West Cork Rally Historic & Junior Section
Neil Williams from Wales and his West Cork co-driver Anthony O’Sullivan were convincing winners of the Historic section of the West Cork Rally. They took fastest time on all bar one stage in their Escort MK2 to win by 1 minute 42.2 seconds. The similar car of Luke McCarthy and David Hogan took the runner up spot on the final stage over Ray Cunningham & Jared Gill’s Mini. Cunningham had been second but the Mini was at a big disadvantage over the fast Sunday stages and they were pipped by 2.9 seconds. Ray Hilliard and Conor Walsh took fourth place in their distinctive Escort MK1 almost thirty seconds behind Cunningham. After the first stage the Historics competed on (Stage 6) it looked like a battle between Williams and fellow Welshman Daniel Jones might be on the cards. However Jones was forced to retire in service after just one stage when his Escort developed a terminal oil leak.
Top 5 Overall:
1 – Neil Williams / Anthony O’Sullivan Ford Escort Mk2 1:21:52.4
2 – Luke McCarthy / David Hogan Ford Escort Mk2 1:23:33.6
3 – Ray Cunningham / Jared Gill Austin Mini 1:23:36.5
4 – Ray Hilliard / Conor Walsh Ford Escort Mk1 1:24:05.2
5 – Duncan Williams / George Williams Ford Escort Mk2 1:24:16.6.
The Junior Rally went right down to the wire as Peter Falvey and Aaron Browne battled for supremacy on the Sunday stages. Eventually the win went to Peter Falvey / Andrew Cronin who was taking part in his first ever rally as a driver and his Toyota Starlet never missed a beat all day. The winning margin was just 3.8 seconds from Browne and co-driver Daniel Hanratty who led the event after the first stage but Falvey set a string of fastest times albeit by small margins to leave the result in doubt right until the end. Third overall went to Mick Lonergan & Mickey Walsh who made up for their Galway retirement. By the service halt Shane Norris & Michael Cunniffe were both out of the rally with driveshaft failure. Aaron Healy had also retired on the road section between stage 11 and 12 while Cian Walsh struggled to the end of the last stage of the loop with a very sick sounding Toyota Corolla and didn’t remerge from service. Barry Archer and Ronan Creagh were both late retirements in their respective Civics as only nine juniors made the finish.
Top 5 Overall:
1 – Peter Falvey / Andrew Cronin Toyota Starlet 0:40:02.1
2 – Aaron Browne / Daniel Hanratty Honda Civic 0:40:05.9
3 – Mick Lonergan / Mikey Walsh Honda Civic 0:41:44.1
4 – Neil Martin Brogan / Kevin McLoughlin Honda Civic 0:42:25.2
5 – Kieran Reen / Kevin Doherty Honda Civic 0:42:33.9