PeeSpeed Photography Blog

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Laois Rallysport Club Autotest: Fog fails to hamper Ferguson

A foggy Laois welcomed competitors to Round 12 of the 2014/2015 Hewison Trophy Autotest Championship. Organised by the Laois Rallysport Club the event took place at the yard of Hyland Transport in Rosenallis, Co. Laois, where three tests would be completed four times each.

With all the formalities of sign on and walking of the tests done it was a case of getting down to business and driving the tests. Quickest out of the blocks was Wicklow man Eamonn Byrne in his Mini Saloon who was 1.1 seconds quicker than Timmy Lynch in a Westfield with Nova driver Mark King slotting into third. Reigning Champion Stephen Ferguson was only fourth quickest on the opening test in his Mini Special. Byrne was again quickest on tests 2 and 3 with Ferguson only 0.5 off on test two while King trailed by 0.8 on test 3. At the end of the first lap of test Byrne was 3.1 seconds up on Ferguson with Alan Coyle (Mini Spl) third, Chris Grimes (Mini) fourth, King fifth and David Thompson (Nova) sixth

Eamonn Byrne
Test 4 saw Byrne top the time sheets yet again but Ferguson was only 0.2 seconds off this time through the test. Mark King was setting impressive times in his Nova and was third quickest. Test 5 saw Ferguson quickest on the test with Alan Coyle second followed by Timmy Lynch and Mark King. Byrne only managed eight quickest time on the test, after one f his shoe laces got caught on the pedals, dropping 4.4 seconds to Ferguson. Disaster was to strike again for Byrne on test 6 when he knocked a pylon and picked up a 5 second penalty. This was minor to the fail encountered by Kings Nova when he broke a drive shaft on the test. Chris Grimes shadowed Ferguson on the test, the pair only separated by 0.1 seconds.
Mark King
After six tests Ferguson held a 6.2 second advantage over Byrne with Chris Grimes third. Best of the Sportscar class was Timmy Lynch in fourth while David Thompson was quickest of the large Saloons in fifth
Interim results after 6 tests
1. Stephen Ferguson 348.2
2. Eamonn Byrne 354.4
3. Chris Grimes 361.2
4. Timmy Lynch 364.3
5. David Thompson 366.4
6. Paddy Power 368.3

Paddy Power
The third running of test 1 saw Byrne fastest again with King second quickest ahead of Ferguson. Lynch and Guy Foster (Mini Spl) tied for forth quickest time on the test. Test 8 saw Lynch trail Ferguson by 1.8 seconds. Coyle was 0.3 further back with King another 0.2 behind. Byrne managed to take 0.2 back from Ferguson on test 9 with Thompson the nearest challenger a further 0.8 seconds behind.The top five positions remained the same after the third lap but Fergusons advantage had stretched out to 7.2 seconds.
Chris Grimes
Mark King stopped the clocks quickest on test 10 setting a time just 0.1 seconds better than Byrne who reduced Ferguson's overall advantage by 1 second. Over the remaining two tests Byrne took back a further 2.7 seconds to leave the deficit at the end of the day at 3.5 seconds. Thompson brought his Nova home in third position and won the Large Saloon class with Chris Grimes in fourth just 0.1 behind. Mark Kings strong drive after his earlier fail saw him end the day in fifth 0.4 ahead of Timmy Lynch and Paddy Power, Lynch getting the sixth position by virtue of being quickest of the two on the opening test.
Timmy Lynch
1. Stephen Ferguson Mini Spl 691.9
2. Eamonn Byrne Mini 695.4
3. David Thompson Nova 718.3
4. Christy Grimes Mini 718.4
5. Mark King Nova 725.2
6. Timmy Lynch Westfield 725.6
7. Paddy Power Moke 726.6
8. Guy Foster Mini Spl 733.7
9. Darren Quille Westfield 736.8
10. Norman Ferguson Mini 754.4
Class winners; Eamonn Byrne, Paddy Power, Timmy Lynch, David Thompson
Semi Expert: James Mansfield Mini 922.6
Novice: Danny O'Donoghue Escort 1095.4
Stephen Ferguson

David Thompson

Danny O'Donoghue

James Mansfield
More photos on Peespeed Photography

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Derek Walker Trial Report: Wilson goes fourth

The 26th running of the Derek Walker Memorial Trial took place last weekend, organised and promoted by the MG Car Club (Ulster Centre), the event would take in a total of 20 tests in the Crossgar, Downpatrick, Ardglass area of Co. Down. Starting from Delamont Country Park the crws would be competing on tests comprising of tarmac, concrete and gravel in various farmyards, car parks and lanes along the route.

Andy Johnson, running as car no1 in his Sprite, got things under way at the first test in Delamont but disaster struck midway through the test and a sick sounding car was pushed off the test. A flurry of people arrived to Andys assistance and within a couple of minutes the car was back on song and ready for test 2 in the adjoining carpark.
Andy Johnson/Michael Johnson
As the top seeds were completing the tests the lower seeds were watching very closely to see how the tests should be done and were trying to work out where time could be made and hopefully not lost. It wasn't long until the quick crews started to show off the "quick lines" with Noel Cochrane navigated by Trevor Reid demonstrated how a well driven Midget could be put through it's paces.
Noel Cochrane/Trevor Reid
He was soon followed by one of the event favourites, Will Corry and Pete Moreland Moore in the K-Series engined Midget, a slight mistake after the start cost the pair a couple of valuable seconds. Running after the Midget classes was the Mini class, where a few more of the crews who would be fighting for overall honours were grouped. Quickest of the group and also quickest man on the opening pair of tests was James Wilson and Stephen Kearney who were 4.6 seconds clear of nearest rivals Robert and Catherine Dickson. The Dicksons had a fright on the start line of the opening test when the timekeeper informed them of water leaking from the car, a faulty temperature switch was to blame and a quick repair job involving a small branch saw the problem sorted and after topping up the rad the replica of Paddy Hopkirks 1969 Circuit of Ireland car was back on the line and ready for action. Third fastest was another Wilson Mini, this time driven by Sam Wilso with Simon Brewster on navigating duties.
Sam Wilson/Simon Brewster
After the Delamont tests the crews headed to a pair of tests near Crossgar and then onto test five just outside Downpatrick, where Wilson continued to put in quick times but Corry was closing the gap and setting times on par with the Mini driver. After the first 5 tests Wilson was holding a 5.8 second advantage over Corry with Cochrane, Sam Wilson and Dickson seperated by by less than 2 seconds. Quickest of the Class 8 cars who were not eligible for overall awards was the Mazda MX5 or Robert Woodside and Bruce Drummond who were 2.6 seconds ahead of fellow MX5 crew Eric Patterson & Raymond Donaldson with the Starlet of Frank Lenehan and Olwen Blair another 1.1 seconds behind.
Frank Lenehan/Olwen Blair
Into the next series of tests and the pressure was mounting on the leaders resulting in a failed test for both Corry and Wilson on test 9. Dickson capitalised most by going quickest overall on tests 6 to 10 and jumping up the leader board into 2nd place just 2 seconds off Wilsons total. Cochrane was best of the rwd's in third almost 6 seconds back on the 2nd placed Mini with Sam Wilson fourth. The fail time for Corry which is based on quickest in class +20seconds saw the Midget driver slip back to fifth place.
Will Corry/Pete Moreland Moore
At half distance the top 6 was as follows
1. James Wilson/Stephen Kearney 417.8
2. Robert & Catherine Dickson 419.8
3. Noel Cochrane/Trevor Reid 425.2
4. Sam Wilson/Simon Brewster 426.1
5. Will Corry/Pete Moreland Moore 435.9
6. Norman Ferguson/Brendan Mooney 450.1

Class8 was as follows
1. Eric Patterson/Raymond Donaldson 427.3
2. Robert Woodside/Bruce Drummond 434.7
3.Gareth Dillon/Gordon Wotherspoon 434.8
4. Frank Lenehan/Olwen Blair 435.2
5. Declan Hendrick/Kevin Fagan 444.8
6. Raymond Wilson/Ernie Hunter 446.9

Over the next 5 tests it was again Wilson who was quickest by 5.3 seconds over Corry. The red Minis of Sam Wilson and Robert Dickson were dropping time but still held on to 2nd and 3rd places overall with just .2 seconds separating the pair. Corrys good run over theses tests saw him close the gap on third to .9 of a second while Cochrane dropped back to fifth.
Norman Ferguson/Brendan Mooney
The final five tests saw Corry put in a big charge and jump into second place 21.8 seconds off Wilson. Sam Wilson kept the pressure on and claimed third overall ahead of Dickson who had a fail on test 18. Fifth went to Cochrane with Ferguson in 6th place ahead of Robert McGimpsey in 7th. John Kelly, Richard Earney and Michael Reid rounded out the top 10.
Robert & Catherine Dickson
The win sees Wilson get his name on the Derek Walker Memorial trophy for the 4th time having also won it in 2009, 2010 and 2014
Top 10 overall
1 James Wilson 841.1
2 William Corry 862.9
3 Sam Wilson 873.2
4 Robert Dickson 891.9
5 Noel Cochrane 895.1
6 Norman Ferguson 912.9
7 Robert Mcgimpsey 925.9
8 John Kelly 933.5
9 Richard Earney 955.2
10 Michael Reid 995.8

Top 20 combined results
1 James Wilson 841.1
2 William Corry 862.9
3 Sam Wilson 873.2
4 Eric Patterson 879.1
5 Robert Dickson 891.9
6 Frank Lenehan 894.7
7 Noel Cochrane 895.1
8 Robert Woodside Jnr 899.7
9 Gareth Dillon 905.1
10 Ashley Lamont 910.9
11 Norman Ferguson 912.9
12 Robert Mcgimpsey 925.9
13 Raymond Wilson 927.9
14 John Kelly 933.5
15 Declan Hendrick 936.2
16 Andrew Earney 953.3
17 Richard Earney 955.2
18 Jamie Mcmillan 962.8
19 David Meeke 966.7
20 Mark Woodside 976.1

James Wilson receives the Derek Walker Memorial Trial trophy from Gordon Buckley (COC)