Belfast Telegraph

Meeke claims costly crash was 'minor mistake'

By Sammy Hamill

Irish national champion Declan Boyle stepped up to win his first international rally, taking a 25-second victory over Garry Jennings, the reigning Tarmac champion, in Galway.

The Donegal driver led for all but one stage over the two days in his Subaru but his battle with Jennings was only settled on the ninth stage yesterday.

Jennings had closed to within two tenths of a second of the leader when his Subaru hit a flooded dip in the road and flew into the air, landing of top of a wall. Spectators helped to wrestle the car back onto the road and Jennings carried on but he had lost 40 seconds to Boyle and the chance of victory had gone.

Meanwhile, Kris Meeke describes it as a "minor mistake" but it proved costly on his snow rally debut in Sweden.

Holding sixth place, the Ulsterman cut a slow left-hand corner too tight and his Citroen was dragged into a snow bank.

"Unfortunately it was deep in a forest and there were no spectators around," he explained. "If they had been there to help it would probably have cost only lost 15 seconds or so. But Paul (co-driver Nagle) and I had to dig it out ourselves and we lost seven minutes.

"It was a minor mistake and the only one I made over four days but it was expensive."

Victory in the rally went to Jari-Matti Latvala for a third time, ahead of Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen.

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