A little bit of Club history was made at the Midland Motor Club Single Stages Rally where Ballyhaunis crew of Rory O'Connor and Francis Kenny, as top seeds, led the competitors away in their Kodak Escort Cosworth from the ancestral archway to ...
A little bit of Club history was made at the Midland Motor Club Single Stages Rally where Ballyhaunis crew of Rory O'Connor and Francis Kenny, as top seeds, led the competitors away in their Kodak Escort Cosworth from the ancestral archway to Strokestown House. For the first time in their careers, Rory and Francis were the first car on the road as the 130 strong rally car convoy headed out the Longford road from Strokestown, en route to the 10-mile special stage in Ardagh. Eight other rally cars from the Mayo Club also took part in the annual event, which was held on Easter Sunday.
At the end of the three timed runs held under blistering sunshine, the O'Connor and Kenny partnership kept the 'red and green' flag flying high with an excellent third overall, 47 seconds behind first time winner, Rallycross veteran Tommy Graham in an Escort Cosworth.
Next club crew home was Noel McCarrick and John McCafferty who finished a fine 9th place and 2nd in Class 4 in their McCarricks Peugeot Dealers Tubbercurry supported Subaru Impreza. Trevor Morrow from Ballina with new co-driver John Rowland from Crossmolina also finished 2nd in Class (1) from 62nd position overall in a Suzuki Swift. The Belcarra/Claremorris pairing of Barry Cuffe and Tony McGing (Toyota Corolla) were pleased with 73rd while competing in the ultra competitive Class 10.
Swinford native Pat Price with Diarmuid Falvey alongside continued their good form with 24th overall and 4th in Class 4 in their Advanced Roofing Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.
Rounding off the Mayo finishers of the Midland Single Stage were the O'Hora brothers Pat and Eddie from Ballina (Opel Astra) who finished 7th in Class 9 and 90th overall.
Three local crews, however, had a disappointing day. Bekan's Sean McHugh with new navigator Keefe Kilcoyne (Westport) retired on Special Stage 2 when their Corrib Oil backed Peugeot 205 GTi blew a head gasket. Kevin Neary's similar car also failed to finish despite having fellow Ballina man Derek McCarthy as co-driver. Problems at the start line ended the efforts of Padraig Hunt and Seamus Corrid from Grange when their VW Golf failed to run satisfactorily.
Meanwhile, at the Monaghan Stages Rally held the previous week a tremendous battle ensued between Mayo & District Motorsport Club's James McGreal and John Duffy in Class 14B. Despite John's best efforts in the rain soaked counting round of the Four Seasons Border Rally Championship, the 1600cc Toyota Corolla Twincam driver from Crossmolina with Roscommon's John Egan on the notes had to settle for second best. James McGreal's trump card to win that class in a Nissan Sunny GTi-R was with his navigator Killian Duffy (John's son!) who at 17 years of age was the youngest competitor on the day.