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Circuit of Kerry
RALLY NEWS No.5 - After SS6 - Sunday @ 15:07:58

RALLY NEWS NO.5 Tralee Service/Sunday

1st (114) Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 36.49
2nd (1) Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 36.58
3rd (2) Niall Maguire/Barry Goodman (Impreza WRC) 37.11
4th (6) Ed O'Callaghan/Ger Clancy (Escort) 38.43
5th (8) Eamonn Daly/Brian Doherty (Lancer N) 38.47
6th (3) Alan Ring/Adrian Deasy (Lancer N) 38.48
7th (5) Mike Quinn/Grainne McEnery (Escort) 38.49
8th (18) Tommy Mason/Podge Doody (Escort) 40.00
9th (15) Richard & John Burke (Impreza) 40.01
10th (10) Vincent O'Shea/Brian Hickey (Escort Cos) 40.04

With just 3 stages to go and 22s separating the top three cars it is all to play for on this Circuit of Kerry Rally. Darren Gass was fastest through the last 3 stages even though he wasn’t exactly on the right tyres. There is now beautiful warm sunshine right down the Dingle Peninsula so all the drivers have picked dry weather slick tyres which will mean a real high speed battle and no ifs and buts regarding the rubber.

There is also a great battle between the top 2 Escort drivers, Ed O’Callaghan and Mike Quinn, just 6s between them. Also there is only 4s splitting the top two group N drivers, Eamonn Daly and Alan Ring. Frank Kelly has spent most of the day getting to grips with his 5 cylinder engine in his Escort and also getting a good asphalt set up for his Escort’s suspension. It is all coming together now for Frank and his times are almost on a par with the top Escort men but he is lying 11th o/a and it is still a matter of fine tuning for Frank.

Alan Ring was a little disappointed with his times over the last few stages. He is driving really hard, braking late and is now starting to wonder is the car suffering slightly from turbo lag.

We mentioned earlier that Thomas Fitzmaurice who was up to 3rd o/a in his GpN Lancer had retired at the start of stage 2. Thomas told us that it was the gearbox that let go. He feels that the new turbo restrictor regulations mean that the group N cars are producing so much more power that it is throwing extra stress on the transmission. David Percy picked the wrong tyres for the last loop and he has dropped from the top 10 to 14th o/a. Tommy Mason is having a good run to hold 8th and lead cl.12. Vincent O’Shea reckons that his Escort Cosworth overheating problem is down to a recalcitrant fan motor and the mechanics are going to have to take the sump guard off to try and get it fixed.

The Junior rally finished after stage 6 and Anthony Hand/Laura Fuery (Escort) have won by 29s from Sean Liston/Katrina Walsh in their Nova.

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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