O’Riordan Fastest on the Fastnet
The Cork/Derry pairing of Daragh O’Riordan took a convincing win on the weekend’s Fastnet Rally organised by Skibbereen and District Car Club.
O’Riordan took the lead on the first test of the morning, and despite impressive pace from his rivals throughout the day, the Middleton man build on his lead to arrive back at the Westlodge Hotel 1 minute and 17 seconds ahead of his nearest pursuer. Second overall went to Roy White and James O’Brien, who like O’Riordan, were in a Ford Fiesta World Rally Car. Despite this being only White’s second outing the car, the Tipperary driver upped his pace as the day progressed and there is little doubt he’ll be in the hunt for national championship honours next season. Taking third overall and top 2 wheel drive honours was Declan Gallagher and Ryan Moore in the giant killing Toyota Starlet with the pair taking 2 fastest overall times including the Power Stage.
Clonakilty driver Kevin Kelleher was the top local finisher taking fifth overall in his Subaru Impreza World Rally Car while Welshman Melvyn Evans was the top overseas driver, bringing home his Subaru in fourth. Among the ever popular Ford Escorts, it was Gary Kiernan who triumphed, leading home the more powerful Escorts of Jonathan Pringle and Chris Armstrong. Robert Duggan continued his remarkable season in his Peugeot 208 R2 finishing ninth overall and first front wheel drive car while David Guest and Paddy Robinson rounded out the top 10 and also took the Group N class in their Mitsubishi. There was early drama in the junior section with top seed Cormac Phelan crashing out on the opening stage of the morning. Gary McNamee picked up the pieces setting an impressive pace to win the section but it was James Bradley, who elected not to do the event, that was crowned the 2015 Irish Junior National Rally Champion.
Defending Hewison Autotest champion Steven Ferguson scored his second win of the season to take the lead in the series. He dominated the Galway round in Ballinasloe to finish six seconds clear of ten times title holder Eamonn Byrne, with the Wicklowman’s nephew Daniel close behind in third place.