Motorsport: Daragh O’Riordan victorious in Fastnet Rally

Donegal's Declan Gallagher finished third in the Fastnet Rally.
Donegal's Declan Gallagher finished third in the Fastnet Rally.

Daragh O’Riordan took a convincing win on the Fastnet Rally.

O’Riordan took the lead on the first special stage of the morning and despite impressive pace from his rivals throughout the day, he built on his advantage to arrive back at rally HQ one minute and 17 seconds ahead of his nearest pursuer.

Second overall went to Roy White who, like O’Riordan, was in a Ford Fiesta World Rally Car. Despite this being only White’s second outing the car he upped his pace as the day progressed and there is little doubt he will be in the hunt for National Championship honours next season.

Taking third overall and top two-wheel drive honours was Declan Gallagher in the giant-killing Toyota Starlet, recording two fastest overall times including the Power Stage.

Kevin Kelleher was the top local finisher taking fifth overall in his Subaru Impreza World Rally Car while Welshman Melvyn Evans was the top overseas driver, bringing home his Subaru in fourth.

Among the ever popular Ford Escorts, it was Gary Kiernan who triumphed, leading home the more powerful Escorts of Jonathan Pringle and Chris Armstrong.

Robert Duggan continued his remarkable season in his Peugeot 208 R2 finishing ninth overall and first front-wheel drive car while David Guest rounded out the top 10 and also took the Group N class in a Mitsubishi.

Defending Hewison Autotest Champion Steven Ferguson from Stewartstown scored his second win of the season to take the lead in the series.

He dominated the Galway round in Ballinasloe to finish six seconds clear of ten times title holder Eamonn Byrne, with the Wicklowman’s nephew Daniel close behind in third place.