MacHale wins Donegal international rally

Gareth MacHale, co-driven by Brian Murphy in their Ford Focus WRC have won the Letterkenny based Topaz Donegal International Rally.

Gareth MacHale, co-driven by Brian Murphy in their Ford Focus WRC have won the Letterkenny based Topaz Donegal International Rally.

They finished 50.4 seconds ahead of the Skoda Fabia WRC of Eugene Donnelly/Paddy Toner (Skoda Fabia).

Sean Devine/Robert McDaid (Subaru) were a distant third.

Seamus Leonard/John McCafferty (Mitsubishi) won the Group N category.

The National event was won by Wesley Patterson/Martin McGarrity (Escort).

MacHale set out on today's final loop with an advantage of just over 40 seconds.

Donnelly posted the best times for the first two stages moving into second ahead of Boland, who experienced an overshoot.

One stage later, Boland was back in second when Donnelly's car suffered gearbox trouble.

Tim McNulty (Subaru) retired from fourth spot after he punctured twice.

MacHale drove at a steady pace and went on to clinch victory, his first at International level.

Donnelly took second when Boland retired with engine problems on the penultimate test.

Devine was a distant third followed by the Subaru's of local drivers, Daniel Doherty and PJ McDermott with Glen Allen (Toyota Corolla) completing the top six.

Leonard won Group N, his main rival, Shaun Gallagher (Mitsubishi) retired with oil problems leaving another local driver, Damien Tourish (Mitsubishi) take second in the category.

1. G. MacHale/B. Murphy (Ford Focus WRC) 2h. 33m. 30.3s.

2. E. Donnelly/P. Toner (Skoda Fabia WRC) 2h. 34m. 20.7s.

3. S. Devine/R. McDaid (Subaru WRC) 2h. 40m. 58.0s.

4. D. Doherty/M. Doherty (Subaru WRC) 2h. 41m. 35.4s.

5. P.J. McDermott/F. Regan (Subaru WRC) 2h. 42m. 14.6s.

6. G. Allen/D. Connolly (Toyota Corolla WRC) 2h. 42m. 55.9s.

7. S. Leonard/J. McCafferty (Mitsubishi) 2h. 43m. 49.1s.

8. D. Tourish/D. McAlaney (Mitsubishi) 2h. 47m. 51.3s.

9. D. McBride/R. McBride (Mitsubishi) 2h. 49m. 47.4s.

10. D. Kelly/K. Flanagan (Mitsubishi) 2h. 50m. 14.0s.

National rally:

1. W. Patterson/M. McGarrity (Ford Escort) 2h. 44m. 11.9s.

2. R. Wilton/C. McMahon (Ford Escort)2h. 45m. 01.1s.

3. M. Kelly/D. Barrett (Ford Escort) 2h. 45m. 47.5s.

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