Boyle maintains strong pace as White takes National title
Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally
Organiser: Tipperary Motor Club When: August 7 Where: Clonmel, Co Tipperary Championships: Triton Showers Irish National Rally Championship, Suirway South East Rally Championship Stages: 9 Starters: 119
Donegal cousins Declan and Brian Boyle in their Ford Fiesta WRC scored another impressive win on this challenging Stonethrowers Rally, while Roy White did enough to take the Triton Showers Irish National Championship with fourth place overall.
Much interest was centred on White’s progress on this, his home rally. He and co-driver James O’brien made a cautious start to the day and then, despite a sixth stage spin, improved from his sixth place on the early stages to finish fourth and ahead of main championship rivals Peadar Hurson and Niall Maguire.
Hurson did lead the rally after stage one, then his Subaru went slightly off track in stage two. This was followed by a spin in stage three. He eventually finished fifth. Hurson set fastest time on the final powerstage too but even the extra point earned wasn’t enough to keep the destiny of the overall series title alive to the next round in Clare.
At service after the first three stages, it was very close at the front, with Boyle leading Irish Tarmac regulars Alistair Fisher, Josh Moffett and White separated by just 10.7s.
In the middle loop of stages Boyle stretched his legs and extended his lead to 22s over Fisher, with Josh Moffett a further 9s back. On the final loop those gaps widened further. Sam Moffett was fifth at second service but with the Ulster Rally so close retired his Fiesta R5 in stage seven to save the engine.
A few drivers were caught out by gravel and dust on the stages, including Alan Ring who put his Ford Fiesta R5 off in stage four when holding 10th. Frank Kelly’s Escort hit the scenery in the first stage and was retired with a burst radiator.
Paul Barrett (Subaru Impreza) won GPN. Shane Maguire in his Mitsubishi Lancer had led but incurred problems on the final loop to slip back to second. Three members of the Kearney family, who were sponsoring the rally, entered the event.
Gus Kearney Jr was going well in Group N but clipped a rock with a front wheel of his Lancer and was forced to retire. Gus Sr finished, driving his original Peugeot 205 GTI, and Andrew finished as well.
Michael Boyle, winner Declan’s son, won the Junior category, Michael had Dermot Mccaffrey co-driving in his Honda Civic.