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Galloway Hills Rally - 5 Dec 04

Posted: January 6, 2005 9:00 AM - 3692 Hits

Round 1 - 04-05 206 Winter Cup

206 Winter Cup Report
O'Brien Basks in Winter Sun
Luton driver Mike O’Brien emerged from the forests of Dumfries and Galloway on Sunday to take victory by 11 seconds James Robertson on round 1 of the Special Tuning (UK) Limited Peugeot 206 Winter Cup, after 40 miles of the tough and demanding Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally.

Posted: January 6, 2005 9:00 AM

With Peugeot Total 206 Super Cup regular Mike Faulkner entering the event as a one-off thank you to mechanic Steve Clark and electing not to register for the Winter Cup, six crews took the start from a sunny Castle Douglas.

The 11.9 miles of the opening stage proved to be more than a challenge for many of the 130 starters on the event, and the 206 Winter Cup crews suffered their fair share of problems in the very slippy conditions. Paul Kiely and Charlie Donnelly left the road and inflicted substantial damage to their car, retiring on the spot, and with Andy Pawley and Ian Bevan unable to extracte their otherwise undamaged Peugeot from the ditch it had come to rest in, four cars emerged unscathed from the test, but with Strabane’s Colin Britton troubled with cooling problems.

Britton and Co-driver Kenny Hull had worked wonders to get the car to the event, having rolled the car earlier in the week, and cruel luck saw them out of time before the radiator was replaced. They continued for stages 2 and 3 for match practice, setting good times in the process before retiring out of time.

At first service just 9 seconds separated leader Michael O’Brien from second placed James Robertson, with local driver James revelling in the support form spectators on his home event, and planning to change to the soft compound Kumho tyres for the remainder of the event.

Heading for the testing Dalbeattie stage, leader O’Brien was coping well with his first ever Peugeot Cup lead, “We just have to make sure were still here at the end” said O’Brien as the cars left service. Robertson and O’Brien returned to service having set equal times on stage 3. Robertson remained concerned about a bent control arm, and hoped that local knowledge would help him claw back the 9 second defecit.

Third placed Barry Horan from Sligo, partnered by Simon Mills were happy with their third position, “We’ll just stay where we are and be ready should the battle up front see either Mike or Jim make a mistake”, said a very pleased Horan.

With O’Brien taking 1 second on both stage 4 and 5 from Robertson, it was a delighted crew who returned to Castle Douglas and the waiting champagne, taking his maiden Peugeot win. Second placed Jim Robertson was pleased with his finish after an indifferent 2004 season, feeling he is back on the pace and ready for next season.

“I’m delighted to have made it back with the lead, it’s been very slippy and muddy out there”, said 206 Winter Cup leader O’Brien.

Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally 2004 Result
74 Michael O’Brien/Barry Young 50:04 31st overall
72 James Robertson/Mike Rollo 50:15 34th overall
73 Barry Horan/Simon Mills 53:11 53rd overall

43 Colin Britton/Kenny Hull DNF OTL
45 Andy Pawley/Ian Bevean DNF Accident SS1 75 Paul Kiely/Charlie Donnelly DNF Accident SS1

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