Conlon Tops Two Wheel Drive in Carrick

Posted: February 7, 2018 in Uncategorized

Michael Conlon & Ciaran McPhillips got their 2018 season off to the perfect start as they finished as the leading two wheel drive crew on the Willie Loughman Forestry Rally. The pair were competing in class 14 for the first time after their tremendous 2017 successes. The event was the opening round of the 2018 Irish Forestry Championship and attracted a strong entry. The Monaghan pair finished 10th overall after 9 classic stages, topping the two wheel drive crews by well over a minute. Other Monaghan crews to impress were American-based Barry McKenna taking 2nd overall while Kaine Treanor guided Stephen McCann to 3rd overall.

Former Forestry Champion Josh Moffett led the crews away into the opening loop of stages. Drama struck early when Moffett & co-driver, Stephen Thornton, were sidelined on stage two. Barry McKenna/Leon Jordan were pushing their Ford Fiesta R5 to the limit to lead after four stages by a scant 0.7 of a second from the similar car of Andrew Purcell/Mark Wiley. Kaine Treanor was navigating for Cavan’s Stephen McCann and they slotted into 3rd while Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan were charging hard in 5th place in their Lancer.

Conlon/McPhillips held a narrow lead in the two wheel drive category while Derek Mackarel/Muireann Hayes were fighting it out for junior class honours. The classic Gurteen stage featured in the evening. After the first run through his long stage, Purcell/Wiley had surged into the lead with McKenna/Jordan now 30 seconds in arrears. McCann/Treanor & Carbin/Mohan were involved in a close battle for 3rd.

The final loop featured night stages which added further challenge to the demanding forest tests. It proved costly for a number of Monaghan crews as Carbin/Mohan and Mackarel/Hayes retired and Thomas O’Connell/Emmet Sherry plummeted down to 50th overall when holding 3rd two wheel drive.

McKenna/Jordan closed slightly on Purcell/Wiley but it was too much to make up and they had to settle for 2nd place 19 seconds in arrears. Stephen McCann/Kaine Treanor secured a solid 3rd place. Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips took 10th overall and victory in class 14. Martin Connolly guided Jody McManus to 20th overall and 3rd in the Junior class. Josh Moffett/Stephen Thornton re-entered under Rally 2 to gain some miles coming home at the tail of the field.

Autotest

 

Monaghan’s annual Autotest takes place this Sunday in Maguire Transport, Ballinode. The event is a counting round of Hewison Trophy, attracting the top Autotest crews across Ireland. Our local competitors will have their own tests and class as they continue their quest for Trader’s Trophy honours.

Marshals are required for this event and those available should contact Brendan Flynn.

 

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