It was disappointment for Killian Duffy in South America on Saturday when the Mayo man who was co-driving for Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari at Rally Argentina, led the WRC-2 section of the 4 day event from Special Stage 4 to Special Stage12, only to roll their Skoda Fabia onto its roof with 6 stages remaining on the event. The roll resulted in damage being caused to the 4 wheel drive system in the Skoda leaving them with only rear wheel drive and also sustaining a puncture that needed changing when they got the car facing back up the correct way.
Looking back the incident only cost the pair 10 minutes delay but this was enough to knock them out of the lead and wipe any chances or regaining with the time and distance remaining, it didn’t however rule them out as managed to rejoin and finish the event in 3rd place and collect valuable championship points.
Speaking afterwards the Qatari driver said “It was in a very fast section where there was a left hand bend that we carried too much speed towards. We slid and I couldn’t steer the car any more, we went into a bank and we rolled into a field. My co-driver Killian and I were both okay – that’s the main thing the car is strong lots of safety equipment.”
Killian added “We expected the rally to be extremely tough, and that proved to be the case. The route was very rough. In places it was even more extreme than previous years. We were lucky to recover after the roll and come away with third place. Race pro Motorsport done a fantastic job of repairing the car in service allowing us to continue and after leaving the last round in Mexico empty-handed, it was important to score points”.
Sean McHugh was in action at the recent Multi-Venue Autotest ran by Connacht Motorclub. It was COC Patrick Corcoran’s first time running a MVAT, It consisted of a good mix of concrete yards ,tarmac, gravel, quarries, grass and the ever loved mud.
The tests were at beginner level as it was a first time for many competitors. It was a huge success and no doubt that the interest is going to grow for this event in the future. Sean finished the day 4th in Class and 15th overall, an excellent result as he actually compete without a navigator and had the much more difficult task of trying to memorize the many tests.
Another chapter of the Alan Moran Magical Forest Rally show was screened at a sun kissed Ballyvourney on Saturday last. The young Foxford man was delighted to kick start his forest season at Round two of the 2016 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship, the Moonraker Forest Rally, in County Cork.
Moran, and his navigator David Loughney from Ballina, who was participating in his first forest rally, dominated 7 out of the 8 stages in the Junior section. With a lead of just over 50 seconds at the final service the current Mayo Young Driver Champion exercised caution on the final loop to avoid trouble and bring his ‘Big Red Barn’ backed Peugeot 206 home with a winning margin of 20 seconds at the finish.
Speaking afterwards Alan expressed his delighted to be back in the car on Forest stages, he felt really comfortable through the day and thanked his navigator David for an excellent job on the notes, he also thanked his service crew of James McGreal and Sean McHugh who insured the car didn’t miss a beat all day, “They earned their reputation as one of the best service crews around”, Moran added when a mechanical problem in the last service resulted in the starter motor having to be changed in a matter of minutes, as service is against the clock in these events any delay would have resulted in Moran occurring a time penalty, this however wasn’t an issue for the McGreal and McHugh and they got the Peugeot back out on the stages inside the allotted time.
Also having an excellent run in the event was London based Westport man Ed Muldoon who was having his first outing of 2016, stepping up to a more powerful machine than last year he was behind the wheel of a DJ Rally-Hire Mitsubishi Evo 9. Setting some impressive times Muldoon with navigator Mark Byrne finished the event 2nd in Class 4 and 20th overall, a magnificent result for the pair.
Next up, Round 3 on the 7th May, the Tour of the Sperrins Forest Rally is based in Co Derry.
Always popular with competitors, once again, Mayo & District Motorsport Club will be running three championships as part of its 2016 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. There are awards for first, second and third placed competitors. Maynooth’s Ian Barrett dominated the overall Frank Harrington Championship in 2015 with his two event wins, he was followed by two more buggy boys, Ronan Mackle and James Cassidy who took second and third respectively.
Also the highly competitive Mayo & District Club Member Overall Frank Harrington Awards are on offer for again, the highest placed three club members in the Championship. In 2015 Foxford’s James McGreal proved experience was no match for youth and exuberance as he stormed away with the overall club championship award. Adrian Deane secured second, after three solid performances in his buggy and Alan Moran in his Peugeot 206 claimed third.
Additionally, the Mayo Young Driver Challenge continues in 2016. This competition is open to Mayo & District Motorsport Club members under the age of 30 on the first of January 2016, and has seen some highly competitive driving from up and coming competitors over the years. Last year Foxford’s Alan Moran reclaimed the Young Driver title and stopped Shrule’s Noel Murphy making it 3 in a row. Alan’s fine performances in the Irish Forest Championship through 2015 had him match fit when the local Autocross events came round. With rumours of cars exchanging hands over the winter and some new purchases being made around the district, the year ahead sure looks interesting in the Mayo Young Driver Championship.
Also for our third round in July we will once again play host to the 5 Star Catering National Loose Surface Autocross Championship. This National Championship, now in its fourth season, continues to grow from strength to strength and has been a fruitful hunting ground for Mayo members in the past three years, with not only many overall class awards claimed by Mayo drivers but also an overall title for Derek Deane in 2013 and an overall Junior title win for Oisin Coffey in 2015.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, Mayo & District Motorsport Club are unable to run the following classes at our Harrington’s Quarry venue for the upcoming season; Class 6, 7 & 10 for Buggies and Specials. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause competitors, and we appreciate your understanding. Further details regarding a venue for our National Championship Round on July 24th are to follow, keep an eye on our website.
Autocross can be a great, low budget way to break into Motorsport as many of our young (and some not so young) drivers will testify and the introduction of a class for 14-16 year olds who hold a Junior license in saloon cars up to 1450cc in 2016 is another step in development of a young driver to elite athlete level. If you want to compete in any form of sport at the very highest level, it is critical to develop skills from a young age, and we here at Mayo & District Motorsport Club look forward to providing a facility and environment for that development.
Our Loose Surface dates for 2016 are;
May 8th – June 12th – July 24th – August 21st
Regulations and entry form for the opening round on May 8th will be online approximately two weeks before the event on our club website www.mayomotorsportclub.com
There were a number of Mayo competitors in action last Sunday in the Connacht Mototclub Loose Surface Autocross, achieving some impressive results.
Bekan’s Sean McHugh in his Subaru Impreza had a great run and eventually finished in 5th overall and 3rd in class 9. McHugh put in three impressive and consistent times and he finished just over ten seconds off the winner of the event, Alan Lawson in a Honda Civic
Shrule’s Noel Murphy, double driving Jason Murphy’s Honda Civic finished in 7th place overall and obliterated all the other Junior entries, an impressive result in a car that is a lot more under powered that his own.
Next Mayo competitor home was James McGreal, finishing just outside the top10 in 12th place. The Foxford man enjoyed his day finishing 4th in class 9.
Shrule’s Jason Murphy made history being the first U-16 to compete in a loose surface autocross, this new rule change will no doubt have fruitful results in time to come. 15 year old Jason who has being competing on grass for the last two years described his first day on gravel as the best day he has had since he started.
Leading from start to finish, Donegal cousins Declan and Brian Boyle were the clear winners of the Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry Rally based in Tralee, the second round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship. In second place were Roy White and James O’Brien in another Ford Fiesta, with Peadar Hurson and Damien Connolly third in their Impreza.
Flying the Mayo flag was Trisha Greavy who finished fifth, navigating for Shane McCarthy in the juniors. Unlucky not to finish was Jared Gill who was navigating for Ray Cunningham, gearbox trouble in the first loop cut short their day.
Club meeting on April 6th at 9pm in Hotel Ballina
New members always welcome.
Paddy McVeigh and Gary McElhinney in a Subaru Impreza led into the final stage of the Midlands Stages Rally but ultimately had to be content with second spot. Scotland’s David Bogie and Kevin Rae in their Skoda Fabia produced a stunning final stage to win the event by just over 4 seconds. Chris Armstrong and Chris Melly in a Ford Escort MK2 were third a further 43 seconds behind.
Top Mayo club finisher was Andrew Grennan, the Monaghan native, now residing in Aghamore navigated Tyrone’s Vivian Hamill to 5th overall and top spot in class 14. In 6th place overall and topping class 5 were the P1 Rally Rentals crew of Pauric Duffy and Kevin Glynn, the pair making the trip from OZ to get back behind the wheel of their Fiesta R5 for their first outing of 2016.
Ciaran Kennedy and Paddy O’Hora put in a great drive in their Evo 9 to finish in 24th place and third in Class 4.
Unlucky not to finish were James McGreal and Chris Mitchell who suffered mechanical trouble in their Evo 6 and Crossmolina’s Lorcan Moore who was navigating Longford’s John McGuire in a Escort MK2 who also succumbed to mechanical trouble on the first loop.
Sean McHugh had his super sounding BMW on 00 duties with Kathleen Kennedy alongside.