A total of 17 tests were planned for the day with a lunch halt scheduled after test 11. The first test took place in the car park and yard at Puddenhill where James Wilson in his Mini set fastest time by almost 1 second, showing he would be pushing for the win from the start. Next up was Eamonn Byrne using the trusty metric Starlet with Mini man Robert Dickson third fastest and Dermot Carnegie who was also in a Mini. The next test was a short distance away at Tully's Yard. This test had seen the late Vincent Fagan act as marshal/timekeeper over the years and in his memory the Fagan family would run the test, but also judge the competitors as a special entertainer award was announced in the days leading up to the event. again it was Wilso who topped the time sheet here followed by Byrne and Dickson.
Mark Walsh doing his best to entertain in Tullys Yard
Test three at Shields Plan Hire saw Wilson go quickest again by just over two seconds from Byrne who was just .7 seconds quicker than Liam Cashman (Starlet) who had Damien Doran, also in a Starlet, in hot pusuit just one tenth of a second behind.
After three tests the results were
1. James Wilson 174.8
2. Eamonn Byrne 178.5
3. Liam Cashman 183.9
4. Andrew O'Donohoe 187.3
5. Robert Dickson 188.1
6. Frank Lenehan 188.2
Next up was Lenehan's and this time it was Eamonn Byrne who was joint quickest with Richard Meeke and Kevin O'Rourke, 1 second ahead of Wilson who stopped the watch with the same time as Frank Lenehan. Test 5 saw Wilson claw back the second lost to Byrne on the previous test. Liam Cashman was margianlly quicker than Byrne here. The test at Platin Grain saw the white Mini of Wilson quickest again despite a slight problem with the cars left hand rear shock,
Cashman was second quickest here again followed by Byrne, Carnegie, Lenehan and Dickson.
After 6 tests the results the top 6 were1. James Wilson 350.7
2. Eamonn Byrne 356.1
3. Liam Cashman 362.9
4. Frank Lenehan 367.3
5. Andrew O'Donohoe 374.7
6. Damien Doran 376.6
The next three tests were split between Butterly's yard and Cannonstown farm just outside Drogheda, the first of the tests in Butterly's suiting the Minis as Wilson, Dickson and O'Donohoe were the three quickest on it and O'Donohoe and Wilson were top two on the second Butterlys test and Wilso scoring another quickest on Cannonstown Farm. Test 10 brought the competitors over near Slane Castle and the first of two quarry tests where Byrne's Starlet lead a Starlet trio at the top of the time sheets with Damien Doran 2nd quickest followed by Cashman. Robert Dickson was quickest of the Minis just .1 ahead of Wislon. The second test in the quarry saw Wilson push hard and go quickest yet again with Doran 2nd fastest. Byrne and Lenehan rounded out the top 4 here
Due to the dry spell it was very dusty in the quarry and it more resembled a stage on the Acropolis Rally that an autotest
After the 2nd quarry test it was time for the lunch halt at Stackallen Tennis Club where there was time to wash the dust down, compare times and stories and carryout running repairs to any damage done.
After lunch it was back to Shield's, Lenehan's and Tullys where Wilson was on top at two of the tests and Cashman took the honors on the third with Byrne in close contention each time. A return to the quarry saw Damien Doran claim fastest time on both tests
The final test took place at Puddenhill and saw Byrne claim another test with O'Donohoe second quickest but the day belonged to James Wilson who has tried for a number of years to win "JJ's event" but suffered with small problems and mechanical failure.
Top 12 results
1 James Wilson(Mini) 1017.6s,
2 Eamonn Byrne (Starlet) 1031.9s,
3 Liam Cashman (Starlet) 1048.3s,
4 Damien Doran (Starlet) 1064.5s,
5 Frank Lenehan (Starlet) 1067.1s,
6 Andrew O’Donohoe (Mini) 1067.4s,
7 Robert Dickson (Mini) 1072.3s,
8 Dermot Carnegie (Mini) 1083.9s,
9 Richard Meeke (Starlet) 1084.0s,
10 Declan Hendrick (Starlet) 1087.8s,
11 John McAssey (Starlet) 1094.6s,
12 Philip O'Reilly (Starlet) 1108.6s.
full results : HERE
Thanks to JJ Farrell, TDC, all the marshals, timekeepers, land owners and competitors for a great days craic. Well done to James on finally getting that elusive win on the event, maybe Eamonn will bring out the Mini next year and reclaim the trophy
A few photos from the day
More photos on the website