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Subaru WRC driver, Manus Kelly, won the three-day Joule Donegal International Rally by just 0.5 seconds ahead of Keith Cronin’s Citroen DS3 R5, after Cronin was slowed by fuel pressure problems on the final stage.  

The event started with a battle between Declan Boyle’s Fiesta WRC and Donagh Kelly’s Subaru, before Donagh Kelly stopped on Day 2 with engine trouble and Boyle with gear selection trouble.  

The final day saw Seamus Leonard (Subaru WRC), Cronin and Sam Moffett (Fiesta R5) separated by four seconds.  In slippery conditions, Leonard went off the road of Day 3 and Manus Kelly climbed from fourth place to the lead.

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Jan Kopecky (Skoda Fabia R5) won the Czech championship Hustopece Rally for a third successive time.

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Eric Brunson beat fellow Fiesta WRC driver David Salanon, who was troubled by punctures, to win the French asphalt championship Rally Limousin.  Third placed Sylvain Michel (Fabia R5) leads the series.

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Prodigal driver forgiven.  Thierry Neuville’s victory in Sardinia has restored the team’s confidence enough to promote him for Rally Finland from the secondary to Hyundai Motorsport’s premier championship team.

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Gradually information is emerging regarding Rallye Deutschland plans for 2017.  While there is no news where the headquarters will be for this Saarland-based event, it is rumoured that the service park will return to Bostalsee, which had been used in earlier years when the event was centred at Trier.  It proved to be a very weather sensitive location.

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Toni Gardemeister’s Skoda R5 team took first and second place at Rally Zemaitija based at Kelme in Lithuania, with Pontus Tidemand beating the young Kalle Rovanpera.

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Cristian Garcia scored his fifth Spanish asphalt championship victory of the season when he won Ourense in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.
- Martin Holmes


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