2006 Donaldson Fuels Rally Report

10 March 2006

Phil and Alan Dorman won the Donaldson Fuels Rally, round 4 of the Energia Northern Ireland Navigation Rally championship. This was the first time the rally was included in the series, and it is the first time since 1994 that the championship will be held over more than 8 rounds. Clerk of the Course John Nichol and his team from Cookstown Motor Club were praised for putting on a challenging and enjoyable rally. The 88 mile route started at Sandholes near Cookstown and then first headed north, then east to the lough shore, before returning via Stewartstown and Coalisland.

Many of the instructions were of an unfamiliar format to the navigators, so it was an interesting battle when different crews struggled at different times. There was a three way battle for the win, with the early leaders being the new pairing of Eddie Murphy/Patrick McCollum. Both Barry Taggart and Willie McKeown were out of the country for the rally, and so their respective crew members teamed up for a one-off run. Their lead was short lived, and after making a few errors, they were lying in third place by half way break. Leslie Young/Lewis Boyd, winners of the last round, had picked up 6 marks during the first half, which was 2 off the lead held by the Dormans.

The second half was more challenging than the first, and Young/Boyd lost time on several sections to end their chances of winning. Murphy/McCollum performed best in the second half, but the gap to the Dormans' Nova was too great and the current champions came through to win once again to extend their lead in this year's championship.

Hubert and Elaine Scott won the semi-experts class in their Peugeot 106, and led from start to finish, eventually winning by 17 marks from Gerard Greene/Michael McElwee. These crews finished 4th and 5th overall respectively, ahead of Clifford Auld and John Lindsay in 6th and David Kerr/Maurice Cresswell in 7th.

The novice class was won by Linda Kenneway and Rachel Muldoon in their Peugeot 205 Rallye, and led the class throughout. They had a clear lead at half way, and even though they went wrong on the last section, their lead was enough that they held on to win. This was the girls' first class win, and completed a full set of QUBMC winners in the three championship classes. Ronnie/Aaron Mitchell had an excellent second half, were they picked up only 1 mark, and finished 2nd, only 4 marks behind the winners.

Many of the crews were expecting a very short night's sleep, as they were heading to Rally Ireland at a frighteningly early hour the next morning, but Linda and Rachel went one step further than most. They were officiating at the shake down stage for Rally Ireland in County Sligo, drove from there to Cookstown, won their class on the rally, and were then due to be on stage for marshalling duties at 4am on Saturday morning.

David/Kyle Preston were 3rd in class, which equalled their best ever championship finish. Brian and Victoria Black were 4th after missing a secret check just after the break. Gary and Robert Milligan, who were both recovering from a bout of flu, endured a testing night to end up on 72 minutes in 5th place. Kai Young and Jonathan Elliott (Toyota Starlet) missed the same secret as the Blacks, which dropped them from 3rd to 6th place.<br /><br />Ivor Barker/David O'Neill won the Beginners' Class from Richard Keys/Alistair Barker.

The next championship round is Enniskillen's Erne Safari Rally to be held in three weeks time.


Patrick McCollum

Posted by PMcCollum on 28/8/2008; Last updated by PMcCollum on 28/8/2008