After SS6: McCloskey Leads, McGarrity in ‘Diffs’, McNeill Retires

(Photo: Dominic McNeill retired in service) Connor McCloskey and Noel O’Sullivan continue to lead the MJE Wheel Repair Tyrone Stages Rally. Their Fiesta is sporting some ‘bale rash’ having had a few close calls with chicanes but they’re setting a comfortable pace at the head of the field.

Derek McGarrity and Paddy Robinson continue to hold second in their Citroen DS3 R5, nine seconds adrift of McCloskey, but are struggling with some rear differential troubles.

“One of the rear wheels is spinning in some corners but there’s nothing we can do about it,” McGarrity said. “We just have to try to stay in second and try to stop William Creighton from catching us.”

Creighton continues to hold third on his debut event with an R5 specification car and was one second faster than McGarrity over stage six. Interestingly, he doesn’t know he’s lying in the top three overall…and he doesn’t want to know! He has decided to ignore the results and just drive within himself to get a finish.

In the Group N Championship battle, both Paul Britton and James Laverty made mistakes on stage six. Britton lost time with an overshoot while Laverty admitted to going off and “building sandcastles” on the sand! He’s still struggling with a clutch problem and is hoping it won’t fail completely before the end of the day.

Jonny and Simon Morrow has opted to remove part of his Mitsubishi Mirage’s front grille in an attempt to let more air flow to the engine which is running hot. Further down the order, Richard Hall has retired his beautiful Porsche 911 as his fan belt keeps coming adrift during the stages. He doesn’t want to risk damaging the engine.

Andrew White and Damian McCann stalled on the start line of stage one and then accidentally flicked their fuel pump switch to the off position. By the time they realised what was wrong, they had lost around 15 seconds.

Another major retirement is the Fiesta of Dominic McNeill and Tommy Speers. They retired at service due to a braking issue with the front left corner.

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