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Donegal International Rally
RALLY NEWS No.1 - After SS1 - Friday @ 13:07:38
RallyNews No1 – 13.00 hrs Friday Carndonagh Service
After stage 1 Coolcross

1st (1) Gareth McHale/Brian Murphy (Focus WRC) 6.46.7
2nd (2)Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Impreza WRC) 6.48.6
3rd (4) Keith Cronin/Barry McNulty (Lancer N) 6.58.9
4th (9) Daragh O’Riordan/Tony McDaid (Impreza WRC) 7.01.5
5th (11) Seamus Leonard/John McCafferty (Impreza) 7.01.7
6th (6) Aaron MacHale/Eugene O’Donnell (Focus WRC) 7.07.9
7th (7) Alastair Fisher/Rory Kennedy (Lancer N) 7.08.6
8th (8) Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Fiesta S2000) 7.08.7

Top Nationals – (23) Daniel McKenna – 7.08.3: (19) Manus Kelly – 7.15.0 (22) Rodney Wilton – 7.15.6.

There is an old adage in motorsport – it’s never too soon to start to winning. Gareth MacHale, no1 seed on this Topaz Donegal International Rally, set a scorching pace on the opening stage. He was fastest by 1.9 secs from Tim McNulty in their respective Focus and Impreza WRC’s. Gareth reckoned he picked slightly too hard a compound tyre, but was otherwise happy with his time. Tim stated that he drove well within himself and had a trouble free run. It’s interesting that Gareth is on a hard compound tyre, as the clouds are clearing rapidly here over the Innishowen Peninsula, and the tyres may be perfect for the Malin stage, before service.

Keith Cronin, 1st time out in the JRM Lancer, had a huge moment half way through the stage as Keith explained, “Big moment, I just cut too deep into a left hander”. The Lancer was dragging big sods of grass on the left hand front panel. Keith also was a little concerned that the outside of his tyres were scrubbing off badly. Alastair Fisher also had a fairly big scare over what he described as “A big jump not far from the start I had a monster moment.” He continued to tell us that it knocked his confidence slightly for the rest of the stage. Johnny Greer set a time of 7.25.4 and was another driver to have his confidence shaken when he got into a big slide near the start of the stage. Other GpN stories include Danny MacBride had a spin and recorded a time of 7.30.0 while just off the leaderboard is Damien Tourish, who reported a clean run in 7.12.9. Craig Breen picked too soft a tyre but is more concerned with fading brakes in his S2000 Fiesta. Some more National times include David Bogie in 6R4 on 7.19.0, and he describes the car today 2like a pizza oven” Wesley Patterson 7.20.7. Camillus Bradley 7.21.7 and Gary McPhillips 7.28.1. Phil Collins 7.21.9
Some changes from top of original entry list – Derek McGarrity and Sean Devine are non-starting. Denis Biggerstaff and Garry Jennings are poised to come in from reserves, no news on that.
More later, Brian & Michael Patterson.


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