Ryan Loughran and Paddy McCrudden have won the 2022 Garda Síochána Motor Club Germaine’s of Baltinglass Mini Stages Rally in their Ford Escort RS. Despite having a “big moment” over the closing kilometres, the Cookstown driver and his Donegal co-driver finished the final stage .3 of a second faster than their closest challengers, the Kerry crew of Conor Murphy and Sean Collins, and finished the event with a 5.3 second margin of victory. It is Loughran’s third rally win, and McCrudden’s maiden success.
Murphy and Collins, the No. 16 seeds, surprised many by heading the timesheets for part of the rally, but a fuel pump issue during the middle loop cost them time on the longer straights, and they dropped to second. At the same time, Loughran and McCrudden upped their pace as the rally progressed, and were faster over the last few stages.
Chris O’Callaghan and Kaine Treanor (Escort) held on to third place, staving off a late challenge from David Moffett and Johnny Baird (Escort), who set fastest time on the final stage.
Stuart Darcy and Liam McIntyre finished in fifth place in their Proton, having been delayed earlier after hitting a chicane. Padraig Egan and Gavin Carr stalled briefly on the startline of the final stage, and lost out in the battle for sixth place to Johno Doogan and Paul Lennon.
The traditional champagne spraying ceremonies will take place at about 4.15pm in Baltinglass, outside rally headquarters at Germaine’s Hotel.