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Cork Startrek Navigation Trial - 15-16 Oct 16

Posted: October 31, 2016 6:51 AM - 3819 Hits

Round 1 - 2016/17 National Night Navigation Championship
Round 1 - 2016/17 Munster Night Navigation Championship

Startrek 2016 Nav Trial Report

Posted: October 31, 2016 6:51 AM

Cork MC's Startrek Trial took place on Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, 15/16 October. New (and First-time) CoC Aaron O'Regan laid on an excellent 80-mile/43 point route, much of it in territory not used for many years, and having a bit of everything, from farm tracks and tricky farm yards to forest roads to some tight and twisty narrow "ordinary" roads. The weather for the night had only two modes - rain off, or on (very) full, with torrential downpours occurring, accompanied occasionally by lightning flashes.

The event was the first round of the 2016/2017 Motorsport Ireland National Navigation Trial Championship, and was run from the excellent facilities of Whitechurch Community Centre. The field of 26 starters was lead away by the Midland/Monaghan crew of Pakie Duffy & Evin Hughes, the current National Champions, but these were followed by 3 "Southern" Crews - Donal Healy/Denis O'Donovan, Limerick brothers Joe & Greg Shinnors, and Skibbereen's Dermot Whelton/Mark McCarthy. Next up was the Monaghan/Cork combination of Derek Mackarel/Muireann Hayes, followed by former National Forestry Champion Eoin Murphy, with Muireann's bother Daire in the hot seat. These were followed by the Northern Crews of Keith McConnon/Michael McCluskey and Martin Tynan/Fintan Clerkin, with Dublin brothers Ray & Stephen O'Neill and Cork Cousins Colm O'Mahony/Ken Carmody completing the top 10 seeds. Donal Healy's 1500 cc 4WD Starlet was the standout-exception to the Imprezas that made up 9 out of the top 10, and 21 of the overall starters. Johnny Caseys Peugeot 306, seeded at 11, was the other principal exception to the Impreza army.

The route started with a simple enough "warm-up" loop West of the village, with a tight if straightforward double loop thru' a farmyard at TPs 5 & 6 providing the first real test, but which caught out only two of the front runners - Mackerel/Hayes, who dropped a single penalty at both TP4 and TP6, and Tynan/Clerkin, who incurred at 50mark "early" penalty at TP6 effectively putting them out of contention for any overall award.

Duffy/Hughes lost an uncharacteristic 2 minutes at the fairly straightforward TP8, but the innocent-looking TP9, with an approach via what looked like simple navigation on decent yellows caught out Healy/O'Donovan, Murphy/Hayes, who each dropped 1 minute & McConnon/McCluskey, who dropped 2, with many of the later runners hitting even more trouble there, including 7 crews who missed it entirely, this despite a tulip being given to facilitate passage thru' the single not-as-map revised and staggered junction which caused the problems.

At TP10, the only leading crew to suffer significantly were the O'Neill brothers, who lost their clean sheet with a 6 minute drop. Down the field, penalties were beginning to mount, though, with Damien O'Donovan/Daniel O'Brien and Tipperary's Ray Heaney, with first-time navi John Kennedy in a very standard and tripless Mazda 323 missing multiple points, but still running. In contrast, Matt and Enda Hume and Johnny Treanor/Chris McMahon had retired, and at the other end of the scale, Novices Aidan Sherry/Oisin Sherlock and Beginners Patrick Murphy/Mikey Walsh still had very commendable clean sheets at that point, as had the Shinnors brothers, Whelton/McCarthy, O'Mahoney/Carmody, Casey/O'Sullivan and Mac Kierans/Conor Boylan.

Progress from TP 10 to TP 15, which marked the start of the SRS section was unremarkable, with no significant alteration in matters, although another double-loop at TP 12 & 13, this time using muddy but very passable farm tracks, cost Duffy/Hughes a minute. However, there was an unfortunate incident at the ITC, which had to be abandoned following an intervention by a number of men who arrived in a car and, to put it very diplomatically, suggested to the marshal that he should leave, and demonstrated their seriousness with a number of physical actions on his car. Their identity remains to be established, and Gardai are investigating the affair.

The incident, which occurred about 300m from an off-route location where a group of occupied caravans are parked at the side of the road, lead to the abandoning of the ITC, and an instant re-routing of any cars not already on the SRS. This in turn affected the ability of the latter cars to maintain the schedule on the following TPs, and so a decision was taken to scrub all penalties from the start of the SRS to Control 24. By then, roughly half-way through the event, there were still 7 crews with clean sheets ? the Shinnors brothers, Whelton/McCarthy, O'Mahony/Carmody, Casey/OSullivan, Keirans/Boylan, Sherry/Sherlock & Murphy/Walsh.

That next TRS was followed by a significant section of forest tracks in the Nagles Mountains just South of Killavullen which lasted all the way to TP 31, and included 3 Plot & Bash points. For most crews, there was some pressure, much enjoyment and little drama in the woods, but the section did see the demise of Keirans/Boylan, a missed TP and other penalties for the Shinnors car, and lesser losses by all others except Duffy/Hughes and Murphy/Hayes, who managed a Clean Sheet on this Time Card.

This all left Whelton/McCarthy & Murphy/Hayes ahead on a single penalty each, with O'Mahony/Carmody next on 2, Duffy/Hughes and Mackeral/Hayes on 3, Healy/O'Donovan & Casey/O'Sullivan on 4. Sherry/Sherlock & Murphy/Walsh also lost their clean sheets, but continued to belie their Novice/Beginner Status with just 5 penalties each, with the O'Neill brothers next best to complete the top 10 at the ? mark on 12 penalties, but probably out of the reckoning for overall honours.

The last card included, at the very end, 3 plot & bash points covering, initially, a fairly innocuous looking yellow road which actually had a width, surface and condition appropriate to a track, leading to a tricky entrance to an even trickier farmyard. The P&B instructions were slightly unusual, in that a point first had to be plotted, and the tulip hand-out started from there, not from the TP at which it was handed out. This simple alteration caused difficulties to some, in particular in locating the entry to the farmyard, and, in addition, once in the farmyard, anyone not having the confidence to take a particular right slot at the unlikely looking point indicated by the tulip had difficulty in locating the correct route (which was thru' a shed!). These issues, allied to the tightness and narrowness of the route on the Yellow and thru' the farmyard, caused difficulties for all crews, with the top ten at the end being very different to the position only 4 points earlier.

Eventual winners were Whelton/McCarthy, who dropped 3 minutes here for an overall tally of 4. Mackeral/Hayes performed best on this last section, dropping only 2 here for a total of 5, which promoted them to Second overall. Top seeds Duffy/Hughes added 3 for a total of 6, ahead of the 306 of Casey/O'Sulllivan, who added 3 for a total of 7, the same total as Healy/O'Donovan, but who lost 4th place on a furthest cleanest tie-break.

Of the leading crews, Murphy/Hayes suffered most on these last 3 points, dropping 21 to finish well out of contention, with O'Mahony/Carmody also having something of a torrid time there dropping 10 to finish on 20 points and 1Oth overall.

In the classes, Casey/O'Sullivan were best semis, with Peter & Shane Farrell finishing 2nd semi on 31, with George & David Swanton 3rd on 36. Best Novices were Sherry/Sherlock, who were lucky to avoid a DV penalty when TP 19 was scrubbed, followed by Colm & Conor Mohan with Trevor O'Callaghan & Patrick O'Leary finishing 3rd Novice .

Murphy/Walsh were, by a large margin, the best Beginners, keeping up the promise shown early in the event to finish a remarkable 8th overall. David Beamish/Eric Calnan and Brian (Rally.ie) Duggan/Brian Quinlan were distant 2nd & 3rd Beginners.

All in all, it was a successful and very tight event, enjoyed by all, and with every minute counting, with the unfortunate ITC event being the only negative point. Thanks as always to all the marshals, including those who travelled from Skib, and a big congratulations to the victors, but also to Aaron on his first outing as CoC

Results (Full Results by Time Point)

Posted: October 18, 2016 11:32 AM

1 Dermot Whelton/Mark McCarthy (Subaru Impreza) 4 marks,
2 Derek Mackarel/Muireann Hayes (Subaru Impreza) 5m,
3 Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes (Subaru Impreza) 6m,
4 Johnny Casey/Patrick O'Sullivan (Peugeot 306) 7m,
5 Donal Healy/Denis O'Donovan (Toyota Starlet 4WD) 7m,
6 Colm O'Mahony/Ken Carmody (Subaru Impreza) 12m,
7 Aidan Sherry/Oisin Sherlock (Subaru Impreza) 14m,
8 Patrick Murphy/Mikey Walsh (Subaru Impreza) 18m,
9 Keith McConnon/Micheal McCluskey (Subaru Impreza) 20m,
10 Ray O'Neill/Stephen O'Neill (Subaru Impreza) 20m.

1 Johnny Casey/Patrick O'Sullivan,
2 Peter Farrell/Shane Farrell (Subaru Impreza) 31m,
3 George Swanton/David Swanton (Vauxhall Vectra) 36m.

1 Aidan Sherry/Oisin Sherlock,
2 Colm Mohan/Conor Mohan (Subaru Impreza) 44m,
3 Trevor O'Callaghan/Patrick O'Leary (Subaru Impreza) 62m.

1 Patrick Murphy/Mikey Walsh,
2 David Beamish/Eric Calnan (Subaru Impreza) 177m,
3 Brian Duggan/Brian Quinlan (Toyota Starlet) 249m.

Regulations available

Posted: October 5, 2016 5:02 PM


Posted: September 28, 2016 10:37 AM

"Our 2016 Startrek Night Navigation Trial, which was voted best event of the 2015/16 National Night Navigation championship, will take place on Saturday/Sunday, October 15/16 next. The event which will again be a counting round of the National Navigation Trial, the Munster Navigation Trial & and Cork Motor Club driver and navigator championships, will also have a new COC with Aaon O'Regan taking up the reigns from Sean Daly.

The event will be based at the Whitechurch Community Hall, ref 634/810.5 and will have an earlier check-in time of 6.30pm and a start time of 10.30pm on Saturday, October 15.
These earlier times are to facilitate competitors and marshals going to the Limerick forest rally the following day.

The route will be approximately 80 miles in length and fuel will be required for the full event without refuelling. The local Whitechurch shop and petrol station will be staying open untill 9pm, and will offer diesel and petrol until that time on Saturday, Oct 15.
Entry fee is €120 including competitors’ personal accident insurance & IRDS at 2016 standard rate). All competitors must have a valid 2016 Competition Licence and all drivers must have 2016 IRDS cover. Maximum number of starters is 50.

Regulations and entry forms will be available as soon as they are approved by MI."

Club Website

Posted: September 28, 2016 10:36 AM

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