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RALLY NEWS No.4 - RALLYNEWS No.4 - Friday @ 20:28:28
RALLY NEWS NO.4 Antrim/Friday

1st (W1) Gareth MacHale/Brian Murphy (Focus WRC) 35.44.7
2nd (W2) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Impreza WRC) 35.50.2
3rd (W4) Aaron MacHale/Eugene O'Donnell (Focus WRC) 37.32.1

1st (4) Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Fiesta S2000) 36.17.3
2nd (2) Keith Cronin/Barry McNulty (Impreza N) 36.36.7
3rd (1) Gwyndaf Evans/Phil Pugh (Lancer N) 36.38.7
4th (3) Alastair Fisher/Rory Kennedy (Lancer N) 37.12.6
5th (28) Daniel McKenna/Andrew Grennan (Lancer N) 37.14.1
6th (9) Adam Gould/Craig Drew (Impreza N) 37.26.9
7th (7) Bryan Bouffier/Xavier Panseri (Citroen DS3 R3) 37.41.5
8th (5) Jonny Greer/Dai Roberts (Lancer N) 38.05.3
9th (24) Marty McCormack/David Moynihan (Citroen C2R2 Max) 38.21.5
10th (8) Jason Pritchard/Robbie Durant (Impreza N) 38.52.4

In the WRC section of this Ulster Rally Gareth MacHale was fastest through stages 4 & 5 Knockboy & Glendun, whilst in the NI Rally section Keith Cronin was fastest through those stages in his Pirelli Subaru. What is really interesting is that Keith Cronin and Craig Breen where faster than the World Rally Cars of MacHale and McGarrity down that bumpy jumpy Orra Lodge/Glendun Road. At stage finish Gareth MacHale reported that he was feeling comfortable with the car and really started to open up. Derek McGarrity said “I’m not complaining that the chicanes being so tight. It is the same for everybody. But most of the drivers have 2 good arms, I only have one.” (that’s following Derek’s Manx accident). Aaron MacHale feels that his older model Focus doesn’t have the power of the newer cars. The Dutch driver Arjen de Koning finished the stage with grass and mud hanging from the front of his Lancer and Arjen said “I was lucky to be still going as the car hit a jump very hard and went into the hedge.

In the RallyNI section Gwyndaf Evans seemed much happier at stage finish. Keith Cronin is pushing hard, said he had a good run and no mistakes. Alistair Fisher is getting over his earlier suspension problem and said at stage finish “We had a couple of big moments over jumps. Keith Cronin must be mad at the speed his is going at” Craig Breen was really pleased with his run over Glendun and delighted as well to be beating the WRC times on that stage. Young Daniel McKenna said “Everything was 100%” Jonny Greer reported the chicane was opened up a little and was better, but an obscure electric fault seems to be causing his Lancers differentials to lock under braking.

The French driver Bryan Bouffier tried to adjust the dampers of his new DS3R3 on the way to the 5th stage but ran out of time. However in general terms Bouffier is running very well. Marty McCormack is having a great run and is really trying to match his times in the Citroen C2R2 Max to the new Citroen and Marty is within 1 second a mile.

Adam Gould continuous to set good times but is short of tyres and is having to fit second hand ones. Jason Pritchard lost just under a minute in stage 5 in his Impreza because of puncture 4 miles from the end of the stage. Neil McCance tells us that he is doing just enough to keep his nose in front of the Irish Evo Challenge contenders. Neil is 13th, Alan Carmichael is 16th, Brendan Cumiskey is a further minute back and Sam Moffett is several more minutes in arrears. Moffett’s Lancer is suffering from a broken brake pipe.

Alan Ring is changing spark plugs on his Lancer before every stage. The car still seems to be down on power and the spin at the last junction on stage 5 did not help the Killarney mans cause. Andrew Bushe has changed the tracking as well as the front tyres and rear suspension settings on his Citroen C2 S1600 and was a lot happier through stages 4 & 5. Matti Rantanen is 11 seconds down on Elfyn Evans in the Fiesta. Rantanen’s Twingo is suffering from some small stalling problem in the stages. Matti’s teammate Nikara has stopped out on stage 3 his Twingo losing the drive.

Mark Donnelly feels his Citroen C2R2 Max is struggling for power on the very fast sections. Daniel Sigurdarson has made a few changes to the suspension of his Lancer, stiffened it up and he is a lot happier. Joe McGonigle managed to finish stage 5 but his C2R2 Max seems to have a broken driveshaft, which could spell the end of the event for the Donegal man. Robert Barrable had a really good time through stage 4 after service to extend his lead in the Citroen Racing Trophy UK. Robert is 14th overall. Elfyn Evans is 15th and also had a good run.

More news later: BRIAN PATTERSON & CHRISTEL DEBERDT www.rallynews.net
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