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Circuit of Ireland
RALLY NEWS No.8 - Armagh - Sunday @ 12:18:21
RALLY NEWS NO.8 Service/Armagh/Sunday
1st (1) Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Impreza WRC)
2nd (4) Kenny McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Impreza WRC)
3rd (3) Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC)
4th (5) Garry Jennings/David Moynihan (Lancer N)
5th (15) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Lancer N)
6th (11) Phil Collins/Derek Brannigan (Escort)
7th (16) John Dalton/Gwynfor Jones (Darrian)
8th (6) Alan Ring/Adrian Deasy (Lancer N)
9th (28) Sam Moffett/James O'Reilly (Lance N)
10th (36) Brendan Cumiskey/Jason Ollerenshaw (Lancer N)

The situation at the top of this Circuit of Ireland changed somewhat with the opening Sunday stage near Emyvale in Co. Monaghan. It was dry here at Armagh when the top cars left but had started to rain, quite heavy in places, on the 8.35 mile Emyvale stage when the top cars arrived. Most of the crews were on slick dry weather tyres that made the going difficult. Both Kenny McKinstry and Derek McGarrity spun their Subarus at a downhill slippy junction. Kenny’s Subaru stalled and he lost about 30s. Derek lost virtually no time. The gap between the two was just over a second in Kenny’s favour leaving Armagh but now Derek leads the rally by almost 30s.

When Derek McGarrity got to the stage finish his hands were shaking with the tension of his run and he said. “We pushed really hard, it was a crazy run”. Kevin Barrett still holds 3rd but the Triton Showers man was depressed at the end of that stage 11. His mechanics had changed just about everything on the car to cure the handling fault and this morning they changed the wiring loom. That is a massive job but the fault in the car is not cured.

Garry Jennings had a decent run but was being careful on his dry weather slick tyres. He still set fastest GpN time although by just a couple of seconds from Sam Moffett. Moffett belied his tender years by taking the attitude of driving really hard where there was grip and very steady where it was slippy. Phillip Morrow is contesting the Super Rally section now after losing a lot of time yesterday and he lost a few seconds while new brake discs bedded in. Eugene Meegan dropped over 2m when his Lancer slid off the road at a slippy square right junction. The car got stuck in the ditch but spectators were able to lift the Lancer back on to the tarmac. Several of the drivers who were in the top 15 at the end of Day 1 have not re-started as they were contesting the NI Championship part of the rally. These include Neil McCance, George Robinson and Mark Donnelly. Drew Stewart was 15th overnight and leading his class but he has not re-started either, reason as yet unknown. Steve Perez has his VK Energy Lancia Stratos back out on the stages today and he is contesting the Super Rally section.

Wesley Patterson/Martin McGarrity are thankfully both OK after their accident on stage 10. Indeed Martin is competing on today’s leg of the rally with his brother Ruairi. Wesley is in hospital for a check up and has pulled a muscle in his back and would like to thank everyone who helped and is really apologetic about causing the stage interruption.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net (Our thanks to Michael Patterson)

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