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RALLY NEWS No.2 - Belcoo Service - Saturday @ 11:36:38
RALLY NEWS NO.2 Belcoo Service/Saturday

1st (1) Kenny McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Impreza WRC 5.52
(2) Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Lancer N) 5.52
3rd (6) Ian Cochrane/Thomas Nugent (Lancer N) 5.53
4th (5) Stuart Biggerstaff/Anthony Nestor (Impreza WRC) 5.55
5th (20) Enda McNulty/Paul Sheridan (Impreza) 5.57
6th (17) Pat O'Connell/Mark Wiley (Lancer N) 5.58
(28) Liam Regan/Damien Duffin (Peugeot 206) 5.58
8th (14) Vivian & Paul Hamill (Corolla WRC) 5.59
9th (19) John & Lesley McGaffin (Impreza WRC) 6.00
(3) Neil McCance/Jonny Hart (Lancer N) 6.00

Although Kenny McKinstry was joint leader after the opening Ballintempo stage he is having brake problems with his Subaru. Kenny, current leader of the Hankook NI Rally Championship, reported the brake pedal going to the floor about 2 miles from the end of the stage. There is a very short section between stages 1 and 2 and he has had a quick look at the hydraulic system and reckons he will not be able to get this fixed in the time available. Join leader Donagh Kelly said that the launch control on his Lancer failed in the stage, and he also found the road pretty slippery. Third seed Neil McCance said he was too polite in the stage, just didn’t go hard enough. Martin Cairns was a bit tentative. This was his first run out since his Cork Forestry accident, and his time was 6.09. Stuart Biggerstaff said after the stage. “I’m normally playing catch up having started too slowly so I’m quite pleased with that time”.

Most of the top drivers reported the opening stage to be very slippy, but Frank Kelly, fastest of the Escort drivers on 6.02, said that he got a bit of confidence up and found more grip as he progressed through the stage. Raymond Mason set a time of 6.11. Raymond hasn’t competed on a forest rally since last year and was finding his feet. In the same boat was Ray Brammer, this was his first forest rally for 6 years. John McGaffin had a good run, especially considering that his daughter Lesley has never really read notes through the forests. Liam Regan was struggling a little. He was finding his Peugeot moving about a lot on the camber and jumps. It was in stark contrast to the stages in Scotland last week where he did so well. The stages there were fairly flat.

Some further times: Stephen Wright 6.02: Shane McGirr 6.05: Aidan Caldwell 6.15: Vincent McAree 6.05: Ray Brammer 6.14.

Meanwhile on WRC Rally Australia after stage 20 (end of leg 2) Latvala leads from his Ford team mate Hirvonen by just over 20s. Petter Solberg and co driver Chris Patterson are 3rd o/a, 37s behind Hirvonen. Matthew Wilson is 4th 6m off the lead. Ogier & Loeb in the works Citroens are on a charge – Ogier is 11 o/a, 19m back. Loeb is 16th o/a, 29m back.

More news later: BRIAN & LIZ & MICHAEL PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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