Michael Carbin and Evin Hughes made their trip North to Churchill in Donegal worthwhile when they came home with the over-all win on Donegal Motor Clubs counting round of the Squealing Pig border navigation championship on Saturday night last. There were 11 Monaghan crews amongst the 28 starters and indeed it could be fair to say that the event was dominated by Monaghan crews as they took all three podium places. CoC and regular navigation competitor James Greenan and his team laid on a fantastic route which took competitors into North Donegal through some famous Donegal International stages such as Garrygort and over Loughsalt mountain.
This event had some 80 miles of tough competitive terrain, which had it all, jumps, crests, through rivers, across mountains and over fields. Event winners Carbin and Hughes didn’t have it easy by any means and only won the event by the narrowest of margins from Andy Mackarel and Liam Higgins. Early leaders Garreth Beagan and Stephen Thornton were in control up to time point 27 but they slid off a narrow gravel lane onto a steep hill where they found themselves stuck. Unfortunately for them they were forced to drop 4 time points, which put them out of contention. Michael and Ciaran Tynan finished 3rd over-all on the night, a welcome result considering they had 3 non-finishes on the past few events although they had no 2nd gear for the last 30 mile. Donegal men Conor Harvey and Kevin McDaid took 3rd in the expert class and 6th over-all. Once again the midlands competitors weren’t very far away as Packie and Colin Duffy took the semi-expert class honours and 4th over-all, closely followed by Chris Kelly and Sam Johnston in 5th. Sean McKenna and Gary Farrelly rounded off the top 3 in the semi class. Cork woman Muireann Hayes confirmed her dedication to the sport of night navigation as she made the long trip North to Donegal and came away with the novice class win, driven by Monaghan’s Stephen Wright. Midlands’s men Shane Dalton and Nigel Cloughrey were 2nd in novice ahead of Martin Tynan and Fintan Clerkin in 3rd.
Trevor McConnell and Ruaidhri Nash topped the beginner’s class ahead of Ivan Simms and Charlie Gallagher. Other locals to make the trip included Arthur and Mac Kierans but their luck had to run out sometime when their gearbox gave up at time point 12. Shane Maguire and Enda Sherry were also another crew not to finish and ended up doing taxi back to HQ for Maudabawn men Damian O’Reilly and Thomas Wedlock who ended up sliding off into a bog. James McCarville and Fintan Sherry also left their luck in Monaghan as their clutch gave in. Dara Kelly was navigating for Donegal local Caolan Gaffney but they ran out of road heading to time point 16. Well done to James Greenan, Aidan Friel and all their helpers in Donegal for a challenging and competitive event.
So with two rounds of the Squealing Pig border navigation championship left, things are very much still wide open for over-all and class honours with Andy and Liam holding the advantage but anything can happen over the final two rounds. Next up is Cavan on 3rd March, running from Gallonreagh House in Maudabawn. Regs and entry form on Cavan Motor Club website.
Donegal Motor Club Navigation Top 10
1/ Michael Carbin/Evin Hughes (Subaru Impreza) 5 marks
2/ Andy Mackarel/Liam Higgins (Subaru Impreza) 6m
3/ Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan (Subaru Impreza) 13m
4/ Packie Duffy/Colin Duffy(Subaru Impreza) 25m
5/ Chris Kelly/Sam Johnston (Subaru Impreza) 28m
6/ Conor Harvey/Kevin McDaid (Subaru Impreza) 42m
7/ Trevor Farrell/Noel Hall (Subaru Impreza) 45m
8/ Stephen Wright/Muireann Hayes (Subaru Impreza) 51m
9/ Sean McKenna/Gary Farrelly (Subaru Impreza) 66m
10/ Shane Dalton/Nigel McCloughery (Subaru Impreza) 72m
Ferguson Wins Hewison Autotest
Monaghan Motor club held their annual club autotest on Sunday last. Once again Wrights Quarry at Swanns Cross was the ideal venue and CoC Brendan Flynn set out some difficult and demanding tests for both Hewison and Clubman competitors. The weather conditions were ideal as the slippey concrete surface dried out throughout the day. Top Hewison competitor and reigning champion Stephen Ferguson added another win to his trophy collection in Monaghan with a 7 second winning margin in his mini special. These high-powered pocket rockets are indeed a sight to behold as they handbrake and slide around the tight tests set out. This win leaves Stephen almost certain to retain the hewison autotest championship. Sam Bowden in a more familiar looking mini was 2nd with David Thompson 3rd in a nova. Prize giving followed the event in Aghabog Gaa complex where Stephen thanked the club for a well-organised event in an ideal location. There were 5 other class awards up for grabs on the day amongst the hewison competitors with Sam Bowden winning class A. Class B was won by Robin Lyons in a mini special with Trevor Ferguson winning class C . David Thompson was the winner of class D and Jamie McMillan won class E&F.
There were 11 starters for the clubman’s class with separate tests to the hewison competitors. Coc Brendan Flynn certainly upped the ante this year with 3 separate tests, all of which were more complex than previous years. Winner on the day was Andy Mackarel in his “slightly” modified Toyota starlet to leave him with two wins on the opening two rounds of this years traders club championship. Daniel McKenna swapped his high powered escort for the slightly more reserved Nissan micra but still managed to make the Scanbitz/Halls Cows backed micra slide round the tests to take 2nd over-all. Last year’s winner, Richard Cassidy was 3rd in his micra, which was co-driven by Stephen Wright. Kieran McCarra made a return to the autotest this year having won it in the past and finished a creditable 4th. Ciaran Tynan was double driving the scanbitz micra and took 5th over-all with Stephen Wright in 6th. Young Mac Kierans got behind the wheel for the first time and without doubt showed great car control on the first time of trying to finish in 7th. Garreth Beagan finish in 8th place, double driving Andy’s starlet with the Peugeot 205 of Michael Carbin finishing 9th followed by Robert Moyna in 10th also in the 205. Mark Hamill was also a first timer at the auto test and enjoyed his day in the corsa to finish 11th.
Once again, well done to all the award winners and to Coc Brendan for a well run event. Brendan would like to take the opportunity to thank all hewison and club members for their support. To David Wright of Wrights Quarry for the use of his premises, which is popular with all the competitors. Also a big thank you to event sponsors, the Northern Standard for their continued support. Brendan would also like to thank the many marshals who turned up on the day, the rain may have stayed away but it was a cold day to be standing around nonetheless. Also a big thank you to Aghabog GAA and the ladies who made the soup and sandwiches, they were much appreciated! Thanks also to Cora doing results and to anyone else who helped out in any way prior to and on the day of the event.
Hewison Autotest Championship Top 5
1/ Steven Ferguson (Mini Special) 641.8secs
2/ Sam Bowden (Mini) 648.2s
3/ David Thompson (Nova) 678.8s
4/ Robin Lyons (Mini Special) 678.8s
5/ Guy Foster (Mini) 681.1s
Traders Club Members Class
1/ Andrew Mackarel (Starlet) 376.62secs
2/ Daniel McKenna (Micra) 379.39s
3/ Richard Cassidy (Micra) 395.77s
4/ Kieran McCarra (Corsa) 401.78s
5/ Ciaran Tynan (Micra) 402.45s
6/ Stephen Wright (Micra) 404.12s
7/ Mac Kierans (Micra) 404.24s
8/ Garreth Beagan (Starlet) 410.43s
9/ Michael Carbin (Peugeot) 413.50s
10/ Robert Moyna (Peugeot) 422.07s
11/ Mark Hamill (Corsa) 455.75s