James Lannon from Boyle in Co. Roscommon achieved a long-held ambition on Sunday by claiming his maiden victory on Mayo and District Motorsport Club’s final autocross of the year. In doing so he became the fifth winner of the popular loose surface series in as many events, in what has been an enthralling season of motorsport at the challenging 2.7 km circuit at Harrington’s Quarry near Swinford. It was also a successful day for local hero James McGreal whose third place finish was enough to ensure he retained the Frank Harrington trophy for overall autocross champion for the second successive year.
Once again an exciting day’s action saw an incredibly close finish, with Lannon taking victory over the similar car of Peter McCullagh of Maynooth by a mere 0.08 seconds. Indeed after two runs, McCullagh had eased his way to the top of the leaderboard by over a second, but a determined effort from Lannon on the final test saw him take the win by the slimmest of margins. A regular at Mayo Motor Club’s autocross events, the Roscommon man was delighted to have finally achieved the top podium position, after coming close on previous events.
For once James McGreal was unable to match the pace of the leading protagonists, finishing nearly four seconds adrift in third. However another consistent season which has included a win, two seconds and a fourth has ensured the Foxford man in his trusty Subaru Impreza has once again clinched the overall Autocross Championship ahead of Lannon and the winner of the previous round, Walter Burke. Fourth place on Sunday went to Martin Tynan from Clones in another Mitsubishi, while in fifth was the leading two-wheel drive competitor Benny Quinn from Omagh, who also took the award for winning class four in his Escort. Clones man Michael Tynan was sixth ahead of the fabulous sounding JB Buggy of Jason Harron from Kesh, who won class six.
In eighth overall was one of the drivers of the day, Padraic Cawley from Coolaney beating a host of more powerful cars to win class two in a Peugeot 205. The Escort of Williamstown’s Walter Burke suffered gearbox problems on his final run, finishing ninth and second in class four, while Brian Dunlop from Clogher in Tyrone rounded out the top 10, taking third in class four in the process. Other competitors picking up class awards included Ryan Donnelly from Beragh and Ciaran McCullagh from Maynooth, second and third respectively in class two. Leroy and Nigel Mills from Trillick in Tyrone were first and second in class one in their shared Vauxhall Corsa, ahead of Sean Mullervy from Drumlish. On her first visit to a Mayo Autocross, 17-year-old Amy Cox from Omagh impressed with her speed in an Escort and collected the ladies’ award. The Mayo and District Motorsport Club award for the leading club member was presented to Derek Bolton from Ballaghaderreen.