ITRC: Gallagher Racing Circuit of Ireland summary

Gallagher's outstanding debut run. Top Irish rally driver Shaun Gallagher concluded an outstanding debut run, in a Group N four wheel drive Davy Greer Evo VII, when he finished 2nd in class and 7th overall in the 2003 Circuit of Ireland.

Gallagher's outstanding debut run.

Top Irish rally driver Shaun Gallagher concluded an outstanding debut run, in a Group N four wheel drive Davy Greer Evo VII, when he finished 2nd in class and 7th overall in the 2003 Circuit of Ireland. The Letterkenny driver was competing in the event with the support and backing of fellow competitors Brendan Kelly and Roy Kennedy.

The weekend got off to the best possible start when the Ulster Automobile Club presented Shaun, the 2002 Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Award Winner, with a free entry. The crew began the event cautiously, allowing the young driver to adjust to the size, power and handling of car. Shaun was also adjusting to his new co-driver, Rory Kennedy. The Martin Reilly Motors and Shell Racing Fuel backed team were lying 4th in Group N following five stages. Shaun had an overshoot on stage 6 loosing almost twenty seconds but recovered well and finished day one in 6th position now well adjusted to the new car.

The crew began the second day perfectly and set fastest stage time on SS9 by an outstanding twelve seconds. The Pirelli Tyres backed crew continued their pace over the next number of stages and leaped to 2nd in Group N by the end of stage 12. They dropped six seconds on stage 13 following minor problems with their pace notes but this did not hamper the Letterkenny pairing for long and they set fasted time on the last stage of the day finishing leg two 2nd in Group N.

Shaun began the final day on the same note that he concluded the second and set joint fastest time on SS16. A minor overshoot on stage 17 cost him six seconds but his charge continued on the next three stages when Shaun set fastest time on all three. Yet another fastest stage time the final stage of the rally put Shaun 2nd in class by just 24 seconds worthy winner Roy White.

It was a truly an outstanding weekend for the 22 year old. A weekend when he first had to adjust to a new four wheel drive car in the dry conditions and then on day three he had to re learn how to drive the car in slippery, wet conditions. However none of this proved a problem for him and a perfect weekend ended with a dream finish.

"I cannot describe how happy I am" commented Shaun. "It was brilliant to get the opportunity to race in Group N and in such a good car. The weekend was not without its challenges but I have learned so much and I'm sure it will help me in the future."

Shaun immediately begins preparations for round 2 of the Peugeot 206 Super Cup, which he is currently leading. The Pirelli rally takes place this Friday and Saturday and will be Shaun's second trip to Kielder forest in the last month.

-sgr-

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Series Other rally