McGrath wins Wexford rally

Inheriting the lead on today's third stage of the final leg of the Dick Bailey Wexford Rally, last year's winner PJ McGrath (Subaru) went on to net back-to-back victories.

The Wexford driver finished the twelve stage event with an advantage of one minute and 28 seconds over his British rival, Damien Cole (Ford Focus WRC).

James M. Stafford (Darrian) was a further 21 seconds behind in third despite the addition of a one minute time penalty.

Overnight leader, Dubliner, Michael Barrable (Ford Focus WRC) saw his one minute lead cut to 31 seconds when he overshot and subsequently stalled at a junction on this morning's opening stage.

However, on the next stage (S.S. 8) he gained six seconds on McGrath to lead by 37 seconds with four stages remaining.

But, out on Stage 9, his Ford Focus WRC ground to a halt when the throttle motor failed.

McGrath was best placed to take advantage and went on to take a relatively easy victory.

Damien Cole (Ford Focus WRC) was second.

One of the performances of the day came from James M Stafford, who climbed from sixth place to take third.

1. PJ McGrath/B. Collins (Subaru WRC) 2h. 01m. 59s.

2. D. Cole/C. Drew (Ford Focus WRC) 2h. 03m. 27s.

3. J.M. Stafford/A. Ryan (Darrian T90) 2h. 03m. 48s.

4. W. James/D. Roberts (Darrian T90) 2h. 03m. 58s.

5. T. Doyle/C. Fitzgerald (Renault Clio) 2h.06m. 31s.

6. N. McCance/F. Regan (Mitsubishi Evo9) 2h. 07m. 00s.

7. S. Flanagan/B. Duggan (Subaru) 2h. 07m. 30s.

Meanwhile, next season's Irish Tarmac Championship will not include Rally Isle of Man or the Jim Clark Rally.

They have been dropped from the series that will now consist of six Irish rounds - Galway, Circuit of Ireland, Killarney, Donegal, Ulster and Cork - with the best five scores to count.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Tarmac Rally Organisers Association (TROA) in Dublin earlier today.

Meanwhile, it was also decided that World Rally cars will be part of the ITC until 2011 but will not be eligible to score points from 2012 onwards.

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