Alan Ring pulled his Impreza out of the event because the Subaru engine was seriously down on power. The effort and the hurdles to be overcome were enormous. Hugh Hunter was then well in front. Just what sort of character he was at 21 is hard to imagine! However he was penalised out of the final results. It will be well worth watching. Quinn did appear to get ahead at one point, but he was decent enough to go to the organisers and point out that he had received a faster stage time than he had actually achieved.
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Sadly Shane McGirr was forced to retire his Starlet when a steering arm broke after a big jump and the car skittered into a ditch.
Under no pressure from behind, he also took the opportunity to try some different tyres. Just what sort of character he was at 21 is hard to imagine! The top ten finishers were as follows. How honoured we were to be in the company of this man over what was a truly memorable weekend.
Billy Coleman Award winner Stephen drove extremely well, in alien conditions. The rally has 25 overseas entries and a couple of the interesting Historics are Darren Moon and John Coyne. Every way you turned there were rally friends old and new. A phone call back to Melvyn Evans in service supplied a quick fix. In any case just what constitutes a GpN car as opposed to an R4 car this year seems to be shrouded in controversy.
Marie Moloney – rally profile
mwrie Through it all, the stamina, wit, charisma and charm of Paddy Hopkirk shone through. Tommy Doyle was taking things quietly in his rebuilt Clio R3, determined to finish in good shape for the opening Dunlop Championship counter in Ballina, but his Clio under steered off the road in a stage 6 square left when lying 9th.
There will be all sorts of old event footage, clips and photographs to jog the memories and bring on the stories.
Alan Ring pulled his Impreza out of the event because the Subaru engine was seriously down on power.
The Birr stages consisted of quite classic asphalt roads in places, and were always going to be challenging. Finally for now, it is great to end on a high note: Hetherington so wants to do well on the Fivemiletown event, but has nothing but bad luck on that rally!
SAENZ Transmisson Europe
Unauthorised duplication is a violation of applicable laws. Garry took time out to thank everyone for their best wishes and reckons it will not be long before Kerrie and Annie will be home to keep livewire big sister Jessica company. Annie Grace Jennings weighed in at 6lb7oz despite being four weeks early. Adrian Hetherington retired his Escort, which left Frank Kelly out on his own somewhat.
As a footnote, Plum Tyndall and his RPM team produced a TV programme of the very highest quality almost within hours of the event finishing.
For all involved in the Paddy Hopkirk Gala and Cavalcade that took place last Saturday 22nd it was one of those extraordinary days. Enniskillen Motor Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and a dinner dance has been arranged for this Saturday night in the Manor House Hotel. It is hard to believe he is 81 years old. The time gaps between the top three just got bigger stage by stage. Then there was the brilliant autotest at the Titanic area and the Gala Banquet in the evening which was superb.
Earlier this week well over entries had been received.
Alan wants to get the car right for West Cork. This will be in addition to the Lisburn City stage on the Saturday afternoon.
Looking further ahead, the Dunlop National Championship rolls into action one week further on with the Mayo Stages at Ballina. There was no overall GpN award in Birr. The event will be televised by Sport Vision, same as the other Tarmac rounds. Roy White had a new engine in his MG S and led initially with a cracking time over the opening stage, Shanahoe.
In the changeable conditions, Hugh found himself not on the right rubber at least once.
Gordon Dunne, MLA, who is also a great rally enthusiast, provided tea and coffee at Stormont for some privileged guests. Donegal man Declan, with Brian Boyle co-driving, won the recent Galway International Rally a couple of weeks ago to open his Tarmac Championship bid in style.