Competitors can differ a lot in their reactions to a loss; some may be barely affected or may forget the loss almost immediately. Others will be virtually devastated and may be low-spirited for days. We know now, after the weekend, that Alan Moran from Foxford prefers to move on, forget the past, and seize the first opportunity to get back on top of the podium. On Saturday last Moran, his navigator John Burke, and their hard working service crew led by James McGreal and Sean McHugh made the trip north to the seventh and final round of the 2015 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forestry Championship, the Mid-Antrim Motor Club's Glens of Antrim Rally.
Moran held a slim lead in the overall Junior Championship table, but when dropped scores came into play Patrick O’Brien, who lay second, could leapfrog the Mayo man provided O’Brien brought his C2R2 over the finish line. With the championship winner receiving an automatic nomination for the prestigious Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Award, there was no doubting just how important Saturday's race in the Antrim forests was to these young hot-shots.
Unfortunately it was not to be for the young Mayo man. O’Brien’s advantage in his newer, more powerful, car meant despite a spirited drive by Moran, pushing his Peugeot 206 to the limit at times, it just was not enough and he finished the event in second place in the junior category and dropped to second in the overall championship.
But fast forward a few hours and despite hanging his head, Moran made the trip to Sligo on Sunday to compete in Connacht Motorclub’s Autocross event, this time double driving James McGreal’s four wheel drive Mitsubishi Evo 4. While it started off a relaxed atmosphere with a number of other Mayo members in attendance on what was one of the last Autocross events of the 2015 calendar, Moran soon showed his class, he was the only competitor on the day to break under the three minute mark, doing so on his second of three runs and went on to take the overall victory, becoming the first Mayo and District Motorsport Club member in history to achieve the win over the border in Sligo!
Also in action last weekend was London based Westport man Ed Muldoon who rounded off a fine season of forest rallying with another solid finish in the aforementioned Glens of Antrim Rally, while James McGreal won Class 9 in Sligo pipping Sean McHugh by less than a second, relegating the Bekan man to second in class. Further down the order Westport’s Alan McGuire brought his Peugeot 205 home sixth in Class 3.
In the Banna Beach Resort Kerry Rally, Paul McLaughlin from Claremorris navigated Shane Maguire to a class win that awarded the Monaghan driver to clinch the overall Top Part West Coast Rally Championship.