Eamonn Byrne was the man to beat in the Trials Drivers’ Club’s first ever Autosolo, with his Toyota Starlet heading Richard Meeke’s Vauxhall Nova by 11s in torrential rain on Boxing Day in Gormanston, County Meath. John Nolan finished a close third in another Starlet.
Keith Power was easily the quickest from more than 100 drivers in Carlow CC’S Christmas Rallysprint at Mondello Park, with his Toyota Corolla WRC best of the bumper entry on each of the four runs. At the finish, he had more than 20s to spare over nearest rival Neil Tohill (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo), who was two seconds ahead of the best of the two-wheel-drive brigade, the Ford Escort of Jack Newman. Pat O’connell was next in another Lancer, with Craig Breen’s Escort fifth.
Fergil Gregory won the Le Fanu Cup Sporting Trial for the second year in succession, two marks ahead of Morgan Evans, who was also the runner-up last year. Thirdplaced Richard Pain took the Brabazon Cup for the bestplaced driver aged under 35.
Peter Grimes, six times the Northern Ireland Autotest title holder, scored a last-minute win in the non-championship Ken Irwin Trophy event at Omagh Showgrounds. Another multiple champion, Sam Bowden, led for most of the day, but two late pylon penalties dropped him to third at the end, leaving Steven Ferguson to take second position, 2.8 seconds behind Grimes’ Mini Special.