Motorsport Ireland Weekend Roundup
Fresh from scoring their first International rally win in Galway two weeks ago, the Donegal-Derry pairing of Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan brought their Ford Focus WRC to victory in yesterday’s opening round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship, the Birr MC Abbeyleix Manor Hotel event.
They set the early pace, leading for the first four stages, before slipping to second place behind defending champions Declan and Brian Boyle, over the next two tests. However, on the opening stage of the final loop, the Boyle cousins had to stop to change a puncture and lost a disastrous six minutes, dropping them completely out of contention.
Former Tarmac champions Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy made a fine recovery from early problems to take runner up position at the finish, 38 seconds behind the winners, while three times National champion Niall Maguire finished third.
On a day of wet, slippery stages, there were many retirements, with the casualty list including top runners Craig Breen, Darren Gass, Roy White and Frank Kelly.
Robin Lyons won the final round of the Hewison Autotest Championship at Mondello Park, finishing 12 seconds clear of Mark King, with the title winner and runner up, Steven Ferguson and Eamonn Byrne, down in third and fourth places after both had pylon penalties.
BIRR & DISTRICT M C ABBEYLEIX MANOR HOTEL STAGES RALLY AT ABBEYLEIX, CO
LAOIS (ROUND 1 OF TRITON SHOWERS NATIONAL RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP, TOP PART WEST
COAST CHAMPIONSHIP AND LOUGHRANSIGNS.COM MIDLANDS EAST CHAMPIONSHIP):
1 Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Focus WRC) 60m 13s,
2 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Impreza WRC) 60m 51s,
3 Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 61m 17s,
4 Kevin Kelleher/Ray Fitzpatrick (Impreza WRC) 61m 42s,
5 Steve Wood/Keith Moriarty (Impreza WRC) 63m 09s,
6 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 63m 58s,
7 Chris Armstrong/James Fulton (Escort) 64m 02s,
8 Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan (Escort) 64m 53s,
9 Brendan Cumiskey/Ronan O’Kane (Impreza Gp N) 64m 53s,
10 Paul Barrett/Declan Tumilty (Impreza Gp N) 64m 56s.
Motorsport Safety Team Group N award: 1 Brendan Cumiskey/Ronan O’Kane.
rally.ie Two wheel drive award: Chris Armstrong/James Fulton.
Historics: 1 Niall Keane/Conor Keane (Sunbeam) 51m 44s.
Juniors: 1 Vincent McSweeney/Michael Kearney (Civic) 39m 08s,
2 James Bradley/Maria Kehoe (Civic) 39m 34s,
3 Daren O’Brien/John McCabe (Civic) 39m 46s.
MOTOR ENTHUSIASTS’ CLUB FREEMAN CUP AUTOTEST AT MONDELLO PARK, CO KILDARE
(FINAL ROUND OF HEWISON TROPHY CHAMPIONSHIP):
1 Robin Lyons (Mini) 627.1s,
2 Mark King (Nova) 639.2s,
3 Steven Ferguson (Mini Special) 643.6s,
4 Eamonn Byrne (Mini) 648.0s,
5 David Thompson (Nova) 655.5s,
6 Timmy Lynch (Westfield) 666.8s,
7 Darren Quille (Westfield) 671.8s,
8 Chris Grimes (Mini) 680.9s,
9 Norman Ferguson (Mini) 691.5s,
10 Paul Fobister (Haigh Special) 696.8s,
11 Paul Phelan (Mini Special) 698.0s,
12 Paddy Power (Mini Special) 702.3s.
Class winners: Eamonn Byrne, Steven Ferguson, Timmy Lynch, Mark King.
Best semi-expert: Rory Power (Mini) 823.4s.