UNOFFICIAL LEADERBOARD AFTER STAGE 4 Maurice's Mills
1st (1) Niall Maguire/Paul McLaughlin (Impreza WRC) 33.36
2nd (4) Patrick Elliott/Sean Moriarty (Impreza) 34.42
3rd (8) Hugh Dunne/Derek Brannigan (Impreza WRC) 35.03
(11) Sean Gallagher/Liam Costello (Escort Cos) 35.03
5th (9) Denis Cronin/Helen O'Sullivan (BMW M3) 35.15
6th (5) David Armstrong/Herbie Blackburn (Esc.Cos) 35.37
7th (3) Ollie O'Donovan/David Moynihan (Hyundai WRC) 35.44
8th (15) Tom Randles/Diarmuid Lynch (Escort) 36.12
9th (12) Ed Synan/Kieran Cusack (Impreza) 36.14
10th (33) Gerard McKiernan/Martin Maguire (Lancer N) 36.19
(79) Martin Brady/Arthur Kierans (Esc.Cos. N) 36.19
Niall Maguire is looking very comfortable in the lead of this Clare Stages Rally. New Dunlop Champion Niall recorded a time of 8m8s for stage 4, Maurice's Mills - 13 up on second fastest Hugh Dunne. Dunne has had a lacklustre couple of rallies recently following an accident earlier in the year, but he is certainly getting the finger out now. Patrick Elliott was 3rd fastest, David Armstrong 4th and then Denis Cronin and Sean Gallagher tying for 5th.
Niall Maguire commented at the end of the 4th stage "Very good, lovely stage, no problems". Patrick Elliott told us "I'm definitely taking no chances today". Sean Gallagher's Escort Cosworth had still a trace of the misfire which slowed him through stage 3, and David Armstrong was in a hurry to get to his management service vehicle. His Escort Cosworth'' anti lag system jammed on. Denis Cronin remarked that he felt he was getting better by the stage. Ollie O'Donovan in the new Hyundai WRC admitted that the car was quicker than he was, a bit of a spin and a stall in stage 3 not helping Ollie's cause.
Tim McNulty was up to 2nd at the end of the first loop of stages. He told us then that he felt his Subaru's clutch was "knackered", and it transpired then that he did not continue in the rally. Also missing at the end of stage 4 was James McCann. James had his Escort Cosworth up to 7th overall. We have no reason as yet of why the Cavan man didn't appear. It's interesting to see Gerard McKiernan and Martin Brady tying for the lead in group N. Gerard's Lancer is running a gearbox borrowed from Trevor Cathers. The Tyrone man has been held up slightly catching slower cars, but otherwise no dramas. West Cork driver Liam McCarthy had a half decent run through stage 4 - his time 8.45 - but his Corolla WRC is well down the list having lost a mountain of time through stages 2 and 3 when the engine cut out. David & June Long had a good time through stage 4 in their 2 wheel drive Sierra, they are also well down following a SS3 puncture. Oliver Stanley/Des Moran have extended their lead in the Ford Focus category.