Monaghan’s Gary McPhillips and co-driver Mark Tierney were the clear winners of this year’s 2010 Mor Oil Galway Summer Rally.
The pair, in a Ford Escort Mk2, led the rally from start to finish, finishing 16 seconds ahead of Dublin’s Robert Barrable and Damien Connolly in a Ford Focus WRC.
It was Barrable’s debut rally in a World Rally Car and a huge performance from the up-and-coming young man who had the winning co-driver from the 2009 Mor Oil Galway Summer Rally sitting with him.
This year’s event promised a great day of rally action with a packed entry list and it certainly did not disappoint the large crowds that descended on Loughrea.
McPhillips and Tierney were also crowned “ GRP4 Fabrications King of the Mk2” after a hard-fought battle with 35 competitors.
Manus Kelly, on his first rally for a while, with Donal Barrett on the notes, set a blistering pace to bring another Mk2 home in third overall - one minute 34 seconds behind the winners. The class 14 win went to Camillus Bradley and Crawford Henderson. Eamon Dervan and David Gardiner brought their Mk2 home 13th overall and second in class 13 with a total of 1:17:03.
Shane Maguire in his dad Niall’s Subaru Impreza N11 with co-driver Enda Sherry were fifth overall and Group N winners. Jer O Donovan and Sean Hayden, on their first rally since the Galway International, finished 12th overall in 1:16:34.
Tom Flaherty and Patrick Curley in another Mk2 fought a good battle with Ross Forde and Paul Horan in a Mitsubishi Evo 9, for best Galway Motor Club crew. Flaherty and Curley won the day with a comfortable margin of some 26 seconds and a total of 1:15:40. They were presented with the Conroy Cup by Annie Conroy at the prizegiving ceremony in the Lough Rea Hotel and Spa.
John Spain and Jarlath Conneely had set consistent top 10 times all day until some minor health problems forced Spain to slacken his pace going in to Stage 8 while still taking second in class 15 with a total of 1:19:43. PJ McDermott and Paul Goodman in a Subaru Impreza WRC S11 had an early end to the rally, going out on stage five. The rally ended on stage seven for Ed Synan and Denis O Connell when their Mk2 Ford Escort crashed out heavily but neither suffered any serious injuries.
Martin Creaven and Chris Crowe won the Historic Rally in a Ford Escort Mk1( 45:00 ). Cal McCarthy and Eamon Dullea won the junior rally in a Honda Civic (43:59 ), while Ray Cunningham and Robbie Ward won the Mini Challenge in an Austin Mini ( 43:36 ). A total of nine classes was won by members of the the organising club, Galway Motor Club.