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McCourt makes it two in a row in Donegal

In the fourth round of the Valvoline Motorsport Ireland Forest Rally Championship, Cathan McCourt & Barry McNulty (Ford Fiesta R5) made it two wins in two events when they won the Donegal Forestry Rally based out of Bundoran. At the end of the events six stages, they had over one minute to spare over the Mitsubishi Lancer of Niall McCullagh & Ryan McCloskey. McCullagh came under late pressure from Conor McCourt & Caolan McKenna in another Fiesta R5, with just over ten seconds between them by the end. McCourt’s third place was the first time he had finished on the podium on a forestry championship event.  Joe Hegarty & Michael Carbin both in Mitsubishi Lancers finished fourth and fifth overall respectively, with the latter retaining his championship lead, but it has now been cut to just one point. Provisionally Cathan McCourt moves into second place in the series with Hegarty in third place.

The 2WD category was won in most impressive fashion by David Crossen & Aileen Kelly who brought their Escort home in sixth place, a result that moves them into fourth place in the championship standings.  Crossen had over a minute to spare over Gary Kiernan who was very happy with his pace in the woods although he had to fend off a late charge from Derek Mackarel & Muireann Hayes who were only 0.5 seconds behind the Cavan driver by the finish. Mackarel took top junior points ahead of Marty Gallagher who had niggly problems with the car over the course of the day. Shane Kenneally was once again top Class 16 driver and third overall Junior.

Derek Mackarel and Muireann Hayes were in giant killing mode, as ever. Image from Ruaidhrí Nash.

The M.O’Brien sponsored J1000 championship saw Kyle McBride make it three wins in a row with another very impressive performance. Casey Jay Coleman had his best result of the season by taking second place ahead of Reece Pollock with Joseph Kelly and Ella Conway completing the top five places. Retirements included Peter Beaton, who slid off the road and Aaron Whelan who had axle problems in the Micra.

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