1979 Donegal – Autosport

In only his third event since changing from a Porsche Carrera to a Ford Escort RS, Brian Nelson proved a very popular winner of the Castrol Donegal Rally.

Nelson Leads the Fleet.

This account by Ann Bradshaw appeared in Autosport magazine 21 June 1979. Photos by Colin Taylor and D. Smyth as noted.

Nelson scores his first Escort win – Team Chrysler Ireland cars go quickly but only Coyne finishes — John Lyons is third and wins Group 1 by nine minutes – Curley rolls Chequered Flag Lancia Stratos.

The scene is Hillsborough, a small village about 15 miles south of Belfast. There is a small informal gathering in the Hillside, a friendly bar halfway up the steep main street. The bar is well known in rallying circles as it belongs to Gordon Harvey, the Press Officer for the Circuit of Ireland. On this particular day Gordon is entertaining several of his friends. Included in these is an inhabitant of the village, Brian Nelson who, like his friends in the group, is leaving that day for the Castrol Donegal Rally.

Naturally the event was the main topic of conversation. How did Brian rate his chances? He was sceptical. He had won there before but that was in a Porsche. He now had an Escort, this would only be his third event since the car change and though an Escort handles well, Brian was assuring everyone that, in comparison with a Porsche, it was not a quick car.

Three days later the scene is different. The small intimate gathering has been changed for swelling, heaving mob. We are now outside the Ballyraine Hotel in Letterkenny. The Castro! Donegal Rally is over and Brian Nelson has just won the event. The original Mr Nice Guy from Ireland is a popular winner of a tough, hard, excellent event, having brought his David Sutton Cars prepared Tuca Tiles Escort RS1800 home over four minutes ahead of Bertie Fisher’s similar machine.

Bertie Fisher drove extremely well to finish four minutes behind the similar Ford Escort RS of Nelson.

Some extremely fine drives were put up during the event with John Lyons starring by coming third overall in his Group 1 Escort, Ernest Kidney overcoming a suspect headgasket and lack of power to come fourth, John Coyne bringing Team Chrysler Ireland glory with his Group 2 Sunbeam in fifth overall and Drew Gallacher making a fine, spirited start in tarmac rallying.

Despite the fact that this was the fourth round of the Tudor Photographic Championship and a round of the European Rally Championship, missing from the entry list was current Tudor leader Billy Coleman. However, he was still able to keep his lead in the Tudor series.

What can be said about Donegal that has not already been said? It is the ultimate in Irish rallying. It combines everything good in one event. The stages are long and not too rough. The road mileage is low. The organisers, the Donegal Motor Club, are keen, friendly and efficient. The drinking has to be seen to be believed and the welcome extended to everyone is warm and real.

Okay, nothing is perfect and that is the last way to describe the Rally HQ, the Ballyraine Hotel in Letterkenny. The walls are thin (one alarm clock will wake everyone up assuming the drunks outside have let you go to sleep, the crowds get so great that on the last night that the doors are locked (a bit inconvenient if you are staying there and happen to be on the outside). But, for some strange reason, all this is forgotten in the sheer enjoyment of being in Ireland with its warm friendly people.

An outstanding drive from John Lyons took the Group 1 Ford Escort RS2000 to an easy class win and an impressive third place overall.

Clerk of the Course, Jim Callaghan, came up with a perfect three day event, run over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of last weekend. In a total distance of S00 miles, 320 of these were on stages. No night rallying means plenty of rest between the runs, with the three starts being at 2pm, 9am and 12.45pm respectively.

The first day went north and again included a stage round the houses of Ramelton. On Saturday, it was south of the county to Donegal town, and Sunday, north again, this time to Rosapena and along Atlantic Drive.


“No Billy Coleman, no David Sutton no.1 car, no Malcolm Wilson, no O’Connells, no Ger Buckley, no Noel Smith — it reads bad, but hold on, have you really studied the entry list?” So went the opening lines of the Ballyraine Bugle, the official newspaper of the Castrol Donegal International Rally.

That really did mirror very well the state of the entry at the beginning of the event with only four of the top ten seeds actually rolling off the ramp on Friday afternoon. But, in the words of the immortal Plum Tindall and Brian and Liz Patterson, whose, fertile brains concoct this amazing newspaper, “so what!”. Look who they did have who promised to give the myriads of spectators something to look at.

Heading the list, although starting at number three, was Derek Boyd in the Chequered Flag Triumph TR7 V8. This was, of course, one of the two ‘Flag cars entered, the other being one of Ireland’s most famous sights, the Lancia Stratos. Cahal Curley was making a brief outing from rally retirement to drive the car which ‘Flag boss Graham Warner reckons is going as well as ever. Alas it was too much to expect poor Curley to jump straight back into that calibre of rally car after a long lay-off and be competitive. But he had a brave try and gave the spectators what they wanted to see, an Irishman driving a car that has become an Irish institution.

A favourite sight in Ireland. This year, the Chequered Flag Lancia Stratos was driven by Cahal Curley, temporarily out of retirement.

Leading the Escort brigade were Bertie Fisher and Brian Nelson in their Team Castrol/ Bush Performance Centre and Tuca Tiles Escorts starting at four and five respectively. Fisher’s car was basically the same as on the Circuit with the engine having gone back to AVJ just for a quick look over. Nelson’s machine was the usual David Sutton car that was new for, and went so well on, the Circuit. With the gaps left by the non- appearance of Mick O’Connell and Ger Buckley the next man up was Ernest Kidney at number 10 in his Ballycassidy Permapost Escort. The Escort gaggle continued with Paul Windsor, Brendan Fagan, Hugh O’Brien and Ian Cathcart.

At number 19 was the new Dealer Opel Team offering for Brian Culcheth. Having given the Scottish a miss described it as ‘the most beautiful car in the rally’ and they were not far off the mark. In a new GM Oil livery it looked most impressive and Culcheth described its looks and performance as ‘magic’. This in itself was enough to put huge grins on the faces of DOT mechanics Tim Ashton and David Whitehead who had spent the last ten days building it. The engine was the one out of the Kadett, which had been re-built from the Welsh and was giving 180bhp.

Dealer Opel Team brought the brand new Opel Ascona Group 2 to Donegal for its first outing. Photo D. Smyth.

Another brand new car on the event was Drew Gallachers Team Lockhart/ Shell Escort RS1800. Like the Opel, this car had not been properly tested before the event an the first few stages of the event were going to have to be used for setting the car up.

Team Chrysler Ireland were there in full force with their Group 2, 2-litre Sunbeams for Dessie McCartney, relatively lowly seeded at number 23, John Coyne at 35 and Rosemary Smith at 43. Their recently appointed team manager, Chris Sclater, was there to keep his brood under control, a job that he seems to do extremely well.

Hoping for Group 1 honours was John Lyons in his Vladivar Vodka Escort RS2000. Lyons did have some unfortunate accidents last year, but this year has managed to hang it all together so prospects looked good for a Group win and a top placing. There, hoping to give him a hard time, were Sean Campbell (Lindsay Cars Lisburn Escort RS2000), James Logan (Logan of Whiteabbey Escort RS2000), James McDaid (Escort RS2000), John Cleary , (T. W. Robinson (Dem) Ltd/Scotts Corner Garage Ltd Escort RS2000) and Simon Everett (Escort RS2000).

Local hero James McDaid, with Liam Duffy calling the notes, kept it on the road and took third place in Group 1, and 10th place overall. Photo D. Smyth.

Really there are many more people of the 133 starters who deserve mention, but space prohibits, so suffice it to say also that giving very good entertainment were such stars as the “amazing” Ron Neely in his Group 1 Mini, Willie Crawford (Escort), Robin Lyons (Sunbeam), John Connor (Chevette), John Price (Carrera), Trevor Cathers (Avenger), Tommy Reid (Escort) and David Agnew (VW Scirocco). Perhaps the most unlucky man not to start was Geoff Simpson who dragged his Tyre servioes Escort RS1800 all the way to Letterkenny and then bent two valves when giving the car a quick warm-up run on the Thursday night.


Day one started at the very civilised hour of 2pm and, despite a far from promising weather forecast for the weekend, everyone was in high spirits. Two of the cars watched most closely were the Lancia Stratos and the Opel Ascona. Alas, on the very first stage, both Curley and Culcheth hit trouble. Curley was nearing the end of this eight miler with about a mile to go. He came over a yump and, like most who went before him, took it steadily. About 100 yards further down the road, on a straight, there was a smaller, but much more deadly, yump waiting to catch him out.

As he landed from this, the car started to spin round and shot off to the right, into the hedge. The spectators were soon at the scene, but at least ten precious minutes were lost before the car, which luckily suffered nothing worse than a broken steering arm, rumbled off down the road, lying in last place.

The Opel passed by the spot while all this was going on but, from the fluffy sound of the engine, all was far from well. The cause was a petrol pump packing up and shorting out the spare one. At the end of the stage, service was summoned on the radio, but before repairs were affected the car was out of time. However, once all was remedied, the team decided to carry on and get some tarmac testing under their belts.

Brian Culcheth drove the new G2 Opel Ascona in Donegal but ran out of time with a faulty fuel pump.

Paul Windsor usually does well in Donegal but a series of incidents were to rob him of a good placing, the first of these being on stage two, Lough Keel 1, when the fuel injection started playing up. It continued to do so for about three stages with the loss of about four minutes. Another person in problems on this stage was Rosemary Smith, her Sunbeam having to run for about four miles on a puncture. Kidney was another to suffer a flat a couple of stages later, on Fanad Head 1. His was a front wheel puncture caused by hitting a pile of large jagged rocks sitting in the middle of the road.

With troubles hitting the crews, so the retirements were starting, and one of the first was Brendan Fagan, seen stopped at the end of the first stage. But whatever was happening to the others, there was one thing certain and that was Nelson’s mastery of his car and the stages. He really was driving well and at the end of stage five, Knockalla, had a lead of nearly a minute over Boyd. If Nelson was going well, so was another amiable Irishman John Lyons. Despite the fact that he was in a Group 1 car he was lying fifth behind such very rapid men as Nelson, Boyd, Coyne and McCartney, and had a Group lead of a minute over Austin McHale in another Escort RS2000.

McCartney and Coyne were also proving just how quick a Group 2, 2-litre pushrod engined Sunbeam developing about 155bhp could be pedalled but unfortunately the glory was about to end. McCartney’s engine cried enough and broke a piston on stage seven, Cam Hill 2; quite a relief for Boyd who, after suffering his TR7 overheating for the first three stages, had McCartney within seven seconds of him.

John Coyne led the Team Chrysler Ireland attack, finishing fifth after an excellent drive.

Although Boyd was relieved, it was not for long as, on stage eight, he spun his car and blocked the road. By the time the TR7, with a slightly crumpled front, was on its way again there was a queue of about half a dozen cars behind and the stage was subsequently cancelled. However, his misery did not stop here as, on the next stage, Kindrum 2, it was all over. Something had broken at the top end of the engine with the team suspecting either a valve or rocker.

Still more torment was in store for the team because, as the car sat outside their hotel at Rosapena, someone took a fancy to it and broke in with the object of stealing it. Luckily they could not find the right connection and the car is still the property of the Chequered Flag.

This stage also saw the demise of two Porsches, those of Crabtree and Snowcroft. Crabtree missed a gear and earned himself a hefty bill for an engine rebuild. With co-driver ‘Wilbur’ Whale he started to walk up the stage, where they found Boyd and then their team mate Snowcroft, who had driven five miles on a puncture.

He had come to a hairpin left and gone off into the lake on the side of the stage. The car had to be driven about 200 yards down the lake to a ramp to get clear of the water. It was also here that Chrysler’s hopes were further dashed with Coyne breaking his shock absorbers. At the time of the problem he had been lying third, 20 seconds behind Boyd, but this dropped him down out of the top ten.

Cathcart had been suffering from punctures, a new back end suspension that made the car bounce around and finally a clutch that exploded at the end of the day. He had to be push started m the start line at Ramelton and even got back to the service before the overnight halt. But this was to no avail as the service crew ran out of time while changing the clutch.

Drew Gallacher and David McHarg gave their RS1800 it’s first run out in Donegal, and christened it with a small frontal impact. Photo D. Smyth.

Gallacher was having problems getting his brand new car sorted out but was working his way up the field nicely. However, on one stage he had caught Cathcart. He admitted he momentarily lost his concentration and went off into a brick wall pushing in the front of his brand new machine. His other major problem of the day had been breaking his shock absorbers on Knockalla and doing three stages like this.

The cars went into service before the return to Letterkenny with the Chrysler mechanics doing a good job in changing Rosemary Smith’s gearbox and shock absorbers. Other jobs were hastily completed by various teams before the 87 survivors trickled in.

Nelson was well in the lead, despite having to do the whole day with his tyres on 8″ rims; his proper 9″ ones were due to be flown in that evening. Fisher was next up, despite having suffered from a very high tyre wear rate — on some stages he had gone through to the canvas — and four spins. Next was John Lyons, putting up an amazing performance in a car with the brake balance bar broken, while fourth was Kidney and fifth Gallacher, whose fuel pump had gone so he had borrowed one from DOT.

Ernest Kidney and Nicky Moffett brought their Permapost Escort RS1800 home in fourth place overall. Photo D. Smyth.

Unfortunately for the ‘Flag team, the best the Stratos could manage was a lowly 69th; oh well, there were two days left and things could only get better, couldn’t they?


Day two dawned misty and wet, with several hang-overs around, but a few healthy BDAs revving up at 9am soon set the world to rights. The rally was heading south towards the town of Donegal, with a total of 17 stages before the return to Letterkenny at about 7pm.

Several teams were caught unawares by the rain and Gallacher was in that unhappy bunch. He had no wets and did the first three stages on slicks before changing on to A2s. Everett was also soon in the wars going off on the first stage of the day, Liskeran Hill 1. He went through a gate and about 400 yards into a grass field collecting a puncture here just to add insult to injury.

Simon Everett and Dave West had a multitude of problems in their Mk1 RS2000 but continued to impress the crowd in the hope of attracting a buyer! Photo D. Smyth

Then, three stages further on, the car started to lose power when the exhaust fell off. If that was not enough or one event, the battery lead fell off on stage 18, Graffy 1, and co-driver Dave West got very nasty burns on his hands holding it on. They took their maximum lateness time servicing to put this right and then a mile into the next stage it fell off again. The car continued its run towards lunch at Donegal and on the way frightened about 40 spectators on a corner on stage 21.

The top drivers were taking things easy with Fisher trying his hardest to take time off Nelson. He had checked the timing at the last service the night before and a change in this had made a big difference. Lyons was definitely trying hard and in the process took a yump on stage 18, Graffy 1, very fast and landed heavily, bending the steering rack and cross member. Luckily it was mended with very little loss of time and no lost placings.

The cars completed stage 21. Altadoo 1, and then went into Donegal town for lunch break and service. Curley’s torment on the last few stages had been all his braking on the rear wheels, not a happy position to be in with a Lancia Stratos. The problem was eventually traced to the cockpit and was due to a misunderstanding as to which way the brake balance bar should be operated.

Despite the wet conditions, Brian Nelson maintained his control of the event.
Photo D. Smyth.

Fisher’s men were as busy as any, changing the clutch here, behind which was quite a funny story. A new clutch had been ordered but was not arriving until the Saturday, so in the meantime Fisher had to find a replacement. He found this on Freddy Patterson’s car on the way to the rally and put it in his car, doing the first half of the event without Freddy being aware that his own car was minus a clutch.

The leader board was remaining fairly constant with Nelson holding on to his advantage and the top placings at the Saturday lunch halt were:

  1. Nelson 149m 59s,
  2. Fisher 153m 31s,
  3. Lyons 156m 12s,
  4. Kidney 156m 3ls,
  5. Gallacher 157m 54s,
  6. McHale 157m 57s.

Nelson had his new 9″ rims and so was happier, Gallacher was thoroughly enjoying his first taste of Irish rallying and sorting his new car out as he went along, while Coyne was working his way back up again and was lying 8th overall.

Compared with the Friday, Saturday was relatively incident free, although Rosemary Smith and Pauline Gullick would not describe it that way. On stage 25, Gweebarra River 2, the throttle cable broke on the Sunbeam so Pauline sat on the front holding the bonnet open and working the cable by hand. What actually followed is, understandably, a little confused in Pauline’s mind, but it seems that she may have pulled the cable a little to hard and, as the car lurched forward, she lost her balance. The next thing a distraught Rosemary saw was poor Pauline rolling back down the road. When she came to a halt she found Pauline very badly cut about the face, arms and legs.

Rosemary Smith and Pauline Gullick had a worrying end to their rally when Pauline was injured trying to get the car out of a stage operating the throttle manually.
Photo D. Smyth.

Next along were Paul Windsor and Peter Stokes, who immediately stopped. They quickly got Pauline into their car and administered first aid while Paul mended the throttle cable. They then drove Pauline to the end of the stage where Dessie McCartney happened to be and he immediately rushed off to fetch an ambulance.

With the minimum of delay Pauline was in Letterkenny hospital. Windsor had lost about five minutes but felt that Pauline’s welfare came first, and he and his co-driver have earned both Pauline and Rosemary’s eternal thanks. Luckily when Pauline reached hospital no broken bones were found and, after 24 hours, she was able to go home.

Top man in the Group 1 up to 1300 class was Ron Neely partnered by Davy Johnston. They finished over six minutes ahead of their nearest rival in the class.
Photo D. Smyth.

The weather improved during the afternoon but the drivers were going cautiously. Coyne was upholding nTeam Chrysler Ireland honours but was rather upset on stage 25 when he caught the Stratos three miles in and had to stay behind it right to the end. Despite this, he was steadily working his way back to a well earned top placing. The only man who seemed to have any doubt about finishing the rally at the end of the second day was Kidney. He thought that the head gasket was going and had the problem that he was only getting the power between about 6500 and 7500rpm, so it was all fingers crossed for Sunday. Nelson was well in front but at one point had holed the sump through the constant jumping. He was hoping for warmer weather on the last day as his tyres were not getting hot enough.

So the score at the end of day two was:

  1. Nelson 218m 37s,
  2. Fisher 222m 21s,
  3. Lyons 227m 00s,
  4. Kidney 227m 38s,
  5. Gallacher 229m 05s,
  6. Coyne 230m 01s.


The much longed-for fine, sunny Donegal weather came with a vengeance on Sunday making even the tarmac in front of the Ballyraine melt. Friday had been the incident day, on Saturday eveyone was taking it carefully while Sunday was the day to be ultra cautious. Most top placed drivers realised they were lucky to be in the 72 who re-started and they were keen to be there at the end.

Nelson had to hang on to his lead and the rumours were that he and Fisher had come to a gentlemen’s agreement that it would be stupid for either to go flat out. Certainly Fisher was far from his ten tenths driving style of the previous day. In fact he admitted at the end that, at times, he was going so slowly that he was losing concentration. “I nearly went off a couple of times”, he admitted “It is just as easy, if not easier, to go off when you are going slowly and trying to get to the finish in your position”.

Bertie Fisher said he was taking it easy on Sunday but it looks like he was still pressing on at the end of the Atlantic Drive stage. Photo D. Smyth.

But retirements are inevitable and the first of the last day was none other than the hapless Everett. He was waving the end of his track control arm around at anyone who cared to look at it at the finish. “This time it wasn’t my fault,” he declared self-righteously. His end had come on stage 31, Derrylaggy 1, the first of the day, when this piece had broken as he was going into a tight comer just after a long 100mph straight: His already battered Mk1 RS2000 went off on the left hand side, over a stone wall, back on the road again and ended back on all four wheels but with two punctures. The end of a brave attempt — does anyone want to buy an Escort for £2,500?

Gallacher then hit problems on stage 36, the one with the glorious name of Muckish Gap 1. He came over a big yump, landed heavily, breaking the tie bar and puncturing a back tyre. He had to crawl off this stage and over the next two with an uncontrollable car. Co-driver David McHarg was wielding the handbrake helping to coax the car along and the Scot used all his driving skills to get the car to service but not before ten minutes and four placings were lost.

Although the Scots were unhappy, it is doubtful that they suffered quite as much anguish as Graham Warner and Cahal Curley. Gradually Curley had got to terms with the Stratos and was getting into the fast times. But alas it all came to a grinding halt the second time over the picturesque Atlantic Drive, SS38. The car got a little untidy on a comer where there were a lot of spectators. Curley tried to sort it out but also had to avoid the people. Unfortunately doing this meant hitting a piece of concrete and that was all that was needed to flip the car on to its roof —- right in front of
‘Flag boss Warner.

Not the cornering style Cahal Curley intended and the Stratos ended up on its roof, right in front of Chequered Flag boss, Graham Warner – awkward! Photo D. Smyth.

Everybody else seemed to be holding together. Coyne did have a gearbox change halfway during the day when he lost third gear. But with the mechanics doing this in just 20 minutes (a much improved time since the Circuit) there was no danger to his chances.

So the end was in sight and all that was needed was to coax the cars there. Nelson happily drove his car up the ramp at the Ballyraine Hotel, followed by Fisher, Lyons, Kidney (his head gasket had lasted) and Coyne.

The only unfortunate thing about the finish was the presence of some rather unruly spectators who started a fight at the feet of Plum Tyndall in the middle of his highly amusing commentary. After some pleas from Plum for Garda help, the offenders were chased off down the road. Everyone was pleased to be there after a long gruelling event and none more so than Gallacher, who really took to Irish rallying like a duck to water, proclaiming that he would be back again before Donegal next year.

Dungannon’s Raymond Armstrong, running at No 102, made the step up to International Rally with ease. Photo D. Smyth.

Castrol Donegal Rally – 15,16,17 June, 1979 – Tudor Photographic Championship, Round 3.

  1. Brian Nelson/Rodney Cole (Ford Escort RS), 295m 02s;
  2. Bertie Fisher/Austin Frazer (Ford Escort RS), 299m 22s;
  3. John Lyons/Trevor Semple (Ford Escort RS2000), 304m 46s;
  4. Ernest Kidney/Nicky Moffett (Ford Escort RS), 305m 03s;
  5. John Coyne/Christy Farrell (Chrysler Sunbeam), 307m 20s;
  6. Vincent Bonner/Michael Bonner (Chrysler Sunbeam), 309m 12s;
  7. Robin Lyons/Seamus McCanny (Chrysler Sunbeam), 310m 19s;
  8. Sean Campbell/Damien Campbell (Ford Escort RS2000), 313m 49s;
  9. Drew Gallacher/David McHarg (Ford Escort RS), 315m 04s;
  10. James McDaid/Liam Duffy (Ford Escort RS2000), 318m 40s.

Group 1

  1. John Lyons/Trevor Semple (Escort RS2000), 334m 46$;
  2. Sean Campbell/Damien Campbell (Escort RS2000), 313m 49s;
  3. James McDaid/Liam Duffy (Escort RS2000), 318m 40s;
  4. John Cleary/Mark l’Anson (Escort RS2000), 320m 39s;
  5. Robert Moffett/Gerard Kelly (Escort RS2000), 323m 25s.

Class 1 Group 1, up to 1300cc

  1. Ron Neely/David Johnson (Mini Clubman GT), 337m 17s;
  2. Trevor Noble/Kenny Campbell (Fiat 128), 343m 25s;
  3. John Wood/Alan Barlow (Escort), 352m 17s.

Class 2 — Group 1, 1301cc to 1500cc

  1. Eamon Harvey/Noel Harvey (Chrysler Avenger), 326m 50s;
  2. George Robinson/Wilbert McIlmoyle (Chrysler Avenger), 329m 33s;
  3. Peter Jones/Barry Martin (Chrysler Avenger), 353m 07s.

Class 3 — Group 1. over 1600c:

  1. John Lyons/Trevor Semple (Escort RS2000), 304m 46s;
  2. Sean Campbell/Damien Campbell (Escort RS2000), 313m 49s;
  3. James McDaid/Liam Duffy (Escort RS2000), 318m 40s.

Class 4 — Group 2, 1301cc to 1600cc

  1. James Cullen/Rory Kennedy (Chrysler Avenger), 327m 10s;
  2. William McVickers/Eric Hughes (Chrysler Sunbeam), 332m 57s;
  3. Brian Dickinson/Lawrence Reavy (Chrysler Sunbeam), 337m 29s.

Class 5 — Group 2 over 1600cc

  1. John Coyne/Christy Farrell (Chrysler Sunbeam), 307m 20s;
  2. Vincent Bonner/Michael Bonner (Chrysler Sunbeam), 309m 12s;
  3. Robin Lyons/Seamus McCanny (Chrysler Sunbeam), 310m 01s.

Class 6 —Groups 3 and 4, up to 1300cc

No scorers

Class 7 — Groups 3 and 4, 1301cc to 1600cc

No scorers

Class 8 – Groups 3 and 4 over 1600cc

  1. Brian Nelson/Rodney Cole (Escort RS), 295m 02s;
  2. Bertie Fisher/Austin Frazer (Escort RS), 299m 22s;
  3. Ernest Kidney/Nicky Mofiett (Escort RS), 305m 03s_

Class 9 – Diesel cars

  1. Joe McHale/Tom McGee (VW Golf), 447m 47s.

Special stage times

SS1. Carn Hill 1. 7.89 miles: Nelson 6m 58s, Fisher 7m 07s. Coyne 7m 08s, Price 7m 09s, Kidney 7m 10s, Windsor 7m 12s, J. Lyons 7m 12s.

SS2. Lough Keel 1. 5.76 miles: Nelson 5m 34s, Coyne 5m 42s, Fisher 5m 44s, McCartney 5m 45s, Windsor 5m 49s, Kidney 5m 40s.

SS3. Kindrum 1. 10.82 miles: Nelson 10m 11s, Boyd 10m 24s, Coyne 10m 27s, McCartney 10m 29s. Kidney 10m 30s, J. Lyons 10m 31s.

SS4. Fanad Head 1, 10.05 miles: Boyd 10m 09s, Nelson 10m 14s, McCartney 10m 14s, Coyne 10m 20s, Fisher 10m 25s, Cathcart 10m 27s.

SS5. Knockalla 1, 5.98 miles: Nelson 4m 33s, Boyne 4m 38s, McCartney 4m 43s, Coyne 4m 49s, J. Lyons 4m 50s, Kidney 4m 51s, R. Lyons 4m 515, Culcheth 4m 51s.

SS6. Garrygort 1. 8.48 miles: Nelson 7m 14s, Boyd 7m 27s, Kidney 7m 34s, Gallacher 7m 35s, Price 7m 37s, Fisher 7m 38s.

SS7, Carn Hill 2, 7.89 mlles: Nelson 6m 47s, Culcheth 7m 02s, McDaid 7m 04s, Boyd 7m 05s, Gallacher 7m 05s, Fisher 7m 06s.

SS8. Lough Keel 2, 5.76 miles: Cancelled due to Boyd spinning and blocking the stage.

SS9. Kindrum 2, 10.82 miles: Nelson 10m 00s, Fisher 10m 17s, Lyons 10m 28s, Kidney 10m 30s, Culcheth 10m 33s, McHale 10m 37s.

SS10, Fanad Head 2. 10.05 miles: Nelson 9m 50s, Fisher 10m 09s, Windsor 10m 14s, Gallacher 10m 18s, R. Lyons 10m 22s, Culcheth 10m 25s.

SS11, Knockalla 2, 5.98 miles: Nigel Duff 4m 15s, Nelson 4m 29s, Windsor 4m 42s, Culcheth 4m 43s, Fisher 4m 45s, Gallacher 4m 47s.

SS12, Garrygort 2. 8.48 miles: Nelson 7m 11s, Fisher 7m 26s, Windsor 7m 35s, Price 7m 35s, Coyne 7m 35s, Gallacher 7m 40s.

SS13, Ramelton. 1.96 miles: Kidney 2m O1s, Nelson 2m 05s, Gallacher 2m 06s, Curley 2m 10s. Culcheth 2m 10s, Price 2m 10s.

SS14, Liskeran Hill 1, 7.11 miles: Fisher 7m 04s, McHale 7m 11s, Nelson 7m 13s, Kidney 7m 14s, J. Lyons 7m 16s, Campbell 7m 18s.

SS15. Cloghan 1. 6.29 miles: Fisher 7m 09s. Nelson 7m 09s, Kidney 7m 23s, Coyne 7m 23s, McHale 7m 23s, Campbell 7m 26s.

SS16. Glashagh 1. 9.20 miles: Fisher 8m 23s, McHale 8m 35s, Nelson Bm 39s, Kidney 8m 39s, Coyne 8m 40s, J. Lyons 8m 42s, Campbell 8m 42s.

SS17, Gweebarra River 1, 6.90 miles: Nelson 6m 19s, Fisher 6m 24s, Bonner 6m 28s, Coyne 6m 28s, McHale 6m 33s, Campbell 6m 37s.

SS18. Graffy 1, 9.90 miles: Fisher 8m 54s, Coyne 9m 01s. Nelson 9m 03s, McHale 9m 12s, Kidney 9m 16s, J. Lyons 9m 17s.

SS19. Monargan 1. 5.99 miles: Coyne 5m 16s, Nelson 5m 17s, Fisher 5m 19s, J. Lyons 5m 20s, Kidney 5m 21s, Price 5m 21s.

SS20, Legans Hill 1, 12.02 miles: Nelson 9m 385, Fisher 9m 53s, Coyne 10m 04s, Kidney 10m 07s, Windsor 10m 11s, McHale 10m 11s.

SS21, Altadoo 1, 12.77 miles: Fisher 11m 33s, Nelson 11m 35s, J. Lyons 11m 37s, Coyne 11 m 44s, Kidney 11m 55s, McHale 11m 56s.

SS22. Liskeran Hill 2, 7.11 miles: Nelson 6m 31s, Fisher 6m 38s, J. Lyons 6m 41s, Coyne 6m 47s, Gallacher 6m 50s, Kidney 6m 51s.

SS23. Clochan 2, 6.29 miles: Nelson 6m 36s, Fisher Gm 495, Gallacher 6m 57s, Kidney 6m 58s. Coyne 7m 00s. Price 7m 03s.

SS24, Glashagh 2, 9.20 miles: Nelson 7m 51s, Fisher 7m 59s, Kidney 8m 13s, Gallacher 8m 15s, Coyne 8m 15s, J. Lyons 8m 17s.

SS25, Gweebarra River 2, 6.90 miles: Nelson 6m 04s, Bonner 6m 11s, Kidney 6m 18s, Fisher 6m 19s, J. Lyons 6m 20s, Gallacher 6m 25s.

SS26, Graffy 2. 9.90 miles: Nelson 8m 29s, Fisher 8m 35s, Coyne 8m 42s, J. Lyons 8m 45s, Gallacher 8m 50s, Kidney 8m 52s, R. Lyons 8m 52s.

SS27. Monargan 2. 5.99 miles: Fisher 5m 06s, Nelson 5m 09s, Lyons 5m 11s, Kidney. 5m 14s. Bonner Sm 16s, Gallacher 5m 18s.

SS28, Legans Hill 2. 12.02 miles: Fisher 9m 36s, Nelson 9m 38s, Gallacher 9m 51s, Kidney 9m 52s, J. Lyons 9m 52s, R. Lyons 10m 00s.

SS29, Altadoo 2. 12.77 miles: Nelson 11m 27s, Fisher 11m 28s, J. Lyons 11m 29s. Kidney 11m 44s, Gallacher 11m 44s, Coyne 11m 45s.

SS30. Deele River, 8.12 miles: Fisher 6m 50s, Nelson 6m 53s, Price 6m 58s. Coyne 6m 59s. Gallacher 7m 01s. Kidney 7m 05s.

SS31. Derrylaggy 1. 3.99 miles: Coyne 3m 21s. Bonner 3m 23s, Gallacher 3m 24s, Fisher 3m 25s, Nelson 3m 25s. Kidney 3m 28s.

SS32. Atlantic Drive 1. 7.64 miles: Nelson 7m 36s, Bonner 7m 38s, Gallacher 7m 42s, Coyne 7m 42s, Fisher 7m 45s, J. Lyons 7m 53s.

SS33. Horn Head 1. 4.34 miles: Curley 4m 19s, Nelson 4m 23s, J. Lyons 4m 23s, Fisher 4m 24s, Gallacher 4m 28s, Bonner 4m 29s.

SS34. Port Lake 1. 6.20 miles: Fisher 5m 28$, Nelson 5m_29s, Gallacher 5m 29s, J. Lyons 5m 33s, Kidney 5m 34s, Bonner 5m 34s, Coyne 5m 34s.

SS35. Cashelnagor 1. 9.24 miles: Fisher 8m 50s, Gallacher 8m 51s, Nelson 8m 53s, Kidney 8m 58s, Coyne 9m 00s, Windsor 9m 04s, Bonner 9m 04s.

SS36. Muckish Gap 1. 10.26 miles: Nelson 8m 29s, Kidney 8m 29s, J. Lyons 8m 29s, Fisher 8m 34s, Bonner 8m 36s, Coyne 8m 36s.

SS37. Derrylaggy 2. 3.99 miles: Nelson 3m 23s, Coyne 3m 24s, Bonner 3m 25s, Conner 3m 25s, Kidney 3m 26s. Fisher 3m 27s.

SS38. Atlantic Dive 2. 7.64 miles: Nelson 7m 32s, Bonner 7m 28s, Fisher 7m 40s, Coyne 7m 42s, Conner 7m 49s, J. Lyons 7m 49s.

SS39. Horn Head 2. 4.34 miles: Nelson 4m 17s, J. Lyons 4m 17s, Fisher 4m 21s, Kidney 4m 24s, Coyne 4m 26s, R. Lyons 4m 30s.

SS40. Port Lake 2. 6.20 miles: Nelson 5m 22s, J. Lyons 5m 26s, Kidney 5m 27s, Coyne 5m 29s, Fisher 5m 33s. Gallacher 5m 34s.

SS41. Cashelnagor 2. 9.24 miles: Kidney 8m 52s, Fisher 8m 56s, Coyne 8m 59s, Nelson 9m 00s, R. Lyons 9m O1s, Gallacher 9m 02s.

SS42. Muckish Gap 2. 10.26 miles: J. Lyons 8m 17s, Kidney 8m 22s, Bonner 8m 31s, Nelson 8m 36s, Coyne 8m 36s, Campbell 8m 37s.