It was Millar time at the Cookstown Motor Club navigation Rally on 18th March. Dungannon Brothers Dougie and Glenn Millar took the Overall Winners award in their VW Golf after seven competitive navigation sections to the West of Cookstown. In second place overall were Damien Mooney and Conor Nevin, also in a VW Golf.
Sixteen crews tackled the rally and with the emphasis on beginners, the largest class was made up of thirteen of those quite new to the sport. There were three teams with a lot of experience competing for bragging rights, and reigning N.I. Champions, Leslie and Gareth Hawe was seeded No1 in their Maxda MX5. Ciaran Carey and his Wife Rachel were at No2 in their Vauxhall Nova, and the Henderson’s Father and Son team, John and Jonathan, were trying out a new Nissan Micra for the first time.
Close to the start, a tricky entrance to a private lane caught out a couple of fancied runners. Dungannon Snowdrop Rally winners Terry Patterson and Adam Crawford, and The Andersons Kenneth and Peter were victims of this hard to find road, and in both cases, this spoiled an otherwise excellent night. With navigation rallies like this, a small error can be costly.
By Time Control C, only three crews were penalty free. Eventual winners, Dougie and Glenn Millar, Ronnie Boyd and Tristan Kelly, and Andrew Mairs with Philip Green were all on Zero penalties. On the next section The Mairs/Green Mini dropped out of contention with a missed Time Control, and Boyd/Kelly’s Ford Puma dropped eight marks leaving the Millars in the lead with just two penalties. Damien Mooney and Conor Nevin were now up to second with a penalty free section into Time Control D.
In the Experts Class, navigation slips were costing the Hendersons, while the Hawe team were suffering a bit with car sickness. This left the Careys in command and they were to run through to the finish in first place in Class 1.
Competitive sections five and six were handled easily by most of the Beginner crews, leaving Terry Patterson and Adam Crawford, and Kenneth and Peter Anderson, pondering what might have been but for that slip at the start of the event. Neil Fletcher and Rodney McCready brought their Ford Escort Mk1 into a fine third place overall, just ahead of William Strain and Robert Hall in their Subaru Impreza. Snowdrop winners Terry Patterson and Adam Crawford still managed fifth place overall.
Some pictures are included in the gallery below. Click on the photo to see an enlarged version.
1. D Millar/G Millar (Golf GTi) 6
2. D Mooney/C Nevin (Golf) 8
3. N Fletcher/R McCready (Escort Mk1) 9
4. W Strain/R Hall (Subaru Impreza) 12
5. T Patterson/A Crawford (Subaru Impreza) 22
6. J Nicholl/G Nicholl (Seat Leon) 29
7. M Faulkner/A Bolton (Mazda MX5) 35
8. T Turkington/D Turkington (Hyundai I20) 42
9. K Anderson/P Anderson (Renault Megane) 54
10. D Hamill/A Hamill (Peugeot 106) 54
Experts Results (Bragging rights only!)
- C Carey/R Carey (Nova) 4
- J Henderson/J Henderson (Micra) 22
- L Hawe/G Hawe (MX5) 27