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RALLY NEWS No.3 - After stage 3 - Sunday @ 11:28:17
RALLY NEWS NO.3 Service/Ennis/Sunday
1st (3) Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Impreza WRC) 23.03
2nd (4) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Impreza WRC) 23.11
3rd (2) Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Impreza WRC) 23.23
4th (5) Daragh O'Riordan/Tony McDaid (Impreza WRC) 23.51
5th (1) Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 23.52
6th (136) Wesley Patterson/Martin McGarrity (Escort) 24.13
7th (140) Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 24.27
8th (8) Anthony O'Halloran/Charlie McEnery (Lancer N) 24.28
9th (10) Shane Maguire/Paul Kelly (Impreza N) 24.45
10th (7) Mike Quinn/Grainne McEnery (Escort) 24.59

After stage 2 Derek McGarrity led the rally with Melvyn Evans and Tim McNulty tying for 2nd. In stage 3 McNulty really got the finger out to set fastest time and move into the lead. When Tim’s Subaru came into service he said. “I’m beginning to lift it a bit. I was cautious on the first two stages”. Derek McGarrity admitted that he was a little cautious through stage 3 as it was very slippy, wet and shiny in places. When asked about his tyre choice, Derek said that he probably got it pretty close but there is no right tyre really to cope with all the different conditions. Niall Maguire certainly got it wrong on that opening loop of stages and the 4 times National Champion said. “I’m struggling, too hard a compound tyre”. Melvyn Evans started the rally at a massive pace but he said after stage 3. “I’m pulling back a bit. Thinking of the championship”. Daragh O’Riordan set respectable enough times through stages 2 and 3 despite having a brake problem on his Subaru. It sounds as if a brake disc is loose or has cracked. Kevin Barrett made much the same tyre choice as Niall Maguire and he paid the price with average times on that opening loop.

Declan Boyle was the first of the Escorts on the road but he has crashed his Mk2 at the end of a long straight into a square corner in stage 2. Wesley Patterson is fastest of the Escorts so far and reports no problems. The Lisburn man did say however that he nearly crashed into the garden of Father Ted’s house! Mike Quinn is upping his pace and following his lack of confidence on the opening stage said at service. “I’m getting my head round it a bit now”. David Armstrong is on a total of 25.55 and told us this is the first time he has had his new Escort out in wet conditions and the suspension seems a bit stiff, plus the differential setting a bit loose. Aidan Walsh is driving a hired Mick McQuaid Cl.14 Escort and his total is 25.52, one place behind Richard Burke who is on 25.43 in his Subaru. David Percy leads cl.13 in his F2 type Escort and he is in 14th o/a. Trevor Bustard is 13th and lost some time with worn front tyres through stage 3. Pat Kirk is going nicely and is 12th o/a and 3rd GpN. Lloyd Hutchinson is doing his usual giant killing act and has his Mini in 11th o/a and leads cl.9. Anthony O’Halloran was fastest GpN through his home stage near Ruan and was equal 6th fastest with Niall Maguire. Sean Flanagan lost time when he spun his Impreza in stage 2 and then the car suffered a puncture in stage 3.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.netWith thanks to Dougie Hughes & Aidan Harper)

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