Seventh Heaven for Steven
Report by Grace Campbell, photos by Trevor Foster.
The seventh round of the McMillan Specialist Cars Northern Ireland Autotest Championship seen the competitors return to the North Coast, with the Coleraine & District Motor Club hosting their second event of the season at the Northwest 200 paddock. Again, it was Stewartstown’s Steven Ferguson who was the pacemaker at this event, taking the win by 26.4 seconds from James Wilson. Robin Lyons had to again settle for third place overall after a failure on the first test of the day resulted in a 20 second penalty being imposed on the Drumbo driver.
In the Clubman category, it was again young Adam McMullan in his Toyota Starlet Special, who took the category win by 20.5 seconds. In the Advanced category, Gareth Dillon in his Mazda MX5 pipped Noel Cochrane at the post for the overall category win, with only 5.9 seconds difference between the two men at the end of the day.
As at previous events Steven Ferguson proved hard to catch, setting the fastest time on ten of the twelve tests on Saturday. Behind Ferguson, Wilson and Lyons battled it out for the runner up spot, the advantage going to Wilson by 11 seconds.
Trevor Ferguson in his Silvia Stryker took the honours in Class B, finishing ahead of Paul Lowther in class and a respectable sixth overall.
In the Small Saloon class, Jonni McDaid from Castlederg took his Mini to a comfortable win from Andrew Earney. Jonni’s final score of 796.2 seconds left him finishing fourth overall.
The Large Saloon Class had six contenders, with class leader Mark King unable to attend the event, it left the door open for Andy Blair to take his first class win of the season in his Vauxhall Nova. Blair finished ahead of Ardboe’s Damien Mooney. Dungannon’s Gary Campbell had a fantastic drive to finish third in class and ninth overall, ahead of Championship sponsor George McMillan in fourth.
The overall Clubman category winner, Adam McMullan in his Toyota Starlet Special would also take the Class A win.
Clubman Class C was again an all-McKee affair, as father and son battled it out in their Nissan Micra. It was again son Ben who took the class win and finished second overall in the category.
Clubman Class D was again made up of all Mazda MX5’s and it was Derek Harrison who took the class win from Mark Ferguson who put on another fine display of driving to finish second in class, with Lawrence Baird settling for third.
There was a small but highly experienced and competitive turnout in the Advanced Category. Noel Cochrane in his home-built sport car would take the Advanced Class B honours and end up second overall in the category.
The overall category winner Gareth Dillon was also the Advanced Class D winner, ahead of Robert Robinson, with both men in their Mazda MX5 sports cars.
With only one round to go Stewartstown’s Steven Ferguson has the Overall Championship sealed, with the battle for the second-place spot still tight between Robin Lyons in his Mini Special and Mark King in his Vauxhall Nova. Only two points separate the two men after seven rounds.
The final round sees the competitors return to TTS at Nutts Corner, with the event hosted by the Autotest Drivers Club taking place on 4th September. Will Steven Ferguson make it a clean sweep of wins or can anyone overthrow his untouchable 2021 season form?
McMillan Specialist Cars Northern Ireland Autotest Championship Round 7
Full detailed results can be found here ====> Stopastride
Overall Winner – Steven Ferguson
- Class A – James Wilson
- Class B – Trevor Ferguson
- Class C – Jonni McDaid
- Class D – Andy Blair
- Class A – Adam McMullan
- Class B – No Competitors
- Class C – Ben McKee
- Class D – Derek Harrison
- Class A – No Competitors
- Class B – Noel Cochrane
- Class C – No Competitors
- Class D – Gareth Dillon