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Circuit of Kerry
RALLY NEWS No.4 - After SS4 - Sunday @ 14:47:57
RALLY NEWS NO.4 End of stage 4/Sunday
1st (114) Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 27.1`1
2nd (1) Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 27.13
3rd (2) Niall Maguire/Barry Goodman (Impreza WRC) 27.28
4th (6) Ed O'Callaghan/Ger Clancy (Escort) 28.20
5th (5) Mike Quinn/Grainne McEnery (Escort) 28.29
6th (3) Alan Ring/Adrian Deasy (Lancer N) 28.35
7th (8) Eamonn Daly/Brian Doherty (Lancer N) 28.42
8th (10) Vincent O'Shea/Brian Hickey (Escort Cos) 29.16

On the 2nd run through Minard Castle Darren Gass turned in a stunningly fast time to move into the lead of this Circuit of Kerry Rally. Kevin Barrett had led and was running first on the road through the stage. When Kevin’s Triton Showers Subaru reached stage finish he told us. “We went on a push there. The tyres were on the limit”. Kevin seemed hot and puffed which was an indication of how hard he had been trying. Niall Maguire was 2nd on the road and when he brought his Subaru to a halt the clock showed that he had b33n 6s faster than Kevin. Then, however, when Darren Gass arrived Barrett was shocked to see that the young man from Armagh was 16s quicker. Darren remarked. “It didn’t feel anything special I just kept it neat and tidy”. Niall Maguire said. “I pushed hard in there and thought I got the right tyre choice”.

What will be critical now as to how the tyres will perform through the next 2 stages before service so the leaderboard could well change again. Ed O’Callaghan was the fastest of the Escorts through the stage, 11s up on Mike Quinn. Eamonn Daly was the best of the Group N drivers 1s faster than Alan Ring. Daly said. “It is nice to be back on the pace”. Alan Ring reported that he had lost some time with an overshoot at the end of a very long straight. Vincent O’Shea came to the stop line of that stage 4 and although he had a good run, particularly considering that this was his first rally since last year’s Lakes, but his Escort Cosworth seemed to be boiling up. David Percy is now on a total of 30.07 which should see him on the edge of the top 10 but he lost a few seconds because of a wrong tyre choice. David was running intermediate damp weather tyres on what are now bone dry roads. His HANS device also came loose in the stage and that cost him a few seconds. Both Richard Burke in the Subaru and Neil Pierce in his Civic seem to click on to form through SS4, having been unsettled on the earlier stages.

In the race for the best Junior performance today Anthony Hand/Laura Fuery had a superb run through stage 4 and were 14s quicker than their closest rival Sean Liston/Katrina Walsh in a Nova. It was a little frustrating for Liston as he said that he had given it everything but his 1.6 Nova seems to be outgunned by Monaghan man Hand’s Escort. Stephen Baxter was holding a top 10 place in his Fiesta but reports are that the clutch, which had been slipping earlier, has now given up the ghost. Gerard McCarthy was running in the Historic section but his Triumph TR7 has slipped off the road in Minard Castle stage. Mike Walsh has crashed his Escort out, as has Mike Kenny. We reported earlier that Mike O’Leary’s BMW had stopped on stage 1. It transpired dthat the problem was a broken throttle cable. That has now been repaired and Mike along with co driver Sean Moriarity have resumed OO duties.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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