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Sligo Stages Rally 2011
RALLY NEWS No.6 - Finish - Saturday @ 17:29:43
RALLY NEWS NO.5 A Sligo Park Hotel/Saturday
1st (1) Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly (Skoda S2000) 1.15.34
2nd (3) Daragh O'Riordan/Tony McDaid (Impreza WRC) 1.15.45
3rd (5) Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 1.17.33
4th (6) Garry Jennings/Herbie Blackburn (Lancer N) 1.17.49
5th (4) Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 1.17.55
6th (8) Sam Moffett/James O'Reilly (Lancer N) 1.19.33
7th (129) Shane Maguire/Conor Foley (Impreza N) 1.19.36
8th (10) Trevor Bustard/John McCafferty (Lancer N) 1.20.07
9th (11) Wesley Patterson/Martin McGarrity (Escort) 1.20.15
10th (16) Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Escort) 1.20.32

Over the final stages of this Sligo Stages Rally there was a tremendous battle for victory between Robert Barrable and Daragh O’Riordan. 23 year old Robert Barrable had a 29s lead going into the final stage and O’Riordan whittled that back to just 11s but could not deny Barrable and his co driver Damien Connolly victory. Robert & Damien won the West Cork Rally earlier this year. Today’s victory is their first in the Dunlop National Championship. That final stage of the day was a real power stage and O’Riordan used all the massive resources of his Subaru WRC to try and reel in the flying Skoda in front. However, it was not to be, but still 2nd place for O’Riordan was a good result, particularly considering he started the day feeling under the weather because of flu. Daragh was co-driven by Tony McDaid. Robert Barrable commented at the finish. “It was a good day’s rallying. I knew I had to have more than 20s in the bag going into the last stage, that’s why I drove like a lunatic through stages 7 and 8”.

Kevin Barrett & Sean Mullally took 3rd place despite their Subaru being in the ditches a couple of times. Garry Jennings/Herbie Blackburn had a great run to 4th and best of the conventional Group N cars. Niall Maguire never fully recovered from a first stage puncture on his Subaru and although he set some strong times during the day he could not reel in Jennings and Barrett in front. The front mud guard of Garry’s Lancer was showings signs of contact with a chicane and Damien (Dentman) Connolly nipped out of the Skoda and came over and did some expert tapping and straightening of the guard, as the car waited to go over the finish ramp. Garry joked. “Damien’s on overtime now!”

Wesley Patterson/Martin McGarrity in their Escort were top finishers in the two wheel drive category. The bolts came loose in the Escort’s back axle on the way to the last stage but they were able to tighten it up themselves. Frank Kelly & Liam Brennan were 2nd best Escort and won Class 13. Frank said a whine came into the car on the way to the finish but the axle thankfully held out. David Leonard in the black Citroen Saxo has been awarded the Dunlop Championship Driver of the Day while Shane Maguire has been awarded the Border C/ship Driver of the Day.

Finally for now our thanks to all who supported and helped with the RallyNews service. Congratulations to CoC Paul Kiely and his superb Connacht MC team for organising such an excellent event. BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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