Donnelly Wins Autocross Opener

Seamus Donnelly from Donegal beat all challengers to claim victory on Mayo & District Motorsport Club’s Loose Surface Autocross on Sunday. Driving a buggy, he had to do it the hard way, coming from behind on the final run to beat local favourite Derek Deane. A strong entry of 54 competitors, which included 23 buggies, had gathered at Harrington’s Quarry near Swinford for the first of four autocross events to be held this year. Clerk of the Course Stephen McGing and his team had laid on a superb course, with each competitor getting three runs of two laps over the demanding route. Heavy rain accompanied gusty winds throughout the day but this didn’t slow down the action on the track. Deane outlined his intentions from the start, setting a time four seconds faster than anybody on the opening run. But the tables turned on the second run when Kildare man Padraic McHale moved into the lead by five seconds also in a buggy. With things looking like the win was heading across the Shannon, Deane pulled out all the stops on his final run to stop the clock at 4:03.17 and move into the lead. It was not enough though. Seamus Donnelly put in a dazzling final run in his red buggy and stopped the clock exactly ten seconds quicker than his previous best and record victory with a time of 4:02.93. McHale’s time from the second run was enough to put him in third place overall. Round two takes place on June 7th, Check out www.mayomotorsportclub.com for full details.

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