RALLY RE­PORTS BOYLE TAKES OVER­DUE WIN AS SIMP­SON TOPS MSA CREWS

Smart­part ALMC Stages Rally

Motor Sport News - - Round - RE­SULTS Pho­tos: Conor Ed­wards, Martin Walsh, John Fife Smart­part ALMC Stages Rally, July 3

Arm­strong were in close at­ten­dance. In Group N Shane Maguire led from Ai­dan Wray, the lat­ter slowed by a burst front suspension unit on his Mit­subishi Lancer.

On the mid­dle loop of stages, White set one fastest time to move ahead of Hur­son into sec­ond, while Boyle held on to his lead de­spite seem­ing to strug­gle a bit with tyre wear. At sec­ond ser­vice Boyle’s lead over White was 20s, with Hur­son a fur­ther 9s back. Niall Maguire was fourth with Henry be­hind in fifth.

Simp­son was the high­est-placed MSA As­phalt con­tender in eighth and was a bit con­cerned about an oil leak from his Subaru’s gear­box. Field – also an MSA As­phalt se­ries con­tender – was ninth, although he had ex­pe­ri­enced brake dif­fi­cul­ties with his Dar­rian and was plan­ning to change discs.

Arm­strong, in his Es­cort Mk2, was start­ing to set some bril­liant times and had moved into 10th and was clos­ing on Field. Shane Maguire still led Group N but was start­ing to look over his shoul­der at Wray’s progress.

With fresh rub­ber fit­ted to his Fi­esta WRC, Boyle set about the fi­nal three stages with some con­fi­dence and in­deed set some cracking fastest times, in­clud­ing on stage nine, Galtrim, the power stage. Although this performance earned De­clan Boyle a max­i­mum haul of Tri­ton Show­ers Na­tional points, the fact that White was sec­ond on the rally and also the power stage means that he too claimed a strong haul of points.

This gives Boyle lit­tle wrig­gle room in his bid to re­gain his ti­tle. Hur­son reck­oned he was still get­ting used to his Subaru, which he ac­quired re­cently. So, third was a de­cent re­sult for him and along with Maguire, a solid fourth in the rally, keeps them both in with a chance at the ti­tle fol­low­ing this fifth round. Henry’s fifth place with his Skoda should stand him in good stead for next week­end’s Nicky Grist Stages. Steve Wood seemed to re­gain some of his old form to take sixth.

Melvyn Evans had a good run to sev­enth in the car Manus Kelly used to win in Done­gal two weeks pre­vi­ously. Arm­strong kept his charge go­ing right to the end to fin­ish ninth and best two-wheeldrive, pip­ping Field in his Dar­rian by 5s. Wray also turned on the style to­wards the end to take a fine Group N win, by 5s from Maguire. Young Gary Mcnamee (Civic) from Old­cas­tle again showed a lot of tal­ent in tak­ing a dom­i­nant win in the Ju­niors from An­drew Dug­gan (Es­cort).

Boyle took win af­ter many re­tire­ments

Simp­son/walsh were the top MSA As­phalt crew

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