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RALLY NEWS No.4 - After SS6 - Saturday @ 16:03:51

RALLY NEWS NO.4 End of stage 6/Saturday
1st (3) Jonny Greer/Dai Roberts (Lancer N) 26.30
2nd (2) Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Lancer N) 26.31
3rd (71) Kenny McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Impreza WRC) 27.03
4th (4) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Lancer N) 27.22
5th (12) Errol Clarke/Barry McNulty (Lancer) 27.33
6th (9) Ian Cochrane/Ray Fitzpatrick (Lancer N) 27.34
7th (7) Martin Cairns/Andrew Purcell (Impreza WRC) 27.57
8th (11) Marc Johnston/Colin Harkness (Lancer N) 28.02
9th (5) Mark Donnelly/Sean Ferris (Lancer N) 28.06
(15) Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Escort) 28.06

There was light rain falling on stages 5 and 6 when the top competitors arrived there after service. To a certain extent this played into Jonny Greer’s hands as he had “mud” tyres fitted. These have a slight more open pattern to cope with the softer conditions and Jonny was 2s faster than Alastair through stage 5 and then another 2 up through stage 6 to leave the Carryduff man leading by 11s going into the 11.2 mile Carrigans stage.

Alastair Fisher made no particular comment at the end of those 2 stages and basically said that he had had a good enough run. Kenny McKinstry told us he got the chicane in Conagher right this time but the conditions were slippy and on some corners fairly large stones are appearing. Donagh Kelly has changed the suspension set up on his Lancer and he was a bit happier at the end of stage 6. Mark Donnelly felt he was being just a bit too cautious but his confidence is gradually returning following his dramas in Davagh last weekend.

Frank Kelly has taken the lead in the 2 wheel drive category. Despite that Frank maintained that he just couldn’t get the flow through stage 6. Adrian Hetherington did lead the Escorts after service but he didn’t fit new tyres to his Mk2 and it looks like it has cost him a few seconds. The man who did fit new tyres for the 2nd loop was Andrew Trotter but that turned out to be a disastrous move as he had 2 spins and was not a happy man at all. Stuart Biggerstaff is lying just outside the leaderboard on a total of 28.08. Adrian Hetherington is on 28.07 and Cyril Doherty 28.18. Joe McGonigle retired his Citroen C2R2 Max earlier today because of a broken CV joint on a drive shaft. Joe has now joined the “OO” squad.

Rally Japan is now on its 2ndf overnight halt and Petter Solberg/Chris Patterson are back in the lead, just over 3s ahead of Hirvonen with Ogier 3rd, Sordo 4trh, Latvala 5th and Loeb 6th 37s in arrears of the lead. There are 55km of stages on Sunday. Damian Cole in his Focus WRC leads Wexford Rally, Washington James was 2nd, Danny Barry 3rd and Neil McCance 4th. Finally for now many thanks to Ivan Fisher all his hospitality and to Alastair’s girl friend Fiona for the tea and sandwiches.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net


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