Stephen Daly retains Leinster Trophy

Meath driver Stephen Daly became only the fifth ever driver to make a successful defence of the famed Leinster Trophy.

Yesterday, at a rain-lashed Mondello Park the London-based driver led from the start and finished comfortably ahead of Dubliner Robert Barrable with British driver James Raven completing the podium line-up.

Daly, who also won Saturday’s Formula Ford race, quickly disappeared into the distance as Barrable and Jonny McMullan battled for second.

With five minutes remaining and as Daly was well ahead, McMullan had closed right up on Barrable and actually went ahead when he dived down the inside only for Barrable to reclaim the spot within an instant.

Then, as McMullan tried again, he slid off on gravel and out of the race leaving Barrable to clinch second without any more pressure.Meanwhile, Limerick pair Ed O’Callaghan/Ger Clancy (Ford Escort) took a start to finish victory in the Shannon based Oakwood Arms Hotel Clare Rally.

They finished a minute and 25.9 seconds in front of the Subaru WRC of the Tyrone/Donegal combination of Paddy McVeigh/Gary McElhinney, who fended off a late challenge from Donegal duo Joe McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney by a mere eight tenths of a second.

On the first stage O’Callaghan was four tenths of a second faster than the Ford Fiesta R5 of Monaghan’s Daniel McKenna with Donegal’s John Bonner (Escort) 16.4 seconds further behind in third. Cork driver Daniel Cronin (Subaru WRC) was fourth.

Top seed Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC) was down in eighth place as he had to traverse the entire stage and indeed the second stage with the anti-lag. On that second stage the top quartet was unchanged but O’Callaghan extended his lead to 8.3 seconds. Barrett slipped to ninth.

With the cushion of a strong lead O’Callaghan didn’t really have to extended himself and ran out an easy winner.

McVeigh entered the final with an 18.4 second advantage, although it was enough, a hard charging McGonigle cut that particular deficit to a fraction of a second. The top six was completed by McKenna, who made up several places after a fourth stage puncture, Cronin and Bonner.

In motorcycling, Carrigaline’s Declan Swanton (Yamaha R6) took a dramatic final run victory to win the West Cork Motorcycle Club’s Twohig’s Hill Hillclimb at Clonakilty. Swanton’s winning time of 54.135 seconds was well below the course record due to the very inclement conditions.

Bishopstown’s Stephen Casey in yet another Yamaha R6 led on the first run, he recorded a time of 55.4523 seconds with Coomey next best on 56.271 seconds .

Although Coomey (54.003 seconds) went to the summit with his quickest time on the final run, Swanton took a last gasp win and was the only rider to break the 54 second barrier.

Cork racer Matt Griffin and team mate Duncan Cameron finished well down the order in the Pro-Am Cup category of the final round of Blancpain Endurance Series at the Nurburgring. The Douglas racer was involved in a serious crash on Saturday’s practice run when his Ferrari 458 Italia was rear ended by a fellow competitor.

The car had to be re-built for yesterday’s race and the pair were at a disadvantage in qualifying and finished 34th. Fortunately, the pair had already clinched the Pro-Am Cup category.


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