Treanor victorious in the Midlands

Posted: February 21, 2023 in Uncategorized

Ryan Treanor along with his Ballinalee driver Shane Dalton secured the overall
win on this year’s Midland Navigation Trial, which was based out of Creggs
National School on the Galway/Roscommon border. Patrick Brides along with
Sam Johnston organised a 65 mile route that took in the area between
Dunamon and Ballygar.


There was no easy introduction to the event as two plot and bash time points
were received at TP1 for the location of TP2 and TP4. At TP1 a trace diagram
was handed out for to find the position of and the departure of TP2. Located
on the back of the sheet was the plot for TP4, so any navigator who didn’t turn
the sheet over would miss the TP or drop time as they went searching for the
discarded piece of paper at TP3. The trace brought crews along a three and a
half mile journey into the forest and gravel tracks of Mount Mary. After
heading into the forest at Attifarry, it was turn right for Mallyree and travel a
half kilometre before taking a left turn in the forest. Failing to take this left turn
would spell disaster as TP5 was waiting out of sight around the corner. After
taking the left turn competitors had to travel another kilometre before turning
off right to come out on a public road at Ballynahowna and turning left to
arrive at TP2 at the next crossroads.
At TP2, a page of plots was handed out with the grid reference for TP3
disguised in the middle of them. Once plotted, competitors had to do another
loop through the forest tracks of Mount Mary to arrive at the TP which as the
crow flies was only 350m away. TP4 was the only check point along the entire
route that every competitor dropped time, mainly due to having to take yet
another trip through the demanding Mount Mary tracks as well as some
navigators not having realised that they had received the location at TP1 and
thus still had to plot its location.
As straight forward as this opening section was despite the P&B section, eight
crews missed TP2 and a further seven missed TP3 along with three wrong
approaches. A fourth pass through Mount Mary brought competitors into TP5
before a straight forward road section to the time recovery area of TP6 and
TP7 located at Coolavehy.
A bog pass at Boggauns led to TP8 at Creggan, and this lane/pass caused the
first and only casualty of the night. National Championship contenders Darragh
Kelly/Oisín Sherlock got caught out on a section of the lane which was covered

in bog mud and they slipped off the route and dropped into a drain. Car 10
Aidan Keenan/Sean Marron stopped and tried to tow out the stricken car but
to no avail, which left Kelly/Sherlock having to wait an hour and a half for a
tractor to arrive and free them. By the time they were towed out, the pair
were well over their allowed thirty minutes maximum lateness at the next
control and thus went their event and any National Championship hopes for
2023.
From TP8 it was all back on public roads with plenty of looping around
Cregganagrogy for TPs 9 and 10 before moving back north to TP11 at
Monasternalea. From here it was yet another pass through Mount Mary and
most of the same lanes as the route to TP2 for to reach the midpoint control at
Ballynahowna. At this point Dalton/Treanor were out front, with just a minute
dropped on the way to TP4. In 2 nd place was Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan,
down 3 marks, with a minute dropped at each of TP3, 4 and 6. Holding 3 rd OA
was the Squealing Pig Border Championship leaders and Drumlin winners
Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan, down 4 marks. National Championship leaders
Derek Butler/Denis O’Donovan were down 7 marks with 3 dropped at TP2, 2
dropped at TP4 and a further 1 at each of TP7 and 8.
An ITC section stared off the second half, timed at a speed of 24mph. This
uncommon average speed for an ITC section threw up some difficulty for the
crews. Tynan/Tynan who were first on the road dropped 3 marks on this route.
Carbin/Mohan, Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes along with ten others all dropped a
minimum of 1 mark here in what turned out to be quite a complicated route.
TP13, just west of Dunamon, was the end of the ITC and more P&B was on the
cards here. Competitors were issued with a two page box tulip, and to make
the P&B extra difficult, the tulip counted every gate, road and unmapped lane
along the route. Most of the distances along the route were only a few car
lengths apart which took serious concentration on the navigators part for to
not get lost. Crews had to turn right off the yellow road and onto a grey lane
that was a dead end on the map at Kilbegnat. Once on the grey lane, it was
another kilometre of skipping gates and lanes before turning left onto an
unmapped farm lane which brought crews into a farm yard. A great trick lay in
store here as there was a crossroads on the lane. On the tulip diagram, the
COC had swapped box 20 with box 26. Box 20 showed a ‘go straight through’ at
a crossroads, but box 26 showed a ‘turn left’ at a crossroads. Anyone who
missed the switch would inevitably get lost and possibly miss the TP or a least

drop considerable time. In the farm yard at the end of the unmapped lane,
crews had to keep to the right hand side of a cattle shed to reach the TP on the
correct approach.
At TP14 a similar P&B tulip was received for the location of TP15. This tulip
brought crews back up the same grey lane as before, but this time they had to
turn into a farm on the right hand side. Once into the yard it was mayhem and
there were bales and machinery parked everywhere. The correct route was
down a cattle shed with the entrance hidden by a cattle trailer. Once out the
far side, there was a hidden left turn after a lorry, and then travel under the
boom of a loading shovel before turning right around a tractor and traveling
through a chicane made up for agriculture equipment before reaching the
safety of the TP.
The headache was not over yet unfortunately, as a herringbone tulip was
handed out here for to reach TP16. The exit of TP15 was down an unmapped
forest lane and turn right onto the grey lane again and taking the same
unmapped lane that led to TP14. Navigators had to be switched on here as any
wrong measurement would lead to a double visit and a nasty 30 marks. This
time on reaching the farm, crews had to turn left and reach TP16 hidden at the
corner of a silage pit. This P&B section proved to be very difficult as everyone
apart from Dalton/Treanor dropped at least 3 minutes here. Eight crews in
total missed TP14, which included Butler/O’Donovan. This costly mistake
would drop them well down the leader board.
By only dropping 3 marks through this section, Duffy/Hughes jumped to 2 nd OA
at the expense of Mohan/Carbin who had dropped 7 marks. Martin
Tynan/David McCrudden went into 3 rd OA here after dropping just 5 marks.
From this location, it was a straight forward run into the final control with
three TPs to visit via using a bog lane at Clooncunny multiple times to reach
TP17, TP18 and TP19 all in the vicinity of Shanballyeden, and then visiting TP20
before a final via at Tonamaddy.
In the end Dalton/Treanor’s 1 minute penalty was more than enough to secure
their first overall win this season which will keep the pressure on Butler and
O’Donovan in the National Championship as they finished down in 7 th place.
In the classes, Duffy/Hughes finished 1 st on 9 marks, with Tynan/McCrudden in
2 nd , also down 9 marks. Carbin/Mohan finished in 3 rd , down 11 minutes.

Patsy McDonagh/Patrick Corcoran had a comfortable win in the Semi-Expert
class. They finished the event on 19 marks, well ahead of 2 nd placed Ray
O’Neill/Stephen O’Neill who were down 43 marks. 3 rd in class went to the
Donegal pairing of Darragh Kelly/Eamonn Doherty who dropped 48 marks.
Declan Tynan/Aaron McElroy won the Novice class on 34 marks, with Andrew
Stewart/Robert Howard finishing 2 nd on 55 marks. In 3 rd place was another
Donegal team of Damien Sheridan/Keith Sheridan who had dropped 75 marks.
Ciaran McGorman/Aaron McGorman finished 1 st in the Beginner class on 37
marks, with David Kelly/ Gerry Hughes finishing 2 nd on 86 marks. 3 rd in class
went to Shane and Molly Maguire, who finished up on 99 marks.

NI Rally Championship

It was a start to finish win for Stephen Wright and Ger Conway in their Ford
Fiesta R5 at the eurocables Belfast Stages Rally at Kirkistown Circuit. Organised
by the North Armagh Motor Club, it was the opening round of the Northern
Ireland Rally Championship and consisted of three stages ran twice. In a
stacked entry that included 20 R5 and Rally2 cars, Wright and Conway got off
to a flying start with an opening stage win, over five seconds quicker than
anyone else. Jonny Greer and Brian Crawford in a Citroen C3 Rally2 would be
Wright’s biggest rival on the day. It was nip and tuck between them, each
winning three stages, and setting a second fastest times on the others.
Wright’s five second lead after the first stage was reduced to just 1.2 seconds
after five runs, but he held off a hard-charging Greer on the last stage to take
the overall win by the smallest of margins. Just 0.1 seconds separated them
after a day’s rallying. Aaron McLoughlin and Darren Curran were the best of
the rest, finishing 3 rd overall, over half a minute back.
Irish Forestry Championship

Mark Donnelly and Stephen O’Hanlon got first blood in the opening round of
the Sligo Pallets Irish Forest Rally Championship, the Killarney Forest Rally. 71
crews took to the stages in Castleisland, with 2022 Championship runner-up
Jordan Hone leading away the field in his Ford Fiesta R5. Vivian Hamill and
Andrew Grennan were fastest out of the blocks on the opening test in their VW
Polo R5, with Ryan Caldwell and Arthur Kierans second fastest in their Fabia
R5. Heading into service, Donnelly and O’Hanlon had climbed to the top of the
timesheets, with Caldwell and Kierans still holding second behind the new
leaders. There were stage wins for Stephen McCann/Tommy Hayes and Jordan

Hone, but Donnelly had enough to take the win, with Caldwell and Kierans 10.9
seconds behind on their loose surface 4WD debut. McCann and Hayes were
3rd, a further 14 seconds back. Brendan Cumiskey and Martin Connelly
finished 6th in their Polo R5, one place ahead of Derek Mackarel and Eamonn
Creedon who topped Class 20 in their Mitsubishi Evo. Paul McPhillips guided
Michael Conlon to 2nd 2WD and first in Class 14, while Ryan Farrell was on the
notes for Dylan Eves in their Ford Fiesta Rally4 and they finished 3rd in Class 2
and 19th OA.
The ever competitive J1000 class for junior drivers received a boost ahead of
the event with WRC driver Craig Breen announcing sponsorship for prizes for
the championship. As well as a prize-fund of €1,250 for each round, and a
tuition day for all registered drivers, the winner of the J1000 championship will
be invited to a rally school in Norway to hone their skills.
16 crews started the event, and Tommy Moffett with Domhnall Lennon
alongside him took a stage win in their Toyota Aygo either side of service to
lead the category by 1.4 seconds going into the final stage. A hard-charging
Jack Kennedy in a VW Up! pipped him on the final test to take the win by just
5.4 seconds. Kennedy and Moffett had a cushion of over 45 seconds from the
third placed competitor.

Round Two of the Championship is the Moonraker
Forest Rally on April 15th.


PRO: Oisín Sherlock, with Aaron McElroy. oisinsherlock97@gmail.com

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