Top of the class. Adare, 1st June 2003: John Foley from Midleton, Co. Cork has won the second round of the 2003 Ford Ireland Focus Rally Championship at the Circuit of Munster Rally based in Adare, Co. Limerick. The competitiveness of this...
Top of the class.
Adare, 1st June 2003: John Foley from Midleton, Co. Cork has won the second round of the 2003 Ford Ireland Focus Rally Championship at the Circuit of Munster Rally based in Adare, Co. Limerick.
The competitiveness of this hotly contested series was underlined with no fewer than 3 lead changes throughout the day and with another giant killing performance, as top three Ford Focus' also claimed the top three positions in Class 7.
Oliver Stanley in the Perry Motors Ford Focus set fastest time on the first stage of the day to take an early 6 second lead from John Foley in the ASA Marketing Ford Focus. Gabriel Martin caught out on the wrong tyres settled into third. However disaster struck for Championship leader Colm Murphy, who slid off on stage one loosing over 5 minutes trying to extract his Focus from the scenery.
With stage 2 cancelled the battle began again on stage 3, Gabriel Martin setting fastest time to move into the lead from Stanley and Foley third after being penalised for a jump start. Oliver Stanley fought back on stage 4 to tie with Martin for the lead. Colm Murphy in a desperate attempt to make up on lost time once again slid off the road beaching the car and immediate retirement. Ken Lyons also succumbed to the terrain on stage 4 and was forced to retire.
Foley with the bit now well and truly between his teeth set fastest time on stage 5 to close within 19 seconds of Stanley who had by now moved into the lead. Foley produced the drive of the season to set fastest time the remaining three stages to retake the lead and recorded his first Focus victory of the season.
"I am delighted, over the moon, all the hard work, sacrifice has finally paid off. This is my first and definitely there will be many more to follow. It was a pity Colm Murphy crashed out of the event I was relishing the battle. However I cannot wait for the next round," said a jubilant John Foley at the finish.
The next round of the 2003 Ford Ireland Focus Rally Championship sees the crew's head to the Medieval City of Kilkenny for the Ravens Rock Rally on the 30th of June.
<pre> RESULTS ROUND 2 -- CIRCUIT OF MUNSTER
POS. NAME ADDRESS TIME 1 John Foley Midleton, Co. Cork 00.00.00 2 Oliver Stanley Durrow, Co. Laois 00.01.11 3 Gerry Keyes Crecora, Co. Limerick 00.00.40 4 Gabriel Martin Knocklyon, Co. Dublin DNF 5 Ken Lyons Limerick DNF 6 Colm Murphy Athea, Co. Limerick DNF 7 David Delaney Cashel, Co. Tipperary DNF 8 Hamilton Bell Hillsborough, Co. Down DNS 9 Brendan Kelly Mullingar, Co. Westmeath DNS
FOCUS RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS AFTER ROUND 2
POS. NAME ADDRESS POINTS 1 John Foley Midleton, Co. Cork 56 2 Oliver Stanley Durrow, Co. Laois 49 3 Gerry Keyes Crecora, Co. Limerick 38 4 Colm Murphy Athea, Co. Limerick 30 5 David Delaney Cashel, CO. Tipperary 21 6 Gabriel Martin Knocklyon, Co. Dublin 17 7 Hamilton Bell Hillsborough, Co. Down 15 8 Ken Lyons Limerick 0 9 Brendan Kelly Longford 0