Macdon­ald and Fal­coner sur­vive last-stage drama to claim Na­tional rally

Motor Sport News - - Brc: Isle Of Man - Ian Mills

De­spite be­ing dis­tracted by not be­ing cho­sen as a driver to watch in last week’s Mo­tor­sport News, Scot Don­nie Macdon­ald won the na­tional rally, al­though he nearly threw it away on the fi­nal stage.

He and coun­try­man An­drew Fal­coner were into the top 10 over­all and had a huge lead in the na­tional cat­e­gory, but Macdon­ald went the wrong way around a junc­tion, had to spin round and was then caught be­hind an­other car.

He was over a minute ahead of Dan Harper in his fan-favourite mod­i­fied BMW Mini head­ing into the fi­nal stage, and he needed ev­ery ounce of it to end up just over six sec­onds ahead. In fair­ness, Macdon­ald was only beaten on speed by the spe­cial­ist R5 cars and was a joy to watch through­out the week­end.

Harper and co-driver Chris Camp­bell took max­i­mum Manx Tro­phy cham­pi­onship points on the round, a dou­ble-header, with the Pok­er­stars Rally to de­cide that se­ries in Novem­ber.

Shaun Sin­clair was an im­pres­sive third in his de­but in a Mit­subishi Lancer E10. His usual Subaru S9 has been fet­tled for Mull in Oc­to­ber.

Barry Ground­wa­ter man­aged fourth in his Lancer E10, with Manx­man Will Heavey round­ing out the top five.

An ex­cel­lently or­gan­ised Rali Mon was won by reign­ing Welsh cham­pi­ons Ian ‘Dude’ Roberts/gwawr Hughes; they com­pleted the route drop­ping just one sec­ond. Lo­cal hot shots Tom Ed­wards/daniel Jones were on the win­ner’s tails through­out and fin­ished four sec­onds be­hind.

The first time pair­ing of Mark ‘GT’ Roberts/ Ian Beau­mond proved an ef­fec­tive part­ner­ship as they were in third at Petrol but un­for­tu­nately a failed wheel bear­ing stopped their Golf in the sec­ond half.

Top seeds Ar­wel ‘Sbidi’ Hughes-jones/dy­lan John Wil­liams were clean of penal­ties un­til the fifth sec­tion. There they dropped 40 sec­onds af­ter wrong slot­ting on the tricky beach road near Val­ley Air­field. They fin­ished sixth.

Af­ter Dale Fur­niss’s last­minute with­drawal, Nick Blox­ham jumped in to nav­i­gate for Rus­sell Woo­ley and the pair fin­ished in fourth place.

In a per­fectly timed event the lead­ing Semi-ex­perts, Tim Hodg­son/chris Evans, dropped just un­der four min­utes, while the novice class win­ners, Mike Web­ber/neil Jones, were on six min­utes.

BOSS Ire­land was awarded the Le­in­ster Tro­phy for 2016 and the class didn’t dis­ap­point on its big day. UK vis­i­tor Hy­wel Lloyd started the Tro­phy race from pole in his Dal­lara F311 and when he beat the F1-en­gined Gould of Sylvie Mullins off the line, it seemed like game over for the rest as he eased away.

Lloyd hadn’t counted on an im­pres­sive charge from Paul Dagg though, the for­mer Le­in­ster Tro­phy win­ner clos­ing in on the vis­i­tor in the fi­nal laps. Un­for­tu­nately an er­rant back­marker baulked Dagg on the fi­nal lap just as he was about to chal­lenge. Cian Carey was a giant-killing third in his For­mula Re­nault car.

Mullins beat pole­man Lloyd off the line at the start of the sec­ond race, set­ting up a crack­ing race as Jonathan Fildes at­tacked both in his ag­ing Ralt RT4, with Stephen Daly, and Dagg right there too. Lloyd even­tu­ally re­asserted him­self in the lead and pulled away to win as he pleased with Fildes just hold­ing off the charg­ing Dagg in a run to the line.

Brian Hearty got the jump on For­mula Sheane pole­man Mark Dun­leavy to lead their first race away, and when Dun­leavy re­tired with drive is­sues early on, was clear to take yet an­other win at the Kil­dare venue – and ti­tle num­ber 11. Dave Parks was sec­ond with Kevin Sheane charg­ing to third from mid-grid. In race two, Sheane climbed to the front to take the win with An­ton Sav­age sec­ond and Parks in third.

Ginetta Ju­nior Ire­land racer Sa­muel Har­ron took full ad­vang­tage as his brother Wil­liam over-de­fended the lead from Dar­ragh Den­ning in the early laps, driv­ing around the out­side of both on his way to vic­tory. Wil­liam held off Den­ning for sec­ond at the end to make it a fam­ily 1-2, while a 10-sec­ond Den­ning penalty for a jump start el­e­vated a de­lighted Cameron Fen­ton to third.

Wil­liam dom­i­nated the sec­ond race, cross­ing the line over 20s ahead of Den­ning with Mor­gan Quinn in third.

Conor Far­rell led the early stages of the first Global Lights GT race but was hauled in by Peter Dren­nan and just lost out on the run to the line. Mark Braden charged back to third af­ter an early spin. In race two, Far­rell and Dren­nan went at it again. When Far­rell ro­tated and Dren­nan slowed, Michael Con­way snatched the lead and hung on for the win, de­spite the re­cov­er­ing duo clos­ing him down on the fi­nal lap.

Bill Grif­fin and Alan Watkins took turns at the front of the Ir­ish Sportscars but Daniel Mccarthy drove su­perbly to dis­place both and lead over the line, with Watkins along­side. In race two, Watkins dom­i­nated with Mccarthy pip­ping Grif­fin to sec­ond af­ter a race-long fight.

Dar­ragh Mcmullen drove su­perbly to take the Pro­craft Tools Fi­esta Zetec race one hon­ours de­spite the best ef­forts of Mark O’donoghue, who shad­owed the win­ner over the line. In the sec­ond race, O’donoghue claimed his maiden win, just, from Darren Lawler, with a de­lighted Mark John­ston in third.

Paula Moore looked set for a For­mula Vee B win, but Gavin Buck­ley snatched it away on the fi­nal tour. Dan Pol­ley won the fi­nal as he pleased and in do­ing so, clinched the ti­tle too. In race two Pol­ley lost the lead to Kevin Gro­gan on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions but fought back to win, with Colm Black­burn chal­leng­ing Gro­gan on the fi­nal lap for sec­ond.

Richie Kear­ney led the Fu­ture Clas­sics for the du­ra­tion in the glo­ri­ous sound­ing V6 Alfa Romeo 155, a mid-race safety car pe­riod his only con­cern. Rob­bie Parks charged to sec­ond from the back, with Adrian Dunne com­plet­ing the podium. Sec­ond time round, pole­man Ger Byrne made no mis­takes to win, with Timmy Duggan charg­ing to sec­ond from the back of the grid.

Erik Hol­stein spun out of the SEAT Su­per­cup lead but a red flag gave him the win – and the ti­tle – on count­back, from Rob But­ler and Rod Mcgovern. In race two Niall Quinn led but Mcgovern snatched the lead and eased away for the win. When Jonathan Fildes and But­ler col­lided at Mo­bil Cor­ner on the fi­nal lap, John Far­relly in­her­ited third.

Martin Duffy took his first Ir­ish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship win, his M3 well clear of Shane Rab­bitt and Rob Sav­age whilst John Mcgovern claimed his first Pro­duc­tion class win. In race two, Rab­bitt dom­i­nated, his Mazda RX-7 cross­ing the line well clear of early leader Keith Camp­bell, with Jay O’reilly claim­ing Pro­duc­tion hon­ours ahead of Pa Hud­son.

Ulick Burke drove su­perbly to take his third con­sec­u­tive Fi­esta ST win, with Sean Lil­lis in sec­ond and John Den­ning third. Pole­man Bren­dan Fitzger­ald was sent to the back of the grid hav­ing failed to go to parc ferme af­ter qual­i­fy­ing but charged to fourth at the line. In race two, Dave Maguire won as he pleased with John Den­ning in sec­ond and Kevin Do­ran third, de­spite a pair of lurid spins.

Peter Barrable won the Tool Dy­nam­ics Su­per­car race de­spite a race-long chal­lenge from Sam Mof­fett. Andy O’brien re­lieved Mof­fett of sec­ond spot on the fi­nal lap with a su­perb move at Lola cor­ner. In race two, O’brien got the jump, Barrable closed him down but re­tired mid-race whilst Mof­fett’s lat­er­ace charge just failed to re­lieve O’brien of the win, and the ti­tle.

To fin­ish off the meet­ing, with con­di­tions im­proved some­what, Dan Daly took to the track for some demon­stra­tion laps at the wheel of his ex-rubens Bar­richello Jor­dan 193, to the de­light of the large crowd.

Macdon­ald was in the top 10 over­all

Tom Cave took sec­ond in BRC

Lloyd raced to Le­in­ster dou­ble

Duffy clinched first tour­ing suc­cess

Dren­nan pre­vailed in close Lights race

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