Harrison wins Marine Hotel Fastnet Rally

Monaghan’s Niall Maguire and his co-driver, Paul McLaughlin secured the 2004 Dunlop National Rally Championship on the Glandore based Marine Hotel Fastnet Rally, the tenth and final round of the series.

Monaghan’s Niall Maguire and his co-driver, Paul McLaughlin secured the 2004 Dunlop National Rally Championship on the Glandore based Marine Hotel Fastnet Rally, the tenth and final round of the series.

It was a record breaking third title for Maguire.

The event, one of the most closely fought contests of the campaign resulted in a win for overseas crew, Jim Harrison/Harvey Bell, their Subaru WRC finished just five seconds ahead of the West Cork crew of Liam McCarthy/Kieran Murphy, also in a Subaru.

Patrick Elliott/David Moynihan (Subaru WRC) were third, they finish second overall in the Dunlop series.

The Group N showroom category was won by James O’Sullivan/Rebecca Walsh (Mitsubishi) while Wesley Patterson/Bob Kelly (Ford Escort) won the two-wheel drive class.

Harrison gained six seconds on the penultimate stage but McCarthy dropped precious seconds when his Subaru slid into a drain.

Redmond departed the fray when his Subaru slid off the road and that allowed Elliott move into third.

On the final stage, McCarthy made a valiant effort but Harrison had enough of a cushion to take victory.

It was the first time in the 22-year history of the rally that it was won by an overseas crew.

Seventh placed Maguire was thrilled to have won the title, he held a steady pace throughout the day to secure the points.

In Group N, James O'Sullivan edged clear of Alan Ring over the final stages, the latter struggled with a broken gear linkage.

J. Harrison/H. Bell (Subaru WRC) 1h. 18m. 36s.

L. McCarthy/K. Murphy (Subaru WRC) 1h. 18m. 41s.

P. Elliott/D. Moynihan (Subaru WRC) 1h. 20m. 16s.

S. Gallagher/E. Sherry (Subaru WRC) 1h. 20m. 24s.

D. Cronin/H. O’Sullivan (Subaru WRC) 1h. 20m. 49s.

C. Arthurs/J. Kelly (Subaru WRC) 1h. 21m. 40s.

N. Maguire/P. McLaughlin (Subaru WRC) 1h. 22m. 01s.

J. O’Sullivan/R. Walsh (Mitsubishi) 1h. 22m. 20s.

A. Ring/G. Shinnors (Subaru) 1h. 23m. 31s.

T. Linehan/J. Kearney (Subaru) 1h. 24m. 01s.

Dunlop National Rally Championship (Positions after Round 10): 1. N. Maguire 145 Points; 2. P. Elliott 133 Points; 3. J. Harrison 131 Points; 4. C. Arthurs 109 points.

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