Joe takes the Christmas Cracker

Posted by | December 29, 2015 | Autocross | No Comments
IMG_6922

With the Christmas turkey adding a bit of ballast and memories hazy from the festive season it was time for the drivers to get back into the office and back down to business for the final round of the MC Blinds Autocross Championship 2015. With a good quality entry there would be a number of drivers looking to take the final win for the 2015 season, previous champion Mervyn Wedlock was back double driving with son Mark in his Mk2 to battle it out with the regulars for the overall win. Chris Snow Jnr was back for another crack in his Civic and Alan Pickens would commence giant killing for one more time in his little Nova. These were just a few names along with the star studded cast including Melia, Marron, O’Reilly, Cooke, Conlon and not to mention the current champion Joe Smith who was looking to finish off a perfect year with another maximum points haul.

The conditions were slippery to say the least which led to some interesting moments under braking for a lot of the crews on the opening run. One such victim of the treacherous conditions was current Southern Forestry Champion Josh Moffett in his Buggy. Out braking himself he climbed the bank on the uphill corner after the main straight, damaging a wishbone and spelling the end of the day.IMG_7895 Fastest man on the opener though was Joe Smith in his Pinto escort going almost 3 seconds faster than Chris Snow JNR on the opener. Snow had to be content with 2nd fastest ahead of Alan Pickens with Marty Gallagher bringing his new R2 Fiesta into 4th ahead of Mervyn Wedlock’s escort. On the second run it was time for Damian O’Reilly to show what he was made of when he posted the fastest time overall in the little 1400 escort, testament to just how slippery the track had become after light drizzle and some oil had been dropped on the track by a couple of mechanical issues on the first run. He was chased hard though by Chris Snow JNR, Trevor Mc Connell and Marty Gallagher who all posted the exact same time just 2 tenths behind O’Reilly. Alan Pickens was next on the time sheets ahead of Joe Smith who had found the conditions challenging with Chris Snow SNR following on after.

In the battle for the classes it was a lonely day for Alan Pickens who had to hold it together and beat himself for the class 1 win. With the pressure off this allowed him to turn in some blistering times to fight for the overall win.

IMG_7576In class 2 it was to be a competitive day for all involved with the likes of Justin Smith, Damian O’Reilly, Jason Black, James Greenan, Barney Greenan, Noel Cooke and Gerard Greene taking to the track for the close battle. First blood went to Jason Black who set the fastest time on the opener with Damian O’Reilly hitting back with his blistering time on the 2nd run with Justin Smith 3rd and Noel Cooke 4th fastest. With track conditions deteriorating as the day went on the times would not get any better and with the best 2 to count it would be Damian O’Reilly who took the spoils ahead of Jason Black and Justin Smith 3rd.

Class 3 looked as it would be the Shane Marron show after he set a scorching time on the opening run to take a 4 second lead over everyone else but on the second run with the slippy conditions it would be Cathal Sheridan, Anthony Mc Donald and Adrian Foley who would try to get back in touch with the class leader. With a lead like that though Marron could relax and enjoy his day and IMG_7612concentrate on chasing the overall placings. Cathal Sheridan made a rare appearance at the track to put in good times to net 2nd in the class at the end of the day in the little Nova. War would ensue in the Foley household after Adrian invited Antony to join him in his Nova, with Antony graduating from his class 1 car he proceeded to not only match times with Adrian but he would ultimately beat him finishing 3rd in class with Adrian who is no slouch finishing 4th in the class.

Class 4 saw the biggest entry for the day with a whopping 16 starters. Chris Snow JNR would be the favourite to take the class but he would not have an easy time of it with the Donegal invasion from Marty Gallagher and Trevor Mc Connell keeping the pressure on not to mention John Mc Cabe, Martin Swinburne and John Rooney being well able to fight for the win also without forgetting Chris Snow SNR who would be punching in the good times all day too. IMG_7809As the competiton heated up it would be the main contenders who would be there at the end with Snow taking the win from Gallagher with Mc Connell 3rd ahead of John Mc Cabe after a big push all day to keep ahead of fellow junior rival Stephen Reynolds to round off the top 5 in what was a hard earned result with tight battles all day.

Class 5 would see Joe Smith put on a master class in the slippery conditions to beat all but the buggies on the opening run and then hovering around the 3:19 mark for his other 3 runs to put the class win beyond doubt ahead of Ollie Mc Cormack and Collette Rooney in their respective Nova’s who were by no means hanging about to finish in the top 20 overall with new comer Dara Campbell sampling Huttcross for the first time and enjoying every minute of it.

IMG_7998Class 6 saw a number of entries for the season finale, previous club champion Mervyn Wedlock return to the track that has yielded success for him in the past double driving with his son Mark for the day. The other contenders would include Thomas Melia who was now equipped with a 2 litre Honda Civic and would use this to great effect during the day, Mel Mulligan would also have a new car in the form of a space frame Opel Corsa with a 2 litre engine on board and hoping to return to his form of old in the Quarry where overall wins were common place. Raymond Drury would have his immaculate escort out and in spectacular form. The big battle would be between Melia and Mark Wedlock as Melia tried to haul in a 2 second deficit from the opening over the following 3 runs but it wasn’t enough as Wedlock held on to take 2nd in the class to complete the Wedlock family 1,2 with Mervyn taking the class win.

In the buggies it would be a battle between Championship sponsor MC Blinds owner Mickey Conlon in his immaculate Xtreme buggy up against Sean Coleman and Sean Casey in their JB Buggy.IMG_7037 Conlon would be the fastest man on the track on the day with fastest combined times, Coleman would be chasing from the word go and although went 1 tenth faster on the 2nd run it would be Conlon’s victory as the work was done on the opening run in the MC Blinds Xtreme buggy, not even a slight gearstick malfunction caused by an over exuberant gear change could halt Mickey’s progress. Sean Coleman would finish 2nd with Sean Casey 3rd in the class.

In the Juniors it would be John Mc Cabe who would finish off a successful year in the driver seat taking the Juniors ahead of Jason Black and Stephen Reynolds who all had impressive runs in their respective classes during the day.

But at the head of the field it would Joe Smith who would take a convincing win from Chris snow JNR with Alan Pickens 3rd to confirm hisIMG_7693 Championship win to back up his Cavan club championship win for the 2015 season. Once again we would like to thank all the competitors for their continued support of the championship, the marshals and organising team for each event this year and to Bill Adair of SW Adair for his continued support of the Junior Championship with his tyre give away draw on each round. Last but by no means least to Mickey Conlon of MC Blinds for his continued support of the championship.