2009 Gullion Stages Report

28 November 2009

Conlon Conquers Gullion


As the fog descended on the final round of the Pacenotes ANICC 2WD Rally Challenge, at the YourPartyBanners.com Gullion Stages it was local crew Damien Toner and Paddy McCague that set the fastest time on the opening Camlough test.


Camillus Bradley and Ciaran Kelly finished the first stage two seconds back, but over the longer Gullion stage they were ten seconds faster than anyone else, moving into the lead. The fog was playing havoc on the Gullion stage; Crews were having trouble with the conditions leaving many with no choice but to back off.


Damien Toner and Paddy McCague responded on the second Camlough test, taking three seconds back off Camillus's lead. It was to no avail though, as Camillus Bradley pulled back the time again on the second Gullion stage.


Stages five had only one second between the two at the top, but after a troubled morning Norman Armstrong and Gary Armstrong were back on form setting a stage fastest time on the Gullion stage.


Crews then moved on to the final run through the Camlough stage before tackling the Gullion stage just as the fog was finally lifting, there was the darkness to contend with. Camillus Bradley and Ciaran Kelly didn't fail to disappoint on the final run taking another stage win by eight seconds from Norman and Gary Armstrong.


Damien Toner and Paddy McCague's final effort placed them in second overall ahead of the Armstrong camp. Raymond Conlon and Matt McCrudden finished in fourth behind the wheel of a Toyota Corolla.


First of the Pacenotes Series competitors was Michael Conlon and Aidan Boyle in fifth overall, after his retirement on the penultimate round in Enniskillen. Second place points was a welcome boost for Stephen and Victor Smith's campaign ahead of John and Gavin Devlin from Banbridge, twenty four seconds back. Raymond Doyle finished in twenty fourth overall and fourth out of the Challenge crews, also in the top five, Eamon and Jerry McLaughlin.


In the 1400cc class, Eamon and Jerry McLaughlin were out front. Portadown's Arnie Lutton and John Henderson through caution to the wind, claiming second in class. Another regular in the series this year, Wesley Johnston and Sam Magill finished in third ahead of the similar Skoda Felicia of Barry O'Neill and Kevin Lynam.


In the 1600cc 8 valve category, John and Gavin Devlin set the pace early on and kept the lead to take the class win. Allan McKay and Mo Downey in the Ford Anglia WRC (Allan McKay informs us that WRC stands for Well Run Car) finished in second, but are unregistered for the series, giving second place points to Paddy Quinn and Raymond Loughran.


Stephen and Victor Smith were victorious in the class for cars up to 1650cc ahead of Raymond Doyle and Marc Nugent.


The up to 2100cc Challenge points went to Alan Acheson and Dean Henderson despite finishing fifth in class, as they were the first registered crew ahead of Mark and Sinead McGrath.


Finally, the Challenge Committee would like to thank the Sponsor, Simon Mooney from Pacenotes Rally Magazine, the organising clubs of each round, event sponsors, marshals, officials, crews who took part in the Series and everyone who supported the first Pacenotes ANICC 2WD Rally Challenge.


William Neill

Posted by PMcCollum on 29/11/2009; Last updated by PMcCollum on 29/11/2009