Posted on 18 May 2013 by Susan
Ah isn’t it just great that racing is back. This year saw a later start in the year than most recent times this is probably a good thing given the weather in Ireland the past few weeks. Con Connolly picked me up at 6am (I’d say bright and early but it was still dark) for the drive to Kirkistown that went through frost glistening fields and a fiery sunrise over the snow capped Mourne Mountains, it was the sort of morning poets dream about. I was surprised to see snow still piled on the roadside when we reached Hillsborough and it lasted until we reached the coastline of Strangford Lough. We arrived at the track and our first stop was the cantina for a breakfast, after which I wandered around the paddock for a while chatting to a few people, and having a few cups of tea. Feeling jetlagged from my recent holiday I went for a nap in the back of the Leastone truck emerging for the start of racing. John Murphy and Colm Blackburn won the Formula Ford, and Formula Vee qualifying races before lunch. Discussing ice cream with JayTee Jay Tee alerted me onto the ice cream stand in the paddock so I tried some at lunchtime. A local farm makes it and it was out of this world. Rhubarb and custard was the top flavour if you’re heading that way during the season. The wind picked up over lunch making for a cold afternoon. I stayed at the chicane and Fishermans for most of the afternoon and watched some close racing. There were wins for Ivor McCoullough, Dylan Curley, David Beatty, and Stephen Davidson. Kevin Seane won a thrilling Sheane race that produced controversy when Robbie Allen was excluded post race, while Ray Moore ran away with the Vee race. A few incidents led to delays as the afternoon wore on and as 5pm approached there were still a few races to run. The Fomula Ford race was stopped several times for incidents, but the racing was brilliant at the front. McCoullough took his second win of the day, as the young guns of Stephen Doyle and Niall Murray gave a good account of themselves. The final races were cut short but it was still nearly 7pm by the time it was all over which was a bit late to be leaving for the drive back to Dublin.
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Kirkistown Blog- with Cregor Elliott
Posted on 17 May 2013 by Susan
Galway Motor Club, organisers of the Galway Summer Rally, are delighted to announce that The Carlton Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe in association with Ballinasloe Town will be the new title sponsors of the 2013 Galway Summer Stages Rally. Michelle Ryan, Marketing Manager of The Carlton commented “We are delighted along with Ballinasloe Town to be the title sponsor of such a prestigious event. The Carlton Shearwater, one of the newest Galway Hotels, is an exquisite 4 star hotel and spa resort with easy access to Galway and Athlone. Ideally situated at Marina Point on the majestic River Suck, one of the most beautiful rivers in the country, this is the perfect retreat. Luxurious accommodation and suites, the very finest in dining, and a Leisure & Fitness centre with swimming pool will all combine to make your stay in Galway a magical one. Our C-Spa offers a range of soothing treatments and a team of expert beauticians that will ensure you look as good on the outside as we promise to make you feel on the inside. All that’s left for you to do is sit back, relax and enjoy your stay. The Carlton Shearwater Hotel & C Spa is celebrating their 6th birthday this year and are part of the Carlton Hotel group, which is an Irish owned hotel group with eight properties located across Ireland” Donal Scannell, President of Ballinasloe Chamber Of Commerce said “We are thrilled to have the rally based in Ballinasloe following the success of the finish of the Galway International Rally in the town in February. The rally brings a great buzz to the town as well as a much needed boost to the local economy. Ballinasloe is an ideal location for the rally given its central location and access to the M6 Motorway. Welcome to the Gateway To The West” Mark Parsons, Clerk of the Course for the Galway Summer Rally stated, “The Carlton Shearwater Hotel and Ballinasloe Town is an ideal sponsor for the Galway Summer Rally. The Carlton Group has an established connection with the exciting sport of motor rallying through sponsorship of other rally events. The town of Ballinasloe could not have been more helpful in our preparations to date. The Rally will take place over the weekend of August 31 the Dunlop National and Top Part West Coast Championships. The Headquarters will be The Carlton Shearwater Hotel with Service and Scrutiny in close proximity. The event is expected to attract a full entry of over 130 cars and teams to the town. Galway Motor Club endorses the Road Safety Authority’s “Keep the Race in Its Place” initiative and is a supporter of “The Gathering” tourism promotion.
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Galway Motor Club announces new Summer Rally sponsor
Posted on 16 May 2013 by Susan
Entries for the 2013 ALMC Stages Rally which takes place on Sunday 7th July are now open with full regulations for the event available from the club. This year’s stages rally marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the ALMC Motor Club and will for this year’s rally move to a new headquarters at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel, in Co. Meath with the event taking place a week earlier than in previous years on the 7th July. This year’s rally is yet again a counting round of the highly popular Get Connected REIS UK Asphalt Rally Championship, with the Loughran Signs Midlands East Rally Championship counting the ALMC event and the Citroen C2 championship making a return. The rally will feature nine stages located in County Meath with competitors take to the narrow lanes on a variety of stages that will test all levels of rallying ability, all under the watchful eye of new Clerk of the Course Raymond Scullion. The motor club has linked up with Dunboyne Motor Club for the event with the Dunboyne team providing marshals and officials for the event focusing in particular on special stage one. Work on the event has been well underway since before Christmas, there are lots of changes with a new headquarters, service park and stages so the team are very busy. “Enquiries about the rally have already started to flood in and we are expecting a larger number of crews to travel from the UK due to the interest in the championship and the opportunity to sample the Irish stages. The event as in other years will also feature a strong local entry. The event is the closest stages rally to Dublin and offers ease of access for travelling crews from Ireland and further afield we are hoping to start a maximum entry on the morning of the 7th July” said Raymond Scullion COC at the launch of the event regulations. The rally offers great value for money with entries costing just €499 and the opportunity for competing crews to feature on the dedicated TV coverage which will be shown on Motors TV and online following the event. The stages rally will feature classes for Historic and Junior competitors with them competing on the six stages of the rally at a reduced entry fee and there will be additional prizes on offer for the winner of the MkII and the Honda Challenge which was first featured on last year’s rally. The club are providing the opportunity to pay the entry fee on a stage payment basis, details of which can be found on the dedicated stages website www.almcstagesrally.com, there are several methods for submitting entries including the online entry system, details of which and a link to the electronic version can be found on the stages website or via the club website at www.almc.ie where regulations are also available to download.
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ALMC Stages Rally 2013 Entries Now Open
Posted on 15 May 2013 by Susan
After outqualifying the entire grid by over one second, Adam Macaulay took his first ever win by dominating Round 3 of the Crowne Plaza National Formula Vee Championship at a damp Bishopscourt. Despite a brief challenge at the first corner by the fast starting Kevin Grogan, Macaulay in his Newsome Racing assisted Sheane pulled out a comfortable lead that he maintained all the way to the chequered flag. The real battle emerged behind Macaulay with Dan Polley in his LOH Motorsport Sheane and Kevin Grogan in his AvantiSport Leastone swapping places several times as they both looked for the runner up prize. A well timed dive up the inside with just 3 corners to go on the last lap saw Polley take 2nd with Grogan taking 3rd Current championship leader, Ray Moore, was involved in an incident at the end of the first lap which saw him drop to the back of the grid where he duly went about putting in a spirited fight to work his way back up to 5th ahead of the returning Roy Tobin in a Newsome Racing Sheane. Stephen Morrin in his Leastone had his best result to date when he finished 4th overall and with it took the honours in the Dunlop B Championship. Morrin also claimed the Avantisport “Highest Grid Mover” Award. The battle for the VW Spares Rookie Championship took place further down the grid with Brendan O’Brien emerging victorious over Justin Costello; the pair being split by less than a second at the chequered flag. Being interviewed after the race, Adam Macaulay said “It’s about time I got this win. Hopefully there are plenty more to come. I really think I can challenge for the title this season.” After Round 3, Adam Macaulay now joins Ray Moore on equal points at the top of the Crowne Plaza National Championship with Damian Murphy and Justin Costello leading the Dunlop B and VW Spares Rookie Championships respectively. Star Drive – Roy Tobin. On his return to the class after a lengthy break, he took it to former champion Ray Moore for the entirety of the race finishing only 0.2secs behind. Fastest Lap – Adam Macaulay
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Macaulay Dominates In The Wet
Posted on 14 May 2013 by Susan
After a year break of being at the fabulous Bishopscourt race circuit it was again time to head up to the Co.Down circuit. I headed up Friday afternoon in my Nissan Juke supplied by Nissan Ireland (very economical- the 1.5dci Puredrive engine is brilliant.) On Saturday morning we had two 15 minutes sessions to get with the grips of the track once again after a My Nissan Juke! long break! My first session went well and we gained some very valuable information regarding setup for the conditions and track. The second session wasn’t so great and we only managed one lap as the session was cut short because they were running out of time before qualifying commenced. We went out in qualifying in the Van Diemen RF91 which has a slight disadvantage against the newer car when it comes to straight line speed as it doesn’t have as good aerodynamics and not is as streamlined. I qualified 7th for both races out of a grid of 20 cars I was delighted and couldn’t wait for the two races on Sunday. Saturday evening was lovely dry and a clear sky so we thought it might be dry Sunday, but we thought wrong. With shower spells but in between the showers the track was dry so it was difficult to get a good setup but we managed a satisfactory setup and we were ready for the race. We gridded up in our positions for the race and I was seventh, so I knew I had a bit of work ahead for the race but as the lights went out I got a cracker of a start and was in to third instantly- before the first corner! I held third for the whole race and it was a great feeling to get my first podium in FF1600! For race two I was moved to 6th on the grid. I watched the lights with anticipation and when they went out I had another cracker of a start and went from 6th to 1st I just squeezed by the pit wall and the other cars! and I was now leading the race in the little ’91 car! but it was red flagged after one lap as there was a incident at turn two. We came back around and were re-gridded while they cleared the stricken cars. Again I sat there while I waited for the 5 second board then the lights and again I got another brilliant start almost identical to the first one and was now leading the race again! With Ivor McCullough behind I knew I needed to keep pushing hard but his newer and more aerodynamic car was better suited to the long straights of Bishopscourt and he eventually caught me and passed which was probably inevitable with his more modern car! Murray passed at turn three but I stuck with him to the end of the race with Noel Dunne right on my tail. I had one eye on Murray and one eye on the mirror to Dunne behind. I held off Dunne to the line and I crossed the line side by side with Murray to finish third. I was thrilled to get another third place and my second podium of the season! After the race everyone was coming up to me and congratulating me on the race. Joey Greenan came up to me and said I did a brilliant job, that meant so much to me! It was great to be driving such a iconic car that is 22 years old and is still able to mix it in with the newer and more aerodynamic cars ! Thanks again to all the team! Bring on the next round in Kirkistown!
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Back to Bishopscourt- with Sean Doyle