NEAR-PERFECT DAY FOR NESBITT Armagh's Andrew Nesbitt and his Cork-based co-driver, James O'Brien, hold the overnight lead of the 2005 Ordnance Survey Ireland Rally of the Lakes in their Subaru Impreza WRC, having led...
NEAR-PERFECT DAY FOR NESBITT
Armagh's Andrew Nesbitt and his Cork-based co-driver, James O'Brien, hold the overnight lead of the 2005 Ordnance Survey Ireland Rally of the Lakes in their Subaru Impreza WRC, having led the Killarney-based event throughout the opening day. Despite some concern over a slipping clutch, they were fastest on all but one of the Saturday stages, and have an advantage of 42 seconds over Eugene Donnelly and Paul Kiely going into Day Two. Huge crowds have turned out to watch the rally, no doubt encouraged by the presence of former World Champion, Colin McRae, who is driving the route in a Course Car.
Derek McGarrity and Dermot O'Gorman were closest to Nesbitt and O'Brien initially, but Donnelly took over second place after the fourth stage near Gneevguilla. As morning rain gave way to sunshine, Donnelly found his Toyota Corolla WRC working better as the roads dried out, and he now has a slight cushion to the rest of the field.
Five seconds cover the next three drivers, McGarrity, Kevin Lynch and Eamonn Boland, the Subaru trio having swapped positions repeatedly over the afternoon stages. McGarrity lost time with a handling problem on Gortnagane, but clawed back a couple of places before the crews made their way back to Killarney for the night.
Garry Jennings was leading the Group N Production field comfortably until he crashed on the sixth stage. Colm Murphy inherited the category lead, and he now lies in eighth position overall.
Alan Ring/Paul Nagle and Tom Randles/Diarmuid Lynch are the top local crews in thirteenth and fourteenth places. Killarney's Johnny O'Sullivan and Pat Cashman were expected to go well but they retired on the opening stage with a mechancial problem. Also among the retirements were Peadar Hurson and Glenn Patterson, who crashed heavily on the Cullen stage while holding sixth place.
Eight further stages await the crews on Sunday with the first of these, Molls Gap, getting underway at 10.03am.
The Ordnance Survey Ireland Rally of the Lakes is organised and promoted by Killarney & District Motor Club, and based at the Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney.
<pre> Ordnance Survey Ireland Rally of the Lakes 2005 Provisonal results after Stage 8, Quarry Cross (End of Day One)
1: Andrew Nesbitt, James O'Brien Subaru Impreza WRC S9 1.11:16 2: Eugene Donnelly, Paul Kiely Toyota Corolla WRC 1.11:58 +42 3: Derek McGarrity, Dermot O'Gorman Subaru Impreza WRC S10 1.12:30 +1:14 4: Kevin Lynch, Gordon Noble Subaru Impreza WRC S9 1.12:33 +1:17 5: Eamonn Boland, Francis Regan Subaru Impreza WRC S9 1.12:35 +1:19 6: Austin McHale, Brian Murphy Ford Focus WRC03 1.13:43 +2:27 7: Tim McNulty, Eugene O' Donnell Subaru Impreza WRC S10 1.14:01 +2:45 8: Denis Cronin, Helen O'Sullivan Subaru Impreza WRC99 S5 1.15:53 +4:37 9: Colm Murphy, Ger Loughrey Subaru Impreza WRX N10 1.17:11 +5:55 10: Tommy Graham, Anthony Nestor Subaru Impreza WRC S7 1.17:19 +6:03