Searing heat that led to melting tar on the stages in County Leitrim brought an early conclusion to the Sligo Park Hotel Sligo Rally, round five of the Dunlop National Rally Championship.
Curtailed after six of the nine stages, victory went to the Donegal cousins, Declan and Brian Boyle (S12B Subaru WRC). They finished a minute and 5.8 seconds ahead of the S11 Subaru WRC of Monaghan’s, Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry. Another Monaghan duo, Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Mitsubishi) were a minute and 13.8 seconds further behind in third place.
Even though he reckoned his Subaru was down on power along with the fact that the tyre compounds were far too soft in the hot conditions, Boyle was still quickest through the opening stage near Manorhamilton. He led the Ford Focus WRC of his fellow Donegal driver, Donagh Kelly by 9.5 seconds with Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) a further 7.5 seconds behind in third.
Searing heat continued to melt the tar and the organisers, the Connacht Motor Club decided to cancel the final loop of three stages.
With his fourth win in the current Dunlop series, Boyle has increased his lead in the series to 26 points with Maguire moving from fourth to second to become his closest rival.
The Dunlop “Drive of the Day” award was won by Paddy Kiernan/Paul Sheridan (Escort).
1. D. Boyle/B. Boyle (Subaru WRC) 50m. 21.3s.
2. N. Maguire/E. Sherry (Subaru WRC) 51m. 27.1s
3. S. Moffett/J. O’Reilly (Mitsubishi) 52m. 40.9s.
Dunlop National Rally Championship (Provisional Positions after Round 5): 1. D. Boyle 92pts; 2. N. Maguire 66pts; 3. J. Belton 62pts; 4. J. Moffett 58pts & 5. S. Moffett 57pts.