MEC 2014 Review
NAYLOR ENGINEERING HILLCLIMB & SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP 2014
MEC HILLCLIMB – ROUNDS 9 & 10 – AUGUST 16TH + 17TH 2014
Saturday 16th August
Naul, Co Dublin was the Venue for rounds 9 & 10 of the Hillclimb & Sprint Championship last weekend. The same course as last year which incorporated tricky bends and sweeping curves again proved challenging for all competitors. Weather held up on both days and drivers were able to push the cars to the best of their abilities. Fantastic weekend put on by the MEC Motor Club.
Gar Cunningham again proved unbeatable as he drove the luminous orange Punto to a Class win on Saturday with a time of 50.12 ahead of Paul Dalton in his gorgeous Fiat 3P who had mechanical troubles and had to switch to a Fiat Cinquecento after run 2. Coming home 3rd in Class was Aiden Byrne in his Fiat Ritmo.
MEC put on a special class for the ever growing Cinquecento group. Taking top spot on Saturday and bragging rights was Gary Egan with a time of 54.17. Up next in 2nd spot was Joe Courtney with a time of 54.96 seconds. Just 0.23 of a second behind in 3rd place was Aidan Courtney. 4th to 13th were as follows Billy White, Damien Walsh, Senan O’Connor, Patrick Corcoran, Alan Tully, Colm Dunphy, Chloe Quinn, Clancy Smith, Paul Dalton and Ben Deitrick. Must also mention the top 7 cars were only separated by 2.7 seconds.
Only 2 drivers in Class 2 on Saturday and it was John Ward who took top spot just ahead of Ger Lonergan in 2nd place.
Peter Bogan kept his nose in front of Rob Dwane all day Saturday and only grabbed the win on Run 4 with a time of 44.30. Dwane was only 0.69 of a second behind in 2nd spot, Emmet Dunne’s immaculate Mk1 escort was in 3rd spot and finally Cyril McCabe took 4th in his Alfa Romeo.
Eanna Carroll took to the hill like a fish to water and powered his Turbo Charged Civic to a class victory, Brendan Keane grabbed 2nd in his Westfield, 3rd spot was Martin Flanagan in his M3. Eddie Lyons had to settle for 4th ahead of Kevin McCarthy in 5th. Ben O’Brien was using diesel power to get him up the hill and settled for 6th in Class. Mick Walsh had to change cars after his off in Limerick and drove the McKinley Cosworth to 7th in Class with a time of 51.90.
With no less than 14 drivers in Class 4 it was going to be very competitive day. Buckstown Motorsport driver Seamus Anderson came out on top with his Anglia that he spent the last 2 weeks sorting the engine after problems in Limerick. 2nd in Class went to Paul McNaughton in his Riley 9 Special, Detlef Heyer was next in his gorgeous 1938 BMW 328. Mark Brennan’s Alvis 12/50 was 4th, Ken McAvoy was 5th in the Austin Seven, David Miller came 6th in his Jaguar XK140, Sean Murray settled for 7th in the Lotus Elan +2s, Mick O’Shea came home in 8th in the MGB GT, John Farrell was 9th in his MK1 Escort, In 10th Position was Barry Smith also in a Mk1 Escort, Ed Cassidy took 11th spot in his Iona Special Mk2, Barry Baker took his Buckler into 12th position, Brian Cassidy was 13th in his MGB and last but not least was Wolfgang Schnittger in his MG Midget.
Eugene French took 1 step closer to the Class Championship with another Class win on Saturday in his Sheane. Johnny Keating brought his Vee home in 2nd place just 0.27 of a second ahead of James Kent in 3rd. John Whitley settled for 4th in his Formula Ford Laser with a time of 51.2 seconds
Robert Bell led the Class all day and on his 4th run decided to go off track and damaged his car but had enough done to claim the class win. Little big John Mahon brought the AJDJ Mahon Special home in 2nd place with a time of 43.76
Travelling this stretch of road on a daily basis helped Local Man Simon McKinley to top spot in Class 7 and 1st overall with an amazing time of 38.22. Rory Stephens was next in Class and brought the Radical SR8 home in 2nd spot with a time of 40.98. Gary Graham was next in Class followed closely by Dermot Nolan who’s driving skills were definitely better than his cooking skills. Deirdre McKinley was double jobbing this weekend with racing and changing nappies but still managed to bring her Opel Lotus home in 5th in Class and 7th overall. Paul McLoughlin grabbed 6th spot just ahead of Thomas O’Rafferty in his Corsa in 7th.
A welcome return for Georgie Bell to the hills and he drove like he had not been away from it at all. He brought his Civic home in 1st spot ahead of Patrick Haughey’s Mk2 in 2nd place. David Byrne grabbed 3rd in his Nova and finally in 4th was Peter O’Brien in his 205GTI with a time of 56.52. Unfortunately Colm Doherty crashed out in Run 1 and all the Hill Climb community wish him a speedy recovery and hope he gets back out on the hills as soon as possible. Even though he was brought to the hospital by the emergency services straight away he was back at the hill before the end of the day to settle everyone’s worries about him.
Wexfords Niall Fortune grabbed top spot in Class 9 in the Matt Black MKII ahead of his double driver Brian Kirwan, Less than 1 second separated both drivers. In 3rd spot was Shane Carberry in the G3 ahead of Alan Kane also in a G3. George McKenny grabbed 5th with a time of 52.06
Sunday 17th August
A little overnight rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the drivers. Paddock was full of hustle and bustle by 7.30am as drivers prepared for another great days racing. At 11am on the button the first car left the line for the practice run.
With maximum Championship points from all 9 rounds one would think Gar Cunningham would take it easy today but they would be very wrong. Gar laid down a first run of 50.76 just shy of his best time of Saturday. He ended the day on top of the Class with a new time of 49.77 seconds. Newcomer to Sunday was 2nd placed PJ Doyle in his Peugeot 205. 3rd went to Frank Manweiler in a Sunbeam. After his off-road excursion on Saturday Robert Bell borrowed a Cinquecento and got 4th in Class, Ken Byrne brought his Ritmo home in 5th ahead of Clancy Smith in 6th in a Cinquecento. Finally in 7th place was Shane Bell in yet another Cinquecento.
These special little 1100cc cars are becoming increasingly popular in Hillclimbing of late and there were 9 drivers in this Class on Sunday. Gary Egan took the Class win and bragging rights in his Cinquecento, Billy White pushed him all day but has to settle for second place with only 0.8 of a second separating them. Joe Courtney came in 3rd on the day and he was followed closely by Damien Walsh in 4th place. Just half a second behind was Senan O’Connor in 5th spot with a time of 56.27 seconds. 6th to 9th were as follows Patrick Corcoran, Alan Tully, Ivalo Linder and Ben Deitrick.
It was all all Peugeot affair in Class 2 with John Wards 106 GTI taking the Class win, In 2nd place was Padraig Denby in his 205 followed closely in 3rd by Ger Lonergan in his 205 GTI.
After swapping leading times all day Rob Dwane got the better of Peter Bogan and grabbed first in Class on the day. Bogan settled for 2nd after a great battle. Emmet Dunne had an argument with a round bale on his first timed run and had to retire for the day. Hope you get it back together soon and back on the hills Emmet.
Eanna Carroll kept up his speed also on Sunday by recording another Class win with a fantastic time of 43 seconds. Brendan Keane and his Westfield took 2nd place. Martin Flanagan’s M3 grabbed 3rd spot ahead of 4th placed Eddie Lyons in the Cosworth. Ben O’Brien grabbed 5th spot with his BMW.
Seamus Anderson was yet again in top form on Sunday and drove the little Anglia into 1st place. Next up in 2nd spot was Brian Cassidy in his MGB; Detlef Heyer brought the BMW 328 home in 3rd spot. Sean Murray was next in 4th with the Lotus Elan +2s, Ed Cassidy brought his Iona Special Mk2 home in 5th and David Millers Jaguar XK140 was next in 6th. Barry Smith in the Mk1 Escort was in 7th position, John Farrell’s Mk1 Escort was in 8th place and finally Mick O’Shea in the MGB GT was in 9th.
Eugene French was on maximum attack all weekend and recorded another Class win on Sunday. James Kent got the better of Johnny Keating and John Whitley settled for 4th in Class.
All alone in Class on Sunday was Little Big Man Johnny Mahon. He came home with a time of 43.46 and 6th overall.
Simon McKinley started off where he finished Saturday and in his first timed run on Sunday bet his best time on Saturday, And he wasn’t finished there, He kept going and finally finished the day with a time of 37.86 to claim Class win and 1st overall. Rory Stephens got a little closer to him on Sunday and grabbed 2nd spot with a time of 40.58. Gary Graham powered his Formula Ireland home in 3rd place just ahead of Deirdre McKinley in 4th spot. Paul McLoughlin in the Shane Rover was 5th, Dermot Nolan settled for 6th and gained valuable time back in his Reynard until he breaks it again. Thomas O’Rafferty settled for 7th spot in his Corsa.
Ger Lyons raced home in 1st place on Sunday and Georgie Bells multicolored Civic had to settle for 2nd place. Patrick Haughey’s MkII grabbed 3rd spot. David Byrne came home in 4th with a time of 53.81 just ahead of Peter O’Brien whose best time was 54.19
Niall Fortune just needed 1 run to claim the Class win on Sunday, Brian Kirwan grabbed 2nd place just ahead of fellow Wexford woman Tonya Fortune in 3rd position.
Now that the dust has settled in the Naul and the flags are put away until next year all eyes are now looking forward to Donegal on 5th & 6th of September for the final rounds of the Naylor Engineering Hillclimb & Sprint Championship 2014. But the last words must go to Scott and Robin with the MEC Club who along with their team of helpers put on a fantastic weekend with was truly enjoyed by all. Well done lads.
See you all in Donegal.
Article by: Paul Doyle