SS4: McCourt Grabs Rally Lead; Henry Clips a Rock

Cathan McCourt and Liam Moynihan (pictured: D Harrigan Images) have stormed into the lead of the Eakin Bros Brian James Trailer Stages Rally in their Citroen. A stunning drive through stage four saw them set the pace by an impressive nine seconds from Desi Henry and Paddy Robinson, leaving McCourt with a lead of 3.1s!

“We made a few changes to the car in service and it’s working very well now,” McCourt said. “The car was phenomenal in there.”

Early leader Henry has dropped to second position and was lucky to escape without a puncture after clipping a rock.

“We were very lucky,” Henry said. “I don’t know if the rock was pulled out on the first pass but we cut a corner and hit a rock with the front left wheel. I was very, very reluctant over the next couple of miles. There’s a vibration now. I don’t know how we got away without a puncture.”

Interestingly, rally leader McCourt jumped out of his car at the end of the stage to check his front left wheel for any damage.

Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy claimed second-fastest time on the stage and are comfortably holding third overall. In fourth, Joe McGonigle and Ciaran Geaney are coming under increasing pressure from Alan Carmichael and Arthur Kierans. Just 0.8s separate the two crews.

“That was a really enjoyable stage,” McGonigle said. “It’s getting a bit loose and some muck has been dragged out but we’re really enjoying it.”

Also in the battle for fourth are Damien Tourish and Domhnall McAlaney in their Escort MkII. They are just three-tenths of a second behind Carmichael.

“We have the right tyres on now,” Tourish said. “We’re going steady and not doing anything too mad.”

In seventh, Derek McGarrity and Graham Henderson have their eyes set on championship points after Jonny Greer’s stage three retirement. “It is important for us to finish now that Jonny has stopped,” McGarrity said.

Joe Hegarty had to stop and change a wheel after he got a puncture near the start of the stage. Ryan Loughran clipped a chicane and knocked his steering out of line but he was still a little bit faster than 2WD leader Tourish. Also in 2WD, Camillus Bradley lost time with an overshoot.

Meanwhile, Paul Britton was lucky to escape with just some cosmetic damage after an incident on stage three when his Subaru broke away from him after a crest.

“We were going down the road, on top of a hedge, for a good bit!” a relieved Britton said. Latest results are available from and live stage-end interviews are available from OnThePacenote. Crews are now heading back to service in preparation for the final two stages.

After SS4 of 6

1 C McCourt
2 D Henry +3.1
3 G Jennings +17.4
4 J McGonigle +59.3
5 A Carmichael +1’00.1
6 D Tourish +1’00.4
7 D McGarrity +1’16.9
8 A McLaughlin +1’38.4
9 P Britton +1’40.8
10 A Smyth +1’53.9

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