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TRITON SHOWERS ROUND 7 PREVIEW GALWAY SUMMER RALLY
GALWAY SUMMER TO SHINE AMONGST TRITON SHOWERS SERIES
Preview courtesy of Triton Showers - proud sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship.
he Triton Showers National Rally Championship reaches the penultimate point (Round 7) on Sunday next with the nine-stage Lady Gregory Hotel Galway Summer Rally that is based in Gort. The organisers, the Galway Motor Club with Mark Parsons as clerk of the course, have attracted an entry of 140 crews all of whom will be hoping to finish the event that takes place over the classic stages like Lough Cutra, the Black Road and Brady?s Yard. Servicing is in the mart complex in Gort.
Three times national champion and last year?s winner Monaghan?s Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) heads the entry. The national championship regular is currently third in the Triton series and in line for yet another top three finish.
Outgoing champion Clonmel?s Roy White (Ford Fiesta WRC) will be keen to get that inaugural victory in a round of the series. There is also a sub-plot to his participation and while he has seen his own title and the Vard Memorial Trophy taken by Sam Moffett on the last round, the Sligo Rally, White?s co-driver James O?Brien will be determined to hold on to the Noel Smith Trophy for the top co-driver.
Opposition for that award comes from Sam Moffett?s co-driver Karl Atkinson, like O?Brien, he also hails from Cork. Atkinson missed Moffett?s opening round win in Nenagh and as Moffett is not competing on Sunday, Atkinson will co-drive for another Monaghan driver - Stephen Wright (Ford Fiesta R5) - his own brother-in-law. For Atkinson to deny O?Brien the co-driver?s title, he needs a top five finish in Galway and on the final round in Bantry (Fastnet Rally) at the end of October, irrespective of what O?Brien achieves with Roy White.
Sandwiched between White and Wright in Galway is former champion, Warrenpoint?s Peadar Hurson (Ford Fiesta WRC), who won the national championship title all of 25 years ago and will certainly be a contender for outright victory in Galway an event he won two seasons ago, driving a Subaru WRC.
The top ten also includes a plethora of Ford Escorts in the hands of Gary Kiernan, Brian Brogan, Frank Kelly and Wesley Patterson along with Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi) and the Subaru WRC of title sponsor Kevin Barrett.
Kiernan took second overall in last year?s rally; Donegal man Brogan was a contender for the rally.ie award and the Mk. 2 Champions Trophy very early in the season but a non-finish in Monaghan put an end to both bids. That should allow a strong contest between the quartet with Tyrone?s Frank Kelly and Lisburn?s Wesley Patterson all seeking a top finish.
Meanwhile, the Motorsport Safety Team Group N title rests between Monaghan?s
Shane Maguire and Cork?s David Guest, both in Mitsubishi Evo IX?s. That award is based on the highest placed overall finisher with the best six from eight events to count. Having dominated during the opening three rounds, Guest, who had a non-finish in the Circuit of Munster, now trails the ever improving Maguire by twelve points. However, with dropped scores taken into consideration, there certainly is a window of opportunity for Guest, who must finish ahead of Maguire in the Galway Summer to keep the series within his own grasp. Fellow Group N drivers Maynooth?s Paul Barrett (Subaru) and Dubliner Neil Tohill (Mitsubishi) could play a part in the destiny of the title.
Maynooth?s Kevin Barrett, in the Triton Showers liveried Subaru WRC has made only limited appearances in the current series as he concentrated on the efforts of his son Paul, on Sunday he will be aiming to finish higher than his seeded position of No. 10. The aforementioned David Guest occupies the number eleven berth.
Elsewhere, Ballylickey?s Daniel Cronin (Mitsubishi EvoIX), double Motorsport Safety Team Group N champion, Aidan Wray (Mitsubishi EvoIX) from Tyrone and Galwegian Tom Flaherty (Ford Escort) are also on the entry list.
Flaherty is the highest seeded local driver and will be co-driven by Martin Flynn, they will be aiming to win the coveted Conroy Cup, for the best Galway Motor Club crew, an award they won two years ago. Last year the award went to Paul Curley/Jason Ollernshaw. On this occasion, Pat Kelly/Jonathon Kelly (Subaru) and Ross Forde/Paul Horan (Ford Escort) are amongst the contenders.
Meanwhile, former Irish Forest Rally champions Pat O'Connell/Mark Wiley (Mitsubishi EvoX) are also competing.
In the Mk. 2 Champions Trophy, the top four, Eamonn McGuigan, Thomas O?Connell, Barry Morris and Mickey Conlon are all in action and with the series based on the best five results, there is still much to play for.
The Triton Showers Junior title is finely poised with Meath?s Brian Brady leading from Donegal?s Michael Boyle and Monaghan?s Johnny Treanor, all in Honda Civics. Brady is the current leader. The trio are amongst the nine crews that will start the Junior category of the Galway Summer Rally.
Organising Club: Galway Motor Club
Clerk of the Course: Mark Parsons.
Rally Headquarters: Lady Gregory Hotel, Gort. Tel: 091 632333.
First Car Away: 09.45.
S.S. 1, 4 & 7: Lough Cutra (9.29km) 10.33, 13.03 & 15.33.
S.S. 2, 5 & 8: Black Road (18.88km) 11.00, 13.30 & 16.00.
S.S. 3, 6 & 9: Brady?s Yard (11.50km) 11.41, 14.11 & 16.41.
Service: 9.55, 12.15, & 14.45.
Finish Ramp: Lady Gregory Hotel. Gort. 17.15.
Top 10 Starters:
1 Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC).
2 Roy White/James O'Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC).
3 Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly (Ford Fiesta WRC).
4 Stephen Wright/Karl Atkinson (Ford Fiesta R5).
5 Gary Kiernan/Ryan Moore (Ford Escort).
6 Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan (Ford Escort).
7 Frank Kelly/Martin Brady (Ford Escort)
8 Wesley Patterson/Johnny Baird (Ford Escort).
9 Shane Maguire/Darragh Kelly (Mitsubishi Evo IX).
10 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru WRC).
Provisional Championship Positions after Round 6:
1. S. Moffett 124 points (Champion); 2. R. White 93pts; 3. N. Maguire 71pts; 4. S. Maguire 65pts; =5. D. Guest & D. Kelly 53pts; 7. L. Hastings 45pts; 8. D. Boyle 34pts; 9. M. Kelly 32pts 10. B. Cumiskey 31pts.
2017 Triton Showers National Rally Championship Diary Dates:
1. Abbey Court Hotel Nenagh Rally S. Moffett/J. Fulton (Fiesta WRC)
2. Midland Rally (Longford) S. Moffett/K. Atkinson (Fiesta WRC)
3. Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Rally S. Moffett/K. Atkinson (Fiesta WRC)
4. Circuit of Munster S. Moffett/K. Moriarty (Fiesta WRC)
5. Raven?s Rock Rally (Waterford) S. Moffett/K. Atkinson (Fiesta WRC)
6. Sligo Rally S. Moffett/K. Atkinson (Fiesta WRC)
7. Galway Summer Rally (Gort) August 27
8. Fastnet Rally (Bantry) October 29
Triton Showers National Rally Championship.
TRITON SHOWERS EVENT REPORT FOR ROUND 7 GALWAY SUMMER RALLY
HURSON SHINES IN GALWAY SUMMER RALLY
Report courtesy of Triton Showers - proud sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship.
Warrenpoint?s Peadar Hurson (Ford Fiesta WRC) and his Monaghan co-driver Damien Connolly took a start to finish victory in the Lady Gregory Hotel Galway Summer Rally, the penultimate round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship that was based in Gort.
They finished 31.4 seconds ahead of the Fiesta WRC of Clonmel?s Roy White and Cork co-driver James O?Brien, who took maximum points in the Triton series. Monaghan?s Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC) were 38.9 seconds further behind in third.
Hurson (Fiesta WRC) and Wright (Fiesta R5) were the only drivers to break the five minute barrier on the opening stage, Lough Cutra with the former taking an impressive 13.7 second lead. Top seed Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) was nine tenths of a second further behind in third and 2.3 seconds ahead of outgoing Triton Champion Roy White (Fiesta WRC).
An impressive Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi) occupied fifth ? 16.6 seconds ahead of his Motorsport Safety Team Group N rival David Guest, who was fortunate to have contested the test stage as his Mitsubishi developed a throttle problem that was sorted overnight. Cork?s Daniel Cronin, who switched to the Fiesta R5 belonging to his brother Keith, was sixth. The second stage was cancelled due to organisational issues. Hurson and Wright set the best times on the third stage and Hurson arrived at the Gort service park with a lead of 21.2 seconds with Wright in second - 4.9 seconds ahead of Niall Maguire. Leader Hurson admitted he had a major moment on the third stage when his Fiesta got out of line at high speed while Wright opined that he was taking things steady.
Maguire in third found it difficult to get the best out of his Subaru due to the greasy nature of part of the stages.
Kiernan led the Modified section but was concerned about a whine from the rear differential at high speed. Cronin continued in sixth - he reckoned he was braking far too early for the junctions, but he retired with differential woes on the fourth stage. .
Shane Maguire continued to hold the advantage in Group N where he was 15.8 seconds ahead of title rival David Guest whose Mitsubishi suffered a misfire. The Escorts of John McQuaid, Mickey Conlon and Frank Kelly completed the top ten. Elsewhere, Tom Flaherty in twelfth spot was the top Galway driver.
Out on the second loop Hurson extended his advantage to 42.2 seconds, despite being on an intermediate tyre instead of a soft slick. Roy White, who was on the correct tyres punched in the best time on S.S. 4, he was 21.3 seconds ahead of Niall Maguire.
Wright slipped to fourth after he was caught out on a junction during the fourth stage that took part of the front right bumper away.
A composed Kiernan remained at the head of the Modified section where he was 32.8 seconds clear of the Escort of Frank Kelly.
Shane Maguire held seventh, importantly, he was a minute and 42.2 seconds ahead of David Guest, who lost time on S.S. 6 with rear differential problems. The Mitsubishi?s of Aidan Wray and Pat O?Connell rounded out the top ten. Flaherty was eleventh.
Hurson went on to claim the spoils, he lost time on the penultimate stage when he overshot and stalled his Ford Fiesta WRC. White was quickest on the Power Stage to claim a total of twenty-one Triton points. Maguire and Wright completed the top four and untroubled Kiernan scooped the Modified award ? 40.2 seconds ahead of Frank Kelly.
Shane Maguire took a decisive step towards the Motorsport Safety Team Group N award, he netted sixteen points and provisionally, he leads Guest by ten points.
The Conroy Cup for the top Galway Motor Club crew was won by Tom Fkaherty/Martin Flynn (Ford Escort).
The Triton Showers Drive of the Day was won by Vincent Collins/Fintan Kilroe (Ford Escort).
Meanwhile, Jason Black (Toyota Starlet) won the Junior category as the Triton Showers Junior title remains finely poised between Meath?s Brian Brady Donegal?s Michael Boyle and Monaghan?s Johnny Treanor, all in Honda Civics.
1. P. Hurson/D. Connolly (Ford Fiesta WRC) 51m. 12.3s.
2. R. White/J. O'Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC) 51m. 43.7s.
3. N. Maguire/E. Sherry (Subaru WRC) 52m. 22.6s.
4. S. Wright/K. Atkinson (Ford Fiesta R5) 52m. 52.7s.
5. G. Kiernan/R. Moore (Ford Escort) 53m. 27.2s.
6. F. Kelly/S. Hayde (Ford Escort) 54m. 07.4s.
7. S. Maguire/D. Kelly (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 54m. 54.6s.
8. P. O'Connell/M. Wiley (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 54m. 54.7s.
9. T. Flaherty/M. Flynn (Ford Escort) 55m. 00.9s.
10. K. Barrett/A. Nestor (Subaru WRC) 55m. 01.7s.
Provisional Championship Positions after Round 7:
1. S. Moffett 124 points (Champion); 2. R. White 101pts; 3. N. Maguire 89pts; 4. S. Maguire 74pts; 5. D. Guest 64pts.
Triton Showers National Rally Championship.