It was an excellent weekend for women in motorsport as both Patricia Denning and Nicole Drought took victories over the weekend- in two very different disciplines.
Patricia Denning has plenty of motorsport experience, having raced in the Fiat Uno Cup in the late 90s, before tackling autotests and rallies in a variety of machinery. Having sucessfully competed in the Rally Car class of the Irish Rallycross Championship in a Peugeot 106 GTI, she upgraded to a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo for 2018 and immediately began to dominate the class. Last Sunday in Pallas Karting in Tynagh, she won the Rallycar class as usual and then lined up on the grid for the Superfinal- the last race of the day, where the fastest cars from all classes do battle. After an action packed Superfinal, Patricia’s Dennings.ie Evo was first across the line to take an historic win- the first time in the history of Irish Rallycross a woman has won the Superfinal!
Meanwhile in Birr, Nicole Drought was attempting to win the Endurance Trial Class 1A Championship in her Nissan Micra. Nicole did the first event in the championship, the ALMC Summer Lanes, as a bit of fun. As a Nissan Generation Next Ambassador, she bought a 1.o Micra and prepared it herself. Having taken the win at that event, she decided to continue on with the the full championship.
Last Sunday, Nicole only needed to reach the finish to clinch the championship- but Birr being very much her home event, she had her sights set somewhat higher. Having reached the lunch halt in second, just two seconds off the leader, she decided to push harder in the afternoon and go for the win. At the finish, Nicole and co driver Aaron McElroy took the class win by 48 seconds- and also the all important class championship.
Nicole Drought: “I’m delighted. I came to the Birr event knowing a finish was enough for the championship but by the afternoon, both Peter (Cummins) and myself were pushing hard for the class win. This all started as a bit of fun but became more serious as the championship went on. The events are quite difficult but so much fun. Endurance Trials are a great discipline and in the 1.0 class, the costs are extremely low. A big thanks to Gem Oils and Naas Tyres and Autocare for their help this year and to Aaron for navigating this weekend. Also a big thanks to thank Ruth Nugent who sat alongside me for the majority of the events this year.”
Patricia Denning’s next Rallycross event is October 21st, when the Irish Rallycross Championship returns to Mondello Park, while Nicole Drought’s next event is the Fiesta 6 Hour Endurance Race at Mondello Park on November the 4th.
Birr Endurance Trial Images: Peespeed.com