Limerick Mini Stages Rally Report

Team Wheeldoctor had another good rally with 3 cars finishing in the top 20 on the event based at the Deebert Hotel in Kilmallock, Co Limerick pn Monday December 28th. The pairing of Barry Ryan / Diarmuid Falvey finished a fine 3rd overall. Anthony Collins / Donal Flatly finishing 14th overall and 1st in class along with Peter McDonnell / Neill Quinn finishing 17th overall and 3rd in class after a long lay off for Peter.

Anthony Collins / Donal FalveyAnthony Collins / Donal Falvey

The Limerick Motorclub event was never in doubt of not running despite the poor weather conditions of ice and snow on the roads where the stages were to be run in the days leading up to the event. The club put in a tremendous effort of

salting and griting the roads to get them into the conditions that was safe for the competitors. The club even organised that the competitors could view the stages on the morning of the rally to check for ice which thankfully was very little. Unusual for rallying in this country the rally was held on a Monday albeit it was a public holiday with recce completed on the Sunday. The Monday morning dawned with dry overcast but frosty conditions where the first two stages Glenroe and Bulgaden would be tackled before service and repeated again in the afternoon. All the Wheeldoctor crews were shod with Kuhmos tires which would be suitable for the cold wet road conditions.

Barry Ryan / Diarmuid FalveyBarry Ryan / Diarmuid Falvey

Stage one went well which was a technical stage with parts of the stage being tight and twisty and other parts fast and flowing. Barry posted 5th fastest time and first class 11 car, with Anthony 9th fastest and Peter 22nd fastest with the crews reporting no trouble but reported the stage as slippy. Stage 2 was more a fast flowing stage but with lots of junctions and each crew flew through. Barry reported a minor problem with the flat shift, Anthony felt something was wrong with the front left and Peter's only problem was catching cars on the stages due to a low seeding. After stage 2, Barry moved up to 3rd overall behind Ed O'Callaghan and James Murphy. Anthony was 10th and still leading his class and Peter was second in his class and moved up to 18th overall.

 
In service the cars were checked over. Barry's flat shift problem was cured with some adjustment, Anthony changed the front tyres after the left tyre was down to the canvas and Peter just needed some fuel and a routine check over. The crews reported the stages being slippy and admitted to being cautious in places and reckoned there was more time to come in the second loop.
 
The second run through the Glenroe stage went well for Anthony and Donal and they were 21 seconds quicker than their first run through. Unfortunately for Barry and Dairmuid they hit a bale about a mile from the finish and dropped about 12 seconds and lost their 3rd place to Dan Barry but they subsequently took it back on the road section as Dan Barry retired on the road section with gear linkage problems. Anthony was up to 9th overall and Peter moved up to to 17th overall but dropped to 3rd in class.
 
On the last stage Anthony and Donal had a huge spin and dropped a couple of minutes but still managed to hold on to their class win. Barry and Diarmuid finished on the podium and Peter and Neill were delighted to finish 3rd in class. The crews really enjoyed the stages and the efforts the club had put in to get the rally running despite the weather conditions.