The Holy Land of Ireland set the scene for the rally frolics this weekend, with the miraculous area of Knock & Kiltimagh in Co. Mayo hosting the second round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship.
There was many a person out with Rosary beads and novenas on the ditches watching the speed that shook up this normally quiet and peaceful part of the country.
It was game on very much this weekend, with top seed, Maynooth driver Kevin Barrett and co-driver Sean Mullaly in their Subaru Impreza WRC trying to keep their Mayo crown having won the same rally in 2011. The pair were keen to atone for last month’s disappointment in the Birr stages when they could finish 5th
Niall Maguire and co-driver Enda Sherry were not to be contended with however, fastest through stages SS5, SS8 and SS9; they clinched the first overall placing just 0.09 seconds ahead of Barrett/Mullaly in second place.
The fun didn’t cease in the first and second roles, Donagh Kelly and co-driver Kevin Flanagan in their Lancer Evo 9 Group N took third overall, with fourth placing going to Roy White and co-driver James O’Brien 0.44 seconds behind Kelly/Flanagan in their MG ZR 2000.
Fifth placing overall went to Thomas Fitzmaurice and co-driver Fionn Foley 1.56 behind first place winners Maguire/Sherry, slightly disappointing on the performance of this duo in their Subaru Impreza WRC after winning the first round in Birr last month.
Another worthy mention in the top ten placing was that of, Seamus Leonard and John McCafferty in their Subaru Impreza WRC, who clinched 7th position behind Trevor Bustard/Kenny Bustard in 6th. Leonard/McCafferty were fastest through stages SS3, SS4, SS6 & SS7.
Aswell as the entry of Irish drivers & co-drivers from both sides of the border and an odd British counterpart in the Mayo stages, it also attracts an international flavour to its midst.
New York based driver Enda McCormack seeded 56 on the road, enjoyed the stages also to win second in class and 57 overall in his Mitsubishi Evo 9 with co-driver Meath based Martin Brady. A better performance for the rally traveller who went off on SS5 of the Fastnet Stages Rally back in October, the last round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship in 2011.
The third round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship will be flying down to the kingdom of Kerry for the Circuit of Kerry stages on Fool’s Sunday April 1st next. Please see www.rally.ie & www.nationalirishrallychampionship.com for further round up and preview of the action. ”