Sean McHugh successful start of 2002 season

McHugh's Rally Crew's successful move into the big league! Moving up from a Peugeot 205 GTi to a Subaru Impreza is a big step for any rally driver to take. Undaunted by the prospect, Sean McHugh has taken to the four-wheel-drive category...

McHugh's Rally Crew's successful move into the big league!

Moving up from a Peugeot 205 GTi to a Subaru Impreza is a big step for any rally driver to take. Undaunted by the prospect, Sean McHugh has taken to the four-wheel-drive category extremely well and continues to make steady progress.

The Claremorris native also began the 2002 season with a new navigator in fellow Mayo & District Motorsport Club member, John Rowland, from Crossmolina. The new partnership had its inaugural outing last March in the Breaffy House Hotel Mayo Stages Rally, the first round of the Dunlop National Championship which resulted in Sean achieving his best ever finish-- 30th overall (starting from 57th) Both driver and co-driver were very pleased with the performance especially as the wind and rain made conditions extremely difficult.

"We had a few major moments in the early part of the rally as the move up to the big league added its own pressures," stated Sean. "For me, it's a major step up from the Peugeot, in terms of power, brakes and especially tyres. It's the first time I've ran on competitive tyres," he added.

Two weeks later, the climb up the leader board continued at the Midland Single Stage Rally at Carrick-on-Shannon. Another successful days outing was recorded with 17th overall and 2nd in Class 4, despite a shaky start over the very bumpy first stage, which did not suit the Impreza's standard suspension.

Dingle was the next port of call for the Circuit of Kerry, Round 2 of the Dunlop Series with its classic stages Conor Pass and Slea Head. Using slick tyres for the first time, Sean made rapid progress through the field to bring the first Subaru home in Class 4. "Poor seeding meant that we had to carve our own way through, catching cars Stage after Stage. We had a brilliant day, a great run, thanks to the super grip from the Dunlop slicks."

Running the Showroom/Class 4 version of the highly successful Subaru Impreza World Rally Car requires significant financial backing and McHugh's Rally Crew are indebted to Gerry McCloskey (Irl) Limited, Building & Civil Engineering Contractors, Dublin; and Corrib Oil for their support this season.

Sean's Subaru Impreza was one of the major attractions at Corrib Oil's official Opening of their new Shell Service Station in Swinford recently. Mid West Radio's Mid-Morning Show hosted by Gerry Glennon were present and interviewed Sean' live' from the car.

During the summer further promotional visits to various venues are planned. McHugh's Rally Crew are contesting three more rounds of the Dunlop Series and three rounds of the Top Part West Coast Championship this season taking in events in Limerick, Sligo, Tipperary, Galway and Clare.

For the record, the Subaru Impreza features a 2.0 litre turobcharged 215bhp powerplant with adjustable differentials and 16" wheels on Dunlop competition rubber.

-imn-

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