Mohan and Kelly stamp their authority on the Junior British Rally Championship

Posted: August 15, 2022 in Uncategorized

Conor Mohan and Eamonn Kelly scored their second win in a row on this year’s Grampian Forest Rally, round 4 of the 2022 British Rally Championship. The pair finished the six stage event with a 3:50s advantage over 2nd place, and fellow Irish crew, Johnnie Mulholland/Eoin Treacy.

On the opening stage, the 8.26km ‘Durris’, both Kelly/Mohan and Kyle White/Sean Topping set identical times to hold joint 1st overall. Mulholland/Treacy finished the stage in 3rd OA, 13s down on the joint leaders. A great start from the three Irish crews. On SS2 ‘Drumtochty’ Kelly/Mohan pulled a 5s advantage over White/Topping. Unfortunately, Mulholland/Treacy were hampered with fuel pump issues and dropped close to a minute but still held 3rd.

After service it was into the 15.8km ‘Finglenny’ and White/Topping took the stage win to reduce Kelly/Mohan’s advantage to just 3s. Kelly/Mohan struggled on the middle loop due to the stages being well cut up from the previous cars and the high temperatures which reduced the grip of their well worn tyres. On SS4 ‘Scare Hill’, once again White/Topping took another 2s out of Kelly/Mohan to leave the Donegal/Monaghan pair with a 1s advantage with just two stages remaining. Ongoing mechanical issues left Mulholland/Treacy a distant 3rd, but crucially still involved.

 During the final service, Kelly/Mohan put two harder compound tyres on the front of their car which allowed them to give the last two stages a good push to try and extend their narrow lead.

The change of tyres worked immediately as on SS5 (Strathgyle) they went a full 6s faster than the second fastest junior. Horrible luck was to strike White/Topping as they picked up a puncture and to add insult to injury, the puncture ripped off a break pipe. The crew made it to the end of the stage dropping 48s, but retirement followed stage exit. This is the second year in a row on the Grampian that a puncture and burst break pipe spelled retirement for the crew.

With White’s retirement, it left Kelly/Mohan with over a 3 minutes lead with just the 14km ‘Hurlie Bog’ stage left meaning the team could relax and concentrate on bring the car home in one piece.

Arthur Kierans was also in action on the Grampian navigating for Alan Carmichael. The pair once again won the National BRC section, making it their third win of the year.

Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin were the overall winners of the rally in their VW Polo GTI R5.

Closer to home, Derek Mackarel was the highest placed Monaghan competitor on the Jim Walsh Cork Forestry Rally. Derek along with navigator Eamonn Creedon finished 9th OA and 1st in Class in the Mitsubishi Evo. The pair were the first non WRC/R5 car home. The 9th place also secured the Danny Creedon Memorial Perpetual Cup for Eamonn for being the highest placed Cork Motor Club finisher on the event.

Paul Kelly navigated David Condell to 12th OA and 2nd class 14. Brendan Cumiskey/Martin Connolly finished 19th OA and 1st class 2.  Steven Corey/Conor McGurran retired on SS1. Tommy Moffett/Gary McCrudden also retired on SS1 following a roll. Mickey Conlon/Paul McPhillips retired on SS5 after sliding off the road. They were 4th in class at the time.

On the other side of the world, Mac Kierans guided Richie Dalton to joint 1st OA on the Rally of the Bay. The pair finished the 9 stage event just 0.4s down on Clayton Hoy/John Allen, but as the championships sporting regulations calculate results to full seconds, this resulted in Hoy/Allen’s 0.4s advantage being disregarded and both teams being credited with the win.

Navigation Trial Classes

Monaghan Motor Club will once again be holding their popular Navigation Trial Class’s . This six week course is for any aspiring navigators or drivers who wish to learn how to compete in Navigation Trails, as the the new season kicks off on October 1st. While the class’s are mainly for Navigations, Endurance Trials and Stage Rallying will be discussed on the final night. The course begins on Friday August 26th. A time and venue will be released soon. Anyone interested should contact the club PRO or any committee member.

PRO: Oisín Sherlock oisinsherlock97@gmail.com

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