Damp and foggy conditions greeted the 100 plus crews that came to compete on the 35th Cartell.ie Rally of the Lakes this morning which promised a tough challenge. The event which is the third round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship attracted most of the registered competitors with one notable exception, 2013 Tarmac Champion Garry Jennings. The Kesh driver was unable to get his Subaru Impreza WRC repaired in time after his last stage Circuit of Ireland accident, and as a result unable to have the opportunity to repeat his Lakes victory of 2013.
The first stage in keeping with tradition was a blast up Molls Gap and the Impreza WRC of Declan Boyle the top seed and championship leader signalled his intentions with a fastest time, 9.6 seconds ahead of fellow Donegal man Donagh Kelly in a Focus WRC. Sam Moffett in a Fiesta WRC moved into third place 19 seconds off the lead while Daragh O’Riordan in a similar car had a disastrous run with a puncture midway through the stage which cost him over 90 seconds and left him 16th overall.
The next two stages were Beallaghbeama and Caragh Lake, and O’Riordan took fastest as Boyle extended his lead to 16 seconds and it looked like he was about to pull away from the field. However Kelly began to fight back and took fastest on the third test to lay down the challenge. Moffett was third but losing a little bit of ground to the leading pair while O’Riordan had another good time to move into fifth place behind the Impreza WRC of Alan Ring but the damage was already done to the Midleton man’s challenge. Boyle took another fastest time on the second run over Molls Gap but a pair of fastest times from Kelly had the margin back to just 6.1 seconds as they began to pull away from the rest of the field. Colm Murphy had led Group N on the earlier stages and had built up a good lead over Josh Moffett until mechanical failure out him out on stage 5 Beallaghbeama.
The last short stage of the day at Kilcummin saw Boyle post another quickest time to stretch his lead out to 7.9 seconds overnight with Moffett third and O’Riordan fourth and Alan Ring in fifth place. Josh Moffett is in sixth place and leads Group N overnight while Joe McGonigle (Clio) and Stephen Carey (Civic) make up the top eight overnight with eight more stages to follow tomorrow.
The national category is also fiercely contested as it’s the fourth round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Modified Championship and Roy White holds a 7.4 second lead over Wesley Patterson with Declan Gallagher just 11 seconds behind. Gallagher the championship leader is still in a strong position though as only Patterson of the duo ahead of him is registered for points. Cal McCarthy, Jason McSweeney and Martin Donnelly are all well placed to add to their points tally in the championship.
The Historic Championship is also in its fourth round and Denis Moynihan and Mark Falvey have an opportunity to overtake the championship leader Ray Cunningham who is not competing on Killarney. After the seven stages Moynihan holds the advantage with a 25.7 second lead over Falvey both of whom are driving Escorts. Ernie Graham (Escort) is currently third of the registered drivers with Philip McKibbin and John Spiers making up the top five. With eight more stages to follow on tomorrow it’s all to play for and remember you can get all the up to date results from http://results.rallyofthelakes.com of from the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship App for Smartphones under Results and then the Harcon tab.
TROA Press & Media Officer,
Phone: +353 86 286 6256