Norway’s teenage rally star, Andreas Mikkelsen and his co-driver, Ola Floene (Ford Focus WRC) won the Skibbereen-based West Cork Hotel Fastnet Rally today, the 10th and final round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship.
Leading from the start, they were 10 seconds faster than the opposition on the opening stage and on the second test they were 21 seconds to the good.
By the conclusion of the seven-stage event, they had amassed a 59-second winning margin.
Debuting their recently acquired Skoda Fabia WRC, Eugene Donnelly/Paddy Toner finished second and Tim McNulty/Eugene O’Donnell (Subaru WRC) were third after a day of continuous testing.
Denis Cronin (Subaru) held third over the early stages, but McNulty charged through the latter half of the rally to clinch the spot.
Former Dunlop champion Ray Breen (Ford Focus WRC) was fifth.
One of the top performances of the rally was that of Keith Cronin/Anthony O’Connell (Mitsubishi), they won the Group N category and took sixth overall.
Another local driver, James O’Sullivan (Subaru WRC) was seventh.
P.J. McGrath lost a few places with a spin and subsequent stall, he was eighth.
The final places in the top 10 were annexed by Kevin Kelleher and Kevin O’Donoghue, both in Mitsubishi’s. Kelleher lost time with two punctures on each of the final stages.
Tommy Doyle/Colin Fitzgerald (Escort) were the top two-wheel drive competitors.
1. A. Mikkelsen/O. Floene (Ford Focus WRC) 1h. 05m. 40s.
2. E. Donnelly/P. Kiely (Skoda Fabia) 1h. 06m. 39s.
3. T. McNulty/E. O’Donnell (Subaru WRC) 1h. 07m. 03s.
4. D. Cronin/H. O’Sullivan (Subaru WRC) 1h. 07m. 47s.
5. R. Breen/A. Purcell (Ford Focus WRC) 1h. 08m. 14s.
6. K. Cronin/A. O’Connell (Mitsubishi) 1h. 09m. 07s.
7. J. O’Sullivan/B. Duggan (Subaru WRC) 1h. 10m. 12s.
8. P.J. McGrath/D. Morrissey (Subaru WRC) 1h. 10m.13s.
9. K. Kelleher/M. Kelleher (Mitsubishi) 1h. 10m. 29s.
10. K. O’Donoghue/J. O’Leary (Mitsubishi) 1h. 11m. 07s.
Dunlop National Rally Championship (Provisional standings after Round 10):
1. A. MacHale 156 points.
2. N. Maguire 117 points.
3. K. Barrett 92 points.
4. M. Curran 87 points.
5. P. Elliott 84 points.
6. W. Fannin 77 points.