Gallagher Shines In Donegal 10th overall, 2nd in class and 13 fastest stage times in Group N sums up Shaun Gallagher's outstanding return to Irish Rallying on the Donegal International Rally this weekend. The rally consisted of 22 stages...
Gallagher Shines In Donegal
10th overall, 2nd in class and 13 fastest stage times in Group N sums up Shaun Gallagher's outstanding return to Irish Rallying on the Donegal International Rally this weekend.
The rally consisted of 22 stages run over 3 days in mainly dry conditions. The first day was made up of 3 stages run twice and despite competing in just 2 rallies in the past year Shaun set the roads alight on the opening stages and commanded a 16 second lead by the end of the first day, lying 9th overall and amazingly ahead of 10 WRC cars.
Not happy with just maintaining this lead, Shaun and co-driver Charlie McGinty upped their paced again on Saturday morning, Shaun clearly getting more confidence as the rally went. After 8 stages their lead had opened up to 45 seconds.
The crew suffered bitter disappointment on the next test when a puncture in the first mile of the Breenagh stage cost them over 4 minutes dropping them to 14th in Group N. Shaun's never say die attitude instantly kicked in and within 6 stages The Pallet Network, in association with Mullen Express Transport sponsored team had climbed back up the leader board to 6th position, a position they would hold at the end of day 2.
The final day of the event was made up of 6 stages and Shaun continued his amazing charge setting fastest times on the first 3 stages of the day to lie in 3rd position at the first service of the day. At this service the concerns about the team's Mitsubishi Evo VI were obvious to all, the engine was now seriously overheating and the crew feared the head gasket could give up at any time.
Shaun managed to nurse the car through the final 3 stages and even moved up another place in Group N, with the crew crossing the ramp 2nd in Group N and an outstanding 10th overall.
"I am absolutely delighted with the weekend," commented Shaun. "We managed to set Group N fastest times on 13 of the 22 stages and take 2nd in Group N. It's just a pity we lost so much time on Saturday. Who knows what would have happened without that puncture!"