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Cork 20 International Rally
RALLY NEWS No.2 - After SS1 - Saturday @ 10:42:14
RALLY NEWS NO.2 End of stage 1/Saturday

1st (4) Aaron MacHale/Eugene O'Donnell (Focus WRC) 8.37.4
2nd (2) Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Impreza WRC) 8.42.0
3rd (7) Daragh O'Riordan/Tony McDaid (Impreza WRC) 8.49.2
4th (3) Darren Gass/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 8.49.7
5th (1) Gareth MacHale/Brian Murphy (Focus WRC) 8.55.0
6th (6) Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Fiesta S2000) 8.58.0
7th (11) Colm Murphy/Don Montgomery (Impreza N) 9.06.9
8th (8) Alastair Fisher/Rory Kennedy (Lancer N) 9.08.6
9th (20) Mark Sheahan/Anthony O'Conaill (C2R2 Max) 9.20.0
10th (15) Sebastian Ling/Aled Rees (Lancer N) 9.21.1

When the rally cars arrived at the start of the opening stage the skies went black and the rain came pouring down. The first few cars probably got it easier than the others when the rain became torrential. Gareth McHale was first on the road through the 14.2km Mullaghanish test and at stage finish he said that his tyres were not right for the conditions and the car felt too hared with no feel. Indeed, none of the top drivers seemed to be happy with their tyre choice. Aaron MacHale did not seem to have quite the right rubber either on his Focus but he made the best of it ans was fastest. Denis Cronin was well down the time sheets, his Subaru suffering a fogged up windscreen. Craig Breen reported a half spin and felt that he couldn’t really commit on the wet roads. Daragh O’Riordan had a good run, although he was also on the wrong tyres.

Colm Murphy was fastest of the group N drivers and although he was another who was on the wrong tyres, he was laughing his head off at stage finish and said. "That was great craic”. Alastair was 2nd best GpN and Sebastian Ling 3rd. Expected GpN front runner Kevin Kelleher is reportedly stopped not far into the stage. Whether his Lancer broke something at the start line or he slipped off the road we do not know as yet.

Tommy Doyle was lying 11th o/a after the first stage in his Clio and that was despite power steering problems. Tommy also had a panic on the run up to the rally when his new engine arrive, but with no ECU! Brian O’Mahony is 15th o/a and he was working at his Clio on the road section after SS1. In the race for Citroen C2R2 Max honours Mark Sheahan was fastest and said at stage finish. “I’ve never been so frightened, it was so slippy”. Mark’s C2 was damaged on the front left corner, obviously he had lost no time. Robert Barrable was 6s slower than Mark and Marty McCormack was a further 4ws back. Highest placed Escort after SS1 was Ed O’Callaghan on 9.26: Barry Meade seems to have a problem with his Escort and his time was 9.42. Mervyn Wedlock was 9.49. Andrew Fanning’s Puma did not make it out of parc ferme problem with ECU. Aidan Harper in the black Range Rover spectator control vehicle reported lots of spectators at the hairpins on that first stage. Happily they were well behaved. On Rally France Loeb was a full 18s faster than Sordo through SS11 with Petter Solberg/Christ Patterson + 20s. Late news: Brian O’Mahony has withdrawn his Clio because a rear brake caliper is leading and he has no brakes.
More news later: 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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