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RALLY NEWS No.4 - After SS4 - Sunday @ 14:33:28
RALLY NEWS NO.4 End of stage 4/Sunday
1st (2) Michael Barrable/Damien Connolly (Focus WRC) 35.06
2nd (3) Damian Cole/Craig Drew (Focus WRC) 35.22
3rd (8) Simon Mauger/Ashley Trimble (Escort) 35.39
4th (6) Michael O'Brien/Patrick Walsh (Focus WRC) 35.58
5th (18) Trevor Mulligan/Sean Hayde (Escort) 36.07
6th (9) David Kynaston/Andy Russell (Audi A3 Quattro) 36.13
7th (12) Declan McNaughton/Denis O'Mahony (Escort) 36.32
8th (16) Sam Moffett/James O'Reilly (Lancer N) 36.36
9th (21) Brian Brogan/Siamack Walsh (Escort) 36.46
10th (29) David Hardie/John McCulloch (Impreza) 36.48

Michael Barrable and his co driver Damien Connolly extended their lead through stage 4 setting an equal fastest time with Michael O’Brien in a similar Focus WRC. Damian Cole was fastest through stage 3 and had closed the gap up to the leader to just 4s when Damian lost his way a little in stage 4 as the rain cascaded down. That heavy rain caught out some of the top drivers who were on the wrong tyres and one who really suffered was Neil McCance. Neil reportedly put his Lancer off the road at a square right corner near the end of the stage.

Earlier we had reported that the Skoda WRC of John Stone had not appeared here at service. We have an unconfirmed report that the car succumbed to a turbo charger problem. Mark Jasper who is also one of the MSA Asphalt championship contenders retired his Metro 6R4 on stage 3 when he reportedly damaged a wheel. Michael Barrable was having a big problem with his Focus WRC misfiring over the early stages but told us at the end of stage 4 that the car was a lot better. The mechanics found a damaged spark plug and replaced it. Damian Cole was saying very little at the end of that 4th stage but obviously the Get Connected man really struggled in the rain. Maurice Moffett did not appear at stage finish and we hear that his Starlet rwd is parked up in the stage.

David Kynaston also admitted that he struggled with the wet conditions and from having been 2nd fastest in stage 3 the Devon man was 19s down on the fastest time through stage 4. Michael O’Brien normally rallies through the forests so the slippy conditions seemed to suit him and he was equal fastest with Barrable through 4. Simon Mauger gave the front of his Escort a bit of a nudge during an overshoot but lost little time. Declan McNaughton also had a big moment at a junction. Kenny McKinstry in the McNamara Escort had a fogged up windscreen and only one wiper working at stage finish. It would appear that it is a fairly run for McKinstry and his co driver Sean Mullally didn’t seem all that happy! Mark Courtney reported that Ardcath stage to be very slippy and his Celica was on the wrong tyres. Brendan Cumiskey had some light damage to the front corner of his Lancer and is down in 16th place. Highest placed GpN driver is now Sam Moffett who also leads the Evo Challenge contenders from Geoff McMahon. Brian Brogan’s Escort suffered a spin and stall. He lost quite a few seconds.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net
Thanks to Ciara & Dougie for Rally News distribution

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