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Spain (Catalunya) [J] - 24-26 Mar 06

Posted: March 25, 2006 3:04 PM - 6114 Hits

Round 4 - 2006 World Rally Championship

  • Gareth MacHale/Paul Nagle off on SS1 - Details on www.wrc.com

Posted: March 25, 2006 3:04 PM

  • MacHale in Spain
  • Gareth MacHale, Kris Meeke, & Kevin Barrett are on the entry list for Rally Catalunya (Spain)
  • Entry list available

MacHale in Spain
Irelands rising world rally championship stars Gareth MacHale and co-driver Paul Nagle will take to the fast tarmac stages of the 42nd running of rally Catalunya at the weekend. Gareth will drive the Sanyo Air Conditioners back Ford Focus WRC05 that he used to great effect on the Mexico Rally at the start of the month where he notched up three world championship points.

The Spanish event is the fourth round of the 2006 championship and Gareth’s third WRC outing this year and will end a busy month of March for the MacHale team crew. Gareth heads to the event after a strong performance on Rally Ireland where he led before being caught out by early morning fog on the second stage of day two.

The Catalunya rally is viewed as one of the fastest tarmac rounds in the series and will provide Gareth and the crews with their first real outing on tarmac a good route and excellent organisation have made Spain’s championship counter popular with teams and fans alike. After many years in the Costa Brava resort of Lloret de Mar, organisers in October of 2005 moved the whole event 80km south of Barcelona to the Tarragona region and with the switch it means that the rally returns to Spain just six months since its last running. A switch to gravel roads was rumoured prior to the start of the season but the event will remain on asphalt for this year at least, with the route focusing on the abrasive asphalt in Tarrogona, where unpredictable weather conditions are unlikely to play a major role like those experienced in the mountains on the Monte Carlo rally. “I am looking forward to the rally, it will be interesting to see what the tarmac stages are like compared with Ireland, I am anxious to get back in the car and regain my confidence after the off on Rally Ireland” said Gareth before leaving for Spain.

The rally kicks off on Thursday with the now traditional shakedown stage followed by the ceremonial start in the heart of Salou, the real rally starts on Friday and will be fought out over sixteen stages over three days totalling 350km. “I am getting used to the longer stages, although Catalunya has no stage as long as the gruelling 38km experienced in Mexico, it is all about maintaining concentration and listening for every note that Paul calls, a top twenty finish would be a strong result in Spain” quoted Gareth. Gareth and Paul will continue their limited WRC campaign on Rally Italia in Sardinia in May followed by Rally Deutschland the first round back after the WRC summer break.

Gareth MacHale is the current Irish National Forestry champion and Billy Coleman award winner, he is sponsored by international air-conditioning company Sanyo Air Conditioners, Maxol Lubricants, All Sports Logistics, Tom Hogan Motors, and global Automation Technology Company ABB.

MacHale with Co-Driver Paul Nagle are seeded at 17.
At no 36 Kris Meeke with regular co-driver Glenn Patterson are highest seeded Super 1600 Car.
Kevin Barrett and Paul Goodman are the first of the unseeded crews and will carry No 61 on the Right hand drive Subaru Impreza S9

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