Erne Trophy Sprint Report

1 July 2017


Montgomery Motorsport Backed Sprint a Roaring Success


The lucky few spectators who showed up at St Angelo to watch the Montgomery Motorsport Erne Trophy Sprint were witness to an eye-watering variety of fast and exotic cars: from Ian Howard’s twin cam-engined lightweight Maguire Mini to Adrian Pollock’s super-rapid 300bhp Vauxhall-engined Dallara F3 [single-seater Formula 3 car].  The spectators certainly got their money’s worth as, in total, the Sprint ran 17 Classes accommodating some 92 starters with the action beginning at 10.30am and running continuously over the 2 mile course till 6.30pm.


However it was Michael Roche from Wexford, in his deceptively rapid OMS 200M single seater, who came out on top setting the Fastest Time of the Day at 136.98 seconds over 2 laps of the 4 mile course. He was a mere 1.69 seconds ahead of second-placed John Morgan in his 400bhp Vauxhall engined Pilbeam who in turn was just 1.24 seconds in front of 3rd overall, Christopher Houston in his OMS CFO8. Interestingly the winning time on Saturday did not beat the record set by Robert Morgan back in 2015 of 135.62 seconds. Perhaps the drizzle which came just as competitors began their first Timed Run had a part to play.


Also in the mix, although not near the times achieved by the single seaters were the Class 1 and 2 vehicles - standard Production Cars such as dual entry Kath McDade and Robert Savage in their Ford Puma and the MX5s of Jim Davison and Malcolm McQueen with Gavin McClurg the Class best in his Citroen AX.


Class 2, Road Going Cars over 1700cc 2WD, was won by Pacenotes Rally Magazine Editor Jonathan MacDonald in his quick 2 litre Renault Clio by 7.12 seconds from Michael Clarke in a Lotus Elise. Class 3 and 4 had no entries this year. Class 5 had only one entry, Godfrey McCartney in another Lotus Elise.


Class 6A, Modified Production Cars 8 Valve 2WD Only, had Quentin Park in his MkII Escort lead Travis Humphrey in his 205 GTI home by 1.7 seconds. 6B was the Modified Cars Multivalve 2WD only Class and it was claimed by Andrew Bustard in his very quick MkII Escort on 159.89 while close behind came Daryl McCanny driving the door handles off his little 1600 Corsa with Enniskillen Motor Club committee member, Eldoras Elgerius in his near-standard 1800 Focus came 9th in this class.


Then we come to the ‘Kit Car’ class; Class 7 Modified Specialist Production Cars 2WD only. Here we saw some very close racing with the top three all on the same second! Winner here was David Mutch in his rapid Raw Stryker followed by the Dax S2000 of Graham Boyce with Lee McCreary next in his beautiful Westfield SC.  


In Class 8, Sports Libre Special Saloon Cars up to 1400 8 Valve or 1000 16 Valve the spectators were treated to a real technological marvel as Ian Howard blasted his immaculate Maguire Mini powered by an ‘A’ series engine of 1380cc but with a twin cam head of his own design and construction! His class-winning time was 153.23.


Class 9 had no entries. Class 10-Sports Libre Rally Cars up to 1650 2WD only-had local ‘talent’ consisting of Ballinamallard driver David Forde in his 1400 Ford Puma, Jonni McDaid from Enniskillen driving a Peugeot 106 Cup Car, a car he shared with Dad Tommi, while Kinawley man Barry Murphy wheeled out his historic 1600 Sunbeam. Alan Cassells won the class in a Peugeot 106 followed by Forde in his Puma and McDaid came third just 0.32 seconds behind.


Class 11 also had lots of local interest with some 14 competitors battling it out for the Sports Libre Rally Cars over 1650cc 2WD only, Class. Honours here went to young Barry Morris in the fierce some 2 litre Millington- engined Darrian T90 GTR he shared with Dad Seamus. Veteran Dessie MCartney, who made his first appearance on St Angelo in 1968, came second in a similar Darrian. [Darrian is a specialist lightweight 2WD rally car of composite material constructed in Wales]. Third was claimed by Marc Johnston of Ballinamallard driving his Dad’s immaculate MkII BDG-engined Appendix ‘K’ Escort. Dad Raymond steered the same car to 7th in this class. Belleek ‘forest racer’ Damian McGauran took his home-built BMW 320 with Honda S2000 engine driving the rear wheels to 4th in class whilst his Dad, Thomas, claimed 10th in class in the same machine. Thomas said that they didn’t change a thing from the forest setting on the car but he did find the sequential gear change, ‘a bit different’ to the Mini Cooper he last drove in the early seventies! First-timers to the Sprint, Dermot Brewster and EMC Secretary Brian D’Arcy, shared their immaculate Vauxhall Astra GSI on Saturday and got home in one piece.


Class 12: All Other 4WD Sports Libre Cars was clinched by Martin Cairns in his sensational Fiesta WRC with Trillick man Dermot O’Hagan taking second in a Mitsubishi EVO 6 with Oliver Cormican third in another Mitsubishi. Irvinestown rally preparation guru, Gerry McGarrity himself no stranger to St Angelo, brought 2 cars and finished in his Mitsubishi EVO 9 in 4th place with Monea’s Rodney Donaldson 5th followed by Chris McCarthy of Irvinestown in 6th.  


Class 13: Racing Cars complying with Formula VW or Club Formula Ford [FF] had a single entry from Henry Campbell in his beautifully prepared Reynard FF 1600. In Class 14 we had Racing Cars up to 2000cc 8 valve or up to 1400 multivalve. Newcomer to St Angelo George Stevenson from Ballymena won this class in his extremely nimble Jedi Mk6 out cornering Beragh driver John Donnelly in his 2 litre version of a Reynard SF80 with 3rd going to Lewis Wilson from Omagh also in a Reynard but 873 specification.


Class 15 All Other Racing Cars was always going to produce the winner and so it was on the day with no real surprises as Michael Roche from Wexford in his rapid and nimble OMS 2000M claimed First Overall and first in Class. Second in this class was John Morgan in the Pilbeam MP82 he shared with Robert Morgan who got 4th in class whilst 3rd was Christopher Houston in his OMS CF08. Adrian Pollock failed to make it onto the track for any Timed Run and the Morgan’s car also failed after only one Timed Run denying spectators the chance of an expected nail-biting finish. However ‘that’s motorsport’ as Clerk of the Course, Declan Gannon expressed at the finish.


Class 16A: Road Going Historic Saloons and Sports Cars was once again [as in 2014/15] claimed by Gerry McGarrity in his very rapid Mini Cooper with Gerry showing he can steer a car as well as he prepares one! Next was Kesh man Karl Johnston in another quick Austin Mini Cooper ‘S’ with Trevor McIlroy 3rd in his immaculate Austin Healey Sebring Sprite. Karl’s Dad, veteran Mervyn, wheeled out an unusual variant of Mini, an Austin Mini Midas, a fibreglass kit car version with a 1399cc Cooper engine which he brought home 4th in class.  


Class 16B: Non Road Going Historic Saloons and Sports Cars winner was Stephen Strain in an Escort MkI with Robert McGimpsey second in another unusual car – a Ford Turner, a fibreglass kit car powered by a 1500cc pre-cross flow Ford engine. Arthur Ovens from Brookeborough brought his arched MG Midget home in 3rd place in this class.


In his speech at the prize-giving, CoC Declan Gannon thanked all marshals and officials who helped run such a fantastic and safe day’s motorsport. Gannon has a special mention for Montgomery Motorsport for their much-appreciated sponsorship of the event. He also had a special word of thanks for Noel Baskin and his team at Enniskillen Airport for their cooperation. 



Posted by PMcCollum on 4/7/2017; Last updated by PMcCollum on 4/7/2017