Sept 2014 Motorsport News

September Motorsport News
Clare Stages Rally

Photos by John Delaney

Donegal’s Declan and Brian Boyle are celebrating again after a start-to-finish victory at the Clare Stages Rally. Winners of the Mayo Stages Rally back in March, they have enjoyed a tremendous year to date.
They had one minute fourteen seconds to spare in their Subaru WRC S12B over second placed Hugh Hunter and Andy Marchbank in their Subaru WRC S11. Roy White and James O’Brien in a MC ZR were third.
It was a mixed weekend for Mayo crews as the event proved very challenging, the nine stages pushed drivers and navigators to their limits.
Top of the list was the South Mayo; McHale Engineering backed pairing of John Warren and Ruthann O Connor.




Returning to tarmac rallying following engine failure suffered at Midlands Rally last March, the pair showed no signs of cobwebs and after what was intended to be an easy run to bed in the new engine, they climbed the leader board all day finishing fourth in the very competitive Class 13 and 19th overall.
Ballyhaunis man Shane Buckley had John Lynch from Cork on the notes and after mechanical trouble sidelined their Honda Civic on the first loop, they returned to the rally under Rally2 rules and finished 11th in Class 13 and 64th overall.
Not so lucky was John Duffy who had John Egan alongside, their Honda Integra succumbed to an electrical problem, which seen them only compete six stages.
In the Junior section of the rally, the top Mayo finisher was Jared Gill, navigating for Clare’s Martin Casey and guiding him to seventh place overall. Next best was Shrule’s Noel Murphy who had Headford’s Stephen Monaghan alongside, finishing in tenth place. Ballina’s Trisha Greavy who had Cork man Derek Butler on the notes did well to recover from high speed excursion to bring her slightly battered and bent Honda Civic home in twelfth place.






Podium for Duffy in Cyprus

A majestic weekend of rallying came to an end on Sunday as Abdulaziz Al Kuwari and Killian Duffy claimed a very impressive third place finish on the 2014 Cyprus Rally. In what was a one-of-a-kind event, two sanctioned FIA rounds ran side by side with the 9th round of the ERC and the 5th round of the MERC both taking place on the same weekend.
Al Kuwari, whose plan from the onset was to collect points for the MERC (Middle East Rally Championships) began his run to the podium early on Friday with the opening Super Special Stage in the streets of Nicosia. The Qatari with Duffy by his side battled the tough route conditions and scorching temperatures on the island over the next three days to arrive back at rally headquarters in Aglantzia, third in the overall standings and top registered MERC crew.


The result means that they close the gap to the championship leader, Nasser Al Attiyah to 6 points and set up what is bound to be a great fight at the final round in Dubai at the end of November.
Speaking afterwards Duffy said “We came here and took 25 points for the MERC, which was the most important thing. The championship is wide open now and we have a chance. If we win in Dubai and Nasser comes third, we win the championship, but also if Khalid Al-Qassimi were to win, he will take the overall. It’s really good considering after the second round in Kuwait, we didn’t have a sponsor to be able continue in the championships, but after backing from the ministry of youth and sport in Qatar, Abdulaziz and I are in contention with one round remaining.”



Podium for Duffy in the Lebanon
Abdulaziz Al Kuwari & Killian Duffy finished third at the Middle East Rally Championship’s (MERC) Lebanon leg, which was won by local driver Nicholas Ameona. Roderick Shepherd, also of Lebanon, finished second, as Abdulaziz prevented a Lebanon 1-2-3 with a gritty finish.
In an event which saw many crashes, including that of local favourite Roger Feghali and his brother Abdo, Abdulaziz & Duffy held their nerve for their second podium of the 2014 MERC season as the rally lived up to its reputation of proving tough for foreign drivers.
It was a bumpy ride for the Qatari & Irish pairing from the start as a puncture on the opening day cost them three minutes. They stormed back to second at one stage, but another puncture on the final day put paid to plans of stealing a win.
It was also an event that showcased an unknown talent of Killian; due to a fault with the lock of the Fiesta’s passenger door that resulted in it refusing to close, He was left holding it closed with one hand while still reading pace notes for the duration of two full stages on the last day!
Killian has since not confirmed or denied the renaming of his onthepacenote business to onthedoorhandlenotes.
The MERC caravan now moves to Cyprus, where the penultimate round will be held from September 19. The series winds up with the Dubai Rally on November 27.








Hynes rues spinning in the rain
Round 9 of the 2014 Formula Sheane Championship travelled back across the border last weekend to the fast Kirkistown Race Circuit for the final time this year. The drivers arrived to testing on Friday morning to a very windy track that led to exciting scenes and very changeable lap times. After a troubled qualifying for Foxford’s Sean Hynes, he hoped for better come the main event.
As the cars and crews were waiting in the pits with no less than a minute to go before they took up their grid positions, the heavens opened, resulting in them taking to a very wet track on a dry set-up. As one onlooker remarked “The rooster tails coming off the back of the cars would put an F1 car to shame”.
As expected there was mayhem at the first corner. Somehow Hynes managed to avoid it and slot into 3rd from the back of the grid by the end of the first lap. He then went on to take 2nd away from Paul McLoughlin only briefly before Enda O’Connor dispatched McLoughlin and Hynes suffered a clumsy spin, ultimately relegating him to 4th as Kevin Sheane took the win.
Rounds 10 & 11 of the Formula Sheane Championship take place on the 20th and 21st of September in Mondello Park.