Patterson Masterclass at Cookstown A29 Targa
Dungannon’s Eric Patterson, partnered as usual by Raymond Donaldson, put in a dominating display of Targa Rally driving at the Cookstown Motor Club Targa Rally at the weekend. Fastest on the first test was Stewartstown Legend, Norman Ferguson, but Patterson took that lead from him on test two, and was never headed for the rest of the day.
Seventy four cars assembled at the A29 Filling Station just outside Cookstown, and headed off in two groups to tackle six tests three times. The weather was looking good as the first cars pulled away at 10:30 am, but the rain was heading in from the West and by the second loop of tests had increased the challenge of the farm lanes and yards.
Unfortunately, one of the tests had to be dropped from the competition on all three loops due to timekeeping issues, but this didn’t spoil the fun for those competing.
Ten seconds behind Patterson was Stewartstown’s Trevor Ferguson and David McElroy in another Mazda MX5, and his run of top three times in the afternoon secured him his best Targa result to date. Behind that was another Tyrone team, newly crowned NI Autotest Champion Paul Mooney and partner Lorraine McMorrow. Their front wheel drive Nova looked out of place amongst the MX5s, but Paul’s pace gave a well deserved podium finish.
In the Classes, Paul Mooney would easily take the award for Expert FWD. Matthew Mason hit it lucky when he suffered a suspension failure on the penultimate test, limped back to the finish, and then discovered that the final test was one of those cancelled, and so he took the runners up spot in the class.
Eric Patterson and Trevor Ferguson took the top two places in Class 2 for Expert RWD. In Class 3 for Semi-Experts, Dungannon’s Dougie and Glenn Millar brought their VW Golf into third place, while in Class 4 for Semi-Expert RWD, Dungannon’s Mark Stewart and Chris Hobson took the top honours.
Best local Novice FWD were Ballygawley’s Darragh O’Neill and Patrick McAleer in their Ford Fiesta and they managed to take the runners-up award in the class. Jordan and Darrell Burns were fourth, also in a Ford Fiesta.
Although Mark Walsh and Linda Dempsey from Dublin had a sensational day to win the Novice RWD Class, Cookstown’s Philip and Ronnie Hunter were runners-up. In third place was Harry Barr and Lawrence Knox, also from Cookstown, and yet another Ballygawley team, Matthew and Gregory Hamill took fourth.
The next event on the local motorsport calendar will be the Dungannon Motor Club Moonraker Rally on Friday 22nd September. As usual, it takes a lot of help from volunteer marshals, and every person who comes along is a major addition to the success of the event. The start is at Dungannon Rugby Club, and helpers should come along at 7pm.
Find the full results here ===> RESULTS