JRS Championship Autotest 2017

Photo: Gilmore Magee
Paul Mooney is presented with his Winner's Award by Sponsor Malcolm McQueen (JRS) and Club Chairman Eric Patterson.

Paul Mooney is the JRS Star.    

Reigning NI Autotest Champion Paul Mooney won the JRS Sponsored DMC Autotest at Loughry College on Saturday.  Fast away on Test 1 was Ashley Lamont, with 2015 Champion Paul Blair only 0.3 seconds behind him but by the end of three tests, Mooney was in the lead, and there he stayed all day.

2015 Champion Paul Blair had a day-long battle with Ashley Lamont and just pipped him on the last test.

This was the second round of the 2017 Autotest Championship, sponsored by Sam Bowden Garage Services of Stewartstown.  The venue at Loughry College is a popular one with competitors, and the on and off drizzle didn’t spoil their enjoyment of the twelve tests.  For 2017 a new category has been added and there were 15 new drivers turned out for the Clubman class.

Newly crowned 7-times ROI Autotest Champion, Steven Ferguson, gave chase to Paul Mooney in the Mini Special Class but a fail on test 2 and a pylon fault later on cost him 25 seconds and he would never recover.  Paul Blair and Ashley Lamont battled out all day in the Sports Car Class with Blair just overhauling Lamont on the very last test to take the Class win and runners-up spot overall.

Damien Mooney concentrates hard on his way to runners-up spot in his Clubman’s Class.

Norman Ferguson and Jonni McDaid were the only two entries in the small saloon class, both in Minis, and Norman took yet another Class win.  In the Large Saloon Car Class, Mark King, Jamie McMillen and David Thompson had a close competition all day with Mark King coming out tops by just 0.6 second.  Mark’s penalty free run was enough to just keep him ahead of the other pair, both of whom clipped pylons during the day.

The new Clubman Class is intended to attract drivers in road going cars, but also to cater for beginners in Autotest type cars, and both types showed up and were included in the competition.

Mark Stewart gets the head down as he pulls off a line at Loughry Autotest.

Dungannon’s Mark Stewart tried his hand in an autotest sports car and won the class, while Damien Mooney brought his Targa Rally car to runner up position.  Colin Hazelton brought his MX5 along to have a go on the more open test set up for the Beginners, and he also came away with a Class win.

A great day’s Motorsport with fantastic driving skills on display and a win for Paul Mooney.  This puts him into the lead position in the 2017 Championship, and just maybe the beginnings of another series title.

Overall Winner – Paul Mooney

Class Winners – Paul Mooney, Paul Blair, Norman Ferguson, Mark King.

Clubman Experienced Class Winners – David Jenkins, Richard Earney, Noel Cochrane

Clubman Beginners Class Winners – Mark Stewart, Jimmy Duggan, Colin Hazelton

For full results, click here => RESULTS

Colin Hazelton won the beginners RWD class in the Clubman category.