Day Two Rally Spain – how all the Irish crews fared

Just four stages and 56.10 kms remain in Rallye Catalunya including the traditional Power Stage. 

There is plenty of Irish interest to keep an eye on the final day of the rally.  

The biggest story of all is Paul Nagle’s retirement from top flight rallying after 18 years at the top.  

The Killarney man and his Waterford driver sit in seventh place overall ahead of Sunday’s four stages.  

They had a difficult Saturday as their Ford Puma was constantly understeering on the thousands of bends that litter the Catalan roads.  

“I feel like I overworked the front tyres. Towards the end of a loop, I killed the fronts completely. We are constantly working on it. It’s a slow process. Start in the dark Sunday and I’m looking forward to it,” said Breen at the end of Saturday’s 15th stage. 

Tyrone co-driver Aaron Johnston and his Japanese driver Takamoto Katsuta ended the day in eighth place in their Toyota Yaris RC1.  

“I had a pretty good feeling, even better than yesterday, increasing the pace step-by-step. It was not so easy to manage the tyres. I had some overheating. Some experience to get better for the future,” Katsuta.  

Josh McErlean and James Fulton have their eye on a bigger prize. Cavan man Fulton could win the WRC2 Junior co-driving title this weekend and that remains on target after they finished the day in 20th position and overall and their main title rivals Grégoire Munster and Louis Louka one place behind.  

Privateers, Eamonn Boland and Michael Morrissey finished the day in 42nd place overall, two up on Friday’s effort and third in the WRC2 Masters category.  

Ryan Caldwell and Grace O’Brien will make their European Rally Championship debut at the event by driving a Ford Fiesta RC4. 

They finished the day in 14th place overall in the European Championship category. Their rally concluded on Saturday. 

“I am exhausted but delighted,” said the Cork-based co-driver, “It was some weekend and some experience, it was difficult, but this is what we aspire to. We enjoyed every bit of it.”  

One of the surprise packages of the rally is Cookstown’s, Phillip Allen. On his maiden World Rally Championship outing. He ended day one in 25th place despite a faulty intercom in his Hyundai i20 RC2. 

He went off the road on Saturday but praised the efforts of Irish rally team PCRS which rebuilt the car in time to allow him to complete the rally under SuperRally rules.


 

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