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RALLY NEWS No.2 - End of stage 1 - Saturday @ 11:01:35
RALLY NEWS NO.2 End of Stage 1/Saturday
1st (3) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Lancer N) 13.20.5
2nd (110) Jonny Greer/Dai Roberts (Skoda S2000) 13.26.0
3rd (107) Kenny McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Impreza WRC) 13.27.0
4th (10) Seamus Heron/Gerry McVeigh (Corolla WRC) 13.38.8
5th (1) George Robinson/Tommy Speers (Impreza WRC) 13.42.1
6th (9) Mark Donnelly/Martin Brady (Lancer N) 13.43.9
7th (5) Stuart Biggerstaff/Anthony Nestor (Impreza WRC) 13.44.0
8th (23) Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Escort) 13.44.4
9th (11) Camillus Bradley/Crawford Henderson (Escort) 13.49.6

Kenny McKinstry was first on the road over the 15 mile Slievegallion stage and when the NI Championship leader got to the stage finish he said. “We had an iffy run. On and off the throttle. It is very greasy, patchy in places and we didn’t really get the tyres bedded in before the start”. Indeed towards the finish of the stage up on top of the moors it was quite damp while in other parts reportedly it was pretty dry. George Robinson commented at stage finish. “We were on pure slick dry weather tyres which maybe wasn’t the right choice”.

Neil McCance’s Lancer should have next up but in fact it was Donagh Kelly’s Lancer that appeared with McCance some way behind, a rattling front left rim evidence of a puncture for at least 10 miles of the stage. Donagh Kelly said it didn’t feel that fast to him but it looks as if the clocks said otherwise. McCance admitted to cutting a corner too fine and dinging the rim as well as slicing the tyre. Stuart Biggerstaff had a decent run and said. “We’re getting bedded in. It’s a very fast stage”.

Sean Haveron, along with quite a few other drivers, felt he had picked the wrong tyre, an intermediate, and also said. “I’m getting too old for this fast stuff”. Mark Donnelly said he found the stage tricky and had a few very big moments. Seamus Heron set a terrific time considering he only rallies occasionally these days and he reported a massive “tank slapper” mid stage and also his foot got stuck in the throttle at one point and the was pushing its nose. Adrian Hetherington was the fastest of the Mk2 Escorts, with event sponsor Camillus Bradley just 5s back. Derek McGeehan was 10s down on Camillus and he reported that his hands were numb at stage finish, he was having to work so hard at steering the lovely black Escort.
After 3 stages this morning in Rally Sardinia Loeb leads, Hirvonen has got into 2nd 35s down. Petter & Chris are 3rd 2s down on Mikko. Latvala who is in Super Rally has been setting fastest times. More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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