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RALLY NEWS No.2 - After SS2 - Saturday @ 14:02:28

RALLY NEWS NO.2 From end of stage 2/Saturday 12.05

1st (2) Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Lancer N) 5.49
2nd (3) Jonny Greer/Dai Roberts (Lancer N) 5.50
3rd (71) Kenny McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Impreza WRC) 5.58
4th (4) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Lancer N) 5.59
5th (9) Ian Cochrane/Ray Fitzpatrick (Lancer N) 6.01
(12) Errol Clarke/Barry McNulty (Lancer) 6.01
7th (7) Martin Cairns/Andrew Purcell (Impreza WRC) 6.10
(16) Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Escort) 6.10
9th (5) Mark Donnelly/Sean Ferris (Lancer N) 6.11
(15) Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Escort) 6.11

Rally leader Alastair Fisher found the opening 2 stages, Conagher and Big Dog, very loose on the top and his Lancer was struggling to find grip. First on the road Kenny McKinstry reported that his Impreza WRC came into contact with a chicane barrel but otherwise he had no problems. Jonny Greer was equal with Fisher’s time through stage 2, Jonny having had a really good run.

Donagh Kelly felt he was a fraction slow on the opening stage. Donagh’s Lancer has been fitted with new suspension for today and perhaps it took him a mile or two to settle in but he did find the car slightly nervous. Mark Donnelly said he was playing it safe but had a good clean run. He is thinking very much about Hankook championship points and his number one priority today is keeping ahead of Stuart Biggerstaff. When Stuart arrived at the end of stage 2 he said. “It is slippy but good fun. We’re having lots of slides”. Fisher Engineering man Ian Cochrane felt he was a little slow over the opening 2 stages but when he compared his times to the cars in front he cheered up somewhat. Cyril Doherty’s Impreza is making horrendous noises in the clutch department. But it seems to be working OK. Marc Johnston was a bit cautious over the opening stage but went well on the 2nd one. Errol Clarke had a really good run on the opening stages to hold 5th equal overall and Errol feels there is a bit more to come from his older model Lancer.

In the battle for 2 wheel drive honours Adrian Hetherington had a stunning time through stage 2 to just get ahead of Frank Kelly. Kelly was heading off to stage 3, the 11.2 mile Carrigan stage and was planning to take the 2 spare wheels out of the boot and fit them to the rear of his Escort. Andrew Trotter felt he was on the wrong tyres this morning, his total after the 2 stages was 6.27. Vivian Hamill was on a total of 6.26 and he felt he was a bit rusty.

On Rally Japan Petter Solberg & Chris Patterson lost their lead this morning when they got penalised 10s for an alleged jump start but Petter who is of course a private entrant, has battled back into the lead. Latvala had got in front but he has dropped a few seconds with a broken drive shaft.

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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