2009 System Signs Clubman Stages Report

3 October 2009

Champion Performance


Drew Stewart and David White claimed the Pacenotes ANICC 2WD Rally Challenge title after winning the Enniskillen Motor Club's System Signs Clubman Rally.


Kicking off the opening Lough Navar test was number 1 seed Alastair Cochrane and Rodney Hicks, but they failed to make the first junction after an off that retired the event favourites from the rally.


This left it to local crew, Harold Brown and Bartley Downey to take the early lead behind the wheel of a Vauxhall Astra. Mervyn Wedlock with Martin McGarrity in the hot seat slotted into second but by stage 2, Bothwells, the series leader, Drew Stewart and David White were settling in taking their first fastest stage time of the day. On stage three however, the Antrim crew fell back, giving the lead to Harold Brown again. Unfortunately Challenge regular, Michael Conlon retired on the first loop of the stages but showed his dedication to the sport, and joined the team of marshals on the stages.


On stage four, a repeat of the Bothwells test, Drew Stewart responded, taking a second back from Harold Brown's lead. The pair swapped seconds with each other until the penultimate stage, when Drew Stewart gathered eleven seconds, and another second on the final test, to win by a two second margin. Harold Brown and Bartley Downey's local knowledge paid off well with second. Mervyn Wedlock and Martin McGarrity finished in third ahead of Gary McElhinney and Jonathan Charlesson from Donegal.  Alan Acheson and Dean Henderson finished in eleventh overall but second in the Pacenotes Series ahead of Raymond Doyle and Marc Nugent from Cookstown. Gary Price was also set to get vital points but crashed out on the final stage.


In the 1400cc class, regular Eamon McLaughlin retired with ball joint failure leaving Corey McKay and Conall McNally to claim the maximum class points ahead of Portadown's Arnold Lutton and John Henderson. Barry O'Neill and Kevin Lynam finished in third, ahead of another Skoda crew, Wesley Johnston and Sam Magill from Castelwellan.


In the 1600cc 8 valve category, John and Gavin Devlin set the pace early on and kept the lead to take the class win from Paddy Quinn and Raymond Loughran's Mark 1 Escort.


In the class for cars up to 1650cc Raymond Doyle and Marc Nugent was the only registered crew that took part this weekend, finishing third in class behind the Puma of Stranrar's Roger Donnan and the Peugeot 106 of Ruairi McGarrity.


The up to 2100cc category was won by Alan Acheson and Dean Henderson with Antrim's Paul Mogey and Rodney Torrington claiming second place points. Alan's class win has also given him the overall class win with one round still to go.


The final round of the Pacenotes ANICC 2WD Rally Challenge will bring us to Slieve Gullion for the Newry Motor Club's event.


William Neill

Posted by PMcCollum on 5/10/2009; Last updated by PMcCollum on 5/10/2009