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RALLY NEWS No.9 - RALLYNEWS No.9 - Saturday @ 12:18:36
RALLY NEWS NO.9 Antrim/Saturday

1st (W2) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Impreza WRC) 1:11:29.6
2nd (W1) Gareth MacHale/Brian Murphy (Focus WRC) 1:11:33.9
3rd (W4) Aaron MacHale/Eugene O'Donnell (Focus WRC) 1:14:22.7
4th (W5) Arjen de Koning/Hein Verschuuren (Lancer WRC) 1:20:38.3

1st (4) Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Fiesta S2000) 1:12:45.8
2nd (2) Keith Cronin/Barry McNulty (Impreza N) 1:13:04.5
3rd (1) Gwyndaf Evans/Phil Pugh (Lancer N) 1:13:48.3
4th (3) Alastair Fisher/Rory Kennedy (Lancer N) 1:14:17.0
5th (9) Adam Gould/Craig Drew (Impreza N) 1:14:46.3
6th (7) Bryan Bouffier/Xavier Panseri (Citroen DS3 R3) 1:15:25.2
7th (28) Daniel McKenna/Andrew Grennan (Lancer N) 1:15:46.0
8th (5) Jonny Greer/Dai Roberts (Lancer N) 1:15:48.2
9th (8) Jason Pritchard/Robbie Durant (Impreza N) 1:17:09.3
10th (24) Marty McCormack/David Moynihan (Citroen C2R2 Max) 1:17:24.2

Through stages 9 &10 there was amazingly little difference in the times between the top WRC drivers, Gareth MacHale and Derek McGarrity. Gareth was 0.1s quicker through Tardree and McGarrity was 0.3s up through Langford Lodge. There was more dramas on the Rally NI when Gwyndaf Evans overcooked it on Langford and his Lancer hit a wall. Gwyndaf has kept going and made it back here to service. Craig Breen was a couple of seconds faster than Cronin and Evans through Tardree while Cronin was 3s up on Craig through Langford.

When the card reached service Gareth MacHale said that he definitely went for a bit of a push through those two stages. His focus steering wheel came lose but it didn’t affect the way he went. Derek admitted that there was a left hander into a jump bridge at a junction in Langford that was a lot more severe than he thought. But otherwise, he had a good run. Hein Verschuuren who is co-driving for Koning told us that Langford Lodge stage which is mostly nice and smooth suited them better and they only lost a few seconds per km to the WR Cars at the front.

When Gwyndaf Evans’ Lancer reached the in control into re-group, the engine stopped and he had to push it through the re-group. He then had to push the heavy Lancer into service which completely knackered the co-driver Phil Pugh. The accident apparently happened at a small crest and then downhill to a square right with Strangford Lough on the other side of the wall. The Lancer went a bit light after the crest and just wouldn’t slow down and very nearly joined the site where the flying boats used to take off during WWII. Craig Breen said that the first section of Langford Lodge didn’t suit his car at all but he was much more comfortable towards the end of the stage. Keith Cronin had similar thoughts and said it just wasn’t possible to make any time at the start of the stage but technical stuff towards the end was better. Overall Keith seems a lot happier with the Pirelli Subaru and remarked that at a test before the rally, he was happier with it than he has been all year. Alastair Fisher said after that 10th stage that he was, “Just going middling” and that he was just really on middle ground with regards catching anyone in front or being caught from behind. *** LATE NEWS: The JRM team worked like slaves to repair Gwyndaf’s Lancer here at service but it is all to no avail as the car wouldn’t re-start. It looks as if the engine could be knackered as a water hose to the bottom of the radiator was damaged in the accident and the engine overheated. You can’t say the team and Gwyndaf didn’t try!!!

Daniel McKenna reported two good stages but feels that his Lancer doesn’t have the legs of the cars in front. Bryan Bouffier in the new Citroen said that everything was going well but he would prefer to be going a bit quicker. Marty McCormack said that the power steering in his C2R2 Max was working a little bit at high revs but not at low speed where he really needed it at the junctions. Mark Donnelly in the next C2R2 Max said he is driving like a Granny. That he is just trying to get the car to the finish which is nearly harder than driving flat out. As if to re-enforce he said the car scrapped along a fence on the outside of a slippery 6R at the end of Langford and damaged the bodywork. Matti Rantanen in the Twingo says that he is driving too slow, not getting the rhythm. Alan Carmichael is close to home ground on the Cairncastle and Slemish stages and his times have improved somewhat today. Andrew Bushe has also been setting better times today now he has changed the set-up of the car. Mark Sheehan was another to tell us that he was going way better. The team changed the throttle body mechanism for the rally and it broke this morning. They put on another one and it has transformed the car.

Pat Kirk has got his black Lancer just into the top 20 – Pat hasn’t done a rally for 9 months – he is starting to get on the pace now. His co-driver, Peter Ward had a badly upset stomach yesterday, was a bit better today but has now been stung by a wasp and his hand is all swollen up. Always well known for his sympathy, his driver pat Kirk, “Glad it was him and not me!”

In the Historic section of the rally, Ray Cunningham in his Mini Cooper leads Cat1 from Jonathon Gale in his Tiger and with Dessie Nutt (Porsche) third. In Cat2 Keith McIvor in the Porsche has got ahead of David Stokes in his Escort. Jeremy Easson third. In Cat3 is being led by young Manx man Connor Corkill. Connor has been setting some remarkable times and he is well over a minute ahead of Will Onions who is also in an Escort and Rob Smith is third in his Chevette.

Just a reminder that there is an interesting new “Halloween Historic Stages Rally” at Carrick-on-Suir on October 31st – More info at www.carrickonsuirmotorclub.com

More news later: BRIAN PATTERSON & MICHAEL PATTERSON & THE GIRLS www.rallynews.net
*For SMS results text RALLY ITC to 53030 (Irl) or RALLY ITC to 60066 (UK). Text STOP to switch off. Cost 30c/25p. Provided by stagetimes.com

2020 Patterson Agencies

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