The Mayo and District Motorsport club were well represented at last Sunday’s Connacht mini-stages rally based out of Grange in Sligo, with over 10 crews starting the extremely tough event.
Mervyn and Derek Deane in their Ford Escort Mark II were the first Mayo crew home in a fine eighth place overall. They steadily gained places throughout the day, climbing from 14th after stage one up to their eventual eighth place finish. The dynamic duo of Ciaran Kennedy and Paul McGuinniss brought there class two Civic home in a excellent first in class and a great 21st overall. The pair were finding it very slippery but were thoroughly enjoying the day. They lost one of the wing mirrors on stage one.
Foxford’s Ambrose Gaughan was the next Mayo competitor home in his Toyota Corolla Twin Cam. Ambrose finished 26th overall, an incredible result considering he suffered complete brake failure halfway through stage one. Ambrose and co-driver Derek Molloy managed to bleed the brakes and continued. They went on to prove their pace by catching two cars on stage two, climbing from a first stage 57th to 26th at the finish. They also brought home some crystal by finishing third in class nine. Next highest Mayo finishers were Marcus Molloy and David Walsh. They finished in 35th place overall in their Honda Civic.
Unfortunately it was not all good news for the Mayo competitors as some of them fell by the wayside. One of them was Colin and Michael Loughney in their class 12 Ford Escort Mark II. The crew found the conditions very tricky, finding themselves going up two escape roads on the first two stages. The red Escort was lying in a great 16th place overall after stage one but unfortunately after stage three their fine drive came to an end when the oil filter came off. Another crew to retire due to mechanical problems was Padraic Roche and Chrystal Culkeen, when the gearbox cried enough after stage 1.