2023 Autotest Series – R5 Enniskillen

This is the view everybody gets of Steven Ferguson these days. Another win in the 2023 series.

Ferguson Flying High with Fifth Win out of Five Events.

Report by Grace King and photos by Trevor Foster (Thanks Trevor)

The fifth running of the Keith Boyd Autotest was held on Saturday 20th May at St Angelo Airfield. Enniskillen Motor Club welcomed a solid entry of 37 cars, who screeched and slid their way over the tarmac at the airfield. This was the fifth round of the McMillan Specialist Cars Northern Ireland Autotest Championship and Clubman/Advanced Challenge.

“Does anybody remember where we go here?” Lots of thought is applied on the start line at Enniskillen.

The venue, tests and weather, played into the hands of reigning NI champion Steven Ferguson who continued his winning ways at the Enniskillen event, taking the overall win. In the Clubman category, Garrett Kennedy would make his debut outing and debut win in his rear-wheel drive sports car and the Advanced category would go to an ever improving, Adam McMullan in his Toyota Starlet Special. 

Davy Thompson put in another great performance to end up in second place overall and winner of the large saloon car class.

With Ferguson taking the overall win this would elevate Peter Grimes to first in Class A and fifth overall. James Wilson took the runner up spot in the class with Christopher Grimes Jnr claiming third place in class.  Unfortunately Guy Foster would be again forced to make an early exit from Class A, after suffering an irreparable mechanical issue on the first run of the final test forcing him to withdraw from the remainder of the event.

Were it not for a 20 second penalty on test 2C, Peter Grimes would have been second overall.

Andrew Blair, from Ballyclare was the solo competitor in Class B winner in his Westfield, taking the class win and finishing the event sixth overall. 

Guy Foster attacks a pylon but would fall foul of mechanical gremlins for the second event in a row.

In the Small Saloon Class C, Robin Lyons from Drumbo in his Mini Saloon would take the win and finish third overall, with Andrew Earney runner up in the class. 

Robin Lyons put in another polished, error-free drive to take third place overall.

The Large Saloon Class was again a hotly contested, with all four competitors trading times throughout the day. It would be David Thompson who would again come out on top, taking the class win and finishing second overall, with Newmills’ Mark King taking the runner up spot in class and fourth overall at this round. Damien Mooney would take the final podium position in the class, after battling all day with Dungannon’s Gary Campbell.

Mark King looks like he has rear-wheel-steering on his way to runner-up position in the large saloon class.

In the Clubman classes, Jordan Burns in his Ford Fiesta Special would take his first win in Class A win, as well as finishing third overall in the Clubman Category. Class B would go to Garrett Kennedy, who also took the overall Clubman Category win. Clubman Class D would see a seven way tussle for the win with all drivers pushing their Mazda MX-5s as hard as they would go. Roger Gordon would finish the day first in class, with James Mansfield in second and Ian Lowry in third.

Jordan Burns continues to develop his Fiesta special and took a Class A win in the Clubman Category this time out.

In the Advanced classes, Adam McMullan would take the Class A win, as well as the overall Advanced category win. Robert Robinson in his Toyota Yaris would take the Class C win, as well as the runner up spot in the Advanced category, with Gareth Dillon finishing third overall and first in Advanced Class D.

Young Adam McMullan is maturing into a fine Autotest driver in his somewhat unusual Toyota Starlet special.

In the Production Car category it would be father and son pairing of Andrew Molyneaux Snr and Jnr who claimed the top two podium sports, with Kevin McNamee finishing third. Omagh’s Ryan McAleer put in another fine performance in his Ford Fiesta to finish fourth in the category.

Garrett Kennedy made an impressive start with a Clubman Class B win, and outright fastest time among all Clubmen.

At prize-giving the Clerk of the Course, Lorraine Simpson thanked all the competitors for their entries, the marshals who turned out to assist and her organising team for all ensuring a slick and smooth event. She also thanked St Angelo Airfield for the use of their premises for the event. 

Andy Blair, like Peter Grimes, might have been second overall were it not for a “fatal error” on one test and taking a 20 second penalty.

Now at the half-way point, with five rounds completed, championship and class points remain very tight as we head into the next event. Round six will be hosted by Omagh Motor Club at Omagh Showgrounds on Saturday 10th June which will see the battles continue throughout the different categories and classes.

James Wilson checks in with Ken Irwin, presumably to get some tips on how to do it like the master himself!

McMillan Specialist Cars Northern Ireland Autotest Championship Round 5

Overall Winner – Steven Ferguson

Championship Category:

  • Class A – Peter Grimes
  • Class B – Andy Blair
  • Class C – Robin Lyons
  • Class D – David Thompson

Clubman Category:

  • Class A – Jordan Burns
  • Class B – Garrett Kennedy
  • Class C – No Competitors
  • Class D – Roger Gordon

Advanced Category:

  • Class A – Adam McMullan
  • Class B – No Competitors
  • Class C – Robert Robinson
  • Class D – Gareth Dillon

Production Car Category:

Class P – Andrew Molyneaux Snr

Full Results with individual test times can be found here ==> RESULTS