Jonny Pringle powers to victory in Baltinglass

Clawing back a ten-second deficit after the opening stage Cavan driver Jonny Pringle (Ford Escort) went onto claim a 31-second victory in the Germaines of Baltinglass Rally. 
Jonny Pringle powers to victory in Baltinglass

Co-driven by Mullingar’s Alan Keena they finished ahead of the Darrian GTR of early leaders Maynooth’s Ian Barrett/Eoin O’Flaherty. Ashbourne’s Jack Newman/Andrew Browne (Escort) were a minute and six seconds further behind in third.

Barrett seeded at 22 was best on the opening stage – ten seconds ahead of Pringle, who lost time as he had chosen a hard slick tyre but during the stage there was a shower of rain. Carlow’s David Condell (Escort) was some three seconds further behind followed by Newman.

With no further rain, the Bailieboro man opted to remain on slicks - powering his way through the second stage where he posted the best time to reduce Barrett’s lead to three seconds.

Newman slotted into third but Condell retired with a mechanical problem. On S.S. 3 Pringle was quickest again (jointly with Johnno Doogan) and shared top spot with Barrett. Newman continued in third but he was 50 seconds adrift of the leading pair.

Continuing his good form Pringle moved into a 12 second lead at the conclusion of the fourth stage with Barrett and Newman following as the Escort trio of Alister Fingleton, Peter Wilson and Martin Doherty rounded out the top six.

Even though his Escort developed clutch troubles on the final pair of stages that made changing down through the gears difficult, the Cavan man still continued to dominate and went on to claim the spoils from Barrett and Newman.

Letterkenny’s Martin Doherty (Escort) improved on the final pair of stages to secure fourth a second ahead of Peter Wilson (Escort). Alistair Fingleton (Escort) finished sixth some four seconds further behind.

Irish Tarmac champion West Cork driver Keith Cronin was presented with the Bertie Fisher Trophy at the awards ceremony for the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Championship at the Clayton Hotel in Galway on Saturday night.

The Ballylickey driver is unsure of his plans for 2017 but stated he will decide within the next six weeks.

In circuit racing, Dubliner Niall Murray won the British Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch for the second time in four years finishing ahead of pole sitter Scott Malvern and another British driver Chris Middlehurst.

Murray was in superb form winning his heat and the semi-final to claim a front row start position. Elsewhere, in the final round of the European Le Mans Series at Estoril, Cork driver Matt Griffin and his British team-mates Duncan Cameron and Aaron Scott took third spot in the LMGTE category.

Cameron drove the opening stint but his AF Corse prepared Ferrari was hit by another competitor and he had to return to the pits to change a punctured wheel. Griffin was on board for the final stint and brought the car to the final spot on the podium for the second successive race.

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