Daniel Mc Kenna/Arthur Kierans win class in Scotland

Posted: July 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

After the 3rd round of the British Rally Championship, the Scottish Rally in Dumfries, Daniel McKenna and Co-Driver Arthur Kierans find themselves leading the R2 Championship by 5 points from Norwegian driver Steve Rokland and lying a magnificent 5th in the overall championship among the top R3 category drivers after finishing 1st in R2 and 8th o/a last weekend.

            This is the first time the Scottish Rally has been a round of the BRC for 7 years and was a new challenge for the majority of the championship competitors including Daniel. After a very challenging recce on the Friday, all of the crews knew that they had a very tough day’s rallying ahead of them as the stages where very technical but also very fast. The biggest fear however was the sharp stone surface which would most definitely cause punctures and would probably have some reckoning on the final results. Also the fact that the Scottish national rally competitors were running ahead of the BRC crews, this would cut and rut the surface up, making it an even bigger challenge.

            Stage 1 early ON Saturday morning was a 6 mile test, the crew stuck to the game plan and set 2nd fastest time in R2, 2 seconds behind Rokland with no problems. However on the next test a 13.5 mile stage the crew encountered an unavoidable rock that had been dragged onto the racing line about 1.5 miles into the stage which created such an impact that it bent the rear axel making the car handle badly for the remainder of the stage. The crew still managed to set 2nd fastest R2 time on the stage but dropped 11 seconds to Rokland as the majority of the other R2 competitors were already experiencing puncture problems. Stage 3 was a short spectator stage only 0.75 miles long before the much needed service to the car. Daniel made a big effort through the test setting the 5th fastest time o/a and fastest R2 despite the mishandling car.

            With a short 20 minute service their dedicated service crew managed to replace the rear axle without any time penalties. Towards the end of stage 4 Rokland’s gearbox mounting broke and he also picked up a puncture as Daniel was 4 seconds quicker closing the gap to 9 seconds. Jon Armstrong was also having a good run and was only 6 seconds behind Daniel. Stage 5 proved to be a big turning point as Daniel had a fairly clean stage despite encountering a power steering problem near the end of the stage. Rokland was still carrying his gearbox problem and Armstrong had a puncture so Daniel had a 26 second lead at the 2nd service.

            Unfortunately the power steering problem could not be fixed in the short service, so Daniel and Arthur knew they would have to carry the problem and probably drop time on the final 3 tests, but were confident of holding their position. Daniel was again quickest through stage 6, the spectator stage by 0.2 of a second from Rokland stretching his lead to 27 seconds. On stage 7 however Rokland was on a charge and took 10 seconds out of Daniel who was being cautious with his steering problem and the gap was reduced to 17 seconds with 2 stages to go. However stage 8 was cancelled due to an accident in the national rally and it was down to the final stage for Daniel to try and hold onto the lead. The 13 mile stage was a tough and rough test to finish with but everything was going to plan for the crew until 10 miles in and disaster struck. A wishbone bolt sheared on Daniel’s Fiesta on one of the bad bumps through the stage and to add insult to injury he then picked up a left rear puncture making the car virtually un-drivable. He managed however, to scrape the car over the finish of the stage very disappointed thinking that the top result was gone. The rough terrain of the Scottish rally was to inflict a lot of trouble to almost all of the R2 competitors including Rokland as he picked up a puncture and dropped 4 minutes and dropped to 4th in the class. This meant that Daniel and Arthur survived their final stage ordeals to take the R2 win and 8th o/a by over 2 minutes and now have a 5 point advantage over their nearest rival in the R2 category heading into the 4th round of the championship, the Ulster rally back on tarmac which would be considered a home rally for Daniel and Arthur.

            Mac Kierans was also in Scotland for his first taste of the BRC, once again navigating for Joe McGonigle in the R3 Clio and followed up on their Donegal success the previous weekend with a fine drive to 7th overall. Brendan Cumiskey and Conor Foley also made the trip to Dumfries and also had a great run to 10th overall on this demanding rally. The event was won by Alastair Fisher and Gordan Noble in the Citreon DS3 R3.

 

Loughgall Stages

Well done to Jim McKenna and Thomas Treanor who were 2nd overall on last Saturday’s Loughgall Stages. Mervin Wedlock and Damien McCabe were 4th overall and first in class 6. Andy and Derek Mackarel had the trusty ascona out once again and finished 27th overall.

 

ALMC and Connacht Stages

Marshals are urgently required for the upcoming ALMC stages this Sunday 7th July based in Dunboyne, Co. Meath and also the Connacht (Sligo) stages the following weekend, Sunday 14th July. If anyone is available for either event please contact Kerry Stevenson or Cora Maguire on 086 3627000 as soon as possible

 

Ravens Rock Rally

Monaghan Motor Club wishes to extend its sincere sympathy to the family and friends of Paul Mulcahy who passed away while competing on the Ravens Rock Rally last weekend. May he rest in peace.

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