DUNMANWAY’S Conor McCarthy was the top local driver in the National category of the Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally where he finished third overall.
Co-driven by Dripsey’s Gavin Sheehan, they were untroubled throughout the entire 15 stages. Like Mikko Hirvonen they benefitted from some late retirements.
Cavan’s Gary Kiernan led from the start despite breaking two engine mounts and a propshaft during Saturday’s nine stages.
He experienced clutch woes during the opening loop of three stages on Sunday and subsequently retired on SS 13 with a blown engine. Tyrone’s Frank Kelly put his Escort off the road on Sunday’s opening stage.
Local class winners included Schull’s Fergus Hurley and his Skibbereen co-driver Eric Deane (Escort), who won Class 11R. Skibbereen’s Noel McCarthy/John Caverley (Ford Escort) took top spot in Class 9.
Donoughmore’s Kevin and Stephen Horgan (Subaru) won Class 15 and Macroom’s Emma Nott/Declan Casey (Escort) took victory in Class 23.
Elsewhere, Ardfield’s Eoghan and Conor Calnan (Escort) were second in Class 13; Bandon’s Victor and Susan Beamish (Vauxhall Nova) finished second in Class 10; in Class 9, Rosscarbery’s David Swanton (Suzuki Swift) and co-driver Laoise Hyland were second in Class 9 followed by Bandon’s Robert and Orla Beamish (Opel Corsa).
In the Historic category Ardfield co-driver Anthony O’Sullivan partnered Welsh driver Neil Williams (Ford Escort) to overall victory. The best locals in the Junior section were Crookstown’s Chris Brady and co-driver Jennifer Warren (Honda Civic), who finished second in Class 16 ahead of Leap’s Brian and Donal Keohane (Vauxhall Nova).