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Posted: November 5, 2002 12:40 PM - 10153 Hits

Kilgarvan's Tom Randles has been confirmed as the highest placed competitor to use a two-wheel drive car in the 2002 Dunlop National Rally Championship following the series' final round, the Fastnet Rally, which was run by the Skibbereen & District Auto Club on the October Bank Holiday Weekend. The top seven Championship places were occupied by the pilots of four-wheel drive cars, such as Subaru Imprezas and Mitsubishi Lancers, while Randles was eighth in final standings in his Ford Escort RS.

Posted: November 5, 2002 12:40 PM

Randles total haul of 54 points was just two more than that of Martin 'Mac' McKenna (Monaghan), the next highest placed 2WD contender. In the individual battle for honours in Class 14 (for Modified 2WD cars with engines of between 2051cc and 3500cc), Tom lost out by just three points to Douglas Richardson (Kildare), although Tom's co-driver, Diarmuid Lynch, topped the navigators' table.

Speaking after the finish of the Fastnet, Tom said "It's nice to be the top two wheel drive finisher, but it would have been nicer still if Class 14 was wrapped as well. We had two non-finishes in Sligo and Tipperary during the summer with clutch and transmission problems, so that really ended any hope I had of landing the class. Still, we had a good enough season, there were no major crashes, and we enjoyed the year."

Although the National Championship may be over, the T&D Rallying 2002 programme is not fully completed yet. "We'll be out on the Killarney Historic Stages Rally on the first Sunday in December," said Lynch. "We'll be competing in the section for Classic cars, built between 1975 and 1979. We were second on that event in 1999, and we hope to go one better this time out."

The T&D Rallying Escort is supported by Advanced Bio-Tech Waste Treatment Systems, Dyno-Rod Drain Services, Heatmerchants of Tralee, Firebird Boilers and CRL Oils.

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