Wexford Motor Club’s eagerly anticipated 2016 Club Championship got off to a flying start on Saturday 20th February, with the first round of this year’s Championship taking place in R-One Karting in Kerlogue, Wexford.
25 Club members battled it out in the first of the social rounds, which are always super competitive and exciting to watch. Competitors were divided into four groups before taking on their rivals in qualifying and competitive racing rounds with the aim of scoring points to progress to the finals.
Racing took place on two separate track layouts in order to minimise advantage from any previous practice sessions. Each driver scored points based on the position they finished in two races, before being randomly placed in new groups and competing in more races. After four qualifying sessions and four races, the eight drivers with the most points scored progressed to the finals.
Sean Cahill finished 1st, with Sean Leacy securing 2nd place and James Sinnott taking 3rd place. There was plenty
of wheel-to-wheel action on the night with Des Byrne and Mark Cooper having a racing incident in corner number three, but Des came out the better of that encounter with sheer willpower and determination helping him to gain the position from Mark. Another notable mention was George Leech. Fresh from his 70th birthday celebrations, George had the drive of the night to finish a hugely impressive 4th overall.
Commenting on the launch night of the 2016 Championship, Graham Scallan, Chairman of Wexford Motor Club, said, “I was delighted with the turnout on the evening. It was great to see so much fun and positivity from drivers and spectators as we launch our new season of competitive racing. I am very pleased to have the Club Championship back for 2016 and I would like to thank John McGrath, Gary Bradley and Johnny Looby for all their hard work in getting the new season started.”
The Club would also like to thank Roman and the team in R-One Karting who were excellent hosts for the evening and helped to ensure that the first round of the Championship went off smoothly.
The Club Championship is open to existing members, and anyone wishing to join Wexford Motor Club, for €10 per year. A number of new members joined the club on the night and there is plenty to look forward to with another social night to take place before the end of March.
To view the results from the first round in full, please visit the Wexford Motor Club
website (www.wexfordmotorclub.ie) or visit the Wexford Motor Club Facebook page.
If you would like to get involved, please contact John on 087-4449234.
Wexford Motor Club Youth Academy Launch
Wexford Motor Club launched the Club’s new Youth Academy on Saturday 20th February in the Riverbank House Hotel, Wexford. This Academy is an exciting new initiative to nurture and encourage more local young people into motorsport. The turnout was excellent, with 44 children between the ages of 8 and 16 signing up for the Academy.
The morning began with a video produced by Club member Jonathan Looby to introduce the new Youth Academy, before Graham Scallan, Club Chairman, officially welcomed everyone with an insightful history of how the Wexford Motor Club was formed.
Club member Garry Bradley presented a slideshow giving a breakdown of the aim of the Youth Academy and the course content. The key message was safety, to ‘keep the race in its place’, with the message delivered flawlessly with the help of some of the children and adults present who were dressed up as drivers, marshals and fire officers!
A display of buggies and rally cars, assembled by John McGrath and crew, was much appreciated and made everything a bit more real and exciting for the children. The children were also treated to a dazzling karting display and Youth Academy sponsors, Team CRG, were present to give the children some hands-on experience of the karts that they will be racing and some insight into what it is like to be competing in karting at a high level. Of course, Team CRG are providing the excellent prize at the end of the season of an all-expenses paid works drive with the Team.
Other attendees at the launch were Youth Academy sponsors R-One Karting, and Art McCarrick, Sport Development Officer at Motorsport Ireland.
Commenting on the launch of the new Academy, Art McCarrick said, “The energy behind this Youth Academy is phenomenal. Garry, John and Jonathan have put in a huge amount of work to get it to this stage. We are all very proud to be part of this ground-breaking Academy and are very excited to see the young people progress and develop through our workshops over the coming months. They are the future of motorsport, and we will do what we can to help them pursue their dreams.”
Wexford Motor Club would like to thank all who attended and Club members who helped on the launch day, with special thanks to Garry Bradley, John McGrath and Jonathan Looby who are running the Youth Academy.
So only one question remains…who will be the lucky winner of a works drive with Team CRG to compete in a round of the Motorsport Ireland Kart Racing Championship 2016?
Wexford Crews Complete Birr Stages Rally: Wexford Motor Club members were in action at a very wet and slippery Birr Stages Rally in Rathdowney, Co. Laois, on the weekend of the 20th/21st February. Members were on marshalling duty, while Wexford crews also competed on the stages. The weekend turned out to be a great exhibition of wet weather rallying, with a top class field of Irish competitors making easy work of the standing water and slippery lanes of Rathdowney. There were some great performances from Wexford Motor Club members. Fresh from a 5th place finish in the National Category at the recent Galway International Rally, the duo of Wexford’s Andy Hayes calling the notes for Tipperary’s Andrew Fanning finished 2nd in Class 20, and 14th overall in their Ford Fiesta. James Pettit and Ciaran Newport were on their first outing of the year, and only their second event in the BMW 3-Series Compact, but the Wexford men finished 6th in Class 14 and 33rd overall. Another first event of the year saw the Wexford crew of Ray Kirwan and David Busher finish 4th in Class 2 and 50th overall in their newly-branded DoneDeal Honda Civic. But it was Donegal’s Donagh Kelly who retained his Birr Stages Rally title with a blistering drive in the WRC Ford Focus. Over the six stages, Kelly, with Conor Foley calling the notes, was 55.3 seconds ahead of Monaghan’s Niall Maguire and Enda Sheerry in the S12B Impreza.
Pike Sprint Rally Results: Wexford Motor Club members competed in the Pike Sprint Rally in Dungarvan with John Stafford putting in an excellent performance to place 3rd in Class 6 and 3rd overall after three runs. Other Wexford Crews in action on the day were Tomas O’Rourke (15th overall and 5th in Class 6), Nigel Molloy (16th overall and 6th in Class 5), Robert Swaine (25th overall and 8th in Class 6), James Stafford (26th overall and 6th in Class 3), Shay Delaney (27th overall and 4th in Class 4), Tommy Foley (29th overall and 11th in Class 5), Mick Boland (34th overall and 7th in Class 4), Niall Whitty (35th overall and 13th in Class 5), Marty Kinsella (37th overall and 8th in Class 4), Joe Lacey (41st overall and 14th in Class 5), Anthony Roche (51st overall and 10th in Class 6) and Richard Stafford (56th overall and 12th in Class 6).
Willie Loughman Forestry Rally Results: Wexford crews were in action again at the Willie Loughman Forestry Rally 2016 at Carrick-on-Suir. The crews did well, ranking highly in their individual classes with Adrian Hetherington and Gary Nolan finishing 6th overall and 1st in Class 14 in their Ford Escort Mk2. Andy Nash and Niamh Holland finished 23rd overall in the Honda Civic, and placed 3rd in Class 11F. James Bradley and Richard Stafford came 25th overall in the Peugeot 205 and placed 2nd in Class 10. Shay Delaney and Alan Maloney finished 33rd overall and took 4th place in Class 9 in the Ford Ka.
Fivemiletown Spring Rally: Adrian Hetherington and Gary Nolan went to the Fivemiletown Spring Rally the last weekend of February and had an amazing result finishing 8th overall in the famous Mark 2 Escort.
Our next Club meeting is Tuesday 8th March at The Riverbank House Hotel, Wexford @
9pm, and all are welcome.