RD.6 – 4th March 2012
The final round of the 2011/2012 Irish Championship took place at Mondello Park, Co. Kildare. The event witnessed 47 starters in a season where numbers began strongly in October but fell away towards the end of the season.The close proximity of events towards the end of the season led to 3 events in 4 weeks. Any major mechanical faults what so ever was always going to put drivers under serious pressure to make the following event.
Nonetheless, the Championship finale provided some excellent racing in all classes. Drivers received better value for money in the final event with a reduced entry fee and an additional heat. This ensured excellent track time for all who entered. The drivers repaid spectators with some excellent finals with some particularly close racing. The Superfianl was won by Ian O’Connell in his Lotus exige just ahead of returnee Michael Coyne and John Kelly in an Evo 7
The Super Modified class saw Ian O’Connell yet again put his Lotus Exige on pole position. His rear engined rear wheel drive car got the drop at the green lights on the beautifully presented Corsa driven by Willie Coyne. The battle behind these pair was fought between Michael Coyne, Pearse Browne and Dessie Tierney. The first corner saw some contact which forced Michael Coyne into the porridge on the outside. But, the Tallaght man jokered on lap one, put his head down and jumped both Browne and Tierney. O’Connell held on for victory ahead of Willie Coyne and this is exactly how they ended up in the Super Modified Championship, Willie Coyne being he only other Modified driver to take a victory this season.
Next in line was the Stock Hatch 16v grid. The A Final would decide the Championship winner; the two competing for overall honours were Graeme Colfer and Eddie Peterson. Colfer, the Citroen C2 Rally driver had a slender lead over multiple Hewison Autotest Champion Peterson. But it was Peterson who was applying the pressure by parking his car on pole position for the A Final. Second place on the front row was taken by 2010 Stock Hatch champion Gordon Lynch who borrowed Derek Tohill’s Peugeot 106 Gti in attempt to beat his old car driven by Peterson. Championship leader Colfer lined up third after some close tussles with Lynch in the heats.
All 3 cars were evenly matched into the first corner but Peterson had the inside line and held the lead ahead of Lynch and Colfer. Colfer jokered on the first lap which bought him some clear air. Aaron Dalton took up 3rd place ahead of Philip Lawless. Lawless left his joker lap until late and ended up battling ahead of Lynch and Colfer, Lynch eventually passing Lawless but then running wide allowing Colfer through to ultimately take Championship victory. Petterson did what he could by taking victory, this meant he tied on points with Colfer but more 2nd places by Colfer ensured the Stock Hatch Cup would go to Colfer.
The Stock Hatch 8v Plate had already being decided before todays event. Championship winner Noel O’Briens only target was to take a clean sweep of 6 victories in a row. The rest of the kids in the class were getting closer and closer to the man from Holywood. For the second time this season Ciaran Murphy from Clane put his car on pole position ahead of O’Brien, Peter McGarry and the rest of the Clane Mafia of Mark Halligan and Stephen Morrin! Murphy looked as though he had it all under control, he took his joker and just managed to clear O’Brien but then he left the smallest of gaps at the hole in the edge and the fox O’Brien didn’t need to be asked twice. He stuck the 205 down the inside on the final lap ensuring a clean sweep of 6 victories. Murphy’s disappointment was hard to hide but he still ended up as championship runner up. We eagerly await to see if both O’Brien and Murphy will join the big boys in 16v next season! Feargal Bowes came through from the B Final and drove to 3rd place in the A Final and Championship just ahead of Mark Halligan. The drivers in this close should be applauded for providing some massive entertainment all season long.
The Junior category would also see Championship honours decided. James Fleming fromDublinwas closing in on the Championship as the season progressed. The young man from Walkinstown didn’t disappoint and put his newer shaped Starlet on pole position ahead of the older Starlet of Dylan Curley and the entire Nissan Micra brigade headed by Championship challengers Sophie Byrne and Eamon Horan. Fleming drove a lights to flag victory, let’s see how many Juniors now decide the build the newer shaped Starlet for next season! Sophie Byrne finished a close runner up in the Junior Rallycross Championship.
The Rally Car class saw young Patrick Donoghue take his first A Final victory in his modified Peugeot 205 ahead of Championship winner Des Ryan driving his rapid Opel Corsa and 1600 Class winner Thomas O’Rafferty in his giant killing Nova. This class provided many different winners this season, winners drove both 2WD and 4WD drive machinery ranging from highly modified cars to Group N cars. Now drivers have the whole Summer to build new cars ahead of next seasons Championship. But, don’t forget the Open Forum (April 11th) and Prize Giving Award ceremony next month (April 28th), get your tickets fast!
All Photos Courtesy of Sarah Byrne, please credit when used.
Results below Courtesy of Motorsport Ireland
CO KILDARE M C RALLYCROSS AT MONDELLO PARK (FINAL ROUND OF MOTORSPORT IRELAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP):
1 Ian O’Connell (Lotus Exige) 4m 02.25s,
2 Michael Coyne (Vauxhall Nova) 4m 02.48s,
3 John Kelly (Lancer Evo 7) 4m 04.19s,
4 Willie Coyne (Opel Corsa) 4m 08.92s,
5 Gavin O’Connell (Ford Fiesta) 4m 10.10s,
6 Pearse Browne (BMW Compact) 4m 15.19s.
SUPERCAR A FINAL: 1 John Kelly (Lancer Evo 7) 3m 22.98s.
SOUTHSIDE MOTOR FACTORS MODIFIED A FINAL:
1 Ian O’Connell (Lotus Exige) 3m 23.13s,
2 Willie Coyne (Opel Corsa) 3m 29.61s,
3 Michael Coyne (Vauxhall Nova) 3m 30.04s,
4 Pearse Browne (BMW Compact) 3m 35.14s,
5 Dessie Tierney (Opel Tigra) 3m 35.86s,
6 Gavin O’Connell (Ford Fiesta) 3m 35.88s.
SOUTHSIDE MOTOR FACTORS MODIFIED B FINAL:
1 Kieran Curran (Opel Corsa) 3m 32.58s,
2 Padraig Leeson (Vauxhall Corsa) 3m 34.13s,
3 John Dowling (Vauxhall Nova) 3m 35.58s,
4 George Tohill (BMW Compact) 3m 40.15s,
5 Chris Grimes (Vauxhall Nova) 3m 49.41s,
6 Colm Mullins (Ford Fiesta) 3m 52.71s.
RATHGAR MOTOR FACTORS STOCK HATCH 16 VALVE FINAL:
1 Eddie Peterson (Peugeot 106) 3m 40.03s,
2 Graeme Colfer (Peugeot 106) 3m 43.58s,
3 Gordon Lynch (Peugeot 106) 3m 44.20s,
4 Philip Lawless (Peugeot 106) 3m 49.15s.
RATHGAR MOTOR FACTORS STOCK HATCH 8 VALVE A FINAL:
1 Noel O’Brien (Peugeot 205) 3m 46.86s,
2 Ciaran Murphy (Peugeot 205) 3m 48.20s,
3 Fergal Bowes (Peugeot 205) 3m 49.66s,
4 Peter McGarry (Peugeot 205) 3m 51.97s,
5 Mark Halligan (Peugeot 205) 3m 52.97s,
6 Stephen Morrin (Peugeot 205) 3m 53.47s.
RATHGAR MOTOR FACTORS STOCK HATCH 8 VALVE B FINAL:
1 Fergal Bowes (Peugeot 205) 3m 53.06s,
2 Keith Kerrshaawe (Peugeot 205) 3m 53.36s,
3 William Cecil (Peugeot 205) 3m 56.72s,
4 Tom Murphy (Peugeot 205) 4m 09.57s.
JUNIOR A FINAL:
1 James Fleming (Toyota Starlet) 3m 57.37s,
2 Sophie Byrne (Nissan Micra) 3m 59.30s,
3 Dylan Curley (Toyota Starlet) 3m 59.87s,
4 Eamon Horan (Nissan Micra) 4m 03.11s,
5 Brian Mullins (Nissan Micra) 4m 04.82s,
6 James Huddleston (Suzuki Swift) 4m 06.75s.
JUNIOR B FINAL: 1 Andrew Clarke (Nissan Micra) 4m 00.95s.
RALLY CAR A FINAL:
1 Patrick Donoghue (Peugeot 205) 3m 27.23s,
2 Des Ryan (Opel Corsa) 3m 29.70s,
3 Thomas O’Rafferty (Opel Corsa) 3m 32.85s,
4 Peter O’Brien (Peugeot 205) 3m 53.86s,
5 William Tutty (Peugeot 205) 3m 55.59s.