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Circuit of Munster
RALLY NEWS No.1 - Adare - Sunday @ 07:51:07
RALLY NEWS NO.1 Woodlands Hotel/Sunday 07.30

Against all the odds this Circuit of Munster Rally, despite not being a round of the Dunlop National Championship, although it is a counter in the Top Part West Coast series, has attracted a big entry. Around 126 cars will start in the main rally. With the addition of the Junior and Historic runners there should be over 140 crews competing. Clerk of the Course Kieran Ambrose has laid on three challenging and absolutely brilliant stages near Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale.

Denis Cronin in his Subaru, last season’s Killarney Lakes winner, will lead the convoy of cars away from Adare’s Woodlands Hotel. TyreStop man Eamonn Daly, with Brian Doherty co-driving in his Lancer, starts at No.2. Eamonn has a new turbo in his car to try and cure a bit of lethargy out of the tight junctions, and reckons the car is a lot sharper. He is also trying a slightly softer suspension set-up, which makes the car slightly less stable on the fast sections, but has improved the braking and cornering.

Barry Meade, Ed O’Callaghan and Mike Quinn, all ultra quick men, are at 3, 4 & 5 in their respective Mk2 Escorts. Quinn’s own Escort needs an engine rebuild so he is driving a different Mk2 today. The replacement car has 15 inch wheels and has coil suspension that will be all new to Mike. Shane Maguire, the current Top Part West Coast Champion along with his co-driver Enda Sherry, is at 6 in his Impreza. Then it’s Ed Synan, his Escort immaculate from stem to stern, totally rebuilt, complete with new engine and gearbox. At scrutiny, when a bystander gazed under the bonnet and muttered, “There’s the price of a couple of pints in there alright.” Synan raised his eyes skywards and commented, to no one in particular. “The price of a couple of pubs more like!” Aidan Walsh is another driver in a replacement car today as his own Escort gave some engine trouble during the week.

Eamonn Hanley, a Limerick man now resident in the UK, is at 8 in the Derek McGarrity Circuit of Ireland winning Impreza WRC. This run will be somewhat ‘in at the deep end’ for Eamonn, but co-driver Frank Curtin should keep him on the straight and narrow. A test in the Impreza reportedly went very well yesterday. Frank lives just off one of the stages, at Toornafulla, that allegedly is known locally as “The valley of blood”.

Brian O’Keefe, winner of the recent Cork Rally Sprint in his Subaru, has Donnacha O’Callaghan co-driving. Vincent O’Shea & Brian Hickey in their Escort Cosworth round off the top 10. Mark Sheahan (Mr. Binman) is at No.11 in his Citroen C2R2 Max. Indeed quite a few of the Citroen Racing Trophy contenders are competing here as a warm up for the forthcoming Donegal International Rally.

There have been several interesting re seeds including Padraig Cummins in his Escort G3. The Co. Kildare man has No.143 on his car and starts between 12 and 14. Peter Barrable, Joe Shrimpton and David Guest have all been moved up the order. Alan Shiel (No.108) starts in front of Richard Burke. Oran Precast man Burke is at No.22 and has a new sequential gearbox in his Impreza. Cork man Ray O’Sullivan has 102 on his Escort and starts in the mid twenties.

On the Mourne Rally Kenny McKinstry itook his Impreza to victory buy 50s from George Robinson in a similar Subaru. Drew Stewart and best Escort. Neil McCance fought back from a puncture on his Lancer to take 4th and win GpN. Anthony O’Connail was co-driving for Neil. More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

2020 Patterson Agencies

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