MCKENNA AND KIERANS CROWNED BRITISH RALLY CHAMPIONS
Daniel McKenna and Arthur Kierans have been crowned the 2014 British Rally Champions after a dramatic weekend of rallying on the Rally Isle of Man. The pair beat Welshman Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss to the title in a fascinating battle . The rally was certainly one to remember with drama from the word go. Split over three days the event would count as the last two rounds of the British Rally Championship with the final round awarding points and a half.
Thursday evening’s stages saw an expected tight affair with McKenna and Osian Pryce battling hard for the lead. The rally kicked off just after seven o’clock with the short 0.77 km blast around SS1 Villa Marina. McKenna went quickest by a mere 0.8 of a second ahead of Pryce with the two rivals third and fourth behind Arron Newby and Nigel Cannel.
Stage two saw Pryce take up the mantle shooting ahead of McKenna. The Welshman led the Monaghan man by 6.1 seconds and took the rally lead.
On stage three McKenna started his fight back, he took 1.5 seconds out of Pryce trailing the Welshman by just 4,6 seconds heading into the final stage of the night, Sand Quarry 1. The longest stage of the day saw McKenna retake the lead as he went just under 10 seconds faster than Pryce to lead the Welshman by 5.3 seconds heading into Friday’s stages.
Day 2 started with the 5.2 mile Lhoobs 1 stage and McKenna hit trouble as he punctured a tyre dropping him to second, 17.1 seconds behind Pryce. McKenna was playing catch up now and Pryce was on a charge, so much so that the two rivals set identical times on stage 6 as McKenna tried to reel back the time he had lost. Pryce seemed to have a slight edge over McKenna at this point and increased his lead by 2.1 seconds over the next two stages.
Disaster was to strike for the Monaghan man on stage 9 as he rolled his Citroen DS3 into a field. The championship win looked further away than ever at this point as the car was towed back to service, the stage was cancelled as a result of the accident. Ironically Pryce stopped on the stage also with a fuel problem but managed to escape any penalties due to the stage cancellation. As McKenna’s DS3 was fixed up in service with only seconds to spare, Pryce completed the final two stages of round 5 and despite dropping to second overall he took the points knowing that beating McKenna on the last day would be enough to snatch the championship from Daniel and Arthur.
As the final round commenced there was yet another twist in the Isle of Man story as Pryce was forced to retire on stage 15 after damaging the suspension on his DS3 at a hairpin where he hit a kerb. He would restart the Saturday stages but all McKenna had to do now was finish to become champion. Saturday loomed and McKenna knew a finish was the priority for the day. Seven stages were all that separated the Monaghan man and co-driver Arthur Kierans from BRC glory. Despite a small issue with a timing error on SS20, which was rectified, McKenna got the car to the end to become only the third Irish driver to become British Rally Champion after Billy Coleman and Keith Cronin. Amid jubilant scenes at the finish line which was thronged with supporters from Scotshouse and Aghabog who made the trip, Daniel and Arthur breathed a high sigh of relief after a tough weekends rallying but nevertheless they are 2014 British Rally Champions.
McKenna took to twitter later in the evening to say “We did it!” while proceeding to thank everyone who helped him along the journey. A proud Arthur Kierans became only the fifth Irish co-driver to achieve BRC glory. As the BRC title heads to Monaghan many questions will be asked as to what the future holds for DMK Motorsport. Only time will tell!
DMK MOTORSPORT HOMECOMING CELEBRATION
Keep free Saturday night 27th September as preparations are well underway for a homecoming and night of celebration to honour the achievements of our newly crowned British Rally Champions, Daniel McKenna and Arthur Kierans. This event will take place in Monaghan town so keep an eye on the social media outlets as well as next weeks club notes for full details of what is promised to be a night to remember.
MIXED RESULTS FOR MONAGHAN CREWS IN WEXFORD
Congratulations to Jim McKenna and Thomas Treanor on winning class 14 and taking 8th overall on the Wexford Stages Rally last weekend. This two day event is surely a test of man and machine with exceptionally fast stages, an example being a total of 28 chicanes on 5 stages alone! Well done also to Barry McKenna and Macartan Kierans on 9th in class 13 and 27th overall. Seamus Connolly and Gary McCrudden had hard luck on day one with engine failure but this determined bunch came home Saturday evening, built an engine, returned to Wexford and had it fitted before the Sunday stages commenced to finish 7th in class 11R and 85th overall under Rally 2 rules. Keith McConnon navigated Paddy Quinn to 10th in class 10. Paul Hughes returned to the navigators seat with Monaghan man (residing in Dublin) Alan Kane in the newly built G3 escort after a 5 year absence but they retired with engine problems on day 1 and decided not to risk even more damage on day two. Paul did however take up 00 duties on the Sunday stages.