RALLY REPORTS BOYLE TAKES OVERDUE WIN AS SIMPSON TOPS MSA CREWS
Smartpart ALMC Stages Rally
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).