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Fastnet Stages Rally
RALLY NEWS No.4 - After S4 - Sunday @ 12:54:58
RALLY NEWS NO.4 End of stage 4/Sunday 1pm
1st (2) Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Impreza WRC) 37.54
2nd (4) Daragh O'Riordan/Tony McDaid (Impreza WRC) 38.07
3rd (3) Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 38.20
4th (9) Ed O'Callaghan/Ger Clancy (Escort) 38.55
5th (12) Sean Flanagan/Brian Duggan (Impreza N) 39.25
6th (10) Brian O’Mahony/John Higgins (Clio) 39.35
7th (119) Mike Quinn/Grainne McEnery (Escort) 39.45
8th (8) Declan & Brian Boyle (Escort) 39.51
9th (15) Eugene Meegan/Brian Sharkey (Lancer N) 39.52
10th (18) Thomas Fitzmaurice/Fionn Foley (Lancer N) 40.01

On the first stage after service that was a repeat of Rea Crossroads, Melvyn Evans was 30s faster than his first visit to move into the lead of this Fastnet Rally. Daragh O’Riordan had led but the Midleton man lost time when incurred a puncture. Keith Cronin set another fantastic time, slower than Evans but faster than Barrett & O’Riordan. However Keith paid quite a dear price this time as the rear end of his Lancer was in bits when he finished the stage, evidence of side-swiping the West Cork scenery on a square right corner. Keith told us. “I touched the handbrake and the car slid further wide than I thought it would.” When Melvyn Evans’ Subaru arrived into the finish of the stage he said. “It all feels really good now”. Kevin Barrett told us he had a good run but seemed to be disappointed when he learned that Evans was 20s faster. Daragh O’Riordan’s puncture happened on a square corner and he finished the stage on the flat wheel which he then changed after the stop control.

In Group N Jer O’Donovan woke up on that stage and set a time of 10.09. Eugene Meegan seems to have the anti lag sorted on his Evo 10 and he set 9.59. Sean Flanagan’s Impreza clipped another bale and his time was 10.13. Thomas Fitzmaurice had a great run to do 9.55. Apparently Shane Maguire is running back in the eighties although he was supposed to have started No.11. Shane reportedly was working at his car at the start control of stage 1. For some reason there are no road penalties shown and his times would bring him into the bottom end of the top 10.

Brian O’Mahony had a big moment on a square right on stage 4 which took the wind out of his sails a bit. In stage 3 his Clio spun and hit a bale but the Cork man’s times are still good. Ed O’Callaghan was the fastest of the Mk2 Escorts through 4 and at stage finish Ed and his co driver Ger Clancy, almost in unison, said. “That was flat to the mat, there is no more left”. Declan Boyle seems to have his Escort reasonably well sorted out and is holding his place in the top 10, but through stage 4 he was 12s slower than O’Callaghan although 7s quicker than Mike Quinn. Damien McCarthy and his co driver Eamonn Hayes had a great run through stage 4, indeed have been going well since the start, and they are just outside the leaderboard on a total of 40.11. Their Civic leads class 11. Lloyd Hutchinson had his Mini up to 6th o/a and led class 9 but reportedly has stopped after the finish control of stage 4.

News coming in from SS5 is that despite a big overshoot Evans was fastest, 9s up on O’Riordan and Barrett. (That info came from Prodrive engineer Richard and our thanks to him). On Rally Spain Sordo set fastest time on the long penultimate stage and is now only 5s behind Petter Solberg in the battle for 2nd place. Loeb still leads – one stage to go.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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