If there is one place to see really close competition this year it is in the MC Blinds Autocross championship with the triple trouble of Conlon, Wedlock and Smith going toe to toe each day out to trade hundreths of seconds and wow the crowds in attendance.
Round 3 would be no different with COC Kevin Cleere laying out a very testing track that would have all the crews bring their best to be competitive on the day with the use of the old Silo jump and gravel sections on the back straight.
On the opening run it would be a good run for all involved as they settled into the new layout and the ice cold tarmac that greeted them that morning with a number of front wheel drive machinery struggling with a wayward back end as no tyre would work going into the first corner off the start line. A good time was set by Mervyn Wedlock with Mickey Conlon, Joe Smith and Chris Snow JNR not far away either. There would be a big jump in the times to Danny Mc Cormack who would be the best of the rest a further 5 seconds back.
On run 2 it would be neck and neck with Joe Smith showing why he is a the reigning champ clocking in the fastest time…JUST! with a 179.43 ahead of Mervyn Wedlock who posted a 179.48 which couldn’t really get any closer after 3 km of hard technical driving. On any normal day Mickey Conlon’s 179.57 would be considered an unbelieveably close time but with the way this fight was going it would serve as a minor annoyance to the MC Blinds man and he would launch a full scale attack on the timesheets for the following 2 runs.
In class 1 it would be Ronan Greene who would take the honours in his Nova with Philip Grall doing little to trouble him during the day with an intermittent misfire that cause the corsa to grind to a halt on run’s 1 and 2.
Class 2 would see the continued dominance of Alan Pickens also running Nova power, he would have a comfortable margin back to Gerry Greene after the 4 runs to make it another class win. A man who might have had something to say about that was Barney Greenan who unfortunately suffered mechanical gremlins on the first run and would have to sit out the rest of the day.
In class 3 it would be another great run of form from another of the overall championship hopefuls Shane Marron in the 1600 8 valve escort. Shane would put in a faultless performance to once again take the top spot in class ahead of Adrian Foley in his Nova with Anthony Lynch in 3rd.
Class 4 was the domain of the 4th and 5th place overall men Chris Snow JNR and Danny Mc Cormack battle it out for class honours with the end result going the way of Snow who would reinforce his position on top of the class 4 points as we head for the summer break. Mc Cormack had a good drive to finish 2nd in the class for more valuable points with new comer to the event Ruairi Mc Garrity bringing the little Peugeot 106 cup car home in an impressive 3rd place ahead of Aidan Nicholl and Brian Smith.
Class 5 and it would be Joe Smith taking maximum points for the day but due to winning the event it would be top prize for Ollie Mc Cormack on the day with a great drive in the Nova. A very impressive drive came from Wayne O’Reilly who would take 2nd on the day by just a couple of seconds from Raymond Drury who appears to be loving his new Pinto engine in his mk2 ahead of Cavan.
Class 6 as ever would hold some of the big guns when it came to overall win potential with Mervyn Wedlock piping Mickey Conlon to the class win by just 3 tenths of a second to once again produce a nail biting end to the tit for tat battle during the day. Kevin Mc Quaid would be awarded 3rd place after a small fire in the engine would put a stop to his day after the first run.
For the buggies it would be the entertainers with Sean Coleman and Sean Casey resuming their battle whilst thrilling the crowds in their little wonder wagons which have the same power to weight ratio as a WRC car. Donegal man Michael Boyle would join them for the day to finish 3rd in an impressive debut to the track.
At the head of the field it was shaping up to be a big fight between the top 3 and a big push would nearly cost Mervyn Wedlock a lot of pride when the rear suspension failed going across the finish line of the run which caused the interesting approach of crossing the line backwards as he tried to avoid all the safety barriers. Even with this minor inconvenience he would go on to set second fastest time once again behind Joe Smith who had a scorcher to set the fastest time of the day overall. Mickey Conlon would lose a lot of time on this run with a mistake on his second lap. He would make amends on the final run to set the fastest time but unfortunately the damage had been done already and with Wedlock unable to complete his final run it would be another win for Joe Smith as he continues his march towards another title. The MC Blinds Autocross Championship will now take it’s break for the summer with the action resuming in September.