Back on board their Ford Fiesta WRC, Donegal cousins Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle took a start to finish victory in the Tralee-based Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry Rally, the second round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.
Boyle led all through the seven demanding stages in the Ballymacelligott/Knocknagoshel/Brosna region and finished with a winning margin of 44.1 seconds.
Second placed and the lead of the Triton series was annexed by the Clonmel/Cork partnership of Roy White/James O’Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC), who were 25.8 seconds ahead of Warrenpoint’s Peadar Hurson and Monaghan’s Damien Connolly (Subaru WRC).
Maynooth’s Paul Barrett/Declan Tumilty (Subaru) took their inaugural Group N category victory in a round of the national series. Tyrone’s Ryan Loughran and his Kerry co-driver Tony Healy won the Modified section.
In the Junior section, the Meath/Kerry duo of Gary McNamee/Kieran O’Donoghue (Honda Civic) took the honours.
Boyle was quickly in the groove on the opening stage, Knights Mountain, and opened up a lead of eight seconds over Midleton’s Daragh O’Riordan, who had reverted to his own Ford Fiesta WRC. Roy White (Fiesta EWRC) was third - six seconds further behind.
The top six also included former national champion Peadar Hurson (Subaru WRC), top seed, Alan Ring (Ford Fiesta R5+) and the Skoda Fabia S2000 of Marty McCormack.
Northern Ireland’s Robert Woodside (Ford Fiesta R5) retired with a throttle-related problem and, while he re-joined under Rally2, the problem recurred, bringing an end to his rally.
Boyle was quickest on the second stage and the rally leader along with Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) got a scratch time for S.S. 3 after they were held up trying to overtake the stricken Ford Fiesta R5 of Alan Ring, who was forced out with a fuel related problem.
Boyle arrived at the Tralee service park with a lead of 19.9 seconds. O’Riordan in second was trouble free unlike third placed Hurson - 13.4 seconds further behind — who reckoned that his Subaru was not handling correctly.
White grew in confidence and held fourth in a top six that also Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) and Marty McCormack, who had an altercation with a chicane on S.S. 5 that damaged the front right side of his Skoda Fabia S2000.
Kenny McKinstry retired his S14 Subaru WRC with power steering problems.
Out on S.S. 4, White showed a fine turn of speed and set the best stage time, Boyle did likewise on the remaining stages and led by 53.1 seconds.
White became the new incumbent of second place while O’Riordan lost time when he slid his Fiesta WRC off the road at a hairpin left on S.S. 6.
Contact was strong with the Kerry scenery as the right-hand side of his Fiesta WRC revealed the battle scars, the Midleton man was 8.5 seconds behind White. Having hardened the suspension of his Subaru WRC Hurson reckoned it handled better. He was 1.2 seconds behind O’Riordan.
The top six also featured Marty McCormack and Niall Maguire and Desi Henry. Boyle went on to win. Second-placed White won the Power Stage to gain three additional points, enough to promote him into lead of the Triton series. Hurson was third. In the two-wheel drive category Ryan Loughran (Escort) edged out the similar car of Frank Kelly.
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