The Naas/ Limerick crew of Eddie Kinirons/ Greg Shinnors took their maiden victory on the Midleton based Moonraker forest rally, round 4 of the KBB Doors Series. They now have a 7-point lead from Omagh's Kevin O'Kane in the championship as local...
The Naas/ Limerick crew of Eddie Kinirons/ Greg Shinnors took their maiden victory on the Midleton based Moonraker forest rally, round 4 of the KBB Doors Series. They now have a 7-point lead from Omagh's Kevin O'Kane in the championship as local favourite John McCarthy retired at first service with a broken exhaust manifold. A contrast of short, slippy stages followed by longer fast flowing bumpy one's with ever changing weather conditions made the event very testing with only seconds between leading crews.
John Donnelly/ Joe McAleese (Escort WRC) set fastest time through ss1 Knockaun Wood, 3.45. Car no 10, Kevin Lynch/ Martin McNicholl (Impreza WRC) also did a 3.45, Kevin now really on the pace as he gets more miles in his state of the art machine. Kevin O'Kane/ Francis Regan (Impreza 555) were quick off the mark with a 3.46, Eddie Kinirons/ Greg Shinnors (Celica GT4) 3.48, James Murphy/ Con Mulcahy (Escort Gp A) 3.49 followed by Brian McCloskey/ Damian Duffin (Escort WRC) 3.50. Top seed John McCarthy/ Dan Maguire (Impreza 555) were down in 7th on 3.53 as they struggled with the broken exhaust from the word go. John Shanahan/ Dave Moynihan (Impreza Gp N) did 3.54 holding 8th overall and leading Gp N. 2WD front runner Paul Staunton never made it to ss1 as wheel studs sheared off his car on the road section. Stage 2 was cancelled due to a break down between timekeepers at the finish.
At service after ss3 John McCarthy was forced to retire his Impreza due to the continued exhaust troubles. It was close at the top with only 2 secs between the top 5. Kevin O'Kane and Kevin Lynch tied for the lead on 7.40; the Escort's of John Donnelly and Brian McCloskey also tied on 7.41 for 3rd with Kinirons in 5th on 7.42. Brian McCloskey was fastest on ss3 but retired with electrical woes before ss4. Kevin Lynch went 3 secs ahead of O'Kane, Donnelly held 3rd with Kinirons 3 secs adrift in 4th. James Murphy tied with John Shanahan for 5th.
Running first on the road, Eddie Kinirons recorded a time of 2.34 through ss5, Lyre/ Kilcalf, taking 15 secs off Kevin Lynch and 21 secs off Kevin O'Kane through the short 2.5 mile test, the time was later checked with the master sheet. Kinirons moved into the lead, 1 second ahead of Lynch and 10 secs up on O'Kane. John Donnelly held 4th. Stage 6 saw Kinirons drift wide at a hairpin right and punctured but losing little time, fastest on 3.46 from O'Kane on 3.47. Kevin Lynch was off the road slightly and punctured losing 20 secs. James Murphy was 3rd quickest on 3.49. John Shanahan equalled John Donnelly as they both did 3.51.
The rally headed towards Clashmore with Kinirons 11 secs up on O'Kane, Kevin Lynch held 3rd, John Donnelly 4th and James Murphy 5th. Stage 7 Coolatour was the first of the long stages, Kinirons' Celica went really well on the faster stages and he was fastest on 6.47, Kevin Lynch 2nd quickest on 6.52, only 1 up on Kevin O'Kane 6.53. James Murphy was on a charge 6.54, John Shanahan 6.56 and John Donnelly 6.57. Stage 8, Scart Mountain was again very fast and flowing but very bumpy. Kevin Lynch set the pace as his Impreza WRC P2000 soaked up the bumps stopping the clocks on 5.34. Kevin O'Kane was 2nd fastest on 5.40, James Murphy 5.41. Eddie Kinirons broke a rear shock over the bumps, 4th fastest on 5.45.
At the last service with two stages to go Kinirons led by 12 secs from Kevin O'Kane, Kevin Lynch held 3rd, John Donnelly 4th and James Murphy 5th. Stage 9, a repeat of ss7, but a downpour as the crews lined up was the sting in the tail. Everyone was slower, conditions were chronic, running water both sides for the entire stage. John Shanahan was fastest on 7.11, with James Murphy 2nd on7.12; Kinirons dropped 31 secs with a 7.18. Tom Kiely in a 1600 mk2 was 4th quickest on 7.22. Kevin O'Kane dropped time with a fogged up screen 7.32, Kevin Lynch had a spin losing his rear bumper 7.35, but kept the pressure on, setting fastest time again (5.34) same time as his he did the first run through Scart Mountain, this put him back in second overall ahead of Kevin O'Kane.
Second quickest on the last stage was enough for Eddie Kinirons to secure his first ever rally win. Kevin Lynch really came on the pace with plenty fastest times to take second overall. Kevin O'Kane was only 3 secs behind in 3rd. James Murphy's late charge paid off as he finished 4th. John Donnelly took 5th after some big moments on the later stages. John Shanahan was 6th and won Gp N despite a blown turbo on the last stage. John Reid/ Brendan Greene was 7th in their mk2, winning class 4 and fastest 2wd. John McGaffin/ Alan Russell had a steady run to 8th in the Legacy. Tom Kiely/ Michael Cuddihy 9th and won class 2 after fine drive through ss9. Brian Lawlor/ Peter Kavanagh 10th and won class 3. Gus Kearney/ Robert Hughes (206) won class 6, by 4 secs after battling all day with local Shane McCarthy/ Tony Mulcahy also in a 206. Aidan Jackson/ Denis Jackson (Nova) took class 1 honours.
<pre> Top Ten Pos. Car No Driver Co-Driver Class Total 1 2 Eddie Kinirons Greg Shinnors 5 0.43.23 2 10 Kevin Lynch Martin McNicholl 5 0.43.49 3 3 Kevin O'Kane Francis Regan 5 0.43.52 4 7 James Murphy Con. Mulcahy 5 0.43.57 5 4 John Donnelly John McAleese 5 0.44.18 6 6 John Shanahan David Moynihan 8 0.44.45 7 19 John Reid Brendan Green 4 0.46.05 8 9 John McGaffin Alan. Russell 5 0.46.11 9 27 Tom Kiely Michael. Cuddihy 2 0.46.31 10 15 Brian Lawlor Peter Kavanagh 3 0.46.46
Class Winners 1 Aidan Jackson/ Denis Jackson Nova 50.43 2 Tom Kiely/ Michael Cuddiy mk2 46.31 3 Brian Lawlor/ Peter Kavanagh mk2 46.46 4 John Reid/ Brendan Greene mk2 46.05 5 James Murphy/ Con Mulcahy Escort cos. 43.57 6 Gus Kearney/ Robert Hughes 206 48.35 8 John Shanahan/ Dave Moynihan Impreza 44.45
Full Results on line www.irish-rallying.com
Next Round, Cork Motor Club, Cork Forest Rally. 2 day, 80 stage miles, Saturday July 26th & Sunday July 27th, Based in Mallow, Co. Cork