Cork ‘20’ International Rally
A final day charge by Callum Devine and his Killarney co-driver Noel O’Sullivan wasn’t enough for the crew to get their second international rally win of the season at last weekend’s Cork ‘20’.
The Volkswagen Polo crew reduced eventual winners Josh Moffett’s and Andy Hayes 11.6-second advantage to 3.1 seconds with two stages left of the 15-stage event.
The Derry driver’s fastest time on Stage 12, Chimneyfield, was particularly impressive and halved the gap to Moffett on a single test.
Moffett feared the worst as he admitted he was already wringing the neck of his Hyundai with plenty of close calls along the way.
Moffett and Devine’s duel followed the early demise of Fisher’s Volkswagen Polo R5 on Stage 10. The Circuit of Ireland winner had held a 16.9-second lead after three stage wins in the wet on Saturday afternoon.
Fisher attacked Sunday’s first Badgers Hill test in a similar vein but his time at the top ended three-quarters of the way into the 20-kilometre stage. His Polo clipped a bank on a deceptive left-hander, damaging its suspension, and putting the ITRC hopefuls out of contention for the third rally in a row.
Devine’s Sunday morning fightback ensured Cork 20’s enthralling storyline kept to its captivating tone right to the end. Moffett and Devine put everything on the line over the last two Cork stages and despite Devine’s best efforts he couldn’t match the pace of Moffett. The recently crowned National Rally Champion won both Badgers Hill and Chimneyfield to claim his second Cork 20 victory by 8.4 seconds.
“We struggled a bit on Saturday with the car set up which put us on the back foot a little going into Sunday but the fight for the win went right down to the wire in the end,” said O’Sullivan
“Fair play to Josh and Andy on taking the win and thanks to Munster motor Club for running a super event and to the marshals who took the time to help out on a bank holiday weekend.”
The rally started off in a dramatic fashion with West Cork’s Daniel Cronin and Kerry co-driver Shane Buckley suffering a double-puncture on Saturday’s first stage.
There was a very high attrition rate in the modified rally with only four Kerry crew making it to the end.
Milltown’s Raymond O’Neill and his Cork codriver Padraig O’Donovan were second in their class in a Ford Escort.
The same result was achieved by Glenflesk’s Bob Moran and his Cork codriver Eoin Collins in another
Vincent O’Shea Eoin O’Donoghue were the only all Kerry crew to make the finish but they had to rely on SuperRally rules to get to the end. The perseverance paid off as the Darrian T90 finished second in the well subscribed class 14 after many of their rivals fell by the wayside on Sunday.
Amy Burke, in her second rally finished fifth in class in the Escort she shared with Cathal Nolan.
Luke McCarthy and Brian Duggan took second place in the historic section of the Cork ‘20’ in their Ford Escort and are now in second place in the Irish Tarmac Historic Rally Championship.
Pre event favourites Alna Ring and Adrian Deasy had a rally to forget. Their Subaru Legacy had turbo problems on Saturday and a broken driveshaft ended Sunday’s run.
Cork crew Evan McEvoy and Aaron McEvoy won the Junior section, one minute ahead of Kerry team Gary Healy and Gearoid Moynihan.
Anthony O’Driscoll had been in second place but Healy pipped him to the position by four seconds on Cork 20’s last stage.
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