2009 Lough Neagh Stages Report

5 July 2009

Crews gathered on Sunday 5th July for the third round of the Pacenotes ANICC 2WD Rally Challenge held at Moneyglass Demesne, sponsored by Thornton Roofing. After eight special tests organised by the Lough Neagh Tarmac and Marshals Motor Club, George Robinson emerged victorious. Despite setting the pace on the opening test, Kieron Graffin had to settle for second.

In the Pacenotes ANICC 2WD Rally Challenge there was a close battle between Drew Stewart and Gary Price, with less than two seconds separating them at the end of the day. Drew was rewarded with maximum points after his victory and with two wins out of three; he leads the Pacenotes series ahead of Gary Price.

Before round three Andrew Bushe was leading the Challenge but unfortunately he was unable to compete on Sunday. Andrew reported, “Sadly I had to pull out before Sunday’s event, due to an engine problem in the Saxo. The engine was incorrectly rebuilt in England .” He continued, “The engine was not running correctly in Ballypatrick, and we found major issues to be sorted, sadly they could not be sorted in time for Lough Neagh.” Andrew should be in action again at Bishopscourt on the 14th July.

Michael Conlon was the next of the Challenge finishers, despite a close call on stage seven, when a competing car in front spun. Taking to the grass, Michael didn’t loose much time finishing third in the Challenge and seventeenth overall.

Eamon McLaughlin claimed his third maximum points on Sunday, despite finishing third in the up to 1400cc class as Nigel Mills and Raymond Dennison are not registered.

In the class for cars up to 1650cc 8 valve, Billy Regan navigated Simon Gordon to the class win by five seconds over Brian Quigley, with Mark Robison’s Nova a further four seconds back.

Stephen Baxter was quickest in the class for cars up to 1650cc 16 valves by four seconds over Richard Mulholland. Raymond Doyle finished third and was the first of the Challenge contenders. Meanwhile Alan Atchenson kept Mark McGrath at bay for maximum 2000cc points.


William Neill

Posted by PMcCollum on 11/8/2009; Last updated by PMcCollum on 11/8/2009