SEVEN ROUND CHAMPIONSHIP
THREE FORESTRY, FOUR TARMAC
PROMOTED BY: CARLOW; CARRICK-ON-SUIR; MUNSTER; TIPPERARY AND WEXFORD MOTOR CLUBS LTD.
There is only time for a quick breather between the Ravens Rock Rally and the Tipperary Sean Conlon Memorial Forestry Rally. Barely has the dust settled in Co. Kilkenny before we are onto the forestry roads of South Tipperary and north Cork.
Amidst the most recent offerings that global warming presented in the current climate (aha), the fourth round of the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship, the Carrick-on-Suir Motor Clubs Ravens Rock Rally, which was centred around the marble City of Kilkenny, hit a sweet spot weather wise. Recce on Saturday was, in the main, dry and sunshine and heat were laid on for the testing nine stages on Sunday.
Would it be so for round five in Mitchelstown, now departed from the wintery weather of the early year to the expected sun kissed days in balmy July. Only time will tell. It would be fantastic to have the dust hanging above the stages instead of the swirling mist of a cold foggy or frosty morning.
In Kilkenny, Shay Power, the defending TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Champion, set about his business, with daughter Katie on the notes once again. A controlled push just to consolidate his points advantage was the task in hand, but once again that fickle fate dealt his cruel hand. Another Ravens Rock, another non-finish and the same stoic response of acceptance. Last year it was the throttle cable, this year the clutch. But as Shay say’s ‘that’s rallying, you take the good with the bad’.
The better news is that he is still leading the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship on 61 points in the class four MK2 Escort. Forestry is possibly his preferred surface so next stop it’s Mitchelstown.
Sharing the points for Second Overall are the near neighbours, from the Buckstown Rallying Stables, both in MK2 Escorts but in different classes, take a bow (aha again), John Murphy / Niall Fitzpatrick in class 4; and Pascal O’Shea / Robbie Hennessey in class 2. Both crews are tied on 56 points. Nothing too fancy under either bonnet, a Pinto and a Pushrod respectively. Both cars self maintained by men who are aware of what’s what about their cars. True clubmen for a clubman based championship.
Speaking of which, third overall are Mick Nevin / David Forde, once again in a Ford Escort MK2, Class 2 on 50 points. What more can be said about the man that epitomises the back bone of rallying at clubman level. Regardless of the nature of the event be it tarmac, forestry, autocross or quarry cross, Mick in the yellow and blue Escort will be there getting his day’s enjoyment. Again proof it’s not all about a big budget to get the results needed to win this championship.
Class 1. No change here since Carlow. Ken Treacy / Martin Comerford in the Peugeot 206 are still well clear on 20 points. The remaining crews all suffered non finishes and are well behind.
Class 2. Jimmy Doyle / Andrew Griffin, Toyota Starlet, are on 36 points, all from the two tarmac rounds. In close contest are Pierce Doheny / Damian Lawlor, Opel Corsa on 33 points. Pushing on in third are James Dunphy / Tommy Slattery, Honda Civic on 31 points
Class 3. Competition is equally close in here with just two points between the leading four crews. On a slender lead are Eoin Nevill / Agus Cara, Honda Civic on 32 points, from two tarmac events. Second are the forestry crew from Donegal, Adrian McElhinney / Shane Buckley, Peugeot, 31 points. More points to come from Mitchelstown. Sharing third place are Keith Power / Des Moran, Renault Clio, Class winners on the Ravens Rock with bonus points on 30 points. The class winner in Carlow John Lynch / Brian Kirwan, Citroen, 30 points.
Class 4. Ray Benskin (jnr) /Ollie Kierce, Escort MK are the leaders on 45 points. Another haul expected in Mitchelstown. Leo Doyle / Gordon Manley, Escort MK2, have 30 points from their class win in Carlow. Alan and James Commins, Escort Mk2 are third on 27 points. Class winners in the Ravens Rock and are now on maximum attack for the class lead.
Class 5. Having a great comeback year are Oliver Stanley and an assortment of “navigators from his past” are all leading this class on 31 points. The RWD Focus makes its presence heard, to say the least and it’s not too often you see a Focus with the ‘Tail out’. James Coleman / Kaye Shanahan, escort MK2 are sharing second on 25 points. We wish James a speedy and successful recovery from his current illness. Expecting to take more points in Mitchelstown are Mickey McGillin / Aaron Johnson, Escort MK2, 25 points. Another crew making the long trip from Omagh. Johnny Murphy / Martin Nolan, Escort MK2, are close behind on 23 points.
Class 6. Garry Jennings / AN Toher, Subaru Impreza, are on 36 points, all from forestry. Second are the all ladies crew of Gemma Kerley / Lynn Martin, Subaru Impreza, on 30 points. Third are Ger Connors / Owen O’Neill, Subaru Impreza, 28 points.
Juniors. Dario Tempesta / Ger Brett, Nova, 36 points. Another great clubman crew rallying on the proverbial shoestring. Dean Raftery / Mark Kirwan, Honda Civic, 25 points. Ian Downey / Sean Barron, Opel Corsa, 16 points.
That’s how things stand as we pass the half way point in the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship. It’s back to Mitchelstown for the final forestry round of this year’s championship. As ever, this cannot be stressed enough, we look forward to a safe, exciting and competitive rally this weekend. Everybody and every body has a role to play to keep our sport, our competitors and spectators as safe as possible,
The remaining rounds of the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship are:
The Sean Conlon Memorial Forestry Rally. Mitchelstown. Sun. 08 July. Forestry rally.
The Stonethrowers Stages Rally, Clonmel, Sunday 12 August. Tarmac rally.
The Dick Bailey, Wexford Stages Rally, Wexford, Sat.8, Sun 9, Sept. Tarmac rally.
2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship Registrar; Ann Fitzgerald, The Cross, Mooncoin, Via Waterford. ‘Phone / fax. 051 895238. Email; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Press officer, Joe O’Brien, Carrick Beag, Carrick-on-Suir. 086 3154442