"We kept the Focus" -- MacHale Gareth MacHale and Paul Nagle have taken second place today in the Galway International Rally behind former World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm of Finland. Going into the second leg Sunday morning, the pair had...
"We kept the Focus" -- MacHale
Gareth MacHale and Paul Nagle have taken second place today in the Galway International Rally behind former World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm of Finland.
Going into the second leg Sunday morning, the pair had been sitting on a comfortable third place as a dogfight for first ensued between Irish tarmac Champion Eugene Donnelly and the Finnish driver, who is competing in the Galway International in advance of Ireland's entry into the World Rally Championships in November this year.
MacHale had his first outing this weekend in the 2006 Ford Focus WRC, which fittingly enough had seen Gronholm take four wins in the 2006 Championship. It was their first competitive event in the left-hand drive car, which will see the pair contest 12 rounds of the Championships this year.
Speaking after the event, Gareth MacHale said: " We're very pleased with the outcome this weekend, with how the car handled and how we adapted to it and, of course, with finishing second behind a WRC legend like Marcus Gronholm.
"It also goes to reinforce the fact that sometimes, rallying is as much about luck as skill. Eugene Donnelly showed Gronholm for the two days of the event that Irish drivers cannot be taken for granted come Rally Ireland in November, and it was unfortunate that he went off the road on the 12th stage. We hope that we can sustain that level of professionalism in WRC this season, and let the world know that Irish rallying really is on top of its' form," he concluded.
Next up for MacHale and Nagle is Rally Mexico in March. Last Year's event in Mexico was where they became the first Irish competitors in over 20 years to score WRC points.