Reigning Mayo Autocross champion Peter McCullagh carried on from where he finished 2011, with victory on Mayo & District Motorsport Club’s Loose Surface Autocross on Sunday. The Maynooth driver was the class of the field in his Mitsubishi Evo 9, recording a comfortable winning margin of over two seconds over his rivals after a fine final run over the challenging 4.6 kilometre circuit at Harrington’s Quarry, The Valley, Swinford.
Double winner in 2011, Williamstown driver Derek Deane upheld local club honours with second in his JB Buggy, while James Lannon from Boyle, another former winner, took the final podium place.
Mayo & District Motorsport Club attracted a strong field of forty four competitors for its opening autocross event of 2012, with some of the leading autocross and rally drivers in the country arriving to compete on what is increasingly regarded as one of the best autocross tracks anywhere. Among them was the first appearance of a state of the art World Rally Car in the hands of Tyrone’s Martin Cairns. He took a little time to acclimatize to the challenging Mayo track, but the potential of the Subaru WRC was plain for all to see.
Dry but blustery weather made for challenging conditions, with many drivers reporting a lack of grip on the opening run of three. McCullagh set the early pace, with Deane and Lannon in close contention, these three the class of the field. On the second run though, Deane held the advantage with a second in hand over the rest. It pointed towards an exciting conclusion, but while his rivals struggled to better their times on the final run as the rain started to fall, McCullough managed to extract nearly four seconds from his previous best to reaffirm his dominance of recent Mayo Autocross events.
David Fallon from Galway was best of the rest in his Buggy, a collision with a chicane on his final run putting paid to his chances of challenging the leaders. Monaghan’s Martin Tynan took fifth in his Mitsubishi, with Gerard Farmer from Enniskillen next up in a similar car. Walter Burke from Williamstown was seventh and won class 4 in his Ford Escort, while regular Wexford visitor Joe Cullen was one place behind in his JB Buggy. Martin Cairns took ninth in the Subaru World Rally Car, with another JB Buggy, that of Ian Barrett from Maynooth, rounding out the top ten.
Ciaran McCullagh, brother of the winning driver, put in a fine performance in his Vauxhall Nova to win class 2 - and take eleventh overall in the process. Glen Irwin from Castlederg claimed class 1 honours, while Cavan’s Noel Lappin did the same in class 3.
Reigning Mayo Autocross Young Driver Champion Alan Moran from Foxford was once again raising eyebrows with his committed driving in his underpowered Opel Astra. In what must be a strong contender for the Drive of the Day, he finished twenty first overall, in the process beating no fewer than nine much more powerful and specialist four wheel drive and buggy machines.
Posted: August 2, 2012 8:58 PM
1 Peter McCullagh (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 4m 09.96s,
2 Derek Deane (JB Buggy) 4m 12.26s,
3 James Lannon (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 4m 14.31s,
4 David Fallon (Special) 4m 18.56s,
5 Martin Tynan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) 4m 20.32s,
6 Gerard Farmer (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) 4m 23.85s.
Class winners: Glen Irwin (Nova) 4m 32.05s, Ciaran McCullagh (Nova) 4m 26.39s, Noel Lappin (Escort) 4m 33.22s, Walter Burke (Escort) 4m 24.58s, James Lannon, Derek Deane.
101 Alan Moran Foxford Opel Kadett 1
102 Stephen Doherty Foxford Opel Kadett 1
103 Glen Irwin Castlederg Vauxhall Nova 1
201 Chris Snow Oldcastle Citreon Saxo 2
202 Liam Healy Achill Honda Civic 2
203 Joe Healy Achill Honda Civic 2
204 David Healy Skreen Nissan Primera 2
205 Simon Hemphill Castlederg Vauxhall Nova 2
206 Andrew McMahon Fivemiletown Peugeot 106 2
207 Martin Hastings Bonniconlon Toyota Corolla 2
208 Ciaran McCullagh Maynooth Vauxhall Nova 2
209 Dominic Leonard Fermanagh Honda Civic 2
301 David Walsh Ballinrobe Opel Astra 3
302 Mervyn Fahy Ballinrobe Ford Escort 3
303 Jason Harron Kesh Sunbeam 3
304 Peter Conroy Kilmaine Toyota Corolla 3
401 Walter Burke Williamstown MK2 Escort 4
402 Damien McGauran Belleek Toyota Corolla 4
501 James Lannon Boyle Evo 9 5
502 Sean McHugh Bekan Cross Subaru Impreza 5
503 Kenny Bustard Donegal Evo 5 5
504 Peter McCullagh Maynooth Mitsubishi Lancer 5
505 Peter J McCullagh Maynooth Mitsubishi Lancer 5
506 Ben Gormley Belleek Subaru 5
507 Dermot McCafferty Donegal Subaru 5
508 Eamonn McCafferty Donegal Subaru 5
509 Gerard Farmer Enniskillen Evo 5 5
510 Mike O Connor Athea Evo 2 5
601 Joe Cullen Wexford JB Buggy 6
602 William Bolster JB Buggy 6
603 Joe Curley Gort Special 6
604 Ian Barrett Maynooth JB Buggy 6
600 Derek Deane Williamstown JB Buggy 6
Entries also taken on day
Preview: Mayo Autocross goes from Strength to Strength
Posted: May 1, 2012 11:35 AM
Regulations for round one of Mayo & District Motorsport Club’s 2012 Loose Surface Autocross season which takes place on Sunday 13 May 2012 are now available for download from the club’s website www.mayomotorsportclub.com. The club will be running four autocross events in 2012.
Always popular with competitors, once again, Mayo & District Motorsport Club will be running two championships as part of its Autocross season. The Frank Harrington Challenge trophy is awarded to the overall champion driver and all competitors are automatically eligible, with points awarded on overall finishing positions. Driver’s best three scores from the four events count towards final championship totals.
Additionally, the Young Driver Challenge will return in 2012. This competition is open to Mayo & District Motorsport Club members under the age of 30 on the first of January 2012, and has seen some highly competitive drivng from up and coming competitors over the years.
Held at the popular Harrington’s Quarry near Swinford, Mayo & District Motorsport Cub’s autocross track is recognised as one of the best venues in the country, regularly attracting entries from all corners of Ireland, as well as overseas.
McCullagh the Champion in 2011
Peter McCullagh from Maynooth was crowned the Mayo Loose Surface Autocross Champion for 2011. The Mitsubishi Evo 9 pilot claimed the Frank Harrington trophy for a very consistent season which saw him take victory on the opening and concluding rounds, with two second place finishes and a third ensuring a dominant championship win.
McCullagh didn’t have it all his own way though, as 2011 was the year buggies made their mark on Mayo Autocross. Although they had been allowed to compete prior to 2011, the elimination of a previously applied penalty of 1.25% brought them right into contention for overall honours, with victory going on three occasions to the high-revving machines. Indeed in round 4 just 6/100’s of a second separated the winning buggy of Derek Deane from the Mitsubishi of McCullagh.
The Williamstown driver upheld local club honours by claiming championship runner-up spot, using his newly acquired buggy to good effect by taking two wins, as well as second and fourth place finishes.
Another Mitsubishi Evo driver claimed third. James Lannon from Boyle was unable to repeat his victory on the last round of 2010 but was always in the hunt for podium places, a brace of thirds his best results.
Two second place finishes helped Lionel Piercy from Nenagh claim fourth spot. Fifth went to Williamstown’s Walter Burke, the Williamstown driver getting his best results in his familiar Ford Escort, but also appearing in a Subaru Impreza during the year. 2010 Frank Harrington champion James McGreal was sixth in 2011. The Foxford man was as committed and spectactular as ever but was unable to stem the advance of technology in his well used Subaru Impreza.
David Fallon from Galway and Joe McHale from Maynooth took seventh and eighth in the series in their respective buggies, while in ninth was the impressive Glen Irwin from Castlederg, pedalling his class 1 Vauxhall Nova with indecent haste throughout the year. Another club member, Matthew Murphy from Shrule rounded out the top ten in his class 3 Toyota Corolla.
Among the drivers to appear during the year was former British Rallycross champion Ollie O’Donovan, the London domiciled Limerick man bringing a touch of glamour to the Mayo Autocross paddock. He finished a very creditable fourth on the day in his buggy.
Alan Moran – Young Driver Champion of 2011
The Young Driver Championship went the way of Alan Moran, the Foxford man putting in some highly impressive stage times in his venerable Opel Kadett. He used his prize money to make his stage rallying debut on the Mayo Stages Rally and Midand Stages Rally earlier this year. His closest rival for the title was the man double-driving the Opel, fellow Foxford native Stephen Doherty, while former Junior Grass Autocross driver Noel Murphy, on his first year competing at senior level, was third.
Mayo & District Motorsport Club - 2012 Loose Surface Autocross Dates
Round 1: May 13
Round 2: June 10
Round 3: July 29
Round 4: September 23