Brian O’Mahony kept his Dunlop National Rally Championship dreams alive today with a victory at the Stonethrowers Rally in Tipperary.
The Cork driver won by 43 seconds with Championship leader Thomas Fitzmaurice in second place and Colm Murphy finishing in third.
O’Mahony and co-driver John Higgins got off to a good start on stage one leading by four seconds from Niall Maguire, with Fitzmaurice having a terrible start coming in 12th after the first run of the day.
On the second stage Maguire overhauled O’Mahony to take a 16-second lead with Fitzmaurice battling back into third position.
Maguire extended his lead on the third stage and things looked ominous for the chasing pack but the Monaghan driver failed to start the fourth stage due to a reported wheel stud problem putting O’Mahony in top spot by 16 seconds.
O’Mahony never lost the lead for the rest of the day in his Subaru WRC to win ahead of Fitzmaurice with Colm Murphy and co-driver James O’Brien finishing third and taking the Group N win for the day.
Fitzmaurice’s second place finish means he keeps the Dunlop National Rally Championship lead ahead of Brian O’Mahony by 14 points with two rounds of the Champions left.
However after today’s non finish it looks as though Niall Maguire will not be adding to his three national titles as he is now 22 points off the leader.
The next round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship takes place in Clare on September 16 with the decided round in Donegal on October 13.