Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin won the Munster Car Club’s Abbey Hotel Moonraker Rally, in their Volkswagen Polo GTi. They were fastest on seven of the event’s eight stages, and eventually finished with an advantage of 43.5 seconds over Patrick and Stephen O’Brien in a Skoda Fabia,
For Cronin and Galvin, current leaders of the British Rally Championship, the outing on the Baile Bhúirne-based Moonraker provided an ideal lead-in to Saturday’s Nicky Grist Rally in Wales, with various gravel tyre and set-up combinations tested on the Tom Gahan Motorsport run Polo en route to the win.
PJ O’Connor and Denny Greaney were start to finish Class 4 winners in their Mitsubishi Lancer E9.
Kerry Motor Club’s Mike Jnr O’Connor and Corkman Barry Attridge were second in class 13 in their Opel Manta GTE. Mikie had previously used the ex Jon Ballinger Opel in autocross events but this was his first rally in ten years. A broken exhaust manifold kept them away from a potential overall two-wheel drive rally result.
Michael O’Donoghue and Danny Murphy reported a trouble free day in their unusual Subaru Impreza estate. They finished 24th overall and fourth in class.
Jason Russell was on co-droving duties for Cyril Wharton for the first time. A slipping clutch hindered progress in their Subaru Impreza on their way to second in Class 15.
Hal Lewis and Tommy Commane were fifth in class in their Ford Escort – another crew to report a trouble free day.
Mossie Costello and Tom Murphy made history on Saturday by becoming the first Kerry driver to win a Junior 1000 Rally in Ireland.
Costello, driving a Peugeot 107, snatched the event lead on the final stage after long-time leader Jack Brennan hit trouble. (More on Costello’s achievements in local newspapers this week and on website at a later date)
Local driver Gerard Lucey and his Headford codriver Donagh Crowley had to rely on Super Rally rules to get their Mitsubishi Evo 8 to the finish after being off the road on ss1.
Jack Harris and Niall Myers retired on SS5. They were running as high a third place in the junior rally – just seven second off the then third placed Costello when they stopped. It was Myers first time co-driving in the Junior 1000 class and experiencing driving on road sections, managing time cards and road books at the same time.
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