Gwyndaf Evans won Group N and finished in 7th place. There was battle behind for the next four places, Keith Cronin had been in second place chasing down Evans, until he had gearbox issues in the Citroen DS3 R5 which required a change of box resulting in road penalties dropping him down to fifth. Two time winner Mark Higgins had a big spin early on but despite this was leading well ahead of Donnelly, until a driveshaft gave way on the last leg of stages and his rally was essentially over. The National Rally was cancelled as the crews had not started. Donagh Kelly was now leading the rally, however as the Irish Tarmac Championship was at stake he was driving to ensure a finish.

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Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen entered, but did not start. Eamonn Boland had been in third until the penultimate stage when mechanical problems put him out of the rally. This was the inaugural year desdie the Tarmac Championship and the Ulster has been in it to some degree every year since.

The National Rally was cancelled as the crews had mcartney started. Dessie Nutt was again victorious in the Historic Rally in his Porsche Ron Neely was a very creditable 10th in his Cooper S.

Donegal Rally – lesashephotography

Some time was lost in trying to find the problem, which appeared to be lose turbo pipe and Garry set fastest time on the second stage, but had incurred a 40 second penalty, being 4 minutes late to the stage. The pair and the porsche took part in and picked up a mccartey award at Lurgan Park last month and also competed in the Manx Rally achieving 8th mfcartney overall.

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Top seed Michelle Mouton had a short rally retiring her Edssie Quattro after stage 1. Ulster Rally History – Rather than promote a full Ulster Rally a smaller challenge one-day event was promoted to test out all the new ideas. However Jean-Joseph was unable to come and his place was taken at the last moment by Sebastien Ogier.

When I went over to congratulate Kris I discovered he had been a tiny one year old when I won the Ulster back in ! When the International Ulster Rally announced the use of notes, Fisher came out of semi-retirement.

He started the final stage with a comfortable lead of 40 seconds over Kelly.

Dessie McCartney – Circuit of Ireland – – Rallyretro – Irish Rally Photos

He finished with over a 4 min margin from nearest challenger Russell Brookes in a Manta. Alistair Fisher lead initially in his Fiesta R5, however he had a puncture on stage 3 and dropped to 5th place, leaving Elfyn Evans, also in a Fiesta R5 in the lead.

Andrew Nesbitt in the Impreza WRC who was challenging Mark Higgins in the opening stages crashed heavily on the third stage which put him out of the event. The Historic Rally category winners were: Alongside running a successful car business with his brother Ronnie, Dessie competed regularly in rallies over five decades and no doubt his top class experience and expertise will serve him well this weekend.

Seeded 12 out of entries Dessie finished 8th overall behind four works cars. Sean Campbell won Group 1 in an Opel Ascona i, finishing 7th overall.

McRae was allowed to win the Circuit, but Brookes got his own back on the Ulster where he was allowed to win after another Ding Dong battle with Jimmy. Jennings set a string of fastest times and by the second stage on day 2 deswie had taken the lead of the rally.

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Garry Jennings was first in Rally NI and fifth overall. The Historic category winners were: Osian Pryce was first in the Rally NI category and fourth overall. An accident at the end of the third stage resulted in the tragic death of local driver Timothy Cathcart.

1980-Ulster_1980_NB-S2-D3-2-Dessie McCartney

Ogier won his class by over 5 minutes and finished 13th overall, beating much more powerful machinery. Nesbitt who had been leading by a minute and a half from Laukkanen, clipped a rock on rxlly stage in the Sperrin Mountains and shortly after his car left the road.

Fisher rolled his Imprezaon stage one and the oil lost resulted in an engine failure later in the event. Gwyndaf Evans won Group N and finished in 7th place.

Tapio Laukkanen finished down in 10th place in the Renault Magane Maxi. Keith McIvor was first in the Historic event in his Porsche There was battle behind for the next four places, Keith Cronin had been in second place chasing down Evans, until he had gearbox issues in the Citroen DS3 R5 which required a change of box resulting in road penalties dropping him down to fifth.

Andrew Nesbitt was true class on the Ulster just as he had been for the previous few seasons, setting fastest times on 14 of the 15 special stages.