Full throttle for rally

Published 10/10/2012 | 12:33

Russell Dagge tries his hand at the driving this weekend. The Tinahely native is more accustomed to co-driving but is making his racing debut in his 2.5 Escort in Baltinglass.

THE GERMAINE'S of Baltinglass Mini Stages Rally, promoted by the Garda Siochana Motor Club, will take place this coming Sunday October 14.

The rally will consist of six stages in the Baltinglass area, in the format of two stages run three times with a service taking place between each loop.

Germaine's Hotel in Baltinglass will once again be the main headquarters and sponsors of the event with Pat Lordan at the helm as clerk of the course.

Two of the main contenders of last year's event Daniel Barry and James Stafford are set to return to the challenging Wicklow stages for a rematch which is sure to provide plenty of action if last year is anything to go by.

As the 2011 event neared its end Barry held a narrow lead, but Stafford was closing in when a mechanical failure forced him to retire. Barry went on to record his second Baltinglass victory in a row.

Stafford, from Wellingtonbridge, is currently on top form, having recorded victories on the Carrickon-Suir Raven's Rock Rally in June and his home event the Wexford Stages Rally just last month in his Darrian T90GTR.

In contrast, Barry has not been in action since the Circuit of Ireland at Easter (aside from some demonstration runs at a motor show), and the Enniskerry man will have to overcome any ring-rustiness if he is to record a hat-trick of GSMC wins in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10.

Local man Trevor Culbert better known for his sideways style of driving in his MkII Escort is also set to take to the stages this weekend and is sure to provide some entertainment for the spectators. Trevor will be one to watch out for, having won the Heartlands Rally earlier this season and finishing 3rd overall on this event last year.

Another local man Russell Dagge who is probably better known for his co-driving skills alongside Trevor Culbert has recently taken up driving himself and will debut his new 2.5 Escort this weekend.

Baltinglass man Pat Lee will once again be contesting his local stages in his MkII Escort while William Smith will also be making a return to rallying with his newly built car after an absence of some years.

Saturday will see the action kick off as drivers will do a recce of the stages early morning, they will then put their cars through mechanical scrutiny which will be held in Baltinglass Industrial Estate, this is a great place to get up close to the drivers and their cars.

Cars will then be held overnight in a secure parking area with the first car leaving to head for the stages at approximately 10am on Sunday morning.

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