2010 Circuit of Down Rally Report

17 September 2010


Richard Swanston and Patrick McCollum won the Circuit of Down Navigation Rally, which was the 7th round of the McGrady Insurance sponsored Northern Ireland Championship.


The rally started just outside Camlough on a clear and cold early Autumn evening with the 80 mile route heading first in the direction of Poyntz Pass, then eventually towards Newtownhamilton and back to Camlough. Newry and District Motor club put on a difficult rally for the competitors. A combination of instructions that took navigators time to decipher coupled with a great maze of roads made it hard work for both sides of the car.


The lead changed several times throughout the rally. Leslie and Gareth Hawe led initially only to hand the lead temporarily to John and Jonathan Henderson. They missed a control during a map trace section which let Andrew Hughes and Neil Anderson have a brief run as lead crew before Gary Sheridan and Lloyd Cochrane had their turn which lasted until the half way break. Soon after the break the Hawe's returned to the lead and indeed led for most of the rest of the rally. Unfortunately for them they just lost the lead at the most important stage, the final control. Swanston/McCollum were never that far away from leading and just snuck in front of everyone else during the last section to claim a 3 mark victory margin. Patrick's usual driver, Willie McKeown, was unable to attend this rally and so Richard Swanston, who had just landed back home that afternoon from his work in Algeria, stood in and gave his Citroën Saxo a successful competition debut.


Loughgall's David and Kyle Preston had a very strong finish to end up 3rd ahead of Sheridan/Cochrane, who lost the lead of the championship with this result. Andrew Hughes and Neil Anderson strong run earned them the Semi-Expert class win and 5th overall with John and Jonathan Henderson 6th and Eddie Murphy/Barry Taggart 7th.


Richard and Mark Hughes won the Novice Class ahead of the totally unsuitable Range Rover of Will Corry and Peter Moore, which after starting number 16 actually ran first on the road for a brief spell. Malcolm Johnston and Michael Gilmore had a good run bar one wrong departure and one wrong approach, but nevertheless finished 3rd in class ahead of Ian and Aaron Johnston and Philip and Kyle Sommerville.


Patrick McCollum




  1. Richard Swanston/Patrick McCollum (Expert, Citroën Saxo) 63 marks
  2. Leslie Hawe/Gareth Hawe (Expert, Renault Clio) 66 marks
  3. David Preston/Kyle Preston (Expert, Citroën Saxo) 86 marks
  4. Gary Sheridan/Lloyd Cochrane (Expert, Proton Compact) 97 marks
  5. Andrew Hughes/Neil Anderson (Semi-Expert, Peugeot 306) 110 marks
  6. John Henderson/Jonathan Henderson (Expert, Nissan Micra) 152 marks
  7. Eddie Murphy/Barry Taggart (Expert, Vauxhall Corsa) 193 marks
  8. DNF Neil Fletcher/Rebecca Fletcher (Semi-Expert, Ford Escort Mk1 ) DNF marks


  1. Richard Swanston/Patrick McCollum (Citroën Saxo) 63 marks
  2. Leslie Hawe/Gareth Hawe (Renault Clio) 66 marks
  3. David Preston/Kyle Preston (Citroën Saxo) 86 marks
  4. Gary Sheridan/Lloyd Cochrane (Proton Compact) 97 marks
  5. John Henderson/Jonathan Henderson (Nissan Micra) 152 marks
  6. Eddie Murphy/Barry Taggart (Vauxhall Corsa) 193 marks


  1. Andrew Hughes/Neil Anderson (Peugeot 306) 110 marks
  2. DNF Neil Fletcher/Rebecca Fletcher (Ford Escort Mk1 ) DNF marks


  1. Richard Hughes/Mark Hughes (Vauxhall Corsa) 57 marks
  2. Will Corry/Peter Moore (Range Rover) 76 marks
  3. Malcolm Johnston/Michael Gilmore (Škoda Felicia) 104 marks
  4. Ian Johnston/Aaron Johnston (Nissan Micra) 149 marks
  5. Philip Somerville/Kyle Somerville (Toyota Starlet) 152 marks
Posted by PMcCollum on 18/9/2010; Last updated by PMcCollum on 18/9/2010