Honorary Secretary Report 2019
We got the year off to a good start on the 6th February with the navigation classes in the Swifts Football Club. We had a total of 16 students, which was a good increase on the previous year and set us up well for the upcoming Snowdrop Rally. At this point it is only right that I thank David, Colin and John for running these classes so successfully each year. All been well we will have another good turn out this year when the new seasons classes start on Wednesday 12th February.
Snowdrop Rally – Sponsored by Moore & Faloon
The first event of our club year was to be the Snowdrop Navigation Rally on Friday 8th March. COC for the event was Keith Hall, this event was a massive success with an entry of 37 made up of mainly beginners and novices, we had put on a 55 mile route for the crews and gave the beginners most of the route to pre plot at the Rugby club, as well as a marked map.
Overall winners of the event were Philip and Kyle Sommerville on 27 penalties in their Rover Mini.
Class 1 was won by John & Jonathan Henderson from Michael Reid and John Lindsay. Class 2 was won by Harry Johnston and Ashley Boulton, closely followed by John Henderson and Keith Sommerville. Class 3 was won by father and son pairing of Mark and Kyle Thompson, from Gareth Miller and Ryan McIvor, all of whom had been attendees at our navigation classes last year.
We had 8 crews out from this year’s navigation class (Class 4) and at the finish it was father-daughter pairing of Philip and Kin Hunter in their Toyota MR2 who took the honours on 42 penalties, from Sean Cunningham and Joanne Barlow on 50 and coming home in third was Trevor Barlow navigated by daughter Melanie Barlow on 74 penalties.
Class 5 which was other beginners was won by Quinton and Tim Crean on 116 penalties.
Championship Autotest – Sponsored by JRS Jewellery Repair Services
The second event on the club calendar was our ANICC Championship Autotest on Saturday 16th March. COC was Malcolm McQueen and once again we were glad to have the use of Loughry College for this event. The event attracted 30 entries with competitors travelling from all parts of the country to tackle the 12 tests. The NI Autotest Legends and Clubman Challenge were running alongside the main Championship, which again had boosted the entries at all rounds throughout the season.
It was Peter Grimes in his Mini Special who took the overall win from Robin Lyons in another Mini Special, with Mark King in his Vauxhall Nova rounding out the top three.
Class winners were Robin Lyons, Ashley Lamont, Sam Bowden and Mark King in the Championship event.
In the Legends Challenge, Damien Mooney was the winner with Colin Hazelton in second.
In the Clubman Challenge, the overall winner was Gary Campbell in his Vauxhall Nova, from Gordon Buckley in second and Brendan Mooney in third.
The Clubman class winners were Gary Campbell, Gordon Buckley, Ben Colhoun and Liam Shaw.
Congratulations to Malcolm and the team of marshals who made this event a popular success.
Springfling Targa Rally – Sponsored by Donnelly Group
Our third event of the season was our highly anticipated targa rally, and one that is looked forward to by competitors and marshals alike. The targa has become a flagship event for the club, going from strength to strength each year, with entries filling in a matter of minutes. Held on Saturday 13th April, Malcolm McQueen was again COC for the event with a very experienced team of organisers to work with, and the Cohannon Inn as the Rally HQ.
We once again had a full entry of 70 crews, as well as a reserve list of a further 10, waiting in the wings for a phone call to say a space had become available. With some pleasant weather, the crews set off to tackle 18 tests on mainly sealed surfaces, which again proved favourable with the competitors.
Overall winners of the event this year were David Crothers and Barbara Kane in their Mazda MX-5, finishing just ahead of Robert and John Whelan in their Toyota Starlet.
Robert and John Whelan won the Expert FWD class in their Toyota Starlet, from David Burns and Connor Murphy in a Ford Fiesta.
Steven Cromie and Taylor Gribben brought their Mazda MX-5 home in first place in the Expert RWD class, ahead of Liam and Conor Shaw in another MX-5.
In the Semi-Expert competition Andrew and Jane Earney won the FWD class in their Toyota Yaris ahead of Darrell and Jordan Burns in a Ford Fiesta.
While the Semi-Expert RWD class was dominated by Mazda MX-5s, Simon and Tiffany Brien came out on top, ahead of Brendan Mooney and John Nevin.
In the Novice FWD Mark O’Donnell and Anthony Dobbin were the class winners in their Ford Puma, from Ronan Cox and Joe O’Neill in a Ford Ka.
The Novice RWD class was won by Tim and Quinton Crean in their Mazda MX-5, ahead of Kieran and Paul Mahoney in another MX-5.
Our thanks go to all the competitors for their entries, to the Cohannon Inn for their hospitality, to the landowners for the use of their premises and to all the marshals and timekeepers without whom we would be unable to run this event.
Wednesday 7th August seen the club run their first invitational Autosolo at Hayes Fuels Yard. COC for the event was Grace King, and with 19 invited competitors including many club members turn out for a fun event, which seen everyone enjoy themselves and not take things too seriously.
The overall winner was David Burns in his Ford Fiesta, with Jordan Burns in second in a slightly older Fiesta and Brendan Mooney in 3rd in his Mazda MX-5.
Dessie Martin was the winner in Class 1. In Class 2 Jordan Burns would take the win from Dougie Millar in his VW Golf with the Citroen C2 of Hayes Robinson coming home in third.
Class 3 was made up of the rear-wheel drive Mazda MX-5s and Toyota MR2s. Brendan Mooney would take the class win from Mark King, with Trevor Ferguson in third.
A few sandwiches and a cup of tea finished off the night, with the competitors all looking to know when we are planning to run another one.
Our final competitive event of the season was the Moonraker Navigation Rally on Friday 20th September. COC for this event was David White and there was a fantastic entry of 24 crews turning out. The club had arranged six challenging sections of navigation regularity and three special tests on private lanes in the dark, which intrigued a lot of the competitors. All competitors again seemed to enjoy this format and eagerly awaited the results at the finish in Killyman Parish Hall.
The overall win was taken by Kenneth Murray, navigated by Gordon Noble, with a minimal 9 penalties accumulated over the evening.
John and Johnathan Henderson would take the Class 1 win, with Michael Reid and John Lindsay in second. The Class 2 winners were Philip and Kyle Sommerville in their Rover Mini, with Mark and Michael McIlwee second and third in class went to Harry Johnston and Ashley Boulton.
Class 3 last year’s winners Mark and Kyle Thompson would again take the class win, with Neil Fletcher and Rodney McCready in second and brother Darrell and Jordon Burns in third in their Ford Fiesta.
Class 4 for the beginners would see the largest entry for this event with 9 crews battling it out for the honours. Brothers Leslie and Ashley Hawe would be the eventual winners on the night, with Ronan Cox and Joe O’Neill finishing second, and another brother pairing of Alastair and Jamie Kerr third in class.
Once again, our thanks to the landowners, marshals and those who carried out the PR for this event.
Moving on to our club members who are competing regularly at other events. Again, the most popular events at the present time with our club members are the targa or lanes rallies. The club has a number of crews to say the least regularly competing on these events throughout the country, I am not going to start and list everyone as we will be here to sometime around midnight, as the list seems to get longer each year.
There is a wide range of experience and abilities shown by targa competitors, but probably the one thing that they all share in these events is that they all enjoy the format and that is why these events are so popular and their entry lists are filling up in a matter of minutes. It is clear to see from competing on a number of these events that we at DMC work really hard to make our event safe but still enjoyable for the competitors and we as a club set the bar very high for other clubs to try and reach.
The navigation events continued to struggle this year again to get entries, although both our event was well supported. The ANICC Navigation Championship was again not contested in 2019, and there are no plans to do so in 20210 either. It is still the hope of the ANICC that a new format can be developed to try and aid this ailing type of event. Hopefully there will be a revival in interest and the entries will be flooding in for these events to all clubs in 2020.
Club committee member Mark King contested the ANICC Championship this year, and on 3 events came within touching distance of his first overall win. Finishing out the season as the Class D winner and 5th overall was a great achievement, as well as helping the NI team win the Ken Wharton for the 8th time in a row and the 38th time in the events history. We also had a couple of members taking part in the Clubman & Advanced Challenge throughout the season. Gary Campbell was dominant throughout the season taking maximum points at each round he attended to be crowned the Class A champion in his Vauxhall Nova, as well as taking the overall in the Clubman Challenge Championship. Colin Hazelton finished a close second in the Advanced Challenge and took the Class D in his Mazda MX-5. 2020 will see the Clubman & Advanced Challenge continue to be run alongside the championship and could I encourage all members to consider giving it a go or helping in any way they can with these events.
Sprints & Hill Climbs
Alan Jardine was the winner of Class 16b in the S W Adair Tyres Sprint Championship, as well as picking up the award for Leader’s Champion in the Millers Oils Hill Climb Championship with a win in Class 16b.
Locals on a World Stage
We continue to follow the exploits of Kris Meeke as he completed his first season with Toyota, with new Co-Driver Seb Marshall. Finishing up the season in a respectable 6th overall, showing that consistent good drives pay off. Unfortunately, though with no drive on the cards for 2020 due to a full new line up at Toyota, Kris is taking some timeout to explore some of his other passions.
Clubman of the Year
At this point of the evening I feel it is only right that we take a moment to congratulate Eric Patterson on receiving the Clubman of the Year award at the recent ANICC awards night. I would now like to read the citation from the awards night, which I am sure you will all agree is a true representation of his character and dedication to this club over the years.
This year the recipient of the 2019 ANICC Clubman of the Year Award is a person who has combined many motorsport activities including being a Club member, Competitor, Clerk of Course, Sponsor, Chairman and much more. A stalwart of at least two clubs since the 70’s this person has held almost every role in one or other Club during the last 40 years. They currently compete in many grassroots events but have been a multiple Northern Ireland Champion and represented Northern Ireland on at least 20 occasions since the 80’s – probably known as much for their navigating in the early years but now continues to show the younger competitors how it should be done from the driving seat. By now the recipient may have ‘twigged’ that they have been chosen this year to receive this prestigious award however the recipient is said to be (and I quote from the citation received by ANICC with their nomination):
A rare talent, combining driving excellence with navigation expertise and organisational skills. With an excellent personality the recipient would be a very worthy winner of the ANICC Clubman Award.
A well-deserved win, congratulations again to Eric.
2019 was yet another busy year for the club with navigation classes getting us off to an early start and paving the way for the Snowdrop Navigation Rally.
Once again, the Springfling Targa Rally was the big success of the year with a full entry, a well-run event and the decent weather adding to the experience for the competitors. It is also good to see a few of the navigation crews out sampling this format as well. These grass root clubman events are what I believe the club is all about and if we can introduce new crews every year and give them a range of events to compete in then we are doing our job as ambassadors to the sport.
The Championship Autotest was again a great success and is always popular with championship contenders and this season will hopefully see the autotests continue to grow in popularity thanks to the Challenge classes, as they have during the previous few seasons.
Our Autosolo proved popular and everyone enjoyed a relaxed, fun night, hopefully we can replicate this in the upcoming year. Our Moonraker Navigation Rally rounded out the season, and left the competitors wanting more, so hopefully we see all these crews back out in 2020.
Another great asset to the Club is the reports on Club events and local motorsport news which appears in the local press, and our thanks go to the Tyrone Courier for their continued support and to the photographers who kindly provide us with pictures to go alongside the reports. The Club Website and Facebook are also beneficial media outlets that help to raise the awareness and profile of the Club, local competitors and events.
Once again, we are grateful to our sponsors, Moore & Faloon, JRS Jewellery Repair Services and Donnelly Group for their generous support during 2019 and we look forward to working with them again in the future. Also, our thanks go to those landowners who provide us with test sites for our events, without which we could not make the events happen. The club owes a massive debt of gratitude to all the marshals and timekeepers who travel from all over the country in all sorts of weather conditions to help us out at our events. Without their dedication and professionalism, the events would not run like clockwork, as they currently do. But my biggest vote of thanks goes to all our club members who organise the events, help in the background, and recruit the marshals. Also, thanks go to those people that do the PR work, especially for the navigation events, it certainly is a task that hasn’t got any easier over the years with the amount of building work that has gone on around our little country roads, but is a job that is crucial to the success of our events.
So, a massive congratulations to all involved in making our events a success. We always take pride in our events and try to make them as enjoyable as possible for the competitors, and judging by the feedback we get and how keen competitors are to take part in our events, it is safe to say we are achieving this.
Again, many thanks to everyone for all they do for the club and let’s make 2020 another brilliant year for Dungannon Motor Club.
Grace King (Secretary) Date: 29/01/2020
The Club Officers from 2019 were returned for 2020:
|Vice Chairman||Hayes Robinson|
|Competition Secretary||Colin Hazelton|
|Press Officer||Grace King|
|Equipment Officer||Norman Reid|
|Chief Marshal||Keith Hall|