2008 Circuit of Down Rally Report

3 October 2008

Gary Sheridan and Lloyd Cochrane won the Circuit of Down Rally, but had to rely on a tie-break to do so. Willie McKeown and Patrick McCollum were tied for the lead at the finish, and although they lost the tie-break, they picked up enough points for them to retain the championship title with one round still to go.


Sheridan/Cochrane had a real battle on their hands to win the rally, which started in Newry and used the area round the western tip of the Mournes. The lead changed between them and Eddie Murphy/Barry Taggart throughout the night. Murphy/Taggart had a 3 minute lead with 7 miles to go, but tried to drive to the final control before visiting the penultimate one, and the time lost here cost them the win.


Leslie and Gareth Hawe had an excellent event. They won their class by nearly 20 mins, finished 3rd overall, and clinched the Semi-Expert title for 2008. Second in this class were Gary and Robert Milligan.


The Novice class was won, for the fifth time this year, by Neil and Rebecca Fletcher, and they also claimed their class title for the year. Raymond and Gareth Deazley took 2nd in class on the night, ahead of Richard Beattie and Ian Hawthorne.


The best of the beginners were Ian and Aaron Johnston, who finished ahead of Andrew Hughes and Neil Anderson who were debuting a Peugeot 306 on the event.


The championship concludes in one month's time with the UAC's Firecracker Rally.


Patrick McCollum




  1. Gary Sheridan/Lloyd Cochrane (Expert, Proton) 14 marks;
  2. Willie McKeown/Patrick McCollum (Expert, Corsa) 14;
  3. Leslie Hawe/Gareth Hawe (Semi-Expert, Renault Clio) 16;
  4. Eddie Murphy/Barry Taggart (Expert, Corsa) 21;
  5. Gary Milligan/Robert Milligan (Semi-Expert, Renault Clio) 34;
  6. David Preston/Kyle Preston (Semi-Expert, Citroën Saxo) 114;
  7. John Henderson/Jonathan Henderson (Semi-Expert, Sunbeam) DNF;


  1. Neil Fletcher/Rebecca Fletcher (Escort) 9;
  2. Raymond Deazley/Gareth Deazley (Corsa) 19;
  3. Richard Beattie/Ian Hawthorn (Citroën Saxo) 28;
  4. William Howard/David Howard (Astra) 42;
  5. Clive Latimer/Jackie Anderson (Citroën Saxo) 46;


  1. Ian Johnston/Aaron Johnston (Micra) 27;
  2. Andrew Hughes/Neil Anderson (Peugeot 306) 32;
  3. Mark Johnston/Simon Johnston (Corsa) 69;
  4. Philip Sommerville/Allen Russell (VW Golf) 110;
  5. Brian Barr/Ruth Barr (Micra) 168;
  6. Richard Hughes/Mark Hughes (Nova) 174;
  7. Eric McCombe/Aaron Kilpatrick (Impreza) 316
Posted by PMcCollum on 27/10/2009; Last updated by PMcCollum on 27/10/2009