Elliott wins Circuit of Kerry Stages
- 27th March 2008, 11:23am
Patrick Elliott won an extraordinary Circuit of Kerry Stages Rally in Ireland after he finished with the same overall time as Niall Maguire. But as Elliott won the last stage, he was declared winner by virtue of that last stage win.
Elliott's Suburu Impreza lead by two seconds following stage 5, but Maguire's Suburu WRC won stage 6 by four seconds to take a two second lead. Then both drivers posted the same time of 3 minutes 7 seconds to set up the grandstand finish. In stage 8, Elliott was the faster by two seconds, thus both drivers finished on the same time.
For Maguire, it was the third time he has lost the Circuit of Kerry Stages Rally title after losing the last stage and finishing level on time, and for Elliott, it meant he has won back-to-back Circuit of Kerry titles.
The early pacesetter was Michael Barrable who was three seconds ahead of Donie O'Sullivan's Suburu WRC after stage 1 and Barrable gained another four seconds on the second stage, before the cars returned to first service. Patrick Elliott and Niall Maguire made up the top four, but that was to change as Donie O'Sullivan dropped to fourth after he got stuck on a hairpin bend at the start of stage 3.
Then Barrable's 25 second lead evaporated in stage 4 after his Ford Focus WRC suffered a puncture. Patrick Elliott and Niall Maguire took command of the rally in stage 4. Elliott's time of 8.43 pulled him up to first and Maguire's stunning 8.33 lifted him to second, 21 seconds ahead of Barrable, with O'Sullivan fouth.
Elliott will now aim to win the next round of the National Rally Championship in Monaghan and consolidate his position at the top of driver rankings.
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