April 2014 Motorsport News

April 2014 Motorsport News

Carney caps Carlisle Rally with Podium
Westport’s David Carney along with his navigator Ray Fitzpatrick made a dream start to the 2014 MSA British Rally Championships by finishing third overall on the two day, ten stage, Pirelli Carlisle ‘Richard Burns Foundation’ Rally over the weekend.
Still learning his recently acquired Citroen DS3 as the event progressed and benefiting from staying out of trouble as others around succumbed to the tricky all gravel stages, the pair were delighted to be part of what finished an all Citroen DS3 podium, with Welsh driver Osian Pyrce taking the top spot ahead of Daniel McKenna from Monaghan who is the current holder of the Billy Coleman Award, and the winner of the 2013 Pirelli Star Driver competition.
Speaking afterwards the always smiling Carney said “We are very happy, everything went better than planned. We came here using the rally as a shakedown for the car and to get on the podium is a great feeling”.
Round two of the British Rally Championships is The Jim Clark Rally which is based in Kelso, in four weeks time.

(Photos by Jasmina Bareham and Peter Boyd)

p137_1_01 Also on duty, outside of Ireland this weekend was John Higgins from Kiltimagh who was navigating at Rally Jordan, an event that last year seen him make headlines when the car he was competing in then, alongside United Arab Emirates driver, Majed al-Shamsi, slid off a cliff face and fell over 20ft into a ravine.
Undaunted by last year’s events, this year the Mayo man was calling the pacenotes for Emariti driver, Juma Al Falasi. They put in a solid performance over the three day event, which took place alongside the picturesque backdrop of the Dead Sea, and after the twenty one special stages ran mostly over desert terrain, the Abu Dhabi Junior Racing backed pair finished the event in 14th place overall in their 2wd Citroen DS3 R3.

Closer to home this weekend, at the Killarney International Rally of the Lakes, two teams were flying the Mayo flag. Shane Buckley from Ballyhaunis had Westport’s Keefe Kilcoyne alongside on the notes but the pair didn’t make it to the finish, retiring their Honda Civic half way through the second day of the event.
Faring much better was Aaron MacHale who had Martin Brady in the navigators seat, the pair brought their Supermac’s backed Mitsubishi Lancer home in eight place overall.

(Photos by Rally Through a Lens)

p137_1_00 Monaghan Stages Rally-Mayo members top of the Class

Sam Moffett and navigator James Reilly made it back to back wins on their home event, the Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally on Sunday 27th April.
The Combilift backed Ford Fiesta WRC dominated from the opening stage to take a two minute win from the Ford Escort WRC of Peader Hurson and Damien Connolly, with Daniel McKenna and Stephen Hagan third in their two wheel drive Ford Escort.

Derek Bolton from Ballaghaderreen who had Trevor O Connell on the pacenotes in the Subaru impreza, claimed top honours in Class 15. The pair negotiated their way through the mix of fast twisty stages, getting increasingly quicker though the day and claiming the class win by more than two minutes. Delighted with their performance Derek said “This gives us some valuable points for the Border Championships, now roll on Cavan Stages Rally in four weeks’ time”.
Winners of Class 20 were Darragh Mullen, navigating David Leonard in the Mitsubishi lancer, putting in a solid drive and reporting no dramas on the stages.
John Egan was another Mayo member navigating for the day; sitting alongside Mark Ewing in a Honda Civic they finished the event winners of Class 3.

(Photo courtesy of James Burke)

14 year old Jason Murphy from Shrule was competing at the two day Carrick on Suir Autocross over the Easter weekend, He finished 2nd in Junior section on both days in his 1.4 Honda Civic.
The first weekend in April was a busy one for Mayo & District members, competing the length and breadth of the country and beyond.

Westport’s David Carney had his Citroën DS3 at Kerry Motor Club’s Circuit of Kerry Rally in Tralee, unable to finish the event due to fuel pump gremlins; he gained valuable stage mileage in his rapid French chariot.
Putting in a flawless display in Kerry was Tubbercurry local Aidan Gannon, who was navigating London-based Sligo man Anthony O’Brien in his Mitsubishi Lancer. Not only did the pair win Class 9, they also received the Dunlop “Drive of the day” award finishing in 19th place overall.
Photos by Rally Through a Lens

Closer to home on the Sunday, five local drivers headed to Sligo for Round 1 of Connacht Motor Club’s Autocross season.
Top Mayo finisher was Ballina’s Padraic Roche, after organizational duties at the recent Mayo Stages Rally; Padraic was delighted to get behind the wheel of his Escort MK2 finishing in 12th place and just missing out on 3rd in class 4.

Westport’s Alan Maguire and Achill’s Peter McManamon were nip and tuck with each other during their three runs at the Hazelwood track. The pair, in similar Peugeot 205’s really enjoyed the day and with McManamon picking up penalties for hitting elements of the chicanes on his last two runs it gave Maguire the upper hand this time in a battle that will surely continue to provide thrills and excitement throughout the rest of the year.

Killala’s Raymond Carroll was next to finish in his class 1 Nova, blowing the cobwebs off his hot hatchback after the winter break.
Enjoying his first day out behind the wheel was Stephen McGreal from Achill who was double driving Peter McManamon’s 205. Having gotten consistently quicker through the day, it’s looking like he will be swapping his regular marshalling duties for a race suit during the coming year!.
Photos by CLRally pics
Killian Duffy was in action in Portugal navigating for Abdulaziz Al-kuwari in their first WRC2 outing of 2014, the pair who suffered suspension trouble on the morning of day two in their Fiesta, finished the event in 8th place, unable to better their result of 5th in 2013 but they were glad to get a finish on the hotly contested sub category of the world’s most prestigious rally championship.
“This rally was about finishing, learning and getting back into the swing of things after six months away from WRC2,” said Al Kuwari.
Photos by André Lavadinho

Foxford’s Formula For Racing

Photos by James Foley

Foxford’s Sean Hynes kicked of his 2014 Formula Sheane (pronounced ‘Shane’) season last weekend at a double header in Mondello, The opening two rounds of the MicksGarage.com backed championships, which has twenty one drivers at present registered for the series, provided some thrilling racing.
Multiple champion Brian Hearty got the better of current title holder Kevin Sheane in both of the opening rounds.
UCD Engineering student Hynes, returning to Formula Sheane after a year out, made a good start to

the 2014 championships. He finished 8th in a frantic first race that seen four cars retire and then, narrowly missed out on a podium place, finishing 4th in race two.
These results, achieved with a tyre supply problem prior to the weekend, that meant he had to race on six year old tyres, leave Sean ‘rearing to go’ for Rounds 3 and 4 that take place in Bishops Court, Co Down on May 11th.
Formula Sheane which began in 2001 is now the fastest one make Formula in Ireland. It is the only class that is completely Irish designed and manufactured and it has some of the closest and best racing in the country.
The Formula Sheane cars are all mechanically identical. Once they have left the Sheane factory, the engines and gearboxes may not be opened. This means winning is down to the driver, not the engineer.