UNOFFICIAL LEADERBOARD AFTER STAGE 1 Maurice's Mills 1st (1) Niall Maguire/Paul McLoughlin (Impreza WRC) 8.14 2nd (6) Tim McNulty/Anthony Nestor (Impreza) 8.22 3rd (4) Patrick Elliott/Sean Moriarty (Impreza) 8.30 4th (3) Ollie O'Donovan/David ...
UNOFFICIAL LEADERBOARD AFTER STAGE 1 Maurice's Mills
1st (1) Niall Maguire/Paul McLoughlin (Impreza WRC) 8.14
2nd (6) Tim McNulty/Anthony Nestor (Impreza) 8.22
3rd (4) Patrick Elliott/Sean Moriarty (Impreza) 8.30
4th (3) Ollie O'Donovan/David Moynihan (Hyundai WRC) 8.34
(5) David Armstrong/Herbie Blackburn (Esc.Cos) 8.34
Just 5 cars got through the first stage competitively. Michael Barrable's Impreza World Rally Car stopped a few miles into the stage, with suspected turbo charger malfunction. A few cars passed the stationery Barrable machine, but then flames started to lick from under the bonnet, so Hugh Dunne decided it would be better for him to stop and help before a small problem became a big one. This meant that other cars then had to stop, so the stage became non-competitive for the rest of the field.
New Dunlop National Champion Niall Maguire was certainly competitive. He set a scorching pace for the 9.15 mile test, even though his intercom system was giving a bit of trouble, and there were times when the pace notes coming from Paul McLoughlin were a bit crackly. "It wasn't too bad" remarked Niall, "Otherwise the car went well, nice stage".
Interestingly, Patrick Elliott found the road a little slippy, with fine dust and shale . David Armstrong though for a minute at stage finish, and told us "We didn't seem to go too bad, the car's good".
Ollie O'Donovan in the new Hyundai found the car just that little bit different from the Subaru, and Ollie was taking no chances, but still set a very respectable time.
Looking outside this Clare Stages Rally for just a moment - Glenn Allen won yesterday's Cookstown Davagh Rally from Seamus Donnelly. While in San Remo the provisional results how Panizzi having, as expected, won, from Gronholm, Solberg 3rd and Burns 4th. Colin McRae 8th. We do not yet know who won the Sper 1600 category, but we do know that Gwyndaf Evans co driven by our Chris in the MG ZR recovered from early power steering problems, to finish just behind Niall McShea in the Opel Corsa. This was the MG's first world series finish.
Finally for now, we wish to emphasise again, how important it is that spectators, and indeed all involved with the rally, think safety as their priority today. Please stand in the safest of places, well away from any possible incident.