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RALLY NEWS No.5 - After last stage - Saturday @ 16:34:40

RALLY NEWS NO.5 Saturday/Carrigans
1st (2) Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Lancer N) 41.13
2nd (3) Jonny Greer/Dai Roberts (Lancer N) 41.14
3rd (71) Kenny McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Impreza WRC) 42.07
4th (4) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Lancer N) 42.37
5th (7) Martin Cairns/Andrew Purcell (Impreza WRC) 43.32
6th (6) Stuart Biggerstaff/Anthony Nestor (Impreza WRC) 43.39
7th (16) Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Escort) 43.45
8th (11) Marc Johnston/Colin Harkness (Lancer N) 43.47
9th (12) Errol Clarke/Barry McNulty (Lancer) 43.53
10th (5) Mark Donnelly/Sean Ferris (Lancer N) 43.54

We expected fireworks over the last 2 stages following Jonny Greer’s quick times through stages 5 and 6 when he moved into the lead. We were not disappointed, Alastair Fisher put on a fantastic performance to win the rally by 1s. A measure of just how fast Alastair was going was that he beat the “bogey” time through stage 7, Carrigans, by 8s. At stage finish Alastair said. “We knew we had to push and we were down just about every sheugh in those two stages. We broke 3rd gear as well.” The experienced Gordon Noble commented from the co-driver’s seat. “It was mighty and the notes are spot on!” For his part Jonny Greer wasn’t too disappointed and he said. “I knew it was going to be tight and Alastair would go hard. We pushed at the end but he took us by 1s. It was a good day, the car was perfect and I’m happy to be going to Rally Yorkshire with the set up”. Kenny McKinstry told us. “We went handy on the last stage but before that we were going hard. These two young guys in front are very quick”.

Donagh Kelly in 4th place was a little downhearted at the finish both at the way his own car had behaved and also at the speed of the drivers in front. However, Donagh’s co driver Kevin Flanagan said. “Credit where credit is due, they are on British Championship pace”. Stuart Biggerstaff kept everything together to finish 6th o/a, 4 places up on Mark Donnelly which will keep Stuart’s hopes alive at the top of the Hankook NI C/ship standings. Donnelly’s chances faded somewhat when his Lancer lost power on the last 2 stages. Also down on power at the end was Errol Clarke’s Lancer, a broken turbo pipe on stage 7 and then another broken pipe in stage 8 costing quite a lot of time. Marc Johnston’s Lancer survived a trip into the ditch 4 or 5 corners from the end of the last stage, so he was quite happy to finish 8th o/a. Ian Cochrane dropped out of the top 10 when his Lancer sustained a puncture 2 miles into the 11.2m Carrigans stage.

Frank Kelly was leading Escort going into that long stage 7 but he lost the lead when he took a big jump flat out and overshot the following square left, and then went off the road briefly on a left hander. In mitigation Frank said. “We threw everything at it”. It was Adrian Hetherington then who took the honours and he said. “We had a really good run on the long stage. I could do no wrong and had a couple of lucky escapes. That’s what you have to do to beat Frank Kelly!” Mark Barnett lost time when a plug lead came off his Escort engine. Ryan Barrett has reportedly been setting some quick times this afternoon in his Escort but we do not yet have his total.

Finally for now well done to CoC Keith Boyd and all the hard working Enniskillen MC team. This has been a really enjoyable rally for all concerned. Our thanks to all who helped and supported the RallyNews. BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

2020 Patterson Agencies

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