Dungannon driver Adrian Hetherington and Wexford navigator Gary Nolan took a dramatic last stage win on Sunday’s Heartlands Mini Stages Rally organised by Laois Rallysport Club.
Hetherington entered the sixth and final stage a mere 2 seconds adrift of Limerick driver Ed O’Callaghan but O’Callaghan’s car developed a misfire on the final test, losing precious seconds as Hetherington pounced to seal the win with a fastest time. O’Callaghan tied on time with Enda O’Brien but O’Brien eventually took second place on a tie breaker.
Gary Kiernan was having a fantastic run, leading the rally from the opening stage, but he hit bother on the penultimate test, eventually finishing in fifth position, just 7 seconds behind Vivian Hamill and co-driver, Paul Sheridan. The top 10 was rounded out by Brian Brogan in sixth, Michael Conlon in seventh, Pat O’Connell in eight, John Lynch in ninth with Donal O’Brien finishing tenth. All of the top 10, apart from the Mitsubishi mounted Group N winner O’Connell, were driving Mark 2 Ford Escorts.
At Mayo and District Motorsport Club’s loose surface Autocross in Kilkelly, it was former rally star Ian Barrett who took fastest time of the day in his buggy. Barrett was over 5 seconds fastest than his nearest rival, Ronan Mackle. Martin Tynan was third fastest and the first non buggy home in his Mitsubishi Lancer.