Clare drivers rewarded for 2018 successes

Padraig Egan and Brian Hassett in their Subaru competing in the West Coast Championship;

Last Saturday week the annual 5 Star Catering National Loose Autocross Championship awards took place in the Oakwood hotel in Shannon. 

On the night Ruan’s Declan O’Regan picked up third in class 10 for his efforts throughout 2018. It was very much a development year for the Ruan man as it was his first time contesting the championship in his JB Buggy which he only purchased at the beginning of 2018. His best result being third overall in the Midlands Autocross.

On the night also, Clare Motor Club was awarded the best venue of the year for the 2018 National Autocross Championship. The event which was run by Anthony Breen and Jill White was held in Ballycumber, County Offaly, in May. 

The event started over eighty entries which no other round of the Championship came close to and once again for 2019 the club will be using the same venue and is hoping for more continued success in running Autocross events at the Ballycumber location. 

The Clare venue will host the first round of the National Championship for 2019 on Sunday May 19th.  Club Secretary Margaret McCloskey picked up an award on the night also for her outstanding contribution to the Autocross Championships on the night. 

Club members Batty and Maria Donoghue from 5 Star catering also announced that they would be continuing to sponsoring the championship for another year.

Finally, on Saturday night Sixmilebridge’s Padraig Egan and Ballinruan’s Brian Hassett picked up first in class 20 in the Top Part West Coast Championship. The crew who were on coarse for the overall title after top ten results in the Birr Stages rally and the Circuit of Kerry but fell foul to bad luck with two non-finishes in the Circuit of Munster and Galway summer rally’s due to mechanical failure on both events only to bounce back and finish sixth overall in the Clare Stages Rally. Padraig is once again hoping to contest the West Coast Championship this year and this time for overall honors.

Father and daughter crew of Ger and Mary O’Shea also picked up second in class three. They were rewarded the prize after three second place class finishes in the first three rounds of the championship. The crew who are excellent supporters of the West Coast Championship will surely also be fighting for the top spot in their class for 2019.

Sunday see’s the first round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship the Galway International Rally take place. Galway Motor Club have attracted over 120 crews to compete in the nine-stage rally. 

Out of the 120 entries Clare Motor Club is well represented. Seeded car 91 is Kilnamona’s Charlie McEnery sitting in with Galway’s George Cullen in George’s historic Ford Escort Mk2. 

It is Charlies first rally in over a year and the crew will be one of the favourites to take the historic win. At 105 it is the Lissycasey Crew of Anthony Breen and his fiancé Jill White in a Subaru Impreza. It is Anthony’s first rally after an accident in the Cork 20 rally in October. 

With the car now fully repaired the crew will be looking for a good steady run to resort confidence and a hopefully fight for class 15 honours. At 113 is Kilkishen’s Cathal Nolan along with Cratloe’s Tomas Ryan. It is the crew’s first time competing together and they will be hoping to take top position in the new class 16 junior class after winning the Clare Stages Junior Rally back in September. 

Finally, at 117 is Ennistymon’s Conor Mullen with Limericks Michael Breen on the notes. Conor will make his debut in a C-Sport Ford Fiesta R2. The crew will also will surely be ones to watch in class 16A and are also hoping for a good finish after having to retire from the Clare Stages Rally due to gear box failure.

The stages which are based in the Athenry are sure to attract many fans with World Rally Championship driver Craig Breen seeded number one on the road with World Rally Championship Co Driver Paul Nagle beside him calling the notes on board a Ford Fiesta R5.

If any one would like to Marshal at the event the Clare Motor Club meeting point is at Cookes Shop Monivea at 8:00 AM. 

The marshal co-ordinator for Clare Motor Club for the event is Francis Kelly and you can text him on 087-9472090 and he will be able to provide all the details needed. 

Article by Cathal Nolan

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