2010 Summer Lanes Report

24 July 2010

JJ Farrell and Colm Flynn took a convincing 31 second victory in the Summer Lanes Rally. Crews from all over Ireland came to County Antrim to compete on the event which was made up of 25 Special Tests run on through farm lanes. This was the third running of this event and was held on a mainly dry day.


The early leaders were Daniel Byrne/Richard Pain in their Toyota Starlet, but a missed code board on Test 6 dropped them to 11th. This gave fellow Starlet crew Frank Lenehen/Nikki Doran a brief stint in the lead, only for a slow time on the next run dropped them to 3rd. JJ Farrell became the third Starlet driver to lead and this was a lead he was never to relinquish. A stern challenge came from Colin and Andrew Earney in an Austin Cooper S. They were very close on most tests, but Earney had 2 bad tests and lost out to the greater consistency of Farrell. Karl O'Donoghue/Padraig Farrell in their Rover 200 were another to feature at the sharp end, but it took until the 6th test before they set their first fastest time. They couldn't close the gap to Farrell/Flynn and ended up tying for second with Colin Earney. O'Donoghue claimed 2nd by being faster on the day's first test. The Earney's were the only Northern Ireland crew in the top 6 in an event dominated by southern crews.


Daniel Byrne and Richard Pain finished the rally in 4th, ahead of Bernard Bradley and Vincent Fagan in a Ford Escort MkI. Craig O'Rourke and Ronan O'Neill were 6th in what appeared to be the car of choice, a Toyota Starlet. In an indication of how big JJ Farrell's winning margin was, Andrew Hughes and Kerry Moreland, who finished 7th overall in their Peugeot 306, were only 16 seconds behind 2nd place, while JJ Farrell finished 31 seconds clear of the next fastest car.


Frank Lenehan and Nikki Doran ended up in 8th place ahead of Robert Woodside and David Allen's Volkswagen Beetle. Roger Fynn with Clifford Auld in the passenger seat were the fastest of the MG Midgets and only 4 seconds ahead of Robert McGimpsey and Mark Faulkner in another Midget. John Farrell and Mick O'Shea were very fast in their Ford Escort, with 9 fastest times during the day, but too many penalties and slow times were very costly and they finished 12th.


One of the interesting points about this rally is the wide ranging type of cars competing, with anything from modern Fiestas and Clios to some unusual older cars including a Rover P6, a Gilbern Invader, a Ford Capri and a BMW 2002. Many of the crews were complimentary to Clerk of the Course Richard Hyland and the team at Queen's University Belfast Motor Club for putting on such an enjoyable event.


Patrick McCollum



  1. JJ Farrell/Colm Flynn (Toyota Starlet) 18:42
  2. Karl O'Donoghue/Padraig Farrell (Rover 200) 19:13
  3. Colin Earney/Andrew Earney (Austin Cooper S) 19:13
  4. Daniel Byrne/Richard Pain (Toyota Starlet) 19:18
  5. Bernard Bradley/Vincent Fagan (Ford Escort Mk1) 19:22
  6. Craig O'Rourke/Ronan O'Neil (Toyota Starlet) 19:28
  7. Andrew Hughes/Kerry Moreland (Peugeot 306) 19:29
  8. Frank Lenehen/Nikki Doran (Toyota Starlet) 19:45
  9. Robert Woodside/David Allen (Volkswagen Beetle) 20:09
  10. Roger Fynn/Clifford Auld (MG Midget) 20:18
  11. Robert McGimpsey/Mark Faulkner (MG Midget) 20:22
  12. John Farrell/Mick O'Shea (Ford Escort) 20:43
  13. Gavin Millington/Tim McKie (Rover P6) 21:13
  14. Brian Crawford/Jim Crozier (Ford Ka) 21:15
  15. Ciaran Carey/Rachel Muldoon (Vauxhall Nova) 21:35
  16. Dave McCausland/Billy Gillespie (MG Midget) 22:16
  17. Trevor McIlroy/John Lindsay (MG Midget) 22:33
  18. Stephen Cromie/Bethel Hunter (BMW 316i Compact) 22:46
  19. Ronnie Mitchell/Reginald Dickson (Gilbern Invader) 23:22
  20. Declan Waters/Mark Kavenagh (Rover 200) 23:45
Posted by PMcCollum on 26/7/2010; Last updated by PMcCollum on 26/7/2010