15 Mar Donagh Kelly extends tarmac championship lead
Donagh Kelly & Kevin Flanagan made it back to back wins in the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship when they took victory by almost 70 seconds on the Quality Hotel Clonakilty West Cork Rally. The event which was the second round of the championship saw Kelly in his Focus WRC lead from start to finish and also repeat his 2014 victory in Clonakilty. Second place went to Sam Moffett & Karl Atkinson who put in a tremendous effort in their Fiesta WRC, but a couple of time consuming spins on the first day made it difficult to regain ground. Stephen Wright and Mikie Galvin took
third in their R5 Fiesta after an excellent performance. 2014 Tarmac Champions Declan & Brian Boyle stopped on the first stage with fuel pressure problems in their Subaru Impreza WRC. Although they continued after first service they were too far back to make an impression and retired after the first day. Daragh O’Riordan had been battling for second but a puncture dropped him back to fifth, while Josh Moffett had also retired at the end of the first day. He re-joined under Rally 2 rules on the second day and set some stunning times and eventually finished 18th overall.
Group N was won by Aaron McHale in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 with Brendan Cumiskey in a Subaru Impreza taking runner up. The Historic battle was finally decided on the final stage when mechanical problems side-lined long-time leader Rob Smith and Denis Moynihan took the category win. Ernie Graham pipped Gareth Lloyd by just 0.8 of a second to take second place although Lloyd still leads the historic category. Rob Duggan took junior honours in his new Fiesta while John O’Sullivan who finished third provisionally leads the series.
Image from Ger Leahy