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Quigley and Raftery first Galway crew home in local International Rally

By Kevin O’Driscoll

KEITH Cronin and Mikie Galvin were the impressive winners of the 2024 Corrib Oil Galway International Rally when they had 38.1 seconds to spare over Callum Devine and Noel O’Sullivan in their VW Polo R5.

The reigning Tarmac Champions are still waiting for their first Galway win but will take comfort from that fact they were Cronin’s closest rivals over the weekend. Josh Moffett and Andy Hayes took third place in a Citroen C3 having to adjust to a car unfamiliar to them, but they still set particularly good times over the two-day rally. It was a tough event with 113 starting in the main field on Saturday but only 73 of those surviving the weekend.

Day 1

Wet and windy weather on the Friday before the rally had cleared on Saturday morning but the starters had to face into tricky road conditions, with mud, soft verges, and solid stone walls likely to catch out the unwary. Cronin took fastest time on the opening stage, Kilcoona, by just 1.2 seconds from Sam Moffett and James O’Reilly’s Hyundai.

Devine and O’Sullivan were only one further second despite a faulty intercom. Johnny Greer and Niall Burns got off to a bad start when their Citroen C3 picked up a puncture costing them over a minute, while Ryan Loughran felt his Fiestas setup was not right for the stages.

The first major retirements of the rally followed on Stage 2, Caherlistrane, when Matt Edwards and Kevin Eves both went off midway through the stage and were unable to continue. Edwards broke the steering after hitting a bank and Eves hit a chicane having survived an earlier overshoot.

Sam Moffett, Desi Henry, and Ryan Loughran all had moments during the middle loop of stages, but worse was to follow for Greer who slid off the road towards the end of the fourth stage, Kilbeg, and out of contention. Mark Alcorn and Darren Curran were the top national crew in their Ford Escort Mk II and held a 30- second advantage over Rodney Wilton with Frank Kelly only a few seconds further back.

Pictured: Keith Cronin (winning driver), Joe Donoghue (Galway Motor Club), Mikie Galvin (co-driver) and David Glynn (Corrib Oil) at the prizegiving for the Galway International Rally. Photos: James Burke.

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