2008 Rogues Rally Report

21 November 2008

Beattie and Hawthorne Lead home the Rogues

Richard Beattie and Ian Hawthorne emerged victorious on the Rathfriland Motor Club organised Banbridge Leader Rogues Rally on Friday 21st November.

And while history will record that Beattie and Hawthorne claimed the top spot, a closer inspection of the results will show that their night long tussle with the Banbridge crew of Barry Gilpin and Denis Morton couldn't have finished any closer.

The Banbridge Leader sponsored Rogues Rally route used a combination of roads and lanes around the Rathfriland, Ballyroney, Ballynafern and Annaclone areas and crews had to visit a total of 37 checkpoints during the 70 mile route.

No1 seeds and past winners Eddie Murphy and Barry Taggart led the 25 crews away from the Old George in Rathfriland ahead of the ‘big' Triumph 2000 of Dromore's Clifford Auld and John Lindsey.

But it was the novice crews of Beattie/Hawthorne and Gilpin/Morton in cars 9 and 10 that emerged as joint leaders of the Rally at the end of the third section. Indeed the 2 leading crews matched each other over the third and fourth sections but it was Gilpin and Morton who first faltered on the last section before the halfway halt when they collected 1 penalty at each of the 3 checkpoints on that section.

In fact the novice class of the Rally was providing all the interest at the halfway point as behind the Beattie and Gilpin battle, Loughbrickland's Neil and Rebecca Fletcher in their Escort Mk1 Mexico were tied with Andrew Hughes and Neil Anderson for third overall, ahead of the of the expert/semi expert class leaders Gareth and Leslie Hawe.

The Rallyschool class was also equally hard fought as Castlewellan father and son team, Andy and Michael Gilmore were tied for the class lead on 15 penalties with Laurelvale's Eric McComb and Aaron Kilpatrick.

The second half of the Rally kicked off again at 10.30pm with a tricky section around Annaclone, which caught out Beattie and Hawthorne, who picked up 2 penalties for arriving 1 minute early at a checkpoint and in the process reducing their lead over Gilpin and Morton to 1 point.

The penultimate section was penalty free for both crews but the last test around the Knock, which included six checkpoints, would be pivotal as to who would take the overall honours.

Amazingly, Beattie and Hawthorne recorded another early arrival at the first of the checkpoints to hand the lead back to Gilpin and Morton. Oblivious to their rival's error, Gilpin and Morton cleared the first 3 checkpoints without a problem but then arrived at the fourth 1 minute late and both crews finished the event on a total of 4 penalty points each. However as Gilpin and Morton were the first to pick up their penalty points, the overall win was awarded to Richard Beattie and Ian Hawthorne.

Behind the battle for first and second, Neil and Rebecca turned in a perfect performance on the second half of the event to pick up zero penalties to secure third place overall in their Mk1 Mexico, with Andrew Hughes and Neil Anderson finishing only 1 point behind in fourth.

Andy and Michael Gilmore finished an excellent fifth overall to win the Rallyschool Class after class rivals Eric McComb and Aaron Kilpatrick sneaked ahead after the halfway halt, but a wrong turn by the Laurelvale crew on the last section around the Knock ruined their chances of a class win.

Best of the expert/semi expert class was David and Kyle Preston who overhauled the Renault Clio of early class leaders Gareth and Leslie Hawe to take sixth overall.

The competitors and marshals all gathered at the Old George in Rathfriland for a well-earned supper and to witness the winners receive their awards. Rathfriland Motor Club would like to thank the Banbridge Leader for their support of the event, and to all the marshals who helped to run another successful event.


Paul Biggerstaff



  1. Richard Beattie and Ian Hawthorne - Citroen Saxo - 4 penalties
  2. Barry Gilpin and Denis Morton - Rover 414 - 4 penalties
  3. Neil and Rebecca Fletcher - Escort Mk1 Mexico - 6 penalties
  4. Andrew Hughes and Neil Anderson - Peugeot 306 - 7 penalties
  5. Andy and Michael Gilmore - MG ZR - 23 penalties
  6. David and Kyle Preston - Citroen Saxo - 24 penalties
  7. Ian and Aaron Johnston - Nissan Micra - 41 penalties
  8. John and Jonathan Henderson - Talbot Sunbeam - 53 penalties
  9. Ronnie and Aaron Mitchell - Ford Sierra - 55 penalties
  10. Gareth and Leslie Hawe - Renault Clio - 59 penalties
Posted by PMcCollum on 22/11/2008; Last updated by PMcCollum on 24/11/2008