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Tour of the Sperrins
RALLY NEWS No.4 - After SS4 - Saturday @ 16:12:49

RALLY NEWS NO.4 Cranagh/End of SS5/Saturday 16.15

1st (116) Sean Devine/Robert McDaid (Impreza WRC) 23.01.7
2nd (1) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Impreza WRC) 23.15.9
3rd (14) Derek McGeehan/Eugene Donnelly (Corolla WRC) 23.27.8
4th (4) Camillus Bradley/Danny O'Neill (Escort) 23.42.0
5th (8) Seamus O'Connell/Andrew Grennan (Escort) 23.54.2
6th (3) Declan McNaughton/Sean Hayde (Escort) 24.19.0
The above times are from the first few cars on the road only and there may be later numbers such as Mark Donnelly in his GpN Lancer (25) who will come into the leaderboard.

It was Derek McGarrity who was fastest through stage 4, 12s better than his first visit to that Sawel Mountain stage. Derek commented at stage finish. “The car is a whole lot better. We changed the rear dampers and springs. It turns out they were Cataluyna springs that had been fitted, no good at all for the Sperrin Mountains! Sean Devine once again said. “Taking no chances”. Derek McGeehan in his Corolla WRC had a good time, but it was a couple of seconds off Devine’s time that meant no change to the top 3.

Camillus Bradley was the fastest of the Mk2 Escorts with a time of 4.21.5. Seamus O’Connell did 4.24.2. Frank Kelly recorded 4.31.2 and Adrian Hetherington 4.31.5. Camillus has raised the ride height of his Escort very slightly and was pleased with the handling that time. Frank Kelly had a bit of a moment on a square left but otherwise was please with the way he was going and paid special thanks to Ali Burrows who set up the geometry on the Escort.

In Group N Raymond Johnston set a time of 4.35 and Alan Carmichael 4.38 but we do not have a time as yet for Mark Donnelly who is apparently going very quickly. Johnston said that his Lancer’s brakes were a lot better on that stage but the suspension is still to soft. Carmichael in the Hankook backed Lancer reckons he is losing time off the start line as the clutch thrust bearing is pretty well knackered in the car.

Stuart Biggerstaff has the ride height raised on his Impreza and he set a good time, 4.29, which is on a par with George Robinson in his similar Impreza WRC. We thought earlier that David Armstrong had retired but in fact is still going, although he was stopped in stage 1 for many minutes replacing the exhaust manifold of his Escort. David has had lots of other problems with the car today and his co driver John Rowland said. “I would have been as well staying at home and working at the turf out in the bog today!”

Sean Haveron is having his first outing since his accident on the Townparks 18 months ago and he has been setting fairly decent times but now the gearbox mounting on the car is breaking and the engine is overheating, but he is still going. On the Manx National Rally Paul Bird has won from local driver Steven Quine. Jonny Greer was 4th and Keith Cronin slipped to 5th following a last stage accident. Wesley Patterson was 10th and best Escort.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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