Ken Wharton 2017

The successful N.I. Team bringing the Ken Wharton Trophy back to Northern Ireland.

Tyrone’s Mooney Helps N.I. Team to another Ken Wharton Success.

The successful N.I. Team (L to R) Mark King, Paul Mooney, Robin Lyons, Paul Blair.

Reigning Northern Ireland Autotest Champion, Paul Mooney, helped the Northern Ireland team to yet another win at the 2017 Ken Wharton Memorial Autotest Competition.  He didn’t make it easy for himself though, with a pylon fault on the very first test, and a “wrong test” on test 5 incurring a 20 second penalty for the team.

Right from the outset, the team of four were ahead of the other teams, showing just how far the level of skill has developed here in the Northern Ireland championship.  Paul Blair from Ballyclare was driving in the sports car class, Magherafelt’s Mark King in the large saloons in his Nova, Belfast’s Robin Lyons in the small saloons, and Coagh’s Paul Mooney in the specials class in his Vauxhall-engined Mini.

The Republic of Ireland Team, made up of Chris Grimes, David Thompson, Timmy Lynch and Ian White, were in third place behind the England Team, thanks to picking up a couple of pylon faults as well on the long first test.  The Welsh Team were in the fourth spot with Scotland bringing up the rear.

By the time three tests were completed, the NI Team were pulling clear, and the Republic squad had taken the runners-up spot, albeit by just 0.4 seconds from England.  This order would be maintained right to the finish of the seven tests, and Northern Ireland brought the Ken Wharton Trophy back to the Province for yet another time.

Final Results:  1. Northern Ireland 2264.5 seconds, 2. Republic of Ireland 2284.6 seconds, 3. England 2313.2 seconds, 4. Wales 2557.7 seconds, 5. Scotland.