SS5: Greer on the verge of victory at Eakin Bros Brian James Trailers Dogleap Stages Rally

SS5: With one stage to go, Jonny Greer and Kirsty Riddick (Citroen C3) are on the verge of extending their McGrady Insurance NI Championship lead. A victory at the Eakin Bros Brian James Trailers Dogleap Stages Rally would put them further ahead of their rivals after what is the second of five rounds.

The rain has been fairly constant for the last hour or two and although it eased off while the leading crews were tackling stage five, it made little difference. There was plenty of standing water in places and rally leader Greer admitted to it being “a bit hairy” on the opening lap.

“I was surprised to see the amount of standing water that there was in places,” Greer said. “It was a bit hairy on the opening lap until we got to know where all the water was lying.”

Greer managed to extend his lead by another two-tenths of a second over Desi and Mark Henry (Hyundai i20 R5), who were a bit happier after their stage four dramas. “That was fun!” a smiling Desi said.

Aaron McLaughlin and Darren Curran (Fiesta) continue to hold third and look to be fairly safe in that position. Fourth placed Stephen Wright and Liam Moynihan (Fiesta) were caught behind another car on the stage and lost another six seconds to McLaughlin so it looks like they might have to settle for fourth today.

Jason Mitchell and Peter Ward (Fiesta) also lost time behind another crew but they continue to hold fifth from the misfiring Derek McGarrity and Paddy Robinson (Fiesta WRC). McGarrity, together with seventh placed Derek and Mark McGeehan, both moved up one position after the retirement of Josh Moffett who finished the previous stage with a sick sounding Fiesta WRC.

Barry Morris and Dylan Doonan (Darrian) also benefitted from Moffett’s retirement and combined with moving in front of Peadar Hurson (Fiesta), they now hold eighth overall. Hurson and Damian Connolly are ninth with Ian Millar and Ronan O’Neill (Fiesta) completing the top 10.

Peter Bennett and Simon Jones (Fabia S2000) had been just outside the top 10 but they lost time as a result of a front puncture and dropped almost 30 places. Bits of their front bumper were falling off the car at the stage finish. Adrian Grant (Escort) also finished the stage with a puncture while Gareth Black’s Starlet appeared to have a little bit of frontal damage. he dropped 14 places.

Sean Devine (Fiesta) had another big spin and arrived at the stage finish with his rear bumper hanging off. Jonny Morrow and Adam Semple (Corolla) were towed back to service by the recovery crew after stage four, while Marty Toner was in trouble during stage five with his BMW…

“We went straight off!” Toner said. “I think we lost around one minute.”

In the 2WD battle, Barry Morris and Dylan Doonan are on the verge of a convincing win in their Darrian. John Bradley and Crawford Henderson (Escort MkII) are second with John and David Bonner (Escort MkII) third.

It’s still raining here at Shackleton and it doesn’t look like the conditions are going to change much. Just one stage to go!

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