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as the title says ?? i really hope not as i am probably his biggest fan , has he ever publicly announced his retirement at end of 05 ?? Only consolation is if gareth takes over the focus as stated in an other thread, as already he looks a chip of the old block .. even so it will still be an end of an era of the sport that i grew up loving with bertie and frank gone and now mc hale hanging up the boots for me irish rallying will never have the same draw again , for sure eugene has charisma and is already recieving hero like support but the rest dmg ,mc nulty, boland etc will never be held in same esteem .
 

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I remember Austin in the black Manta on the circut in 86-wow-he was spectacular. Cruelly robbed on the 84 curcuit when he was leading with a few stages to go-after five days in the saddle-what a blow. Also finishing 3rd overall on the Mintex rally of 80 or 81 in a GP 1 RS2000, ahead of GR 4 cars-some drive.

Earliest memory was the home made Escort MK 1 1300(yes 1300) BDA on the 79 rallysprint in the wicklow hills-in those days he was so poor the sporsors name was hand written on paper and held on with sticky tape. Full opposit lock power slides around the corners in those days.
 

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It truly will be the end of a great era if/when Austin retires.
As much as I still love rallying be it irish or world etc, some sparkle went for me when Bertie died. I dont think Austin has ever been the same in a car since. Very fast still but maybe just missing that wee bit of spark the 2 masters had together. I hope he doesnt retire, but at the same time, time waits for no man and moves on. Gareth is looking a good bet for the future so at least the mchale name will remain on the stages:)
 

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Is there some rumor that Austin wil get the new type Focus when its available ? I find it hard to belive really especially when he hasn't exactly lit up the Irish tar with the present one ...
 

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if he won rally ireland wouldnt it be some era to leave behind him and some finish to his career in rallying. when he does retire and take a back seat i heard once that he may go into rallycross when he gives up rallying who knows????

[Edited on 13-10-2005 by jp ruth]
 

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Austin Mac Hale is a real Irish rally legend. It is hard for me to swallow when Austin is not at the very top of the timesheet. Gareth is a fine driver no doubt and he will certainly along with Aaron keep the Mac Hale name in rallying.
I hope Austin does not retire, and I find it hard to believe he will this year.
 

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He should give gareth the focus get the black manta back and stage the life outa her he probaly would have more craic taking quarter panels out of her :idea::idea:
 

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but austin has an older corolla i think the first corolla he got was converted to r.h.d and wasnt let run here i heard he is plannin to use that in rallycross i dunno how true that is because talk is cheap in the motorsport world
 

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we dnt need no edukayshun
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I also think Austin lost some of his edge when Bertie died, the battles between these two were the best, their respect for each other and their desire to beat one another raised Irish rallying to a new level.

I hope Austin does call it a day this year and retire from top flite rallying, some say the old magic is still there, its not, he is still a very capable driver but the edge is gone, at his best he would never have been 4 1/2 mins down on anyone in Cork.

Please Austin give the Focus to Gareth and get yourself a good Manta or M3 and come out and have some fun and entertain us
 

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Steve Caldwell
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Originally posted by Halfshaft Man
He should give gareth the focus get the black manta back and stage the life outa her he probaly would have more craic taking quarter panels out of her :idea::idea:
must be the best suggestion ever made by anyone on this forum! :D

hope he wins rally ireland, would be some way to bow out if he was for retiring although i cant see him never driving a stage after that! the manta, mk2, hsr, old celica, anything would be welcome back on stages in his hands!
 

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yeah bring back austin in the castrol celica
finlay in the michelin pilot escort
greer in the taranto de pol celica
cullen in the wrangler escort

that would be great to rewind back to the 80s or 90s
 

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Formerly Hbx
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First time I saw Austin was Wexford 88 (well me da tells me I saw him in 84 but I was only 3mths old so you'll fogive the fact I can't confirm that one!) in the Manta on one of it's last appearances. The first ever video I got of rallying had the Ulster and Cork 20 from 86 and from then on, McHale was my idol. Proud to say I actually got a spin with him in his Celica in 98 and it's something i'll never forget! I can't see him doing a full championship next yr but I really hope he comes out on the stages at some stage. Imagine McHale in Cronin's M3, now that would be amazing! It will be a massive loss when he hangs up his helmet for good, he has given us some of the greatest memories we have from Irish rallying. McHale's a living legend!
 

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Hbx
If i remeber that was around Mondello and El Matador did not like been bet.
 

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He wont retire yet kids!

Galway 06 bet €10000 on it.

And he will be rallycrossing before the year is out, but why would ne buy Carnegies car??

He would have somethin better up his sleeve
 

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Formerly Hbx
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jonb, that was it alright, bless I could bairly see out over the dash! Was just amazing, after standing on the ditches watching him for so long and then BOMP! your going round Mondello at 135mph! Top of the range! Don't think they have a tarmac titan video of him, it's just a review of when he won the championships isin't it?
 
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