Straker Streaks To ALMC Rally Win
The UK/Irish pairing of Mark Straker and Michael Coady swept to victory on Sunday’s ALMC Rally based in Trim, Co. Meath.
Darrian driver Straker, who trailed fellow UK driver Simon Mauger after the opening stage, hit the front on stage 2 and remained there for the duration of the event. In challenging conditions, Straker found himself fending off Subaru driver Steve Wood as the day progressed, with Wood getting to within a mere 1.5 seconds of the Darrian. Despite the slippy conditions and only having rear wheel drive, Straker replied in magnificent fashion, scoring fastest times on stages 4, 5 and 7 to secure a 10.6 victory from Wood. Early leader Mauger had to settle for 3rd in his unusual Millington engined Metro. Simon Chapman claimed 4th position in his Proton Satria while David Hardie rounded out the top 5 in his Subaru Impreza. Monaghan driver Jim McKenna came home 6th overall and was the top Irish driver after a daylong battle with Pat Donegan. McKenna and Donegan were only separated by 8.2 seconds at the finish in their Mark 2 Escorts.
Brian Brady and Leonard Tuite won the junior section of the rally in their Honda Integra. Brady and Tuite ended the event with a convincing winning margin of 1 minute 24.8 seconds over Patrick Lawlor and Kevin Rohan. The historic honours went to Niall and Conor Keane in their Talbot Sunbeam.
Due to an incident on stage 7, stages 8 and 9 of the event did not run due to time constraints.
On the Polish round of the World Rally Championship, Killarney co-drive Paul Nagle guided Northern Ireland’s Kris Meeke to a 7th place finish in their Citroen DS3 World Rally Car. The pair, who recovered from a crash in a pre event shakedown, took home 6 points for their efforts keeping them in 6th place in the World Championship standings. French driver and championship leader Sebastien Ogier won in Poland in his VW Polo, extending his points tally to 161 points, 78 points ahead of nearest challenger, Andreas Mikkelsen.
Liam Croston and Timmy Lynch shared the spoils in the Cork and Killarney clubs’ combined autotest weekend, with Croston’s Nova coming out on top in Fermoy on Saturday, while Lynch was the winner in Millstreet yesterday in his Westfield.