Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports - By Brian Pat­ter­son Re­sults

Or­gan­iser: Garda Siochana Mo­tor Club When: Oc­to­ber 23 Where: Balt­in­glass County Wick­low, Ire­land Cham­pi­onship: Loughran­ Mid­lands East Rally Cham­pi­onship Stages: 6 Starters: 100

Jonathan Pringle, who has taken wins this year on the Done­gal Mini Stages and Imokilly, was cer­tainly the dom­i­nant force on the later part of this as­phalt rally through the pleas­ant roads skirt­ing the Wick­low Hills.

Pringle, who was co-driven in his Ford Es­cort Mk2 by Alan Keena, took the lead from Ian Bar­rett/eoin O’fla­herty (Dar­rian) on SS4 and in­creased it to the fin­ish. The lat­ter crew were se­cond, Jack Newman/an­drew Browne third in their Ford Es­cort Mk2.

The na­ture of the stages was fast and open, plus the weather was good – ideal Dar­rian ter­ri­tory. Bar­rett seemed to agree with that prog­no­sis and set a crack­ing time through the open­ing stage, Brewel Hill, to lead by 10s from num­ber one seed Pringle.

In stages two and three, Ca­van man Pringle, who hadn’t com­peted on a rally for sev­eral months and had new sus­pen­sion in his Es­cort, staged a ma­jor re­sponse and was fastest. First he was 7s up on the Dar­rian and then 3s. How­ever, Pringle had to re­ally stretch him­self to reel Bar­rett in.

David Con­dell had been third after the open­ing stage but re­tired his Es­cort after stage two with a me­chan­i­cal prob­lem.

Stephen Mccann was a late en­try and was tipped to be driv­ing a newly ac­quired Ford Fi­esta S2000, but in fact re­verted to a Mit­subishi Lancer and had been fifth after stage one, slipped to 10th after stage three and re­tired the car be­cause of me­chan­i­cal trou­bles.

Through the af­ter­noon stages Pringle com­pounded his lead with un­chal­lenged fastest times. Se­cond-placed Bar­rett was in-turn con­sis­tently faster than Newman back in third place.

Done­gal man Martin Do­herty, who has been a fron­trun­ner in a Group N Mit­subishi for many years and re­cently switched to an Es­cort Mk2, im­proved through­out the day to fin­ish fourth. Peter Wilson and lo­cal man Alis­ter Fin­gle­ton, both in Es­corts, made up the top six.

Sea­mus O’con­nell ap­peared to be head­ing for a top six fin­ish, but re­tired his Es­cort a few stages be­fore the end be­cause of me­chan­i­cal mal­adies.

De­spite a short break Pringle was on the pace through­out GSMC GSMC Mini Stages

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