On a hot summers day in East Cork, David Condell & Paul Kelly took a well deserved win on the Ollie Kierce Cars backed Imokilly Mini Stages Rally after the all day pace setting crew of Barry Meade Colin Fitzgerald slid off on a junction on the penultimate stage. Best local crew was Allen Treacy & Bob Fitzgerald in the Corolla Twin Cam.
On the opening stage, Meade set a time 17 seconds quicker than any one else. The number 2 seed, Jack Newman was already gone after a brush with the scenery. Meade went on to set the pace again on stage 2 to lead the rally by 32 seconds as the cars headed for first service. The battle behind was hotting up with Guest in his new Skoda Super 2000 heading David Condell, Tomas Davies and Owen Murphy.
Further back, the battle for top IMC crew was at fever pitch. James Fitzgerald was 8th Alen Treacy was 9th. Jason Ryan had run 10th but the engine was blown and Kevin Dolphin was 11th
For the second run over the stages, Barry Meade in the Escort increased his lead to an impressive 44 seconds. Condell settled into second as David Guest slipped into 3rd whilst Owen Murphy was climbing back up to 4th with harder tyres after service.The battle for top IMC crew was no less intense with Allen Treacy in 8th and Kevin Dolphin slipping to 14th. Sadly the loop had claimed James Fitzgerald after a brush with the scenery.
As the competitors headed for the last loop, Stage 5 brought drama- Barry Meade was out! Condell now had the lead and the improving Owen Murphy was up to second. That’s how it stayed until the finish, with Tomas Davies an impressive third, as David Guest dropped to 4th with Richard Moore 5th. 6th overall and first IMC crew home were Allen Treacy & Bob Fitzgerald, who took the Brian Hurley Award. Next IMC crew home were Kevin Dolphin & Martin O Brien, who finished just outside the top ten.
Back at the finish ramp, the top crews heaped praise on the event with comments such as “super drivers’ stages”, “a hugely competitor-friendly event” and a “great day’s motorsport in East Cork”.
David Condell was delighted with his win and in particular to be taking the Paul Mulcahy Trophy and the Donal O Brien Trophy, both former competitors he competed against and was friendly with, that have sadly passed on.
Cian Walsh from Mogeely took the IMC club Junior award
1 David Condell/Paul Kelly Ford Escort
2 Owen Murphy/Anthony Nestor Mitsubishi Evo 9
3 Tomas Davies/Eurig Davies Ford Escort
4 David Guest/Jonathan McGrath Skoda Fabia S2000
5 Richard Moore/John McCabe Ford Escort
6 Allen Treacy/Bob Fitzgerald Toyota Corolla
Images: Ger Leahy