MEC Hillclimb Weekend Review
Round 9 & 10 of the Naylor Engineering National Hillclimb & Sprint Championship 2013
All roads led to Naul Co Dublin last weekend for the penultimate weekend of the Naylor Engineering National Hillclimb & Sprint Championship 2013. With unfavourable weather due to arrive for the Saturday everyone was pushing from the 1st timed run. And just as the last car crossed the line on the 1st timed run the heavens opened. For the rest of the afternoon it was just drivers getting value for money but some drivers who I won’t mention (Simon, Emmet & Rupert) decided to put on a bit of a show on the last bend for the spectators. Didn’t really work out for ye lads did it????
A very healthy 14 drivers entered Class 1; among these were 9 Cinquecento/Seicento entries which are proving to be a very enjoyable and cheap form of motorsport.
Taking honours on Saturday in Class 1 was Ray Cunningham in his ultra fast mini. In 2nd place was birthday boy Nigel Bryson in the Uno and 3rd in Class went to newcomer Gary Cunningham in his colourful Punto. 4th to 14th was as follows, Patricia Daly, Senan O’Connor (who took bragging rights ahead of all the other Cinquecento drivers) Gary Egan, Billy White, Damien Walsh, Matt Carter, Gary Graham, Dermot Nolan, Alan Tully, Clancy Smith and Robert Dwane. Those of you with eagle eyes will have spotted Class 7 regular Dermot Nolan’s name in there, Well Dermot is fond of breaking the odd car or 2 so Deirdre McKinley relegated him back to Class 1 to preserve her car for the weekend.
Kilkenny man Jim Doherty came out on top of the Class 2 battle on Saturday with a time of 46.11 which also earned him a 9th overall place. 2nd in Class was Brian Ledwith in his Corolla TC and coming home in 3rd was John Ward in the Peugeot 106. Taking up the remaining spots was Kelvin Lyons in 4th and John Bradley in 5th
Coming into this weekend the top 2 in this Class was Ian Quinn & Peter Boggan who were level on Championship points. It turned out to be Quinn’s day on Saturday who’s first run before the rain saw him take Class honours by only 0.17 of a second. Boggan had to settle for second as he could not improve on his time in the wet but gave it his all. 3rd in Class went to John Whitley in his GTI Golf.
1st in Class and 2nd over all earned bragging rights for the old man Rory Stephens on Saturday when a time of 42.39 bet 2nd placed Simon McKinley who was only able to manage 43.05. 3rd place went to Eanna Carroll in his Turbo’d Civic followed home by Eddie Lyons, Alex Wilsdon, Jim Butler and Ben O’Brien.
Sean Murray and his Lotus Elan came out on top in Class 4 and Bernard Foley’s MGB was close behind in 2nd. Mick O’Shea took 3rd in Class. 4th to 10th were as follows Mark Brennan, Ken McEvoy, Detlef Heyer, Ed Cassidy, Liam Ruth, John Farrell and Paul McNaughton.
Eugene French took 1st place in Class 5 in his Formula Vee but Gerard O’Connor pushed him all day but had to settle for 2nd in Class.
John Byrne had his car back on song on Saturday and took the Class win with a time of 45.12 but only bet 2nd placed Rupert Bell by .30 of a second. 3rd place went to the little man with the big voice John Mahon and Edwin Rynhart came in 4th and Emmet Dunne in 5th.
Simon McKinley in the Lant RT2 was back on top of the time sheet with an amazing time of 37.98 which also earned him fastest driver on the day. Brendan Keane took 2nd with a time of 42.77 and 3rd place went to Deirdre McKinley with 44.85. 4th place went to Dermot Nolan in the McKinley Reynard Opel Lotus (some say he might even bring his own car to Donegal, Won’t hold our breath!!) Shane Bell’s impressive Impreza J took the remaining spot in Class.
Patrick Haughey took his MkII Escort to Class honours on Saturday but 2nd placed Georgie Bell pushed the Civic as hard as he could but was unable to catch him. Bell complained at the end of the day that his car wasn’t “pulling” but Georgie did you ever hear the saying “A bad crafts man blames his tools“??
Saturday finished with a free BBQ & Presentation in the Village of Naul for all drivers and marshals. Every driver was even given their own personalised cupcake!!!
SUNDAY Day 2
Sunday remained dry much to the pleasure of all drivers and some blistering runs took place. 59 drivers turned up on Sunday to take part.
Again 14 drivers entered Class 1. Ray Cunningham again took top spot followed closely home by Nigel Bryson and in 3rd was Gary Cunningham; Trish Daly for the 2nd day in a row took 4th place in Class. A mistake on his last run from Senan O’Connor left the door open for Gary Egan in his Seicento to take 5th and O’Connor had to settle for 6th but a mere .05 of a second separated them. 7th to 14th as follows – Aidan Courtney, Billy White, Damien Walsh, Kevin Smith, Barry Smith, Alan Tully, Robert Dwane and demoted Dermot Nolan.
Class 2 results on Sunday mirrored the results of Saturday with Jim Doherty taking top spot, 2nd was Brian Ledwith in the Corolla TC, 3rd was John Ward in the Peugeot 106, 4th was Kelvin Lyons and 5th spot went to John Bradley.
With his Minibusa spitting off the chain in the practise run seemed to put Ian Quinn off his game and left him chasing Peter Boggans time all day and it was only in the final timed run Quinn gave it his all and bet Boggan to top spot by the smallest margin of just .23 of a second. John Whitley in his GTI Golf took the remaining spot in Class.
Taking top spot and earning another “escort killer sticker” was Rory Stephens in his Carbon Radical SR8, Simon McKinley in the Connaught Engined Escort had to settle for 2nd in Class but directly behind him by only .13 of a second was Eanna Carroll in 3rd. Another 4th place finish went to Eddie Lyons, 5th went to Alex Wilsdon, 6th Jim Butler and Ben O’Brien’s BMW took the remaining spot in 7th.
Sean Murray yet again sealed the Class win ahead of Bernard Murray in 2nd. Ken McEvoy took 3rd place in his Austin Seven followed in 4th by Mark Brennan in his Alvis 12/50. 5th to 10th was as follows, Ed Cassidy, Detlef Heyer, Mick O’Shea, John Farrell, Liam Ruth and Seamus Anderson.
Eugene French gained another successful 10 Championship points when he powered his Formula Vee to top of the Class but again had to fight off the pressure 2nd placed Gerard O’Connor put on him.
John Byrne remained top of Class 6 on Sunday. Rupert Bell managed 4 timed runs with no big errors this time to take 2nd; John Mahon brought his AJDJ Mahon Special (with spoiler) home in 3rd. Edwin Rynhart took 4th in his Delta T83 followed in 5th by Emmet Dunne.
We have a Champion!! Simon McKinley’s top finish earned him the Class win and the Title of 2013 Naylor Engineering National Hillclimb & Sprint Champion. Congrats Simon!!
2nd in Class went to Brendan Keane in the Swallow DR 14, 3rd in Class was Deirdre McKinley who was yet again so kind to allow Dermot Nolan a run in her car but has warned him to get his finger out and get his own car ready for Donegal. 4th Was Dermot Nolan and 5th spot would have went to Shane Bell but unfortunately car trouble on his first timed run retired him for the day.
Patrick Haughey again powered the Escort to Class honours with a fantastic time of 48.58. 2nd again in Class 8 was Georgie Bell who seemed to have found the problem with his car as he went over 3 seconds quicker than his Saturday time. Newcomers for Sunday took the remaining spots in the Class, 3rd was Shane Carbury, 4th went to Noel Conachy, 5th was Willie Cecil, 6th went to PJ Doyle and 7th was Peter O’Brien
Patrick Carbury’s G3 Escort took Class honours on Sunday with a time of 49.93 and Kieran Curran took 2nd with a time of 53.17
I think overall the weekend was a massive success and all drivers enjoyed immensely. A lot of work and time went in and didn’t go un-noticed. A massive thank you goes to Scott Milligan and Robin Taylor and their team of helpers who looked after each and every drivers needs.
The baton is now passed to Danny Gormley & Michael Kelly at Donegal Motor Club where the Hillclimb moves onto in 3 weeks time for the final rounds of the Naylor Engineering Hillclimb and Sprint Championship 2013. No pressure lads!!!
Article by: Paul Doyle, Championship PRO