CLOGHER’S Brian Armstrong retained his Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship title on Sunday of last week after finishing 18th overall and first in class 12 at the Galway Summer Stages Rally.
With Aodhan Gallagher on the notes, the pair guided their Ford Escort to class wins in every round – Midland, Monaghan, Cavan, Sligo and Galway to become the first crew ever to win the Border Championship in successive years.
And with one round to go – the Donegal Harvest Rally in early October – they could yet complete a perfect season.
“We got off to a good start on Sunday, it clicked and we maintained it to the finish,” beamed Brian.
“The season couldn’t have gone better, it was all good. It’s the first time anyone has gone back-to-back so I’m more than happy, although I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet!”
Brian and Aodhan weren’t the only Tyrone crews in action in Galway on Sunday and they weren’t the only ones celebrating either. Dromore’s Gareth Deazley, with Dean O’Sullivan on the notes, drove their Honda Civic to fourth in the junior category at the weekend, which ensured they finished third overall in the Irish Mixed Surface Junior Rally Championship, which is where they also finished in the Irish Forestry Junior Championship.
Also driving well on Sunday last was another Dromore man, Cathan McCourt, who made a last minute decision to enter the event and travelled to Galway with a new navigator for the day, his fellow townswoman, Grace O’Brien.
The fledgling combination seemed to work pretty well, too, as they finished an impressive second overall in their Ford Fiesta R5 behind winners, Josh Moffett and Andy Hayes.
Moy’s Frank Kelly also traveled south to tackle the last event of the summer with Sean Hayde on the notes in ‘Baby Blue’. The pair finished second oveall in class 14 in the eye-catching MK II Ford Escort and ninth overall.