Rallyinterviews Thank You Message The staff of rallyinterviews.com would like to congratulate Cork rally driver Darragh O'Riordan & Tony McDaid on their great win in this years SEPAM Stonethrowers Rally. Rallyinterviews would like to thank the members of the Stonethrowers Rally for having us down for this years rally. Rallyinterviews got over 11,000 plays from this years event and we would like to thank all the drivers that stopped with us at the end of the stages, without their interviews we cant give the listener the information. We would like to thank you the listener for playing all the interviews from this years Stonethrowers Rally 2014 and we hope you keep listing as our next event is the Wexford Stages Rally 2014 Regards Rallyinterviews.com
THE fifth round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship, the
Clonmel based Sepam Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally provided plenty of drama as
Cork driver Darragh O’Riordan (Ford Fiesta WRC) and his Derry co-driver Tony
McDaid took the spoils.
They finished 44.4 seconds in front of the
Darian T90 of Wexford’s James Stafford/Amy Ryan. Third place for Welsh
ace Steve Wood (Subaru WRC) and his Limerick co-driver Keith Moriarty was
enough to promote them into the lead of the Dunlop series.
The top three seeds, Declan Boyle, the defending
Dunlop champion along with title protagonist, Hugh Hunter and pre-event series
leader Paddy McVeigh – all in Subaru WRC’s – all failed to finish.
Boyle (Subaru WRC) set the pace on the opening
stage where he was 1.1 seconds ahead of his fellow Donegal driver Donagh Kelly
(Ford Focus WRC) with Hugh Hunter (Subaru WRC) 10.3 seconds further behind in
third and O’Riordan fourth – 12.2 seconds off the lead, he thought his Fiesta
had punctured and backed off for a few kilometres. Reigning Irish
Forest rally champion, Michael O’Brien was the first major retirement when he
crashed his Ford Focus WRC.
Boyle retired on the second stage near Adfinnan
with issues related to the input shaft. His demise promoted Kelly into
the lead – 2.1 seconds ahead of O’Riordan, who posted the best time for the
stage as Hunter remained in third. The lead changed again on the third stage
when Kelly’s Ford Focus WRC overheated and he lost considerable time dropping
to second – 25.2 seconds behind new leader O’Riordan, who was again fastest
through the stage. Pre-event Dunlop series leader Paddy McVeigh, who was
ninth on the opening stage, retired his Subaru WRC with gear selection
Although Kelly remained on the leaderboard, he
withdrew after the stage finish. At the Clonmel service park rally leader
O’Riordan remarked that there was a vibration in the car on the opening
stage. Stafford occupied third but reckoned the suspension set-up wasn’t
suitable for the terrain on the second and third stages. Wood hit a chicane
bale and stalled on the third stage – he was fourth – 50.1 seconds off top
spot. Alan Ring in fifth place had an eventful opening loop, he stalled
the hired Melvyn Evans S12B Subaru WRC on two occasions and was off the road
for a brief while on the third stage. Hugh Hunter was also off on S.S. 3,
he punctured and lost over four minutes and dropped to 40th.
Roy White (MG ZR) tumbled further down the order
due to an altercation on the third stage. He slid off and broke a track
control arm and finished the stage with no tyre on the rear right wheel.
Pat Donegan (Escort), who lost brakes towards
the finish of the third stage occupied sixth with an untroubled Kevin Barrett
(Subaru WRC), who was co-driven by Anthony Nestor, seventh. Vivian Hamill
(Escort) and pre-event leader of the Dunlop Mk. 2 Champions Trophy category
finished the third stage with a broken exhaust manifold. The
Escorts of Micky Conlon and Micky Curran rounded off the top ten. Elsewhere,
Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi) led Group N.
On the repeat loop O’Riordan consolidated his
lead and at the final service he led Stafford by 54.2 seconds, the latter
benefitting from harder tyres and a harder suspension. Wood was third and
admitted that he was concentrating on the acquisition of Dunlop points.
Meanwhile, the rate of attrition increased as Alan Ring crashed his Subaru on
the fifth stage.
Meanwhile, Donegan reckoned his tyre choice was
totally unsuitable for the sixth stage, nevertheless, he was a fine fourth with
Barrett next in classification. Micky Conlon (Escort) remarked that his
tyre selection was far too soft, he was sixth. James Coleman whose Escort
finished the first loop with a broken manifold and then had a major moment on
the fifth stage was next in general classification. The top ten was
completed by Jonathan Pringle, David Condell and Shane Maguire, the latter
continuing to lead Group N.
By the end of the loop Hugh Hunter had climbed a
massive 28 places to hold twelfth overall and on course to gain some valuable
Dunlop points, however, he was forced to retire at the service halt when his
service crew detected a crack in the gearbox casing.
O’Riordan cruised through the final loop even
though he had selected tyres suited to wet conditions – the total opposite to
the conditions that actually prevailed out on the stages. Stafford, with
fastest time on the final stage took the runner up spot and the maximum twenty
Welsh ace Wood settled for third and 18 Dunlop
points to move into the lead of the series after five of the eight
rounds. Barrett took his best finish of the season with fourth and Mickey
Conlon was the highest placed Ford Escort driver.
The similar cars of James Coleman, Pat Donegan,
Jonathan Pringle, David Condell and Micky Curran filled the remaining places in
the top ten.
Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi) won the Group N
category from local driver Gus Kearney in the Sepam liveried Mitsubishi and
Neil Tohill (Mitsubishi). With pre-event leader of the Motorsport Safety
Group N award Josh Moffett a non-starter, Shane Maguire moves into top spot in
The Dunlop Drive of the Day award was won by Roy
White/James O’Brien (MG ZR) – after plummeting to 83rd position,
they clawed their way back, including a fastest stage time on stage seven to
finish 20th. overall.
1. D. O’Riordan/T. McDaid (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h.03m.43.4s.
2. J. Stafford/A. Ryan (Darrian T90) 1h. 04m.27.8s.
3. S. Wood/K. Moriarty (Subaru WRC) 1h. 05m.45.2s.
4. K. Barrett/A. Nestor (Subaru WRC) 1h. 05m.57.6s.
5. M. Conlon/C. McPhillips (Ford Escort) 1h.07m. 11.9s.
6. J. Coleman/L. Brennan (Ford Escort) 1h. 07m.14.0s.
7. P. Donegan/A.Keena (Ford Escort) 1h. 07m.31.5s.
8. J. Pringle/M. Byrne (Ford Escort) 1h. 07m.41.2s.
9. D. Condell/E. McGrath (Ford Escort) 1h. 07m.54.4s.
10. M. Curran/E. Gerety (Ford Escort) 1h. 08m.15.4s.
Dunlop National Rally Championship (Provisional
Positions after Round 5): 1. Steve Wood 73pts; 2. Paddy McVeigh 60pts; 3. Roy White
57pts; 4. Declan Boyle 40pts; 5. Hugh Hunter 38pts; 6. Sam Moffett 36pts.
The next round of the Dunlop National Rally
Championship, the Galway Summer Rally takes place on Sunday August 31st.
Wexford club members James Stafford and Amy Ryan had a good day out on Sunday last in there Darrian T90 when they took to the country roads of Clonmel for Round Five of the Dunlop National Championship 2014.
Stafford and Ryan hadn’t been out since Kerry in April but with a late entry thing’s heated up for the Wexford pair. Running at 11th on the road they had their work cut out for the day ahead but no one could foresee what was going to happen on Stage One when championship leader Paddy McVeigh pulled out of the rally with a gear box issue.
Next after him was Donegal cousins Declan and Brian Boyle, they pulled there S12B WRC in with a prop shaft issue. This left an opening for Stafford to move up the field, but with a wrong stage time on Stage 2 the Wexford pair where left in 15th over all. But this was amended and they were given a time of 8:05.8 James reported after Stage One their car was having a set up issue but after Stage 2 it seemed to be ok and they went on in to Stage 3 where James and Amy set a time of 8:57.2 – 14.6 seconds slower then Cork man Daragh O’Riordan, but this was not to stop the Wexford pair, as we know when James Stafford comes under pressure he drives at his best and his best was still to come.
After stage 5 James had reported that the car was going but it was very Slippy and it was very hard to get the power to the ground and that he had to be very careful with braking points when coming out of junction’s, James had moved into 2nd at the end of stage 9, the final stage. James said they had a slow start to the day and had a few suspension issues but had them sorted going in to the last few stage’s and was happy with the day that was.
Three time rally winner Eugene Donnelly has secured a last minute deal to contest next weekend’s Toddsleap Ulster Rally in a Kenny McKinstry Subaru Impreza S14 WRC. The five times Irish champion has taken an enforced sabbatical from the sport since his MayDay Rally Sprint Stages victory earlier this year, but returns to the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Championship qualifier with regular co-driver Paul Kiely alongside. Supported by Lakeland Tyres, Donnelly will aim to better his hat trick of wins on the event in which centres around the rally base of Enniskillen and offers crews over 120 miles of competitive action over two action packed days.
Sporadic outings this year have hampered the local driver’s championship hopes but on the rare outings he has contested, Donnelly has showed that he has lost none of his raw pace and is sure to be a crowd pleaser on this year’s Ulster Rally. Having not competed since May will surely be a disadvantage over the super-quick Irish Tarmac pilots, but Donnelly is confident that it won’t take long to get back into the groove. “Of course it been a while since I sat in a rally car competitively, but I can’t keep away from the stages for too long.” he says. “It’s fantastic to be in the McKinstry Motorsport Subaru S14 WRC too and it will be interesting to see how it performs. I have a lot of respect for the rally and our sponsors Lakeland Tyres have a fantastic depot there so it will be great to representing the brand on their home event. They have also sponsored the super-special spectator stage at St Angelo airfield so I`ll be sure to put on a great show for the crowds and sponsors there!”The Maghera man has been mostly been seen in the McGeehan Motorsport MINI WRC this year, but the Subaru is a familiar sight to Donnelly and he is relishing the opportunity to contest some of the best roads in Northern Ireland. “There is always a great turn out on the rally and I think spectators will be in for a treat”he says. “We will be trying as hard as ever but the guys at the head of the field will be tough to beat. I have to say a huge thank you to Lakeland Tyres for their support and welcome Jinyu Tyres to the team. Thank you also of course to Protune, PPP Group and local company Nixons Car Breakers for their continued backing.”
The 15-16th August event is the seventh round of the 2014 Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally -Championship and offers over 120 competitive stage miles, spread across Western Northern Ireland. Based at the St Angelo Airfield in Enniskillen, the event kicks on Friday afternoon and continues into the evening. An early start follows on Saturday morning where the remaining stages will decide the victor of the event who will return to Enniskillen town centre to spray the champagne at the finish podium.
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