O'MAHONY AND HIGGINS FINISH RALLY IRELAND County Cork driver Brian O'Mahony and County Mayo co-driver John Higgins completed a difficult Rally Ireland this weekend (15-18 November) as they finished 65th overall. The recently crowned...
O'MAHONY AND HIGGINS FINISH RALLY IRELAND
County Cork driver Brian O'Mahony and County Mayo co-driver John Higgins completed a difficult Rally Ireland this weekend (15-18 November) as they finished 65th overall.
The recently crowned Dunlop National Championship class 6 champions were third in class six in their OM Concrete Products and Fitz Samuels Insurance-backed Super 1600 Renault Clio, run by O'Leary Motorsport, following four-days of asphalt action.
The crew did not have the smoothest of runs on their second appearance at World Rally Championship (WRC) level across their home stages.
A broken radiator on the car on day one on Friday meant they had to sit out nine stages before restarting on Saturday under the SupeRally rule with 45 minutes worth of penalties.
Further problems struck on the final stage on Saturday when the windscreen steamed-up and, worrying that the radiator fault was going to return, they stopped. Everything appeared to be ok but the windscreen failed to clear and the pair lost even more time.
Sunday threw up its fair share of issues as O'Mahony and Higgins got a puncture on the first stage of the day before tackling stage 18 which they had only manage to recce once.
The pair were, however, 36th fastest over stage 19 and 29th quickest over the final test before they headed back for the finish ramp in Sligo. There were more problems on the last road section however; as the automatic fans packed up and they were forced to use the manual fans before any damage was inflicted on the engine.
"I noticed the engine temperature was getting a little high so I knew there was something wrong, lucky for us there is a fan override switch to turn them on manually," 23-year-old O'Mahony said.
"The rally itself was a fantastic event and it was great to be a part of the first Rally Ireland and compete on a WRC round at home.
"At the same time it was a difficult event for us with the problems we had and we didn't do as well as we'd hoped but we made it round and got a result over the really difficult stages."
Rally Ireland, the penultimate round of the WRC, was O'Mahony and Higgins' last rally of the 2007 season.