Peadar Hurson leads all the way in Galway Summer Rally

Warrenpoint driver Peadar Hurson secured a splendid victory in the 4x4 Exporter Galway Summer Rally, the penultimate round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.

Leading all through, Hurson and his Monaghan co-driver Damien Connolly in their Formula Karting liveried S10 Subaru WRC finished with a winning margin of a minute and 9.1 seconds.

The chase for second ebbed and flowed throughout the nine stages but at the finish the Monaghan pair of Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC) were best of the rest. Donegal’s Declan Gallagher/Ryan Moore (Toyota Starlet) were just nine-tenths of a second behind in third. The Kerry/Cork pairing of Alan Ring/Adrian Deasy (Subaru WRC) were fourth.

Top seed and outgoing national champion Declan Boyle fell victim to the slippery conditions of the opening stage near Athenry, his Ford Fiesta WRC slid off the road near Attymon damaging the front right wheel and suspension system. Out front, Hurson stormed his way through the stage and led second placed Alan Ring by 14.6 seconds with Steve Wood just behind. Three fastest times and a lead of 32.5 seconds was Hurson’s reward at the end of the opening loop, his only glitch when he clipped a chicane on the second stage and smashed the left hand wing mirror. Maguire held second and Wood stayed in contention - 1.8 seconds further behind, however, a time consuming spin on the fourth stage relegated the Welsh ace to sixth. Meanwhile, Kevin Barrett’s Subaru remained at the Athenry service due to a suspension problem that forced his retirement.

There was no stopping Hurson and as the conditions improved he stretched his lead and arrived at the final service halt with a 51.8 second advantage. A superb drive from Gallagher elevated the Donegal’s man Toyota Starlet into second ahead of Maguire and Ring although the trio were within a 7.7-second timeframe.

Hurson went onto claim a fine victory while Maguire snatched second – a fraction of a second in front of Gallagher. Roy White (MG ZR) punched in the best time on the Power Stage.

In terms of the Triton series, Maguire cannot be beaten for second while Ring, who spun on the penultimate stage and lost a possible second place in the event, is a point ahead of White in the race for third overall.

Limerick’s Ed O’Callaghan (Escort) was sixth. Cavan’s Jonathan Pringle (Escort) clinched the Escort Mk. 2 Triton Showers Champions Trophy edging out fellow county driver Chris Armstrong (Escort).

In the Motorsport Safety Group N category Aidan Wray (Mitsubishi) retired with clutch issues and long time leader Gary Cairns bowed out on the final loop leaving Donegal’s Trevor Bustard (Mitsubishi) take the spoils.

Meanwhile, in the European Rally Championship, Craig Breen suffered a set back in his bid to win the series as he finished seventh in the Barum Czech Rally Zlin, the seventh round of the series. The rally was won by local hero Jan Kopecky (Skoda Fabia R5), who also clinched the Czech national title. Breen was in fourth position – trailing series leader Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Ford Fiesta R5) by six seconds when he lost over two and a half minutes with a puncture on S.S. 5. To add to his woes, he suffered two more punctures during Saturday’s leg and was eleventh overnight. Yesterday, he climbed a few more places but with Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Ford Fiesta R5) securing third overall, Breen was powerless to stop the Polish ace extend his lead in the series.

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