Milltown co-driver Ger Conway was the best of the Kerry competitors on Sunday’s Mayo Rally.
The Claremorris-based event was the opening round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship, the Top Part West Coast Rally Championship, and the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship.
Conway guided Monaghan’s Stephen Wright to third place overall in their Ford Fiesta Rally 2.
Their result was one place better than their fourth place on the Kirkistown Rally in County Down last month and it was Conway’s first attempt at the Mayo Rally.
“It was a good day, good weather and nice stages,” he said at the finish ramp. “We started the day steady and upped the pace a bit after lunch then, happy with the times and nice to get a podium on our first visit to Mayo.”
Armagh’s Darren Gass and his Muckross co-driver Noel O’Sullivan finished one pace behind in their first outing in a newly acquired Citroen C3 Rally2. It was the crew’s first time working together and O’Sullivan’s first Irish event since 2019 after stints in the British and Junior World Rally Championships.
“It was good to get to the end of a tricky day in Mayo,” said O’Sullivan.
“Darren’s first time out in his new Citroen C3R5, the times definitely improved as the day went on which was a good positive.”
County Meath’s Peter Wilson and his Currow co-driver John McCarthy finished well down the order in 23rd place overall after a trying day in the west of Ireland.
“We had brake issues on the first loop. On the second loop the car was down on power with a turbo boost issue,” explained McCarthy. “We didn’t have any issues in the second half of the day. Well done to Mayo Mc for a well-run event.”
Elaine NÍ Shé won the best Female co-driver award for participants registered for the Top Part West Coast Championship.
She was co-driving for Alan Nesbitt in a Ford Escort Mk2 – his first event since 2019.
“Few car issues throughout the day so we were happy to get to the finish and get stage miles together. Looking forward to the next day out,” she said at the finish. The hope contest next Month’s Birr Rally in the same car.
Ger Somers, on co-driving duty for Raymond Spence in another Ford Escort Mk2.
“We were happy to get a finish as we hadn’t a full day’s rallying since before COVID,” said Ger. We are looking forward to Birr next month.”
Rathmore schoolteacher Declan Casey failed to make the finish. He and his driver Andrew Gillespie hit a gatepost on stage one, bending the axle in their Ford Escort which forced instant retirement. Paul Barrett was another driver in the wars. The Kildare man with strong family connections to Ballyduff was run well inside the top five until the later loop of stages. A brake problem in their Ford Fiesta R2 caused an off-road excursion on the final loop and he joined the growing retirement list.
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