John Warren and Ruthann O ‘Connor have started 2023 with the same high level octane intensity that brought the pair much success during the last 12 months of Irish Rallying action.
The husband and wife team in their McHale Fusion 4 Toyota Corolla drove flawlessly over the two day Galway International Rally, the opening round of the prestigious Irish Tarmac Championship.
Saturday’s 9 stages based around Loughrea saw the rain intensify and numerous patches of shiny tar proved a tough test for the 130 competing crews, but Warren despite nursing a slight gearbox issue on the opening loop found his mojo and with Ruthann not missing a beat on the pacenotes they negotiated the deceptively treacherous corners from those that offered some grip to finish day 1 second in the highly competitive Class 13 and sit as the fifth two wheel drive machine in overall position.
On day two the opening Black Road test was cancelled as ice littered parts of the mountain stage but this didn’t deter the Green McHale Machine as John and Ruthann pushed hard on the remaining 5 stages and competed the event without and mistakes and maintaining second in Class 13, and racking up another fantastic drive for the high flying McHale Rally Crew.
‘I was happy with that” said John afterwards ‘I’ve had no seat time in the rally car since last October due to a work trip to New Zealand to oversee developments in the McHale Fusion range during the Southern Hemisphere summer months so it was nice to get back at it here and secure a good strong result on our first event of the year. As usual I couldn’t have done it without Ruthann who as always spearheads our focused approach to these events”.
The Corrib Oil backed event was won by Welsh crew of Merion Evans and Jonathan Jackson in a VW Polo R5 who finished ahead of Josh Moffett and his co driver Andy Hayes and Sam Moffett and Keith Moriarty with both Moffett’s driving Hyundai i20 cars.