2021 DMC Autotest

Steven Ferguson on his way to a home win at DMC's Loughry College Autotest, sponsored by JRS Cookstown.

Ferguson Makes it Five from Five

On one of the hottest days on record with temperatures reaching over thirty-one degrees, the fifth round of the 2021 Northern Ireland Autotest Championship, sponsored by McMillan Specialist Cars of Antrim, took place on Saturday 17th July at the Loughry College, Cookstown.  Organised by Dungannon Motor Club and sponsored by Jewellery Repairs Services, Cookstown, the competition was as hot as the temperatures, but as at the previous four rounds it was Stewartstown’s Steven Ferguson who took the win comfortably from Robin Lyons. 

Robin Lyons tried hard all day to match Ferguson’s pace but had to settle for second overall in the end, and collected the class award. Photo D. Smyth.

Steven set the benchmark for the other Championship competitors, setting fastest time on eight of the twelve tests on Saturday, conceding the other four to the second-place finisher Robin Lyons. Guy Foster and Chris Grimes battled it out for third and fourth, the advantage going to Guy by just 1.5 seconds.  

Unfortunately, Championship contender, Paul Mooney only got to complete three runs of the first test, before he suffered an unrepairable mechanical failure, forcing him out of the competition. With Mooney out of the running, it was Darren Quille on his second event north of the border this year who took the Class B win from Trevor Ferguson in his Stryker Salvia, with Paul Lowther in third.

Darren Quille made the trip North for the Dungannon event and a penalty free run left him 11.4 seconds clear in the class from Trevor Ferguson. Photo D. Smyth.

Andrew Earney had Norman Ferguson for company in the small saloon class in their Minis, with Andrew winning comfortably and as Norman picked up several costly penalties throughout the day.

Andrew Earney was untroubled in the small saloon class. Photo D. Smyth.

Mark King continued his dominance in the Large Saloon Class.  Finishing some 38.6 seconds ahead of nearest rival Andrew Blair, even with 25 seconds of penalties picked up during the day. Dungannon’s Gary Campbell, in his Vauxhall Nova, showed he will be a force to be reckoned with in the future, finishing third in this Class, as well as finishing 13th overall and being the top Semi-Expert at the DMC event.  Another suffering from mechanical issues in his Vauxhall Nova was Championship Sponsor, George McMillan on the first run of the final test, forcing him also to pack up and head for home.

Another fine display from Mark King who, despite five penalties, won his class and finished 7th overall. Photo D. Smyth.

In the Clubman Category, Jack Gillis again the man to beat in his Vauxhall Nova, with Ben McKee in his Nissan Micra coming home in second and Adam McMullan third in his Toyota Starlet Special.

From Stewartstown, Jack Gillis took the top place in the Clubman Category.
Photo D. Smyth.

With four highly experienced competitors signed up for the Advanced Category it would prove to be an interesting days competition.  Robert Dickson was easily the winner finishing 21.4 seconds ahead of Michael Workman and Gareth Dillon, despite having two failed attempts on Test 2.

Although still unhappy with the handling of his lightweight Mini, Robert Dickson was unbeatable in the Advanced category. Photo D. Smyth.

Another terrific win leaves Stewartstown’s Steven Ferguson with a 6-point lead in the Overall Championship standings, with a tight battle for the second-place spot continuing between Robin Lyons in his Mini Special and Mark King in his Vauxhall Nova. With just three round to go, this could go right down to the wire, as Lyons and King battle it out for the Overall runner up spot. 

McMillan Specialist Cars Northern Ireland Autotest Championship Round 5

Full results can be found here ===> Stopastride

Overall Winner – Steven Ferguson

Championship Category:

  • Class A – Robin Lyons
  • Class B – Darren Quille
  • Class C – Andrew Earney
  • Class D – Mark King

Clubman Category:

  • Class A – Jack Gillis
  • Class B – No Competitors
  • Class C – Ben McKee
  • Class D – Derek Harrison

Advanced Category:

  • Class A – No Competitors
  • Class B – Michael Workman
  • Class C – Robert Dickson
  • Class D – Gareth Dillon