Sept 23rd Report: Deane is Mayo Autocross Champion
Derek Deane from Williamstown is the 2012 Mayo Loose Surface Autocross Champion after claiming the Frank Harrington Challenge title with victory on Mayo & District Motorsport Club’s recent Autocross event, the final round of the season.
Driving his JB Buggy, Deane faced last year’s champion Peter McCullagh from Maynooth in a shoot-out for the title, the two drivers having fought it out tooth and nail over the previous three rounds. Both drivers struggled early on, Dean stopping on the stage on his first run with driveshaft problems, and McCullagh penalized for hitting two chicanes in his Mitsubishi Evo 9.
Mayo Autocross Clerk of the Course Pat Mc Guinness with The Harrington Challenge Winners. From left: Peter mc Cullagh (2nd), Derek Deane (1st) and James Lannon (3rd).
His car restored to health, Deane took the lead after a strong second run, and despite McCullagh’s best efforts, went faster again on the final test to win the event by two and a half seconds. The result left the two rivals tied on equal championship points with two wins apiece, Deane claiming the title thanks to his victory on the final round.
In the Young Driver category, Alan Moran from Foxford retained the title he won last year, finishing ahead of nearest challenger Stephen Doherty. The two rivals double drive the same Opel Astra, but had a fraught final round, with steering and driveshaft problems, as a result each driver only getting one run on the day.
July 29th Report: Deane Dominates On Mayo July Autocross
Derek Deane returned to winning ways on Sunday, taking victory on Mayo & District Motorsport Club’s third Loose Surface Autocross event of the year. Despite having to curtail his final run because of overheating problems, the Williamstown driver was the class of the field, piloting his familiar JB Buggy to victory by just over a second from the similar car of Ian Barrett from Maynooth.
Heavy rain showers interspersed with sunny spells made conditions difficult for competitors and officials alike at Mayo & District Motorsport Club’s regular autocross venue at Harrington’s Quarry near Swinford. With drivers trying to second-guess when the next shower might arrive before committing to their run, it was reigning Mayo Autocross champion and winner of the previous two events Peter McCullagh who was fastest out of the blocks on the opening test. The Maynooth driver set a benchmark time of 4:23.98, three and a half seconds faster than his nearest challengers in his Mitsubishi Evo 9. Derek Deane was second, while hot on his heels was his brother Mervyn, double-driving the same car. Ian Barrett was fourth at this stage, ahead of son and father pairing Martin and Michael Tynan from Clones in their shared Evo 5.
Run 2, and Derek Deane responded in a most emphatic manner to the challenge laid down by Peter McCullagh, taking almost eleven seconds off his previous time to storm to the top of the leaderboard. With McCullagh shaving only a tenth of a second from his opening run, it allowed Ian Barrett to also move ahead, the Maynooth man also improving his previous benchmark by eleven seconds. Martin Tynan moved ahead of Mervyn Deane into fourth after the latter was penalized for hitting a chicane, with Micheal Tynan ahead of the impressive Stephen Dixon from Tyrone, who was pedaling his little class 2 Vauxhall Corsa with indecent haste in the slippery conditions.
Having opened up a lead of over five and a half seconds, all eyes were on the leading trio to see if Derek Deane could be overtaken on the final run. First up was McCullagh, but mechanical troubles brought his run to a premature halt, ending his hopes of adding to his three successive victories on Mayo Autocross events. Ian Barrett was next up, but despite taking four and a half seconds from his previous best, stopping the clocks on 4:17.96 wasn’t quite enough. It meant that Derek Deane’s second run time of 4:16.72 was sufficient to claim the overall win, a fact he was without doubt highly relieved about when an overheating engine forced the early curtailment of his final effort.
Behind the top three of Derek Deane, Barrett and McCullagh, Martin Tynan retained his fourth place from run 2, with Mervyn Deane and Michael Tynan also holding station in fifth and sixth. Another Buggy driver, Gerard Doherty from Banbridge, claimed seventh on his final run ahead of what must rate as the drive of the day by Stephen Dixon. The top ten was rounded out by the class 4 Escort of Williamstown’s Walter Burke, and the Buggy of Joe McHale from Maynooth.
Category winners included Glen Irwin from Castlederg once again claiming class 1 in his Vauxhall Nova ahead of Nigel Mills from Trillick, with Foxford’s Alan Moran upholding local honours just 0.34 seconds further back in his Opel Kadett. Behind the dominant Stephen Dixon in class 2, the Honda Civic of Fermanagh’s Dominic Leonard was second, with Simon Hemphill from Castlederg third in his Vauxhall Nova.
Local competitors dominated class 3, with Matthew Murphy from Shrule overtaking the similar Toyota Corolla of Kilmaine’s Peter Conroy on the final run for the category win. Patsy Curran from Manorhamilton driving a Ford Escort was third.
Walter Burke was the class 4 winner, beating the Escort of Neil Harron from Enniskillen and the Focus of Ronan Campbell from Trillick. Peter McCullagh took the class 5 win ahead of Martin and Michael Tynan, with Ian Barrett, Mervyn Deane and Gerald Doherty taking the prizes in the class 6 Buggy category. The Mayo & District Motorsport Club award went to Noel Murphy, the young Shrule driver putting in another strong performance in his Honda Civic
Finally a mention for David Jordan from Westport. An experienced rally official, including a spell as Clerk of the Course for Mayo Autocross events, he got a different insight into the sport on Sunday, making his competitive motorsport debut behind the wheel of a class 2 Toyota Corolla. Steadily improving times on each of his three runs suggest he may be back for more….
June 10th Autocross : Results
June 10th Report: McCullagh wins again on Mayo Autocross
(Report by Cathal Doyle)
Peter McCullagh is rapidly gaining a reputation as Master of Mayo Autocross. On Sunday the Maynooth driver extended his winning streak on Mayo & District Motorsport Club’s challenging circuit to three, with a dominant performance in his Mitsubishi Evo 9. On current form it will take a determined effort from his rivals to prevent back-to-back Mayo Autocross titles heading back to Kildare.
After the cold and blustery conditions experienced on last month’s opening round of Mayo Motorsport Club’s four round series held at Harrington’s Quarry near Swinford, more clement weather was the order of the day as a healthy field gathered to battle for overall and class honours on round two. With the top three finishers from round one of McCullagh, Derek Deane and James Lannon all back in action, a close contest was eagerly anticipated.
Deane was fastest out of the blocks, the Mayo & District Motorsport Club member from Williamstown setting a time over two seconds faster than McCullagh on the opening run in the screaming JB Buggy. Lionel Piercy from Nenagh and Ian Barrett from Maynooth in another brace of Buggys were next up, with Boyle man James Lannon making a relatively slow start, six seconds off the pace.
Run two, and both Deane and McCullagh slashed significant lumps from their previous times, with Deane continuing to hold an advantage of under one second – although McCullagh was penalized for hitting a chicane on this run. Piercy maintained third, albeit over seven seconds off the pace, with Lannon now up to fourth.
All to play for then on the third and final run, and Peter McCullagh had the bit firmly between his teeth as he shaved a further six seconds off his previous best. Whether Derek Deane could match him became a matter of speculation as the JB Buggy ran into mechanical trouble, failing to set a time. This allowed James Lannon into second, with Deane’s time from his second run good enough to claim the final podium position ahead of the Mitsubishis of Martin Tynan from Clones and Gerard Farmer from Enniskillen, Lionel Piercy failed to improve on his final run, dropping him down to sixth in the overall standings.
With Derek Deane and James Lannon claiming category wins in classes 6 and 5 respectively, David Dennison from Omagh took class 4 in his Vauxhall Astra. A late entry from local competitor Niall Morley proved profitable, the Knock man putting in a fine drive to win class three in a triple-driven Ford Escort.
Ciaran McCullagh, the brother of the overall winner, put in another giant killing performance in his class 2 Vauxhall Nova to not only take the category award, but finish just outside the top ten overall.
Another familiar name topped class 1, Glen Irwin from Castlederg beating the local duo of Foxford’s Stephen Doherty and Alan Moran, with Doherty holding the advantage on this occasion. Also putting in a fine drive was Achill’s Joe Healy, who claimed the Mayo Motor Club Award in his class 2 Honda Civic.
Two events down, two wins for Peter McCullagh. Can anyone stop the Kildare man on the two remaining Mayo Autocross rounds of 2012?
Reigning Mayo Autocross champion Peter McCullagh carried on from where he finished 2011, with victory on Mayo & District Motorsport Club’s Loose Surface Autocross on Sunday. The Maynooth driver was the class of the field in his Mitsubishi Evo 9, recording a comfortable winning margin of over two seconds over his rivals after a fine final run over the challenging 4.6 kilometre circuit at Harrington’s Quarry, The Valley, Swinford.
Double winner in 2011, Williamstown driver Derek Deane upheld local club honours with second in his JB Buggy, while James Lannon from Boyle, another former winner, took the final podium place.
Mayo & District Motorsport Club attracted a strong field of forty four competitors for its opening autocross event of 2012, with some of the leading autocross and rally drivers in the country arriving to compete on what is increasingly regarded as one of the best autocross tracks anywhere. Among them was the first appearance of a state of the art World Rally Car in the hands of Tyrone’s Martin Cairns. He took a little time to acclimatize to the challenging Mayo track, but the potential of the Subaru WRC was plain for all to see.
Peter Mc Cullagh receiving his award for Fastest Drive of the Day from Clerk of the Course Pat Mc Guinness. Also included is John Prendergast scrutineer.
Dry but blustery weather made for challenging conditions, with many drivers reporting a lack of grip on the opening run of three. McCullagh set the early pace, with Deane and Lannon in close contention, these three the class of the field. On the second run though, Deane held the advantage with a second in hand over the rest. It pointed towards an exciting conclusion, but while his rivals struggled to better their times on the final run as the rain started to fall, McCullough managed to extract nearly four seconds from his previous best to reaffirm his dominance of recent Mayo Autocross events.
David Fallon from Galway was best of the rest in his Buggy, a collision with a chicane on his final run putting paid to his chances of challenging the leaders. Monaghan’s Martin Tynan took fifth in his Mitsubishi, with Gerard Farmer from Enniskillen next up in a similar car. Walter Burke from Williamstown was seventh and won class 4 in his Ford Escort, while regular Wexford visitor Joe Cullen was one place behind in his JB Buggy. Martin Cairns took ninth in the Subaru World Rally Car, with another JB Buggy, that of Ian Barrett from Maynooth, rounding out the top ten.
Ciaran McCullagh, brother of the winning driver, put in a fine performance in his Vauxhall Nova to win class 2 – and take eleventh overall in the process. Glen Irwin from Castlederg claimed class 1 honours, while Cavan’s Noel Lappin did the same in class 3.
Reigning Mayo Autocross Young Driver Champion Alan Moran from Foxford was once again raising eyebrows with his committed driving in his underpowered Opel Astra. In what must be a strong contender for the Drive of the Day, he finished twenty first overall, in the process beating no fewer than nine much more powerful and specialist four wheel drive and buggy machines.
Round two of Mayo & District Motorsport Club’s Loose Autocross season takes place on June 10, 2012.
Lots and lots more photos on our facebook page too!
May 13th Event Preview: Mayo Autocross goes from Strength to Strength
Always popular with competitors, once again, Mayo & District Motorsport Club will be running two championships as part of its Autocross season. The Frank Harrington Challenge trophy is awarded to the overall champion driver and all competitors are automatically eligible, with points awarded on overall finishing positions. Driver’s best three scores from the four events count towards final championship totals.
Additionally, the Young Driver Challenge will return in 2012. This competition is open to Mayo & District Motorsport Club members under the age of 30 on the first of January 2012, and has seen some highly competitive drivng from up and coming competitors over the years.
Held at the popular Harrington’s Quarry near Swinford, Mayo & District Motorsport Cub’s autocross track is recognised as one of the best venues in the country, regularly attracting entries from all corners of Ireland, as well as overseas.
McCullagh the Champion in 2011
Peter McCullagh from Maynooth was crowned the Mayo Loose Surface Autocross Champion for 2011. The Mitsubishi Evo 9 pilot claimed the Frank Harrington trophy for a very consistent season which saw him take victory on the opening and concluding rounds, with two second place finishes and a third ensuring a dominant championship win.
McCullagh didn’t have it all his own way though, as 2011 was the year buggies made their mark on Mayo Autocross. Although they had been allowed to compete prior to 2011, the elimination of a previously applied penalty of 1.25% brought them right into contention for overall honours, with victory going on three occasions to the high-revving machines. Indeed in round 4 just 6/100’s of a second separated the winning buggy of Derek Deane from the Mitsubishi of McCullagh.
The Williamstown driver upheld local club honours by claiming championship runner-up spot, using his newly acquired buggy to good effect by taking two wins, as well as second and fourth place finishes.
Another Mitsubishi Evo driver claimed third. James Lannon from Boyle was unable to repeat his victory on the last round of 2010 but was always in the hunt for podium places, a brace of thirds his best results.
Two second place finishes helped Lionel Piercy from Nenagh claim fourth spot. Fifth went to Williamstown’s Walter Burke, the Williamstown driver getting his best results in his familiar Ford Escort, but also appearing in a Subaru Impreza during the year. 2010 Frank Harrington champion James McGreal was sixth in 2011. The Foxford man was as committed and spectactular as ever but was unable to stem the advance of technology in his well used Subaru Impreza.
David Fallon from Galway and Joe McHale from Maynooth took seventh and eighth in the series in their respective buggies, while in ninth was the impressive Glen Irwin from Castlederg, pedalling his class 1 Vauxhall Nova with indecent haste throughout the year. Another club member, Matthew Murphy from Shrule rounded out the top ten in his class 3 Toyota Corolla.
Among the drivers to appear during the year was former British Rallycross champion Ollie O’Donovan, the London domiciled Limerick man bringing a touch of glamour to the Mayo Autocross paddock. He finished a very creditable fourth on the day in his buggy.
Alan Moran – Young Driver Champion of 2011
The Young Driver Championship went the way of Alan Moran, the Foxford man putting in some highly impressive stage times in his venerable Opel Kadett. He used his prize money to make his stage rallying debut on the Mayo Stages Rally and Midand Stages Rally earlier this year. His closest rival for the title was the man double-driving the Opel, fellow Foxford native Stephen Doherty, while former Junior Grass Autocross driver Noel Murphy, on his first year competing at senior level, was third.