Abbeydourney's Thomas Fitzmaurice and Tralee codriver Fionn Foley lost some ground in the Top Part and Dunlop Rally Championships when they were forced to retire from last weekend's Auburn Lodge Hotel Clare Stages Rally. The rally was the penultimate round of both rallys, with Fitzmaurice and Foley leading both championships entering the Ennis based event. However, they were forced to retire on stage 5 with gearbox trouble in their Subaru S11 WRC. The duo now lie six points in the Dunlop standings behind rally winners Brian O'Mahony/John Higgins (Subaru S11 WRC) with the final round taking place in Donegal in October.
Athea's Colm Murphy and co-driver Don Montgomery finished 7th overall and clinched the Motorsport Safety Team Group N award in the Dunlop Championship. The duo also won the overall Group N award on the event.
Abbeyfeale's Denis Collins and his Tralee codriver Tommy Commane won the Historic Category in Ennis in their Ford Escort MK 1 and also became the inaugraul winners of the Historic category in the Dunlop Championship along with been presented with the Dunlop Drive of the Day.
Louth's Philip McKibbin and Tralee co-driver Padraig Brick finished second to Collins and Commane in Ennis and have now closed the gap to just 2 points for the Overall Historic award in the Top Part West Coast Rally Championship with just 1 round remaining in Kerry in November.
Killarney's Derek Daly and Tralee co-driver Diarmuid Falvey were lying 11th overall after stage 6 but were forced to retire when their Mitsubishi Evo 9 clipped a bank.
Dunlop Top 5 Standings after Round 7: Brian O'Mahony 96, Thomas Fitzmaurice 90, Niall Maguire 86, Colm Murphy 75
Top Part West Coast Rally Championship Top 5 after Round 5: Frank Kelly 74, Frank Sweeney 66, Niall Maguire 61, Colm Murphy 59, Stephen Carey 54.