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Declan Gallagher Triumphs at Baltinglass Garda Mini-Stages Rally

Declan Gallagher Triumphs at Baltinglass Garda Mini-Stages Rally

Donegal driver Declan Gallagher, along with his Killarney-based co-driver John McCarthy, secured a decisive victory at the Germaine’s of Baltinglass Garda Síochána Motor Club Mini-Stages Rally.

The duo, racing in a Toyota Starlet, dominated the event by setting the fastest times on four of the six stages, ultimately finishing 42.4 seconds ahead of their nearest competitors, Jason Black and Karl Egan, also in a Starlet.

The rally began with Black and Egan taking an early lead on the opening stage, edging out Gallagher and McCarthy by 2.6 seconds. However, Gallagher and McCarthy quickly turned the tables, clocking a remarkable time 10.3 seconds faster than Black on the second stage and seizing the lead with a 7.7-second margin heading into the first service.

Gallagher and McCarthy continued to extend their lead on each subsequent stage, leaving Black and Egan unable to close the gap. This dominant performance sets Gallagher and McCarthy up with high confidence as they prepare for the upcoming Donegal International Rally, where they are strong contenders for Modified category honors.

Despite their second-place finish, Black and Egan maintained a comfortable gap over the rest of the field. The battle for third place was more intense, with Mark Alcorn and James McNulty in a Ford Escort RS managing to hold off Kevin Eves and Chris Melly in a Toyota Corolla GT Coupé by just 2.9 seconds, despite dealing with a misting windscreen on the final stage.

Former event winner Jonathan Pringle, alongside Pierce O’Callaghan, finished in fifth place in their Escort, 7.5 seconds ahead of Damian Toner and Michael Coady, also in an Escort, who secured sixth place.

Final Standings:

1. Declan Gallagher / John McCarthy (Toyota Starlet)

2. Jason Black / Karl Egan (Toyota Starlet) – +42.4 seconds

3. Mark Alcorn / James McNulty (Ford Escort RS)

4. Kevin Eves / Chris Melly (Toyota Corolla GT Coupé) – +2.9 seconds

5. Jonathan Pringle / Pierce O’Callaghan (Ford Escort)

6. Damian Toner / Michael Coady (Ford Escort)

The victory at Baltinglass serves as a strong indicator of the competitive season ahead, with Gallagher and McCarthy proving they are a force to be reckoned with in the rallying circuit.

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