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Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports - By Brian Pat­ter­son

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.

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