Peader Hurson and Damien Connolly secured a comfortable win on Sunday’s Galway Summer Stages Rally, round 7 of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.
Hurson hit the front on stage 1 after pre-event favourite and number 1 seed, Declan Boyle, slid his Ford Fiesta World Rally Car off the road on the opening test forcing him to retire.
By first service at Galway Airport, Subaru driver Hurson had amassed an impressive lead of 32.5 seconds over fellow Subaru driver, Niall Maguire. Maguire, a multiple national rally champion, had no answer to Hurson however as the Warrenpoint driver set about extending his lead over the remaining 6 stages. At the finish ramp, a delighted Hurson and Connolly were crowned the winners with a commanding margin of 1 minute and 9 seconds.
Behind Hurson and Maguire, Declan Gallagher and Ryan Moore produced a stunning drive to take third overall in their 2 wheel drive Toyota Starlet. Gallagher and Moore were fastest overall on stage 5 and finished up 26 seconds ahead of their nearest 2 wheel drive rival, Ed O’Callaghan, who took sixth position. Alan Ring and Roy White rounded out the top 5 with White taking maximum bonus points after being fastest on the final stage of the day, the Power Stage.
Another 2 wheel drive pairing to taste success on the Galway lanes were the Ford Escort crew of Jonathan Pringle and Martin Byrne, with the pair securing both the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship and the National Rally Championship Mark 2 Challenge. As well as their brace of titles, the Cavan crew finished 9th overall, 11 and a half seconds ahead of their title rivals, Chris Armstrong and James Fulton.
Donegal driver Trevor Bustard brought his Misubishi Lancer home in eighteenth overall and won the Group N class. In the junior category, Cormac Phelan and Katja Auhl earned a hard fought victory in their Citroen C2, keeping the Honda mounted Gary McNamee and John McCabe at bay by just 3.2 seconds. Niall and Conor Keane took the historic honours in their Talbot Sunbeam.