Mooney Untouchable at Lee Lucas Trial
Setting fastest time on all but one of the 15 tests, Paul Mooney took his Vauxhall Nova to a massive 38 seconds win on the 2021 Lee Lucas Classic Trial on Saturday 19th June. Trevor Ferguson (Mazda MX5) was second and Eamonn Byrne (Toyota Yaris) third.
The Autotest Drivers Club managed to run their 2021 version of the Classic Trial with Covid requirements in strong evidence. Just five test locations this year, each to be tackled three times, with drivers alone in the car. The format was to divide the entry of just 30 starters into five groups, with each group assigned to a test, and then led by a “chaperone” marshal to the next one after completing that test all three times.
While this eased the compliance with covid rules, it made keeping track of who was winning a matter of speculation until every group had completed all the tests. As the times rolled in on the internet-based results system, it soon became apparent that Cookstown’s Paul Mooney was setting an incredible pace on every test he completed.
It was so nearly a clean sweep of tests for the former Northern Ireland Autotest Champion, Mooney, were it not for a rapid time by Wicklow driver Eamonn Byrne on the Turkingtons Test at Sandholes, albeit just 0.6 second ahead Paul. That would be the only time anybody would better Paul Mooney’s pace, and Byrne himself would end up third, over 45 seconds adrift of Mooney, and 7.6 behind Ferguson.
Mooney’s closest rival turned out to be Coagh driver, Trevor Ferguson, and he in turn put on a display that left him 26.4 seconds clear of his nearest rival in his class. His Mazda MX5 was driven with precision, and second place overall was a terrific result. Trevor’s class was the biggest of the day with 22 cars, mostly Mazda MX5s.
With so many of the entries in the “MX5 Class”, the other classes tended to have very small numbers. Stewartstown’s Norman Ferguson, with his big-wheeled Mini Cooper S, was all alone in Class 5, front-wheel-drive up to 1300cc, after James Greer didn’t show up. Nevertheless, he had great fun on the tests and would finish an impressive fifth place overall.
Class 6 was another with just two competitors, Gordon Buckley and Noel Cochrane, both in MG Midgets. Noel would win this class very comfortably, and his tidy, efficient style would bring this experienced competitor into fourth place overall, and less than two seconds behind Eamonn Byrne.
As it happens, Paul Mooney in the Vauxhall Nova was accompanied by just Harold Hassard’s Nissan Sunny in Class 3. Harold has lost little of his skill and steered the apparently unwieldy car into 15th place overall.
In Class 2, for the larger engined front-wheel-drive-cars, it was a Toyota lock out with two Starlets and the Yaris of Eamonn Byrne. Dubliner Frank Lenehan easily had the legs on Dessie Martin from Saintfield, his times not helped by a “maximum time” on one test and three pylon faults during the day.
Perhaps the “noteworthy performance of the day” should go to Robert Robinson from Hillsborough in that massive MX5 class. Robert has been learning his trade in the clubman section of the Northern Ireland Autotest Championship and that showed today in Robert’s drive to the runners-up spot in Class 4 behind Trevor Ferguson. Sixth place overall on a challenging day like the Lee Lucas is a great result, and Robert must be well pleased with that.
- Paul Mooney (Vauxhall Nova) 838.9;
- Trevor Ferguson (MX5) 877.0;
- Eamonn Byrne (Toyota Yaris) 884.6;
- Noel Cochrane (MG Midget) 886.0;
- Norman Ferguson (Cooper S) 897.5;
- Robert Robinson (MX5) 903.4;
- Simon Brien (MX5) 905.4;
- Adam Brogan (MX5) 911.9;
- Lawrence Baird (MX5) 916.5;
- James Johnston (MX5) 920.4.
- Norman Ferguson.
- Eamonn Byrne.
- Paul Mooney.
- Trevor Ferguson.
- No Competitors.
- Noel Cochrane.
Full results can be found here ===> RESULTS LEE LUCAS 2021