After nine tough stages in the Quality Hotel Clonakilty West Cork Rally, Donagh Kelly in his Ford Focus WRC is on course to take a record fourth win in a row on the event. With the first days action now complete, Kelly holds a 31 second advantage over Sam Moffett & Karl Atkinson in their Ford Fiesta R5. There is a fierce battle right down to fifth place with Robert Barrable, Josh Moffett and Alastair Fisher all within 40 seconds of Sam Moffett. It has been a day of high speed and remarkably few retirements despite the damp and slippery conditions at times. Only one of the original top ten has retired, and that was number sever seeds Kevin Kelleher & Gwynfor Jones who were troubled from the start with turbo problems in their Impreza WRC S14 and withdrew after stage 4.
Top 5 overnight:
1 - Donagh Kelly / Conor Foley Focus WRC 1:01:32.2
2 - Sam Moffett / Karl Atkinson Fiesta R5 1:02:03.1
3 - Rob Barrable / Damien Connolly Hyundai i20 R5 1:02:17.2
4 - Josh Moffett / James Fulton Fiesta R5 1:02:22.3
5 - Alastair Fisher / Gordon Noble Fiesta R5 1:02:43.7
The national rally is currently being led by Kevin Eves in his Toyota Corolla after setting some stunning times despite the strong opposition with Brian Brogan and Gary Kiernan completing the top three places. Damien Tourish had been going very well but retired after hitting a bank on Stage 6 while Frank Kelly is running in Rally 2 having retired on Stage 3 with a broken driveshaft. Six more stages are scheduled for tomorrow with the first car due at the finish ramp at approximately 3:45pm.