The opening round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship sees Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy in a Subaru Impreza WRC lead the Corrib Oil Galway International Rally after the first day which was marked by some notable retirements. They currently hold a lead of over two minutes from Keith Cronin & Mikey Galvin in a Citroen DS3 R5. The battle for second is intense with Cronin being chased hard by Alastair Fisher / Gordon Noble (Fiesta R5), Desi Henry / Liam Moynihan (Skoda Fabia R5) & Sam Moffett / Karl Atkinson (Fiesta R5), with second to fifth only separated by 29 seconds after the days nine stages. The weather was very inclement which made the stages treacherous and Declan Boyle, Tim McNulty and Declan Gallagher were all high profile retirements due to accidents.
The Modified section of the event sees Eugene Meegan / Sarah Whelan (BMW 1M) hold a slender 1.8 second lead over the Escort of Wesley Patterson / Johnny Baird. Local crew Tom Flaherty & Patrick Curley in another Escort currently hold third place. Ray Cunningham / Adrian Cusack in a Mini lead the Historic category with a strong 80 second lead over the UK crew of David Goose / Richard Wardle (Escort) with Luke McCarthy / David Hogan in third place in their Porsche 911. There are six more stages tomorrow between Loughrea and Gort with the first car due to finish around 3.30pm.