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PRH 2016
Ulster Rally
RALLY NEWS No.7 - Ebrington Service - Saturday @ 12:44:30
RALLY NEWS NO.7 Saturday/Ebrington Service 1245

1st (1) Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry (Fiesta R5)
2nd (3) Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Citroen DS3R5)
3rd (12) Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroen DS3R5)
4th (2) Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Fiesta R5)
5th (5) David Bogie/James O’Reilly (Fabia R5)
6th (6) Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Fiesta R5)
7th (8) Marty McCormack/David Moynihan (Fabia S2000)
8th (25) Rhys Yates/Tom Woodburn (Fiesta)
9th (15) Joe McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney (Fabia S2000)
10th (27) Matt Edwards/Will Rogers (Fiesta R5)
11th Jamie Anderson, 12th Ian Carmichael, 13th Brendan Cumiskey, 14th Alex Laffey

Stages nine and ten, Barnes Gap and Rousky were expected to be a real water shed in the rally but despite wet roads most drivers kept their noses clean and there was little change at the top end of the leaderboard. There were a couple of hard luck stories though – Desi Henry disappeared from 7th place when his Skoda R5 had power steering problems and he pulled out of the rally on the road section between Barnes Gap and Rousky. Swedish driver Fedrik Ahlin lost a massive 15 minutes in Rousky and his co-driver Eric Abrahamsen recounted ‘we were going very fast and I was too late with the information and we went into a left hand corner too fast and the car went through the fence and into the field’. When the car arrived in here the service in control the damage did not look too bad, lots of plastic panels broken but it should tape up okay.

Rally leader Elfin Evans said about those two stages ‘they were tricky enough and they were full wet conditions, very slippy but the car was working well’. Keith Cronin commented ‘my tyre choice was the safe option, I am not getting drawn into any battles with Elfin, erring on the side of caution’. Indeed through stage nine Keith was two seconds faster than Evans and then in stage ten he dropped six seconds to the young Welsh rally star. Jonny Greer was just over a second slower than Cronin through that 15.88 mile Rousky test, the longest of the rally. Most drivers seemed to really enjoy it. Alistair Fisher said for example ‘it was grand, tricky conditions yes, but challenging but I enjoyed it, that is what it is all about’. David Bogie had a good run through both stages and his co-driver James O’Reilly told us that ‘Yes it was slippy and we had a few moments, couldn’t get heat into the tyres’. When Marty McCormack brought his non turbo Skoda S2000 into service he laughed when he said ‘we need a turbo on this car, one from Scania will do, we had a real good go, loved every moment of it, now it is time for the Glenview Bar’. Marty of course tests his cars in that part of the Sperrin mountains and despite his undoubted speed and determination he still dropped time to the fastest R5 cars. Joe McGonigle in his similar Fabia S2000 also gave it a real good go in there but admitted to a few very big scares and even accomplished co-driver Ciaran Geaney admitted to going very quiet on a couple of occasions. We said earlier that Rhys Yates was from Wales and also that he was going really well on his first visit to this part of the world – well yes he is and he is up to 8th overall but he is not from Wales, he is from Chesterfield in Derbyshire.

In the National part of the rally Alan Carmichael has set a cracking pace with his Mini WRC through the last two stages to extend his lead. Chris Armstrong is second but is now one minute 30 seconds back with third placed Camillus Bradley a further 30 seconds in arrears. In battle for class 4 honours Callum Devine now leads Rob Duggan by 44 seconds, both in Adams, Rob Duggan can clinch the BRC junior championship here and that is presumably his priority rather than get locked into a battle with Callum. A further retirement is Fintan McGrady, his Escort reportedly off the road. Niall Curran/Chris McLoughlin have retired their Civic because of gearbox trouble. Tom Cave started 23rd overall this morning and is up to 15th place now.

More news to follow: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON & MICHAEL & ZOE PATTERSON www.rallynews.net *Follow RallyNews on Twitter & Facebook @Pacenotes or @Real_RallyNews


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