Photo: Sharon Massop
The final round of the MC Blinds Autocross Championship hosted by Cavan Motor Club took place in Latton Quarry where the quantity of cars was more than made up for by the quality. On a cool frosty morning, it was champion elect Joe Smith who drew first blood, stopping the clocks over one second faster than his nearest challenger, Chris Snow Jnr with Chris taking virtually the same time off Joe on run 2. It was going to be a battle royal for the remainder of the day. However, as hard as Joe Smith tried in his immaculate and trustworthy Escort, it was not to be as Chris Snow put in a blistering pace on the last 2 tests to completely dominate proceedings. It was an extremely mature drive and indeed took him to a very well deserved and popular victory having been competing in Latton for 12 years and indeed knocking on the door of victory for the past 3 years on various occasions, even Joe Smith would not begrudge this popular victory but it was too late to change the overall championship as Joe Smith, being the model of consistency took the championship honours for the year 2014 and a strong second on the event wrapping up a great year for the Castletara man.
Down the field many class battles were fiercely contested, in class 1 Alan Pickens picked up a clear string of victories for the year with an excellent 7th overall competing well with many more powerful cars and with that finishing a fine second overall in the championship. 2nd place Ronan Greene produced his best result to date and indeed came extremely close to Pickens towards the end with 3rd place going to Thomas Wedlock making a welcome return and indeed fresh from competing in the Midland Navigation rally the night before.
Class 2 was the resumption of battle for brothers Seamus and Noel Cooke. With an early spin for Seamus, Noel seized the opportunity and took the lead but it took every ounce of pace from Seamus to claw back and eventually win by 2 seconds, a hard fought victory for Seamus netting him 3rd overall in the championship and Noel netting Class 2 in the championship. Stephen Reynolds was a fine 3rd and set some very fast times in the Suzuki Swift and could be one to watch in the future events. Class 3 saw Oldcastles Wayne O’Reilly take victory in his recently acquired Escort with Niall McGahern taking second in his Peugeot 205 despite some clutch trouble. With overall winner Chris Snow forefitting his class, class 4 went to Thomas Melia a very well deserved win despite a huge roll on the last run of the day with another Oldcastle man Chris Snow Snr backing up his impressive recent pace with a fine second with Aidan Nicholl taking third in his impressive high reving Peugeot 205.
Class 5 was dominated by Joseph Smith but behind him a titanic battle insued with Ollie McCormac (Nova), British championship winning co drive Arthur Kearns making a welcome return and Gary McCabe both in escorts all being separated by 5 seconds altogether, indeed the old master Ollie putting in a scorching time on the last run to take second and Arthur Kearns taking 3rd. Class 6 was a lonely place for Mark Wedlock as he was the only competitor in it but it was a fine return after a 3 year absence to take a well earned 3rd overall. Class 7 is the home of the buggies and specials who take part in their own battle and it was business as usual for championship sponsor Mickey Conlon using his experience to take a dominant 9 second win over Sean Coleman 2nd finishing on the same second as Michael McDaid. The buggies are a welcome and exciting sight in Latton and are growing in strength with every event that passes. Finally it was Cavan man John McCabe that took victory in the Honda Civic, despite a broken drive shaft on run 3 and with thanks to the boys in Snows Motorsport for a replacement part which sums up the camaradie between all rally crews. Finally the ladies winner was Colette Rooney from Sligo with Jenna McCann keeping up the McCann motorsport tradition in her 106 Peugeot cup car.