Irish pair notch first victory in WRC round

The Irish pair of Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle (Citroen DS3 WRC) took their maiden victory in a round of the World Rally Championship when they triumphed in Rally Argentina, round four of the series.

They finished 18.1 seconds ahead of their Citroen team mates Mads Ostberg/Jonas Andersson with Welsh driver Elfyn Evans, who was co-driven by Daniel Barritt scoring his first podium position after finishing third, even though his Ford Fiesta WRC broke its rear suspension in the final stage. They were three minutes and 39.3sec behind Ostberg.

Series leader Sebastien Ogier, who finished down the order after fuel supply problems, claimed the three bonus points from the final live TV Power Stage.

Aside from the opening stage Meeke/Nagle led all the way. At the end of the penultimate leg, the Tyrone/Killarney partnership had opened a lead of 38.6 seconds. However, Meeke was taking nothing for granted.

At the end of the final stage, an emotional Meeke fought back tears. “What can I say, it’s been an exceptionally long road. The one guy who did the most is not here, this one is for Colin,” said Meeke, dedicating the win to the late Colin McRae, who was his mentor.

Meanwhile, in the Monaghan Rally, round three of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship, the family duel between the Moffett brothers Sam and Josh went the way of the latter.

At the end of the nine-stage rally, Josh and co-driver Jason McKenna (Ford Fiesta WRC) finished 5.1 seconds in front of the similar car of Sam Moffett and his co-driver, James O’Reilly. Championship leaders Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Ford Focus WRC), who led at the end of the second stage, were third — 7.8 seconds further behind.

Declan Gallagher, who made a late switch to his usual Toyota Starlet, won the Modified section after long-time category leader Gary McPhillips crashed his Escort on the final corner of the final stage.

Meanwhile, on Saturday’s Lark In The Park Border Hopper Rally in north Donegal, Donagh Kelly (Ford Focus WRC) took a three-second victory over the Subaru WRC of Frank Wray.

Well-known Hillclimb competitor Simon McKinley from Naul, Co Meath, was tragically killed in an accident during the Clare Hillclimb on Saturday.

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