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Galway Summer Rally - 29 Aug 04

Posted: August 30, 2004 5:11 PM - 9102 Hits

Galway Motor Club Loughrea Plant Sales Ltd. Summer Rally 2004
Round 8 - 2004 Dunlop National Rally Championship
Round 4 - 2004 West Coast Rally Championship


Photo: Seamus Counihan
The battle for the Dunlop National Rally Championship is still a three-way tussle between Niall Maguire, Jim Harrison and Patrick Elliott. The eighth round of the series, the Loughrea Plant Sales Galway Summer Rally, was won by Kevin Lynch/Francis Regan (Subaru Impreza WRC).

Posted: August 30, 2004 5:11 PM

At the conclusion of the Portumna based eight-stage event, they were 41 seconds ahead of the Subaru Impreza WRC of Daniel and Michael Doherty. Championship contenders, Jim Harrison/Harvey Bell (Subaru Impreza WRC) and Patrick Elliott/David Moynihan (Subaru Impreza WRC) were third and fourth respectively.

Dunlop championship leaders, Niall Maguire/Paul McLaughlin, who debuted an S9 Subaru, finished fifth overall and in the context of the Dunlop Championship collected 14 points, their lead at the top of the ten round series has been cut to six points with Harrison and Bell in second spot, Elliott/Moynihan are a further four points in arrears.

Kevin Lynch was quickest over the opening 6.9 mile stage, Crannagh where overnight rain made the roads slippery and caution was word echoed by all the top drivers. Lynch finished the stage some six seconds ahead of Jim Harrison, who remarked at the end of the stage that due to an omission on his part, his car didn’t have the benefit of the active differential system for the stage. Out on the next stage, the Macclesfield driver set quickest time and narrowed the deficit to four seconds as Lynch had a trouble free run. Dunlop Championship protagonist, Patrick Elliott slotted his Subaru into third – eleven seconds behind Harrison. The Hyundai Accent WRC of Cathal Arthurs was just two seconds adrift but he was hampered by intercom woes on the opening stage and a moment on the second stage seemed to unsettle the Northern Ireland driver. Donegal’s Daniel Doherty (Subaru WRC) continued to change the settings of his Subaru, he was fifth after the opening two stages with Dunlop National Rally Championship leader, Niall Maguire down in sixth place. Maguire was debuting the JJ Fleming Subaru WRC and he admitted that he was taking time to familiarise himself with his new surroundings.

George Cullen slotted into seventh place in a McGarrity Subaru WRC while the early top ten leader board also included Denis Cronin (Toyota Celica), Sean Gallagher (Subaru) and John Spain (Toyota Celica). In Group N, Alan Ring (Subaru) was some seven seconds ahead of Willie Fannin, who had a brief excursion on the opening stage, James O’Sullivan (Subaru) was third in the category.

Lynch powered his way through stages three and four – a repeat of the opening pair of stages and at the second service halt, he was 13 seconds ahead of Harrison with Daniel Doherty making third his sole property. Doherty was 13 seconds behind Harrison and some four ahead of Elliott, who opined that he should have been quicker through the two stages. Cathal Arthurs maintained fifth with George Cullen quite content with his sixth place. Dunlop Championship leader, Niall Maguire stated he was still trying to get accustomed to the car, he was seventh in overall classification and fifth in terms of the Dunlop series. Toyota Celica duo, Denis Cronin and John Spain along with Sean Gallagher (Subaru) completed the top ten.

In Group N, Gabriel Martin’s Championship aspirations took a nosedive when he crashed on S.S. 3. Alan Ring and James O’Sullivan were just two of the drivers caught behind the accident and they received a time of the last competitor through the stage before the accident – fellow Group N driver, Adrian Quinn - seven minutes and 29 seconds. Meanwhile, Willie Fannin was the beneficiary of the accident, his time on the stage saw him take a one second lead over Ring with O’Sullivan some 12 seconds further adrift.

Out on S.S. 5, Harrison spun and lost over 20 seconds before he rejoined the action, that allowed Doherty move into second overall and Elliott close the gap to his Dunlop championship rival to just two seconds as Lynch punched in another fastest and led Doherty by 32 seconds. On S.S. 6, Lynch, with yet another fastest time went 47 seconds clear as Harrison cut Doherty’s advantage to eight seconds and led Elliott by six seconds. Fifth placed, Cathal Arthurs traversed both stages without third gear while George Cullen was trouble free in eighth place. Denis Cronin picked the wrong tyres for both stages, nevertheless, he was eighth with Kevin Barrett (Subaru) and John Spain (Toyota Celica) rounding off the top ten.

Dunlop Group Championship leader, Willie Fannin (Subaru) was just outside the top ten but his fellow Group N championship rivals were in trouble, Alan Ring punctured twice and the suspension of his Subaru was also damaged and James O’Sullivan also lost time with a puncture.

On the final two stages, Lynch sealed his second Dunlop National Championship event victory of the season, Doherty held on to second with Harrison gaining 18 championship points to close to within six of the series leader, Niall Maguire. George Cullen damaged the rear axle of his Subaru on the penultimate stage and slipped to eighth overall while Cathal Arthurs dropped to tenth following the addition of road penalties. Elsewhere, John Spain lost a top ten place with turbo problems on board his Toyota Celica.

Photo: James Burke

In the race for the Patterson’s Pacenotes Group N award, the pendulum has swung very much in favour of Galway Group N winner, Willie Fannin, although James O‘Sullivan fashioned a fine recovery to net second place in the showroom category .

1 Kevin Lynch/Francis Regan (Subaru Impreza WRC) 58:32
2 Daniel Doherty/Michael Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 59:13
3 James Harrison/Harvey Bell (Subaru Impreza WRC) 59:25
4 Patrick Elliott/David Moynihan (Subaru Impreza WRC) 59:39
5 Niall Maguire/Paul McLoughlin (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1:00:58
6 Denis Cronin/Helen Sullivan (Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD) 1:02:07
7 Kevin Barrett/Barry Goodman (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1:02:43
8 George Cullen/Dominick Downey (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1:03:17
9 Willie Fannin/Brian Duggan (Subaru Impreza N9) Gp N 1:03:46
10 Cathal Arthurs/Jakes Kelly (Hyundai Accent WRC) 1:04:26

Class winners
Eoghan Fogarty/Timmy England (Civic),
Tomas O’Rourke/John McGrath (Astra),
Willie Fannin/Brian Duggan,
Brian O’Mahony/John Higgins (Puma),
Eddie Power/Alan Keena (Clio),
David Randles/Con Duggan (Almera),
Patrick Elliott/David Moynihan,
Roland Doherty/Derry Collins (Corsa),
Cyril Wharton/Paul O’Shea (Escort),
William Kenneally/Seamus Hickey (Escort),
Trevor Lancashire/William Boylan (Escort),
Paddy Boyle/Peter Leahy (Escort),
Martin Ward/Linda Conroy (BMW M3),
Dan Mulcahy/Con Mulcahy (Escort).
Dunlop National Rally Championship (Provisional positions after Round 8):
1. N. Maguire 112 points; 2. J. Harrison 106 points; 3. P. Elliott 102 points
Galway Motor Club are delighted to announce a new sponsor for the forthcoming Summer Stages rally on the 29th of August. Loughrea Plant Sales, based in Loughrea have joined us as the main sponsor for this years rally. The company, run by the Conneely family have have been supporters of The Motor Club for many years. Philip and Jarlath are members of The Galway Motorsport Marshalls Club and have also competed in a number of rallies. We are delighted to have a local company backing a local rally, we couldn’t run it without their support.

The format of the rally this year will be 8 special stages run in a 4 by 2 format.

The rally moves to some new ground for the stages this year, the stages should produce a fantastic days rallying for both competitors and spectators alike. The rally is a round of The Dunlop National Championship, Top Part West Coast Championship and The GMC Members Champioship, which should result in a top class entry. The COC is Pat Shiel and Deputy COC is Ciaran Burke. The Rally HQ is The Shannon Oaks Hotel in Portumna which is also the venue for prizegiving on the Sunday night. The rally start is 10am on the Sunday morning and the first car is due on the finish ramp at aprox 5pm on Sunday evening.

We look forward to a great days action from some of the top drivers in the national championship and a good local battle between Galway Club members. The Conroy Cup is awarede to the first Galway crew to cross the finish ramp. John Spain from Loughrea is the current holder and is sure to face a strong challenge in his attempt to retain the cup.

Galway Motor Club make every effort to run a safe and enjoyable event and we would appeal to anyone attending the rally, to co-operate with The Gardai and Rally Marshalls at all times.
Marshals/Timekeepers Required
The Galway Motorsport Marshals Club are looking for additional Marshals for the upcoming Summer Rally.

If you would like to help us out please get in contact with our Chief Marshal Christy Glynn @ 086-2608238...Pre Rally Meetings will take place on Monday 16th and 23rd of August in Kate's Bar in the Galway Shopping Centre.... All are welcome

Time keepers...
If you would like to help out and do a spot of timekeeping please get in touch with Chief Time keeper Hugh Conlon @ 086 8036145 GMMC team

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