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RALLY NEWS No.2 - After SS1 - Sunday @ 11:30:30

RALLY NEWS NO.2 End of Stage 1/Sunday
1st (2) Michael Barrable/Damien Connolly (Focus WRC) 9.16
2nd (8) Simon Mauger/Ashley Trimble (Escort) 9.22
3rd (3) Damian Cole/Craig Drew (Focus WRC) 9.25
4th (10) Neil McCance/Jonny Hart 9Lancer N) 9.27
5th (7) Mark Jasper/Don Whyatt (Metro 6R4) 9.32
6th (6) Michael O'Brien/Patrick Walsh (Focus WRC) 9.35
7th (18) Trevor Mu8lligan/Sean Hayde (Escort) 9.37
8th (5) John Stone/Stephen McAuley (Fabia WRC) 9.40
9th (9) David Kynaston/Andy Russell (Audi A3 Quattro) 9.42
10th (16) Sam Moffett/James O'Reilly (Lancer N) 9.46

The opening stage, Ardcath, was slightly damp but with the ambient temperature being quite high most of the drivers plumped for a slick dry weather tyre. The problem for the crews is that they have 3 stages to do before service, and we have heard that stage 3 at Ashbourne is quite damp.

As can be seen above, Michael Barrable was fastest through the opening stage despite his Focus WRC having a chronic misfire by stage finish. Michael, last year’s winner, still did a remarkable time of 9m16s for the 16.53km stage. Also pretty remarkable was Simon Mauger’s time through the stage in his Mk2 Escort. Damian Cole was finding his feet a little and trying to judge the braking distances as he reacquainted himself with Irish tarmac stages. Neil McCance was 4th fastest and told us at stage finish that he had been very nervous starting the stage and felt he could have been faster. Still, Neil was fastest of the Evo Challenge contenders. Sam Moffett recorded a 9.46 and said he had one very hairy moment. Brendan Cumiskey feels that he is still getting used to his Lancer after his long rally lay off. Another of the Evo runners, Geoff McMahon, had a fairly good run and recorded a time of 9.52, good enough for 15th o/a.

Michael O’Brien had some gearbox problems with his Focus WRC. John Stone’s Skoda seemed to be slightly down on power. John felt that perhaps the turbo was not up to scratch. Mark Jasper in the Metro 6R4 was having some brake issues and also felt the car was down on power. Also in brake trouble was Mark & Mick Courtney in their big Celica. Declan McNaughton had a spin in his Escort and lost a few seconds. Mark Nangle finished the stage with one of his Subaru tyres rapidly deflating. Michael Curran’s Mk2 Escort had a crumpled right front mudguard as a result of clattering into a bale chicane. Roger Donnan in the 1600 Puma was in 26th place but still led class 6. Maurice Moffett was back in 19th place after having a spin in his Starlet and losing some time.
More news lat3er: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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