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Galway Hillclimb - 24-25 Apr 10

Posted: April 27, 2010 3:25 PM - 8730 Hits

Rounds 3 & 4 - 2010 Hillclimb and Sprint Championship

Simon McKinley (Lant RT2)

Video Report

Posted: April 27, 2010 3:25 PM

Event Report: Ballyvaughen Erupts!

Posted: April 27, 2010 11:39 AM

The Connaught Competition Engines 2010 Hillclimb championship has really started to erupt! Like our Icelandic friends and their volcano it shows no signs of stopping at least untill september anyway!

After the dust has settled on a record breaking weekend there is quite a story to tell.

Saturday in Ballyryan threatened rain but never really delivered on that promise. The early pace setters were Simon McKinley in the Lant rt2, Sylvie Mullins in his Gould Judd and slightly furher back Paul O'Connell in his newly acquired Pilbeam Hart. Mullins and McKinley battled hard all day and eventually ended the day separated by the smallest of margins with mullins posting a time of 43.40 seconds a new hill record and a mere hundreth of a second ahead of McKinley who finished on 43.41. O'Connell battled all day but never recovered from his slow start and despite improving on every run finished 0.5 seconds behind the leader. Was he rueing the decision to leave his trusty Delta at home?

Seamus Morris is really getting to grips with driving his new Pilbeam and again improved his time to finish 4th overall.

5th overall and probably the suprise result of the weekend was Galways Eanna Carrol in his giant killing Turbo Civic. The little blue honda was absolutely flying all day and shamed a lot of single seaters! Brendan Keane survived some handling problems and despite a broken diffuser finished just 0.02 behing Carroll. Joe Courtney in his Oms Hornet was buzzing up through the field and finished a highly credible 7th Overall on his first visit to Ballyryan in a single seater. Rory "Grandad" Stephens started a weekend to forget with a puncture halfway up the hill and also gear selection problems that saw him restricted to just one run all day. Trevor Cullen in the vauxhall engined G3 escort put in his now customary flawless drive to drift his way to 9th overall. Dermot "swollen" Nolan rounded out the top ten in his Reynard Gm 873 on a 54.66.

Sunday and the much anticipated annual pillgrimage to Ballyalaban started explosively. Simon McKinley set out on his first run and blew away the established Hill record of 96.17 seconds, with an amazing opening high 95 second run. Sylvie Mullins who had decided to sit the morning out with clutch problems suddenly found himself in a battle to get his car ready to uphold local honour and missed the practice and first runs. O'Connell put in a personal best of 97 seconds, 4 seconds quicker than his fastest time last year in his Delta. The battle continued with Mckinley keeping the pressure on with another faster low 95 second run, O'Connell reponded with a low 96 second run. On the third and last run of the day McKinley again went quicker putting in a time of 95.02 seconds. Mullins charged up the hill in the 600hp judd but failed to improve his time from last year at 98.20 seconds. O'Connell put in one final effort and managed to knock over a second off his time again to finish on 95.03 seconds. He had been victorious in these situations before but just could not do enough. Once again the victory went down to the smallest of margins in this epic encounter.

Seamus Morris once again got valuable mileage in his Pilbeam Mp62 and showed steady improvement to finish 4th overall.

Next was Dublin's Brendan Keane in his Swallow single seater celebrating his first return to Ballyallaban in 5 years with 5th overall. Rory Stephens compounded his problems on saturday with an off on his 2nd run. Despite the car sustaining some damage Rory emerged relatively unscathed and was sent to Ennis Hospital as a precaution. From talking to him last night he is home in Dublin and in good spirits. Thanks to the Medical staff and marshalls on the day. Eanna Carroll was again mixing it with the big boys in his Turbo Honda Civic and put in a fantastic time of 133.36 to finish just one hundreth ahead of Alan Kessie in his Gryphon. Thomas Corey in the BCoogar rover v8 got the better of Dermot Nolan in his Reynard to round out the top ten.


Posted: April 27, 2010 11:35 AM


Posted: April 27, 2010 11:31 AM

1 Sylvie Mullins (Gould GR37-Judd) 43.40s, (Hill record),
2 Simon McKinley (Lant RT2) 43.41s,
3 Paul O'Connell (Pilbeam MP58 Hart) 43.90s,
4 Seamus Morris (Pilbeam MP62-Vauxhall) 48.70s,
5 Eanna Carroll (Civic Turbo) 52.12s,
6 Brendan Keane (Swallow DR14 F3) 52.14s,
7 Joe Courtney (OMS) 53.02s,
8 Rory Stephens (Radical SR3 Hayabusa Turbo) 53.71s,
9 Trevor Cullen (Escort) 53.97s,
10 Dermot Nolan (Reynard GM 873) 54.66s.

Class winners:
Ray Cunningham (Mini) 55.52s,
John Bradley (Corsa) 63.46s,
Stephen Gillis (Westfield SEI-GM) 55.15s,
Eanna Carroll,
Matt Dunne (MG Midget) 48.02s (net),
Enda Byrne (Leastone FV) 56.95s,
Joe Courtney,
Simon McKinley,
Shane Donohue (Escort) 64.29s,
Sam Smyth (Escort) 55.98s.

1 Simon McKinley (Lant RT2) 95.02s, (Hill record),
2 Paul O'Connell (Pilbeam MP58 Hart) 95.03s,
3 Sylvie Mullins (Gould GR37-Judd) 98.20s,
4 Seamus Morris (Pilbeam MP62-Vauxhall) 103.96s,
5 Brendan Keane (Swallow DR14 F3) 110.00s,
6 Rory Stephens (Radical SR3 Hayabusa Turbo) 110.19s,
7 Eanna Carroll (Civic Turbo) 113.36s,
8 Alan Kessie (Gryphon C73) 113.37s,
9 Thomas Corey (Coogar Ralt Rover V8) 115.13s,
10 Dermot Nolan (Reynard GM 873) 115.31s.

Class winners:
Ray Cunningham (Mini) 119.28s,
Tommy Murphy (Civic) 122.36s,
Stephen Gillis (Westfield SEI-GM) 118.63s,
Rory Stephens,
Matt Dunne (MG Midget) 101.80s (net),
Enda Byrne (Leastone FV) 124.74s,
Siobhan McCann (Ray ZX11) 121.02s,
Paul O'Connell,
Patrick Horan (Nova) 120.96s,
Peter Cummins (Darrian T90) 117.90s.


Posted: April 19, 2010 2:53 PM

The Galway Motor Club “Hillclimb Weekend” kicks into action on the 24th & 25th April, 2010. The event will be rounds 3 and 4 of "The Connaught Competition Engines National Hillclimb & Sprint Championship”.

On Saturday 24th April “Ballyryan Hill”, at the base of Ballnalacken Castle, will be the venue. This 1 mile hill is on the coast road from Ballyvaughan to Lisdoonvarna and is approximately 5 miles beyond the village of Fanore. The record for this hill was 46.59 seconds when it was set by Michael B. Roche in 2005 but this was shattered by Sylvie Mullins reducing it to 43.99 seconds in 2009. The organisers plan to use “Ballallaban Hill” on Sunday 25th April, which will be run at a length of 2.2 miles. The current record of 96.17 sec. was set at the last year’s event by local man Sylvie Mullins. This was the first time in the history of the event that both records have been held by a local competitor.

All the championship contenders will attend including current Hillclimb Champion, Limerick’s Paul O’Connell and Simon McKinley. Paul, driving his brand new 2.8 litre, four cylinder Hart Pilbeam MP58H will be striving to stay at the top of the time sheet.

Clare competitors who will be looking for results include Ballyvaughan’s Declan McNamara and Mort O’Loughlin. Killian Connole will be driving a Formula Ford 1600 Wimhurst which he has prepared himself. John Donnelly and Thomas Corey will drive John McNamara’s Coogar Ralt.

Sylvie Mullins from Ballyvaughan will compete in his Gould GR37 which develops 600 horse power. Winner of the 2009 Leinster Leader Trophy, Sylvie has also smashed records on the national track in Mondello and at Angelesy in Wales. We wait to see what he can come up with this year.

There will also be a big turn out in the Rally Car Classes which will be sponsored by Ray Cunningham of the Galway Mini Centre. Vintage cars from Galway Motor Club & Clare Motor Club will also feature. There will also be a number of firm friends returning for the event. Galway Motor Club Competitors include Dean Laffey, Donal Morrissey, John Laffey driving his Vauxhall Chevette and Matt & Helen Clarke in their Mini Marcos.

Clerk of the Course for the weekend is Joan Vaughan. Deputy Clerk of the Course is Bobby Clinton and Secretary for the event is Aisling Grimes from Headford. Mechanical & Document Scrutiny will take place at the Ballyvaughan Filling Station on Friday evening, 24th April, between 6.00pm and 8.00pm. Prizegiving will take place on Saturday evening at Logues Lodge, Ballyvaughan at 9.30pm. and will be followed by music and entertainment. Meals will be available all day in the restaurant. Prizegiving for Sunday’s Hill will take place again in Logues Lodge but at the earlier time of 6.30pm.

The Ballyryan hill will be closed to traffic on Saturday 24th April between 10.30am – 6.30pm and on Sunday 25th April on Ballallaban Hill between 9.00am – 6.00pm. Traffic Diversions will be in place.

The Galway Motor Club would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents and landowners on both hills, the residents of the village and the business community of Ballyvaughan for their continued support.

Pictured at the Launch 2010 Galway Hillclimbs:
Pictured L - R Sylvie Mullins, Ray Cunningham Galway Mini Center,
Pete Ray, Joan Vaughan Clerk of the Course,
Donal Morrissy, Alan Logue, and Cillian Connole.
Photo: David Greeley

Saturday: Ballyryan Hill / Sunday: Ballyallaban Hill

Posted: April 1, 2010 1:16 PM

This 1 mile hill replaced the infamous Corkscrew Hill. Ballyryan Hill was first run by GMC in 2002. It has a gentle gradient and will be very fast, as the surface is excellent and it is quite wide with only two significant bends. The hill is on the coast road from Ballyvaughan to Lisdonnvarna and is approximately five miles beyond Fanore village. Ballynalackan Castle is just beyond the road closed area. The 2005 record, 46.59 seconds was held by Michael B. Roche. In 2009 Sylvester Mullins broke this record with a stunning time of 43.99secs.

At 2.2 miles, this hill on the Ballyvaughan to Glenslade road is the longest hill currently used for hillclimbing in the country. Starting around the corner above the entrance to Ballyallaban House, the hill is extremely fast with a number of long straights interspersed with tight bends. The 14 year record of Richard Young was beaten by Michael B Roche in 2003 and by Patrick Roche in 2004. In 2009 Sylvester Mullins took this record home with a fabulous time of 96.17secs.surely this will be hard to beat.

Pictured at the Launch of the Connaught Competition Irish Hillclimb & Sprint Championship.
L-R Tommy Murphy, Joan Vaughan, Mike Melia, Seamus Hobbs,
Scott Milligan, Ger O'Connor and Marty Kinsella and Paul O' Connell.
Photo: Jim Halferty

Regulations and Entry Form

Posted: April 1, 2010 1:10 PM

Event Website / Details

Posted: January 1, 2010 12:01 AM

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