Patricia Denning made Irish motor sport history
Dubliner Patricia Denning yesterday made Irish motor sport history by becoming the first female driver ever to score an outright win in a Rallycross, bringing her Lancer Evo home in top place in the Super Final at Tynagh, in Co Galway, in a dramatic final lap which saw each of the top four drivers take the lead at some point.
Long time leader Peter McGarry’s car seemed to lose power and he dropped back, with Lloyd Spendlove and Pearse Browne both edging in front briefly. However, with just two corners left to the finish, Denning, who had already won the Rally Car Final earlier in the day, went ahead and stayed there to the chequered flag, with Browne taking runner up position, less than a second behind.
Double Parts for Cars National champion Derek Tohill was an early casualty with gearbox problems on his Fiesta during the qualifying heats, but with four wins already this year, he is still on course for a hat trick of titles with two rounds left.
Ireland’s Young Racing Driver of the Year, Mullingar teenager Jordan Dempsey, finished second and fourth at Wuhan in China, to hold his lead in the Chinese F4 Championship heading into the final rounds at Ningbo International Speedpark next weekend. Dempsey slid off the track in Saturday’s opening race, but his Pinnacle Motorsport team repaired his car for yesterday’s two races.
Despite losing some time when he slid off the road on one of the final day’s slippery stages, Craig Breen of Waterford held his fourth position in Wales Rally GB to claim some useful World Rally Championship points.
He set out yesterday with his Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT C3 just 1.7 seconds behind the Toyota of Esapekka Lappi of Finland, but the gap increased to 35 seconds at the finish. However, the Irishman held off the challenge of World Championship points leader Thierry Neuville who finished four seconds behind.