54: Keith Cronin has 49.5: Stephen Wright and Josh Moffett are equal on 48.

There was a massive crowd at the end of the Fanad stage and the tension was palpable as Cronin and Kelly approached the stop line. A terrific cheer greeted local man Manus when the times showed that he had taken victory. He won the National section of this event last year, and then to adapt to a World Rally car and first time out in the Subaru to win the Carlow Rally, then to take victory here on the Donegal International, is really quite remarkable. 31 year old Manus commented at stage finish. ‘This is unbelievable. I can’t get my breath back. Keith pushed us to the limit’. Co driver Donal Barrett said. ‘What a talent Manus is. We are going to enjoy this win for a very long time!’

Further stories from the Fanad stage include: Eugene Donnelly/Paddy Toner who were 5th o/a in the Mini WRC starting Fanad have stopped with a damaged radiator having made contact with the scenery. There are many congratulations in order to all those who have tasted success on this Donegal Rally, but a special well done to Scottish visitor David Bogie and his co driver Enda Sherry who have won the National Rally in their Escort. David is a long time supporter of the Donegal event and has been on the podium a few times, always in the Modified category, so this is a special day for David also. Second placed Frank Kelly said at the end. ‘David caught me with my pants down on High Glen and there was no catching him. Well done to him’

The Clerk of the Course of this Joule Donegal International Rally is Eamonn McGee. He is an exceptional man, cool and with time for everyone. The rally is such a massive event it takes a great team as well as the man at the helm to carry it all through. Thanks to all of them and also to the girls who work behind the scenes to keep the paperwork in order. Thanks also to all those who helped and supported our Rally News service.

BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON & MICHAEL & ZOE PATTERSON www.rallynews.net *Follow Rally News on Twitter and Facebook @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews

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