Nagle and Breen make it three victories from three in Irish Tarmac championship
Paul Nagle and Craig Breen continued their dominance of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship by recording a third straight win over the weekend.
They led Friday and Saturday's Easter Stages form the second stage to add to their West Cork and Galway International victories early this season.
It marked Nagle's first win on the event, organised by the Ulster Automobile Club, a replacement rally for the old Circuit of Ireland Rally which name is now owned by a private entity.
"Great to finally get my name on the famous Circuit of Ireland trophy," said Nagle. "Next for the big one."
He was referring to next weekend's Cartell.ie Rally of the Lake, a win on his home international rally being a long-held ambition of the Aghadoe man.
The seeded entry list for the May 3 to 4 event is due to be released later this week with Breen and Nagle expected to be either the first or second seed. The Ford Fiesta R5 will face opposition from last year's Rally of the Lakes winner Manus Kelly in a Hyundai i20 R5 and runner-up Robert Barrable in a Skoda Fabia R5.
Other local success on the Easter Stages included West Kerry co-driver Elaine Ni She who finished third on the National section of the rally alongside Sean Devine.
The Ford Fiesta R5 crew placed a late entry for the rally on Wednesday last week and had to overcome gearbox paddle-shift issues on their way to the podium. It was only the Tyrone-based driver's second rally on asphalt after returning from a ten-year lay-off.
John McCarthy from Kilcummin finished second in Class S6 alongside John Devlin in a Ford Escort Mk2. They enjoyed an event-long battle with Rodney White and Gavin Campbell in their Talbot Sunbeam but lost out by less than a second after 15 stages of competitive action in County Antrim.
Several Kerry competitors face an anxious wait this week as they await confirmation on an entry on Sunday's Monaghan Rally. For the first time in years, an Irish national rally has attracted more than the allowed 140 entrants and co-drivers John McCarthy and Damien Fleming have found themselves on the reserve list.
Fleming is due to contest the rally with his usual driver Raymond Conlon in a Toyota Corolla while McCarthy is listed alongside Peter Wilson in a Ford Escort.
Connor Murphy and Keith McCarthy are listed to start the junior section in their Honda Civic but engine problems have prevented them from starting both the Easter Stages and the Circuit of Kerry in recent weeks.
Rallynuts Severn Valley Rally
Noel O'Sullivan finished fourth overall on the recent Rallynuts Severn Valley rally in Wales. Co-driving for Derry's Connor McCloskey, they pair are contesting selected rounds of the British Trial and Rally Drivers Association championship in their Ford Fiesta R5.