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Organiser: Galway MC When: August 27/28 Where: Gort, County Galway, Ireland Championships: Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship Stages: 9 Starters: 102
Monaghan’s Niall Maguire, co-driven by James O’reilly survived a final stage drama to win the Galway Summer Rally by just 4.7s from Gary Kiernan/ Ryan Moore’s Ford Escort.
Compared to many of the cold and wet Galway International rallies held at the start of the year, this event was run in beautiful conditions and it transformed the feel of the stage roads.
Niall Maguire was in a class of his own at the front early on. In particular the second stage of the three-stage loop, Thor Ballylee, saw him leave the opposition open-mouthed, the first time through he was almost 20s faster than his nearest challenger.
By the end of SS8, Maguire had well over a minute of a lead. It was just as well, because on the final stage his Subaru Impreza WRC S12B ran on a flat front-left punctured tyre and he dropped over a minute to win by just over 4s.
There was another twist in the tail of this rally. Paddy Mcveigh in his Subaru WRC admitted to making life hard for himself and made a hash of SS2 and SS3 when he wasn’t listening properly to the notes. This resulted in a couple of
Organiser: British Automobile Racing Club (South Western Centre When: August 27/28 Starters: 126
The top three in this year’s British Hillclimb Championship chase – Scott Moran, Trevor Willis and Wallce Menzies – left Gurston Down with the same points difference as when they arrived, all having scored 18 points.
But the day’s action had been hampered by patchy drizzle during the first qualification runs. Willis took victory in the first run-off with Moran topping the second and Menzies twice third.
While loading up to leave, five-times champion Moran pointed out: “We could all have stayed at home with the same result.”
The Marsh brothers, Simon and Peter, combined their best day since getting into the supercharged DJ a year ago, and Peter beat Dave Uren in their class in the opener. Oli Tomlin hates the wet and withdrew from Q1 but stormed round 28 for fifth.
Uren had a nightmare after a strong run last time out at Shelsley. He didn’t get into the opener, slithering into the barriers in wet Q1.
He was back later for the second event but the engine cut just before the finish and he coasted over the line slowly. The marshals could not quite get him to safety before Peter Marsh’s run and the brothers’ DJ was red flagged when in full flight earning a rerun. Peter managed seventh in the second run and Simon went one better in sixth.
Factory Gould drivers Sean Gould and Eynon Price had a difficult time. Price could not qualify either time and Gould only once with no score. Ed Hollier used his wet track experience in the opener and home advantage later to leapfrog the pair into seventh overall.
Richard Spedding only qualified once scoring three points in the opening encounter but Uren’s tough time meant he pulled away slightly overall.
Another great performance from the late-blossoming Jason Mourant and he was back into the top 10 overall. The driver he displaced, the absent reigning champion Alex Summers, who will be out in two of the three remaining events in Graham Wynn’s Gould, a car as capable as Moran’s, Menzies’s and Gould’s.
Most surprised driver of the day was perennial hillclimber Bernie Kevill. Not often featuring at the head of the 1100cc class, he pulled off a great Q1 run in the damp just before another short pulse of rain came through and he was in his first championship run-off but, come the moment, he was seriously outpaced.