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Cork 20 International Rally
RALLY NEWS No.1 - Pre Start - Friday @ 18:29:40
RALLY NEWS NO.1 Silver Springs Hotel/Friday evening

The scene is set here this weekend on this Orchard Motorsport backed Cork ‘20’ for a classic rally, the climax of this season’s Citroen Tarmac Championship. Gareth MacHale will drive his Focus WRC away from the Silver Springs Hotel to tackle one of his toughest rally challenges. Gareth has to produce enough speed to win but also make sure he finishes the rally, which will guarantee him his first Tarmac Champion’s title. Clerk of the course Colman Hegarty has planned a very tough route for the 90 or so crews in the main field plus the Juniors and Historics. Tough, but brilliant and encompassing some challenging, exciting roads around the Macroom area.

Stage names such as Lough Allua, Fuhiry, Mushera and Mullaghanish bring a smile to every true rally person’s face, and evoke memories of classic battles in the past, including the time Gareth’s father Austin won his first international rally here and went on to win 5 Tarmac titles. Just some of the drivers who will be doing their best to deny Gareth MacHale all the limelight include his brother Aaron, as well as 2005 Cork ‘20’ winner Tim McNulty in his Subaru. Another driver in with a shout is seasoned campaigner Denis Cronin, winner of this year’s Killarney Lakes.

Local man Daragh O’Riordan has his Subaru totally revamped for the fray and will be going for a good result. Then there are 3 young drivers Craig Breen, Darren Gass and Alastair Fisher. Any one of them is more than capable of shaking the opposition. Alastair is one of the favourites to take the Tarmac title if Gareth MacHale or his Focus stumbles, but it is a big ask for Alastair in his GpN Lancer. There are so many good drivers in the rally, from GpN exponents such as Kevin Kelleher and top Mk2 driver Barry Meade, that it should really be a fascinating event. Mervyn Wedlock in his Mk2 Escort and Geoffrey Dolan (Sunbeam) will be locked in battle for the top Modified honours in the Tarmac C/ship. Another Mk2 2 driver, Ed O’Callaghan, leads the Southern 4 Ch/ship of which this is a round. Brian O’Mahony in his Clio is just 1 point in arrears.

Top seeded Junior is Jonathan O’Callaghan in his Peugeot 106, while Todd Falvey in his Porsche 911 heads the Historic field. The ‘slowly sideways’ club in their cars from the GpB era will precede the rally through many of the stages and should add a bit of extra colour.

A late addition to the entry is Marty McCormack/David Moynihan in their Citroen C2R2Max. They run with the number 98 on their car and will add spice to the battle for Citroen Racing Trophy honours. Marty was going to compete on Rally France this weekend, but due to administrative difficulties has ended up here, and has every chance of winning the Citroen series once again. Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly are 6 points in arrears and the newly married Adrian McElhinney is 3rd, a further 8 back. Any of these three could win the Citroen kudos. Non-starters from the original published entry list include Ger O’Donovan (19) and Charlie Hickey (27).

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

2020 Patterson Agencies

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