2010 Donaldson Fuels Report

26 March 2010

Gary Sheridan and Lloyd Cochrane won their second rally in a row to take the lead in the McGrady Insurance Navigation Rally championship.   They survived a gruelling night which saw no fewer than 5 crews not finishing to win by a clear margin.  This is traditionally a tough rally and this event lived up to its reputation, with even the event winners failing to clean any section of the night.  The form crew of the evening seemed to be Eddie Murphy/Barry Taggart, as after 4 sections they were only on 3 marks.  Their run was ended prematurely when the oil pressure light came on in their car.  The engine sounded dangerously rough and they reckoned they wouldn't make it to the end of the event and reluctantly headed for home.  By this stage, the current champions were already out as wheel nuts had sheared on Willie McKeown/Patrick McCollum's Corsa before TCB.  Their run was over and all they could do was limp back into Cookstown and await a lift home.


When the remaining crews reached the much sought after Relaxed section, John and Jonathan Henderson were in the lead on 14 marks with Sheridan and Cochrane on 25, Leslie Young and Lewis Boyd on 39, Gerard Greene and Michael McElwee on 40, Andrew Hughes and Neil Anderson on 50, Gordon Simpson and Derek Graham on 54 and an out of sorts Leslie and Gareth Hawe on 64.


The second half really took its toll on the Semi-Expert crews, as of the 4 entries, William and David Howard soon left the fray, Rachel Muldoon found the mix of tough instructions, being sick and struggling with an increasingly sore throat too much for her and Ken McDonald to continue, and Gerard Greene and Michael McElwee made it three crews all stopping within a couple of sections of one another.  Andrew Hughes and Neil Anderson's perseverance paid off as they were the only finishers in the class and even earned a respectable 4th overall finish.


The Hendersons kept their lead right up to TCK, but unfortunately 55 marks from here to the end at TCM gave Sheridan and Cochrane the chance to get their second victory on the trot.  The Hawe's, running number 1 for the first time on a championship rally, had a really strong second half, with the only significant blemish being a wrong departure on the last section.  It still meant that they had climbed to 3rd by the end of the rally.  Young/Boyd struggled somewhat in the second half and even missed two secrets during a really tough last section to finish in 5th, one place ahead of their fellow Omagh club members Gordon Simpson and Derek Graham.  How tough was this rally?  Well, the average finishing total among the top 2 classes was 136.  That's quite tough.


Things weren't quite so drastic for the Novice crews.  Clive Latimer and David McElroy dropped only 18 marks on their way to victory.  Despite being in a field at one point, Richard and Mark Hughes claimed second place ahead of Malcolm Johnston/Michael Gilmore, Ian and Aaron Johnston and Barry Gilpin/Denis Morton.


Mark McCafferty and David Maxwell had a fine run to win the Beginner Class on only 23 marks, with Gerard McHugh and Jonathan Nicholl second in class.


With Willie McKeown/Patrick McCollum and Eddie Murphy/Barry Taggart not scoring here, Murphy/Taggart missing the last round and Young/Boyd missing the first two rounds, Gary Sheridan and Lloyd Cochrane have made the best of it with two strong wins lifting them to a clear lead in the title race.  John and Jonathan Henderson are having a great year, in this their first attempt as Experts.  They currently lie in second place.  Andrew Hughes and Neil Anderson are in total control of the Semi-Expert class so far while Clive Latimer and David McElroy are edging further ahead of Richard and Mark Hughes as each rally passes in the Novice Championship.  In the Club championship, North Armagh are building a strong lead over Queen's with Omagh currently in third place.


Patrick McCollum







  1. Gary Sheridan/Lloyd Cochrane (Expert, Proton) 66 marks
  2. John Henderson/Jonathan Henderson (Expert, Micra) 92 marks
  3. Leslie Hawe/Gareth Hawe (Expert, Clio) 111 marks
  4. Andrew Hughes/Neil Anderson  (Semi-Expert, 306) 128 marks
  5. Leslie Young/Lewis Boyd (Expert, Vectra) 172 marks
  6. Gordon Simpson/Derek Graham (Expert, C4) 244 marks
  7. DNF Willie McKeown/Patrick McCollum (Expert, Corsa) DNF marks
  8. DNF Edward Murphy/Barry Taggart (Expert, Corsa) DNF marks
  9. DNF Ken McDonald/Rachel Muldoon (Semi-Expert, Peugeot) DNF marks
  10. DNF William Howard/David Howard (Semi-Expert, Astra) DNF marks
  11. DNF Gerard Greene/Michael McElwee (Semi-Expert, Nova) DNF marks


  1. Gary Sheridan/Lloyd Cochrane (Proton) 66 marks
  2. John Henderson/Jonathan Henderson (Micra) 92 marks
  3. Leslie Hawe/Gareth Hawe (Clio) 111 marks
  4. Leslie Young/Lewis Boyd (Vectra) 172 marks
  5. Gordon Simpson/Derek Graham (C4) 244 marks
  6. DNF Willie McKeown/Patrick McCollum (Corsa) DNF marks
  7. DNF Edward Murphy/Barry Taggart (Corsa) DNF marks


  1. Andrew Hughes/Neil Anderson  (306) 128 marks
  2. DNF Ken McDonald/Rachel Muldoon (Peugeot) DNF marks
  3. DNF William Howard/David Howard (Astra) DNF marks
  4. DNF Gerard Greene/Michael McElwee (Nova) DNF marks


  1. Clive Latimer/David McElroy (Ibiza) 18 marks
  2. Richard Hughes/Mark Hughes (Vauxhall) 46 marks
  3. Malcolm Johnston/Michael Gilmore (Felicia) 66 marks
  4. Ian Johnston/Aaron Johnston (Micra) 91 marks
  5. Barry Gilpin/Denis Morton (Rover) 102 marks


  1. Mark McCafferty/David Maxwell (TBA) 23 marks
  2. Gerard McHugh/Jonathan Nicholl Lynn (TBA) 186 marks
Posted by PMcCollum on 28/3/2010; Last updated by PMcCollum on 28/3/2010