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Celsus Donnelly/Noel Gallagher (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) made it two-for-two in the U.S. Rally Championship by winning Rally New York USA last weekend.

The Irish duo took control of the event at mid-distance and drove to a minute-and-a-half victory. Their performance might have been even stronger, but the wastegate (which regulates pressure in the turbocharger system) malfunctioned early in the rally and the alternator broke just before the end.

Enda McCormack/Bernard Farrell (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) placed second, eight seconds ahead of Daniel O’Brien/Dominik Jozwiak (Subaru Impreza WRX). McCormack’s run seemed trouble-free, but O’Brien was trying a new car for the first time, and found that it suffered from “teething problems.” Most notably, the Subaru’s brakes were too “soft,” and he was forced to drive conservatively until the problem was rectified by the team’s mechanics.

Seamus Burke (a former winner) and co-driver Eddie Fries (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) were among the pre-event favorites, but unfortunately became the first team on the sidelines. On the first of 20 special stages, the car’s ignition system failed. (This followed broken engines in their first two events of the season.)

Another front-runner out early was Patrick Brennan/Shane McCann (Subaru Impreza WRX), co-leaders after eight special stages, but put out by suspension damage after hitting a rock on special stage nine.

The brothers Joshua and Jeremy Wimpey (Volkswagen Golf GT) placed fourth overall, winning the rally-within-the-rally for two-wheel-drive cars. In the process they beat some very powerful all-wheel-drive entries, such as the team of Gerard Coffey/Dave Dooley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo).

The rally was run under mild and sunny conditions. Competitors reported that the roads were generally good, but there were occasionally sand or gravel spots on some of the corners in the paved portion, and cut-up areas on the dirt/gravel legs.

One of the most popular results came from local driver Jay Menzo and co-driver Dave Florina (Mazda 323). Menzo was competing in his first rally, and was entered in the accompanying events for the New York Rally Championship only – not in the U.S. Rally Championship round. But if he had entered the national, he would have finished a remarkable fifth in the two-wheel-drive division.

FINAL RESULTS

1. Celsus Donnelly/Noel Gallagher (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) 1h09m32s
2. Enda McCormack/Bernard Farrell (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) 1:11:05
3. Daniel O’Brien/Dominik Jozwiak (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1:11:12
4. Joshua Wimpey/Jeremy Wimpey (Volkswagen Golf GT) 1:14:34
    (1st two-wheel-drive and 1st in Open 2WD class)
5. Gerard Coffey/Dave Dooley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) 1:14:58
6. Patrick Lilly/Thomas Taggart (Subaru Impreza WRX) 1:15:17
7. Scott Gardner/Constantine Mantopoulos (Audi S2 Quattro) 1:16:39
8. Emilio Arce/Sarah Gardnescu (Subaru Impreza 2.5RS) 1:17:45
    (1st Production AWD class)
9. Justin Chiodo/Adam Wangerin (Honda Civic Si) 1:20:02
    (1st Production 2WD class)
10. Patrick Cournane/Damien Treanor (Subaru Impreza) 1:20:15

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