Laukkanen top seed for Rally of the Lakes

Finnish driver Tapio Laukkanen, in his Subaru Impreza WRC S7, is top seed for the Ordnance Survey Ireland Rally of the Lakes 2004.

Finnish driver Tapio Laukkanen, in his Subaru Impreza WRC S7, is top seed for the Ordnance Survey Ireland Rally of the Lakes 2004.

With two rounds now completed in the seven-event 2004 Pirelli Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, the attention of the contenders and their supporters now turns to Killarney for the Ordnance Survey Ireland Rally of the Lakes, which will take place on the May Bank Holiday Weekend.

Eugene Donnelly took victory on the 2003 Rally of the Lakes, and later secured the National Rally Championship and the Northern Ireland Championship.

Donnelly drove a Subaru Impreza WRC in 2003, but he and co-driver, Paul Kiely, have switched to a Toyota Corolla WRC for 2004.

Donnelly currently heads the 2004 Pirelli Tarmac standings, and his consistent pace should ensure that he will be in the shake up for the title at the end of the season.

Derek McGarrity, the reigning Tarmac Champion, trails Donnelly by just a single point in the 2004 Pirelli series, and comes to Killarney on the back of a second Circuit of Ireland win in a row.

A good points haul in Killarney is essential if Galway International Rally winner, Tapio Laukkanen is to add the 2004 Irish Tarmac Championship to the British title he won in 1999.

Ordnance Survey Ireland Rally of the Lakes 2004

Top 10 Seeds

1 Tapio Laukkanen/Harri Kaapro, Subaru Impreza WRC S7

2 Derek McGarrity/Dermot O'Gorman, Subaru Impreza WRC S9

3 Eugene Donnelly/Paul Kiely, Toyota Corolla WRC

4 Austin McHale/Brian Murphy, Ford Focus WRC03

5 Donie O'Sullivan/Paul Nagle, Ford Focus WRC01+

6 Eamonn Boland/Damien Morrissey, Mitsubishi Lancer WRC2

7 George Tracey/Jakes Kelly, Peugeot 206WRC

8 Peadar Hurson/TBA, Subaru Impreza WRC P2000

9 Tim McNulty/Anthony Nestor, Subaru Impreza WRC S7

10 Liam McCarthy/Kieran Murphy, Toyota Corolla WRC

Pirelli Irish Tarmac Rally Championship 2004

Positions after two of seven rounds*:

1: Eugene Donnelly/Paul Kiely, Toyota Corolla WRC, 24 points;

2: Derek McGarrity/Dermot O'Gorman, Subaru Impreza WRC S9, 23;

3: Austin McHale/Brian Murphy, Ford Focus WRC03, 18;

4: Tapio Laukkanen/Harri Kaapro, Subaru Impreza WRC S7, 15;

5: Donie O'Sullivan/Paul Nagle, Ford Focus WRC01/02, 11.

(* Subject to official confirmation).

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