McKenna is MK II Champion in Carlow

Posted: May 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 All roads led to the Mount Wolseley Country Resort Hotel, Tullow, Co. Carlow last Sunday for the third round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship which also incorporated the ever popular Mark II challenge. The travelling Monaghan men had mixed fortunes as Meath native Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely maintained his one hundred per cent record in this year’s championship to take a 25 second win from Dubliner Robert Barrable and Monaghan’s Damian Connolly in there Skoda Fabia S2000. Scotshouse men Daniel McKenna and Andrew Grennan had a fantastic drive to take 3rd overall and with that the title of Mark II Challenge champions. The similar Mk. II Escort of Gary McPhillips with Paul Sheridan on the notes occupied fifth overall just 2 seconds behind a hard charging former National champion and local driver Stephen Murphy in a Subaru WRC. this Stephen’s first event in four years. McKenna was quickest on the opening test, Tomduff, where he was two seconds in front of his fellow county man and former triple National champion, Niall Maguire and Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC) with Barrable a further four seconds behind in third. McPhillips occupied fourth with the Subaru WRCs of McNulty and Murphy completing the top six. McNulty cited suspension set-up problems which he seemed to rectify before stage 2 and set the best times on the second and third stages of the loop to arrive at the Tullow service halt with an eight second advantage. Three drivers tied for second spot, Niall Maguire, Daniel McKenna and Robert Barrable. Daniel recounted a spin on the second test that cost him at least six seconds; he also expressed concern about the brake bias through the third stage. Another Monaghan crew Sam Moffett and James O’Reilly retired their Mitsubishi with differential failure just a few kilometres from the finish of stage 1. Through the second loop, McNulty increased his pace and even though Daniel and Andrew matched him through S.S. 5, McNulty arrived at the penultimate service with a twenty second lead over Barrable, with both enjoying untroubled runs. Niall Maguire was third, five seconds further behind despite a spin on the sixth stage with McKenna only a second adrift in 4th. Gary McPhillips rounded off the top 5 before the final loop but reported that his tyres weren’t working as well as expected. On the final loop disaster struck for Niall and Enda as they bowed out on junction four of S.S. 7 when their Subaru’s gearbox cried enough, thus dealing their assault on the National Championship a serious blow. McNulty had a trouble-free final loop to take the win ahead of Barrable/Connolly who move up to second in the series following Maguire’s non-finish. Daniel and Andrew rounded off a great day in 3rd while Stephen Murphy pipped Gary and Paul on the final stage to take 4th. Castleblayney’s Michael Conlon with Martin Byrne navigating also made the trip South and set some blistering times, some of which were inside the top ten and eventually finished 12th o/a and second in class 13. Damian and Stephen Hagan in their immaculate red Escort finished 24th overall while Martin McPhillips once again teamed up with Nicola McKenna and had a great drive to 27th overall and winning class 11 in the process. Ciaran Marron and JP McAree’s late entry paided off with 45th overall and 3rd in class 8. The rally also incorporated the second round of the Dunlop Junior Rally Championship with Carrickmacross pair Johno and Padraig Doogan (Escort) taking a slender 7 second victory over Meath’s Chris Snow (Honda Civic). Cork driver, Pat Barry (Honda Civic) was third – a minute and 35 seconds further behind.

 Squealing Pig Border Navigation Prizegiving

 This Friday night 13th May sees the Squealing Pig Bar and Restaurant annual prizegiving take place as Michael Carbin and Evin Hughes are crowned 2010/2011 Border navigation champions. This night promises to be as enjoyable as ever with many awards to be handed out on the night and plenty of banter guaranteed. So whether you’re an award winner or not why not join in the celebrations at the Squealing Pig from 8pm. List of award winners are on http://www.rally.ie Dinner to be pre-booked – Tel 087 2558 957

 Motorsport Ireland National Navigation Privegiving

 The 2010/2011 National Navigation Championship Prize Giving and Open Forum will take place in the Heritage Hotel, Town Centre, Portlaoise on Saturday 21st May at 8 pm sharp. Ashley McAdoo and Arthur Kierans will be crowned champions for the 4th consecutive year. Once again the list of award winners is on http://www.rally.ie As always this event will be preceded by an open forum where all aspects of night navigation trials can be discussed.

 Fire Marshal Training

 A Motorsport Ireland Fire Marshal’s Training course will take place in Rally School Ireland over the weekend of 21st/22nd May. This is a 2-hour course dealing with all aspects of fire containment and fire fighting scenarios, which marshals and competitors could face while on events. This is an interesting and worthwhile course. Booking forms are available on the Monaghan Motor Club web site with 4 different time slots to choose from, Saturday morning/afternoon or Sunday morning/afternoon. All marshals who work on events as well as all competitors are urged to avail of this worthwhile course.

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