MacHale wins Circuit of Wicklow Rally

Gareth MacHale (Toyota Corolla WRC) extended his unbeaten run in the McCauley Trailers Irish National Forestry Championship with a fine victory in the Circuit of Wicklow Rally.

Gareth MacHale (Toyota Corolla WRC) extended his unbeaten run in the McCauley Trailers Irish National Forestry Championship with a fine victory in the Circuit of Wicklow Rally.

Although he led at the end of the opening stage, he had to overturn a seven second deficit to win the closely contested rally.

Glen Allen and John McCarthy gave MacHale a tough test. Allen led after the first service with McCarthy just two seconds behind and MacHale down in third.

However, out on stages three and four, MacHale took control and moved back into the lead.

On the repeat of the four stages, he consolidated his lead role as Allen and McCarthy battled for second.

The pendulum swung in favour of McCarthy for that second spot but a fine drive on the final stage saw Allen take the runner up spot.

Kevin O’Kane in a Subaru WRC was a distant fourth with Pat Norris (Subaru 555) fifth.

The Group N class was won by Stephen Moore/Martin Hanna (Subaru).

Local Wicklow honour was upheld by Brian Lawlor/Peter Kavanagh (Escort), they were the top performers in the two-wheel drive section.

Their rivals, Paul Staunton/Bruce Burgess, also in a Ford Escort, lost time during the day with two punctures.

The Junior class was won by Conor Kelly/John Quill (Vauxhall Nova).

1. G. MacHale/P. Nagle (Toyota Corolla WRC) 52m. 48s.

2. G. Allen/D. Connolly (Toyota Corolla WRC) 52m. 59s.

3. J. McCarthy/M.J. Morrissey (Toyota Corolla WRC) 53m. 09s.

4. K. O'Kane/M. Hanna (Subaru WRC) 55m. 42s.

5. S. Moore/T. McHugh (Subaru N10) 56m. 11s.

6. P. Norris/D. Tumulty (Subaru 555) 56m. 28s.

7. B. Lawlor/P. Kavanagh (Escort) 56m. 47s.

8. P. Elliott/M. Bowens (Mitsubishi) 57m. 34s.

9. P. Staunton/B. Burgess (Escort) 57m. 39s.

10. A. Mackarel/R. Cassidy (Mitsubishi) 58m. 44s.

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