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Cavan Stages Rally
RALLY NEWS No.1 - Pre start - Sunday @ 09:30:25

RALLY NEWS NO.1 Rally HQ/Sunday/09.30

Today’s Cavan Stages Rally marks the halfway mark in the Dunlop National Championship, as well as being round 3 of the class based Hass Border series. Former multiple National Champion Niall Maguire heads the field out from the Kilmore Hotel for the seven special stages. There were 9 tests scheduled but stages 2 & 5 will not run because of a bereavement. Niall Maguire, winner here in Cavan for the last two years, currently leads the National points. However Monaghan man Niall will be under pressure from Kevin Barrett, Melvyn Evans and Derek McGarrity, all in Subaru WRC’s. Also in a Subaru WRC is Tim McNulty, who runs at No.2 today. Tim is not contesting the Championship, and is here primarily to test his Impreza before the Topaz Donegal, although winning Cavan would be a welcome bonus!

Behind the WRC cars at the front, Garry Jennings is at 6 in his GpN Lancer. Garry has had the car overhauled and the rear differential was on an overly tight setting. Garry reckons the change has made the car a lot easier to drive, particularly through the slow corners. Just some of the other top GpN contestants include Danny McBride (No15), Sam Moffett (No16) Sean Flanagan (No17), and Trevor Bustard (No 18). Flanagan’s Lancer had a new gearbox fitted this week, it didn’t work out and he was going to withdraw from the rally. But then another box was found at Mark Nangle’s, so Sean’s Impreza is all stations go again. Donegal man Trevor Bustard was testing his Lancer last weekend, and the differential blew, so happily his Mitsubishi, which Trevor says is ‘flying’, has been restored to good health.

Running at No.7 Is Daniel McKenna, the first of the Mk2 Escorts in the rally. At 8 is Ballyjamesduff man Rodney Wilton in his Escort and at No10 is Declan Boyle in his Mk2. Manus Kelly (Escort) was to have started at 9, but he has withdrawn. Just outside the top ten are Russell Woods, Adrian Hetherington and Trevor Mulligan, all in Escorts. The fast nature of the stages in places may not overly suit the Fords, but it will still come as no surprise to see at least a couple of those Mk2’s right at the top of the leaderboard before the day is out. The top Escorts nearly all run in class 14, although Russell Woods’ example is in class 13. Other top class 13 entries that should be in the thick of the action include Mervyn Deane, Victor Hunter and Mervyn Wedlock. Top class 9 entry is the remarkable Lloyd Hutchinson, with Kevin Flanagan co-driving in his Mini. This is a real giant killing combination, and their Mini heads the points in the Border series, with Enda McLoughlin, Gerry Smith and Victor Hunter also on maximum points.

Crews come from far and near to be part of this Cavan Rally, through few will have come further than Paul Rowley, who has come all the way from New York, just to compete. Paul drove in the rally 25 years ago (when Kenny McKinstry and the late Bertie Fisher were doing all the winning), and really wanted to do it again, so here he is. Paul has his brother Gerard from Longford co-driving, and they will be in a Civic, starting at 125.

As is the way these tough days, there are quite a few non-starters from the original list, but a few late entries as well, so around 124 cars should cross the ramp. One of those late entries is Jim McKenna and he will start between 29 & 30, although keeping the No.135 on his Starlet.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

2018 Patterson Agencies

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