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Local drivers pass Targa tests

OMAGH Motor Club’s Targa Rally, sponsored by C-more Flying school proved a huge success, with entries form near and far ensuring an impressive entry list on Saturday.

In the end, though, it was Wicklow duo, Eddie Peterson and Philip O’Reilly who stood atop the podium after edging out Dungannon’s Eric Patterson and Raymond Donaldson, who won the event in 2017, with Ballynahinch’s Douglas Reid and Jonathan Stewart in third.

Outside the top three, Coagh’s Trevor Ferguson and Padriag McAtamney were fourth, with Cookstown’s Philip Hunter and Kim Hunter fifth, just ahead of Greencastle pair, Paul Hughes and ‘Big’ Ian Campbell in sixth.

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The top 10 was completed by Stewartstown’s Norman Ferguson and Keith Hall, Holywood’s Stuart Annesley and Stephen Jess, Dungannon’s Darrell Burns and Ben McKee, and Robert Haslett and Peter Haslett, Lisburn, in seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth places respectively.

Sixty crews from all parts of Ireland tackled a series of 12 short timed tests held in the Carrickmore and Greencastle districts.

During the rally itself, the Wicklow crew Peterson and O’Reilly in a Toyota MR2 set the fastest time within the grounds of C-more Flying Club and by the half way halt had edged out a nine second lead over Dungannon’s Patterson and Donaldson. During the second half, the Peterson/O’Reilly crew won a further two tests to keep a hard charging Patterson at bay to eventually win the event by seven seconds.

In the battle for class honours, Ferguson/Hall won class one, while the top three overall filled the same spots in class two.

Burns/McKee topped the class three standings from Haslett and Haslett, with Enniskillen’s Ronan Cox and Joe O’Neill third, while local crews, Aaron Breen and Nathan Hamilton (Fintona), Matty McAdoo and Josh McAdoo (Cookstown) and Dougie Millar and Glenn Millar (Dungannon) were fourth, fifth and seventh respectively.

Cookstown’s Hunter crew won class four from Hughes/Capbell, with Dungannon’s Jason Stirrup and Stephen Watters sixth, Cookstown’s Malcolm McQueen and Harry Barr ninth, Omagh’s Tony Kelly and Gareth Kelly 10th, while two more Cookstown crews, Eric McIvor/Suzanne McIvor and Robin Pitts/Gareth Henry were 11th and 12th.

Class five was conquered by Fintona’s Conor McCarney and Barry McCarney, with Drumquin’s Ronnie Boyd and Tristan Kelly second. Dromore duo Fabian McAleer and Justin O’Brien were fourth, just ahead of Omagh’s Danny Meenagh and Pauric Cochrane, with two more Omagh crews Kevin O’Neill/Justin Edgar and Oran McAleer/Sean McAleer eight and ninth. Rounding out the class were the Fintona/Beragh duo of Aaron Johnston and Adam Vance, and Omagh’s Johnny McAleer and Mark McAleer.

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In class six, Irvinestown’s Mark Thompson and Kyle Thompson came first, ahead of runners-up Niall Donnelly and Ash Boulton, from Beragh, with Cookstown’s John Quinn and Plunkett McKenna fourth, one place ahead of townsmen Robin and Caleb Cuddy. Elsewhere in the class, seventh went to Donaghmore’s Seamus Goodfello and Joel McFarland, with Dungannon’s Nial l and Erin McKenna 10th, Cookstown’s Declan McKeown and Sean Madden 12th, Omagh’s Stephen Donnelly and Daniel O’Loughlin 14th and Mark McAleer and Johnny McAleer, Omagh, 15th.

At the prize giving, Clerk of the Course Dessie McAleer thanked Dan McCartan for hosting the event at C-More Flying Club, Bertie Morrow, Paul Hughes and the quarry owners for allowing the usage of their premises for the various tests and for those who officiated and all the competitors supporting the event.

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