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.

Away from the leading protagonists, competition was just as fierce in the various classes. Omagh pair Ruairi Maguire and Darren Connolly took first and second in Class One ahead of Cavan’s Seamus Cook. Class two was dominated by Derek Mackarel from Monaghan who was also the top two wheel driver finisher in fifteenth place in his 1600cc Vauxhall Nova, Omagh’s Mervyn Galbraith was second while Westport’s Alan McGuire brought his Peugeot 205 home third.

Nobody could match Alan Moran in Class 3, but Rodney Donalson from Enniskillenen and Mayo club chairman Matthew Murphy kept the Foxford man on his toes throughout the day to claim the runner-up positions in the category.

Class four proved successful for three more Omagh men as Niall McCullagh took the win ahead of Ashley Rutledge and John Taggart.

Class five was a battle of locals as James McGreal and Padraic Roche went head to head, both driving McGreal’s 4wheel drive Subaru. Experience prevailed as McGreal took the honours.

In class seven, the class for the Buggies, with Seamus Donnelly taking the overall win, Derek Deane took first in class ahead of Padraic McHale and Padraig Egan claimed third.

Class eight was won by 17 year old Patrick McEveney from Castlebar in his Toyota Corolla while his sister Shauna won the Ladies award. The Mayo Club award went to Adrian Deane.

Round two takes place on June 7th, Check out for full details.

Download Quarry Results May 2015