Mayo Co-Driver Takes National Rally Crown
John Higgins from Kiltimagh has clinched the 2012 Dunlop National Rally Championship. Co-driving for Brian O’Mahony in a Subaru WRC, the Cork – Mayo pairing took the prestigious title against stiff opposition with a measured drive on the Donegal Harvest Rally on Saturday.
With just a slender five point championship lead heading into the season finale over title rivals Thomas Fitzmaurice / Fionn Foley, and with Niall Maguire / Enda Sherry also still in the title hunt, O’Mahony and Higgins’s title bid didn’t get off to an ideal start, with O’Mahony hurting his wrist on the opening stage, and struggling thereafter to maintain his pace on the bumpy Donegal tarmac.
With a number of quick non-championship drivers competing on the ever-popular Harvest Rally, the title protagonists were concentrating on their own battle, leaving the others to fight for the overall lead. After swapping seconds and positions over the opening tests, by stage six of nine, O’Mahony and Higgins had moved ahead of their title rivals. It was a position they were not to relinquish, returning to a rapturous reception in Donegal town in third place overall, the Dunlop National Rally title theirs on just their first full year competing in a World Rally Car.
Higgins in pole position to claim national rally title after victory in Clare
Photos courtesy of Rally through a Lens
Kiltimagh navigator John Higgins is favourite to clinch the 2012 Dunlop National Rally Championship co-drivers title after guiding Cork’s Brian O’Mahony to victory on Sunday’s Clare Stages Rally. The win, their third of the year after earlier successes in Carlow and Tipperary, gives the Subaru Impreza crew a clear lead at the top of the Dunlop National Rally Championship with just one round, the Donegal Harvest Rally remaining.
Going into the Clare Stages Rally three crews remained in contention to claim the 2012 Dunlop title, and after the initial group of stages O’Mahony and Higgins lay in second place behind the similar car of Tralee’s Thomas Fitzmaurice and Fionn Foley. The Kerry crew were subsequently forced to retire with mechanical problems, leaving Monaghan’s Niall Maguire and Enda Sherry, the third championship hopefuls, as nearest challengers to the Cork / Mayo pairing.
O’Mahony and Higgins made no mistakes over the remaining stages though, to bring their Subaru safely back to the rally finish in Ennis nineteen seconds clear of their title rivals.
Ahead of next month’s decider, O’Mahony and Higgins hold a six point advantage over Fitzmaurice and Foley, with Maguire and Sherry a further ten points adrift. With twenty points on offer for for a rally win it’s all still to play for, but the momentum is firmly with the championship leaders as they bid for that much sought after national rally title.
Killian Duffy finishes 3rd
in Rally Lebanon 2012
Roger Feghali made history on Sunday by winning the Lebanese rally for the ninth consecutive year and an unprecedented 10 times overall.
His brother, Abdo, setteled for second place, just 5.38 minutes separating the two.
Qatar’s Abul Aziz al-Kowari With Mayo Motorclub Co-Driver Killian Duffy finished third, 11.09 minutes behind the leader.
Fantastic result for the Mayo man.
Podium pic from The Daily Star Lebanon
other pics from mmsrally.com
Sean gets a strong finish in Kirkstown
Sean Hynes finished 5th and 3rd in the two races in Kirkstown on Saturday Aug 25th.
He was lucky to avoid a near pile up at the start of Race two and recovered well to finish strong in the Formula Sheane races. For more information check out his column in The Western People.
David Carney takes the CRT Ireland win in Ulster
with series leader Kevin O Connor taking second and Adrian McElhinney in third after each of these crews held the lead at one point.
Photo courtesy of Rally Through a Lens