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RALLY NEWS No.9 - Armagh - Sunday @ 13:33:06
RALLY NEWS NO.9 Armagh/Service
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 (15) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Lancer N)
5th (11) Phil Collins/Derek Brannigan (Escort)
6th (16) John Dalton/Gwynfor Jones (Darrian)
7th (6) Alan Ring/Adrian Deasy (Lancer N)
8th (28) Sam Moffett/James O'Reilly (Lancet N)
9th (36) Brendan Cumiskey/Jason Ollerenshaw (Lancer N)
10th (18) Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Escort)

Through stages 12 and 13 Derek McGarrity clocked up fastest times on both stages to add to his 30s advantage on the opening stage Emyvale. This gives Derek a lead of 43s with 3 stages remaining. It is really Derek’s to lose now as McKinstry has no answer to Derek’s pace, or rather his Subaru S11’s pace, over today’s faster stages. Kenny is driving an S8 version of the Impreza WRC and the Banbridge man commented here at service. “Yes, we are dropping time just as we thought we would. We did pick too soft a compound tyre and they lost their grip through stages 12 and 13 but that is not the main problem.” Derek McGarrity said. “I stuck my neck out through the first two stages this morning then backed off in stage 13, braking 50 yards earlier before the junctions. The stage was quite gravelly. I was still carrying good speed on the fast stuff”.
Third placed Kevin Barrett still has the handling problem with his Subaru and his co driver Sean Mullally said. “Bumper cars wouldn’t be in it!”

There were further major dramas in the rally when Garry Jennings and his co driver David Moynihan put the Lancer off the road in stage 12 “Favour Royal”. The stage certainly did not do Garry any favours and he told us. “I was just carrying too much speed on a deceptive 2 right into 4 right. There is not too much damage to the car. We enjoyed it and there will be plenty more rallies this year”. This leaves Donagh Kelly leading GpN as well as being 4th o/a. His co driver Kevin Flanagan said. “We went OK this morning but lost our rhythm when we saw Garry off the road. We have to keep an eye now on Phil Collins who is only 5s behind us.” Phil’s co driver Derek Brannigan said. “We are going well, but got far too sideways on the gravel through stage 13. Very enjoyable but not the best way forward”. John Dalton in the Darrian is not that far behind Phil Collins.
Indeed John has set some cracking times today especially through S13 where he was 8s faster than Collins. John is being shown as 24s behind Collins in the race for “best modified”. However that could be deceptive as Dalton did stop and reverse back briefly to make sure Garry Jennings was OK, so he may get an allowance for that. Alan Ring seems to have speed up over the last few stages although he reported a very big 5th gear moment on S13 where his Lancer was on the grass. Brendan Cumiskey has had a very steady but fast run this morning and he is holding 9th place just 4s behind Sam Moffett. Sam has had a worrying time on the last few stages as his Lancer has been leaking fuel from the transfer box and there is a lot of smoke and as well this has caused independent braking on each wheel.
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net (with thanks to Michael Patterson)

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