Burns On Fire With Second Win!
For the second navigation rally in a row, David Burns and Conor Murphy emerged as winners at the Souse Development event run by Cookstown Motor Club in their Ford Fiesta. In second place were Stewartstown’s Sean Devlin and Davy Johnston in a Toyota MR2, just ahead of Neil Fletcher and Rodney McCready’s MX5.
Twenty of the twenty one listed crews turned up at The Mill Wheel Bar at Dunamore, where documentation and route plotting work would be done. The Cookstown Club had laid on a 60 mile route with a special test to be done twice during the course of the event.
After just one section of regularity, the special test was tackled for the first time, and fastest through it would be Michael Salt and Gareth Badger in their bright yellow Ford Puma. David Burns and Conor Murphy would be next, just one second behind, and Keith McIvor with Son Ryan another second behind that.
By the halfway point of the rally, Burns and Murphy had taken the lead from Neil Fletcher and Rodney McCready in Rodney’s MX5 by four marks, and in third, just one mark behind that, was Devlin and Johnston. Rounding out the top five at this stage were Aaron Breen and Adam Vance in a Micra, and Keith and Ryan McIvor tied with Brian Gallagher and Gary McGlone. A mistake by Michael Salt and Gareth Badger would cost them 30 marks, and the chance of a great result later.
The second time through the special test saw Burns fastest by one second from Sean Devlin, and three crews tied on one second behind that: Fletcher in the MX5, Salt in the Puma, and Keith McIvor, also in an MX5.
Three more sections of regularity would bring competitors back to the Mill Wheel Bar for supper and a bit of a wait for results. John Henderson and Keith Somerville had been having a bit of a nightmare event having missed a couple of checkpoints along the way. Also in trouble were Gerry Cavanagh and Ian Beavis, but their night improved as it went along and newcomer Beavis got the hang of what this navigation is all about.
At the finish, Stewartstown native David Burns and Conor Murphy were able to celebrate another navigation rally win. Three late penalty marks cost Neil Fletcher and Rodney McCready second place and allowed Sean Devlin and Davy Johnston to slip past them for the runners-up position. Aaron Breen and Adam Vance would take fourth place, just four marks ahead of Keith and Ryan McIvor.
Sean Devlin and Davy Johnston would be declared winners of Class 1/2 for experts, while Eamon McLoughlin and Ashley Boulton would take the prize in Class 3 for novices, a wrong approach to a control being the only problem they had all night on the way to seventh place overall.
The Beginners Class was the largest of the night with fourteen rookie crews trying their hand at this grass roots form of motorsport. David Burns and Conor Murphy took the top prize, and the overall trophy, with Neil Fletcher and Rodney McCready in the runners up slot. Third was Aaron Breen and Adam Vance, fourth Keith and Ryan McIvor, and fifthBrian Gallagher and Gary McGlone.
That pretty much wraps up the navigation rally season for the Summer and it is a long wait for the Dungannon Motor Club’s Moonraker Rally at the end of September. Hopefully those who have taken part in the three events held recently will keep their enthusiasm through the Summer months and turn out again for more fun in the Tyrone lanes at night.
1 D Burns/C Murphy, Fiesta 81
2 S Devlin/D Johnston, MR2 88
3 N Fletcher/R McCready, MX5 89
4 A Breen/A Vance, Micra 95
5 K McIvor/R McIvor, MX5 99
6 B Gallagher/G McGlone, Proton 108
7 E McLoughlin/A Boulton, Nova 113
8 B Strain/R Hall, Golf 117
9 M Salt/G Badger, Puma 118
10E McIvor/S McIvor, MX5 119
1/2 – S Devlin/D Johnston
3 – E McLoughlin/A Boulton
4 – D Burns/C Murphy