SEVEN ROUND CHAMPIONSHIP
THREE FORESTRY; FOUR TARMAC.
PROMOTED BY: CARLOW; CARRICK-ON-SUIR; MUNSTER; TIPPERARY AND WEXFORD MOTOR CLUBS LTD.
Just one month ago the Sean Conlon Memorial Forestry was run in conditions that had everything but dust; it was after all a forestry rally in an Irish summer. The heavy rain that preceded the event merely served to dampen the roads that were in superb condition. It was a brave move the Tipperary club to move from their more usual winter / spring date.
Once again the Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally, based in Clonmel, is the 6th round of the 2012TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship. It is one of the evocative names in the Irish rallying calendar as it marries the traditional tribal identity with the county. (the club logo is a worthwhile collectable item)
Moving along with the seasons also was the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship leader Shay Power along with forestry co-pilot Paul Collins. Shay continues to lead this year’s championship albeit with a more slender margin of just a solitary point. Despite winning class 5 the points haul from the event was a mere 10 points as Shay was the only class contender. Their points total from the five events is 71 points. But the genial man from the Slatequarries was still smiling at the finish as it was ‘job done, and a spanner check before the Stonethrowers Rally.
Second overall and still beating along in fine competitive fashion is the “Buckstown Rallying” pairing of Paschal O’Shea and Robbie Hennessey in the Class 2, Escort MK2. Top of the class in Mitchelstown put this pairing in a firm championship position with 70 points. No problems just the smiling pair as you meet anywhere on the rally route. It might often endure hardship but this crew treat rallying as an enjoyable sport.
Slipping to third overall are John Murphy and Niall Fitzpatrick, Class 4, Escort MK2 on 66 points. Unfortunately this may be the final points for this crew as John is gone on walkabout in the bush. This is nowhere near Buckstown, Mullinavat but on the underside of the globe. We can but wish him and his partner (not Niall in this instance) the “best of luck” as they explore their options on the Antipodes. (will probably bring back a container load of rust free MK2’s)
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. Class leaders are Mick Nevin / David Forde, Escort MK2 on 50 points. They non finished in Mitchelstown and have moved back from third o/a. But they are expected to regain the lost ground when dropped scores come into play. Pierce Doheny / D. Lawlor, Opel Corsa, 45 points are having a fair steady run and are becoming consistent finishers, championship material. Jimmy Doyle / A. Griffin, Toyota Starlet are third on 39 points. Tarmac competitors, so expected to improve their position.
Class 3. Leading are the forestry crew from Donegal, Adrian McElhinney / Shane Buckley, Peugeot, 43 points. The trip from Donegal paid off with a class win. Eoin Nevill / Agus Cara, Honda Civic on 31 points, from two tarmac events are expected to put some more daylight between themselves and the crews sharing third place. 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 60 points. Another forestry crew who scored a class win in Mitchelstown and may not contest the remaining tarmac rounds. Alan and James Commins, Escort Mk2 have moved up to second on 39 points and intend pressing on for the championship class win. Leo Doyle / Gordon Manley, Escort MK2, have 30 points from their class win in Carlow.
Class 5. Having a great comeback year is Oliver Stanley with an assortment of “navigators from his past” is leading this class on 31 points. The launch off the start line is worth witnessing. Second place is shared between James Coleman / Kaye Shanahan, Escort MK2 on 25 points, along with the Omagh crew of Mickey McGillin / Aaron Johnson, Escort MK2. James is expected to be back in action after his recent ‘hiatus’! Johnny Murphy / Martin Nolan, Escort MK2, are close behind on 23 points.
Class 6. Garry Jennings / AN Toher, Subaru Impreza, are on 51 points, all from forestry and is also having a very successful year in his chosen sport, winning the Donegal International Rally. Second are Monaghan brothers Vincent and J.P. McAree in their Mitsubishi Evo 9 on 44 points, still chasing that elusive win. Third are Owen Murphy / James O’Brien, Mitsubishi Lance on 36 points. The above crews are committed to doing the Forestry Championship and may not appear again on the tarmac rounds unless extra funds materialise…..
Juniors. Dario Tempesta / Ger Brett, Nova, 36 points they gave Mitchelstown a miss to conserve funds to do their more local event, The Stonethrowers. Ian Downey / Sean Barron, Opel Corsa, 26 points. Their luck is turning about and they were a deserving second in Mitchelstown. Dean Raftery / Mark Kirwan, Honda Civic, 25 points won the class in Mitchelstown and with just one point between them it’s still all to play for.
SAFETY. Everybody has a role to play to keep our sport, our competitors, spectators and ourselves as safe as possible. Be conscious of the consequences of you actions.
The remaining rounds of the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship are:
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; email@example.com.
Press officer, Joe O’Brien, Carrick Beag, Carrick-on-Suir. 086 3154442.