Mayos Warren proves wet weather experience at Wexford

John Warren and Ruthann O’Connor at Parc Ferme in Wexford.

JOHN Warren celebrated again at the Wexford Stages Rally over the weekend. Warren, with Ruthann O’Connor on the notes, won the Class 13 after a vibrant two-day rally.

The couple took control of the very competitive class in their McHale Engineering-backed Toyota Corolla in the middle of a sun-soaked first day of rallying in the sunny Southeast, although a problem developed where the engine in their Green Fusion machine was consuming water.

Ironically, the second day’s torrential rain, which turned the event upside down, complicated Warren’s day as he kept checking and topping up the water level in his Toyota between stages.

A close class struggle with local Wexford driver Leon Galvin in his Ford Escort meant Warren and O’Connor couldn’t afford to lose focus in the now soggy South East. At the conclusion of the 18-stage event, which saw 140 cars race over 230km of specially set-up stages, the South Mayo crew demonstrated their exceptional driving skills by not only taking class honors, but just outside of one in 11th overall Top 10 landed, including former World Rally Champion Mikko Hirvonen from Finland.

Wexford duo Andrew Purcell and Andy Hayes in a Skodia Fabia R5 were the overall winners of the event after Sunday’s torrential rain robbed the four-wheel drive cars of the advantage over another local Wexford crew, James Stafford and Thomas Scallon, who raced on Dominated the action on Saturday in his two-wheel drive Darrian T90.

“It was nice to get such a great result so far from home,” said a jubilant Warren at the finish ramp in the town of Wexford.

“It was an extremely demanding event for us, not only because of the monsoon-like conditions on the last day, but also because of our engine problem,” added Ruthann.

She continued: “John drove a fantastic event as always and managed the car well over the two day event which was only our second time competing at Wexford.”

The pair also thanked Wexford Motor Club for organizing such a fantastic competition friendly event and the large number of marshals who stood out and braved the terrible conditions on Sunday to see the event run smoothly.

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