Mayo & District Motorsport Club had one of the strongest representations of any club in Ireland at the recent Tom Hunt Motors/Sligo Park Hotel Sligo Stages Rally where no less than 19 crews took part. Hosts, Connaught Motor Club put up a ...
Mayo & District Motorsport Club had one of the strongest representations of any club in Ireland at the recent Tom Hunt Motors/Sligo Park Hotel Sligo Stages Rally where no less than 19 crews took part. Hosts, Connaught Motor Club put up a challenging route in the North Sligo/West Leitrim region for the 8 Special Stage test, which was held in glorious sunshine.
A total of 151 rally cars began this 7th round of the Dunlop National Championship which was also a counting round of the Four Seasons Hotel Border Series and the Ford Ka Championship.
Foxford's James McGreal one of the front runners in Class 14 in both the National Championship and Border Series further added to his points tally with another impressive class win from 49th overall in his self prepared Nissan Sunny GTi-R. Regular navigator, Killian Duffy, (Crossmolina) also heads his category and is set to become one of the youngest co-drivers to win a national class title. Another Mayo crew to have a successful days outing were brothers Trevor and Brian Morrow (Suzuki Swift). The Ballina men finished in 64th position overall and 2nd in Class 1 and now lie second in their category in the Border Series.
In 52nd place and 4th in Class 5 were Paul Cleary and Peter Kelly (Nissan Micra) from Kiltimagh with Paul now extending his lead in the Border Series with one round to go at the Donegal Havest Rally. Remarkably, just one second separated Anthony and Stephen O'Brien (Tubbercurry) in the race for 59th position with the O'Briens coming out on top in their Vauxhall Astra versus the Cuffe Toyota Corolla.
The husband and wife team of Andrew Mullen and Elaine Docherty (Ballisodare) came home 73rd and 4th in Class 1 in a Suzuki Swift closely followed by Kevin Neary and Derek McCarthy (Ballina) in a Peugeot 205 GTi.
John Duffy/John Egan and Sean McHugh/Keefe Kilcoyne who regularly compete in rallies around the country found the Sligo event one they collectively would rather forget. The Duffy and Egan (Crossmolina) partnership were making great strides in Class 14A until their Toyota Corolla Twin Cam picked up a puncture which cost them a good 5 minutes while Sean and Keefe from Claremorris and Westport respectively had to contend with a misfiring Peugeot 205 GTi all day. Still, both cars made it to the finish in 78th and 83rd position overall.
Rounding off the local finishers for the Club were Paul & Kathleen Kennedy from Tubbercurry 82nd (Suzuki Swift) with Chris O'Brien and Neil Drummond (Honda Civic) also from Tubbercurry five places further back in 87th position. Nearer to the tail of the field but still happy to complete the event were Brendan Tuffy and Eamonn Walsh (Enniscrone/Kiltimagh) in a Peugeot 205 GTi.
Such was the arduous nature of the event; almost 60 cars failed to make it to the Finish Ramp back at Rally Headquarters in the car park of the Sligo Park Hotel. Unfortunately, seven Mayo crews were among the non-finishers.
Top 20 contender Tubbercurry's Noel McCarrick with John McCafferty (Subaru Impreza) failed to make it to the first Service stop at Grange while near neighbours, the McGuinness brothers Pat and Eamonn made an unsuccessful return to the scene after a six month break as their Sunbeam came to a halt. Crossmolina's Ronan Moore and Kevin Corcoran (Toyota Corolla) fell victim of the event as did Denis Quinn and Declan McPartland (Mazda 323). The remaining crews to have the dreaded D.N.F. (Did Not Finish) tag attached to their entry number were Ballina's Pat and Eddie O'Hora (Vauxhall Astra) along with Donal Molloy and Eddie Quinn (Foxford) in a Vauxhall Nova.
August 13th sees the Club's cars in action again at the Tipperary Stonethrowers Stages Rally in Clonmel.