A great Effin Sprint

Reigning Hillclimb Champion Joe Courtney took honours both days at Limerick’s annual Sprint weekend, as he storms ahead on the Championship leader board. The event was a huge success and it was evident to see the attention to detail by the organisers, Limerick Motor Club. Teams and spectators alike were treated to a weekend of dramatic competition, a challenging course, a great paddock layout, excellent facilities and a friendly team.
Joe Courtney (Reynard, 56.94 sec) was straight out of the blocks with fast pace on Saturday. His on board footage can be seen here: https://youtu.be/k_lDpCDYRp8
Rory Stephens finished 2nd both days, thrilling spectators with the roar of his Radical SR8 (59.7 sec). Third overall Saturday went to Robert Bell (65.03 sec). However 3rd Overall on Sunday was hotly contested, with just 0.05 seconds separating 3 drivers; John Mahon (DJ Busa, 64.73 sec), Deirdre McKinley (Reynard FVL, 64.78 sec) and Robert Bell (64.78 sec), with Mahon delighted to achieve his first 3rd Overall of the season.
Mark Carrol took Saloon honours on Saturday (Starlet, 67.68). Sunday saw a maiden saloon victory for Denis Hogan (BMW, 66.04), a very popular win for this long time hillclimber.
Russel Stanworth made a welcome return in his Reynard FVL, reaching 9th overall on Saturday (69.40). Local man John Kennedy took class 3A honours both days (Dax Rush 71.57). Ben O’Brien debuted his new engine in his trusty BMW and boy did it sound amazing! Local rally aces mixed on the hill as they would have done on the stages, resulting in Class 9 winners Danny Calnan (Sat, 72.16) and James Bradley (Sun, 71.72). Class 8 winners were Tommy Gardiner (Sat, 74.07) and Derek Butler placed 10th Overall (Sun, 70.24). Class 9 It’s great to see these classes supported as they mean so much to the Hillclimbing Championship
The spirit of Irish Hillclimbing was highlighted once again by Class 5, where John Whitley offered his car to class rival Ger O’Connor, so that Ger could score Championship points. You don’t see that in many Championships!
The Cento Challenge was nail-biting once again, with thrills and spills along the way. Gary Egan won Saturday, with 0.24 separating the top 3 in class. Billy White won Sundays battle, with just 0.27 separating the top 3 that day! What an exciting class this is to watch.
Dara Fay (Suzuki Swift, 75.74) made a strong impression in Class 1A, winning both days. Deirdre McKinley kept busy driving her Nova (77.66), as well as her Reynard, finishing 2nd in class. A broken clutch forced her to retire after run 3 Saturday. William Power (Mini, 80.28) survived some fun with bales to grab 3rd Saturday / 2nd Sunday.
Gary Graham led the 205 pack in Class 2, winning both days with a best time of 72.83.
And the last word goes to Mick O’Shea, who won class 4 on scratch. With a well deserved complement for Limerick Motor Club, Mick says this was the “best ever” Hillclimb weekend.