Targa Rally Fans in Christmas Slump!
It is over 4 weeks since the last Targa Rally at Magherafelt, and thanks to this huge gap in the motorsport calendar, it looks like Club Rally Drivers are going to have to resort to Christmas shopping. The next event is not until the Ulster Automobile Club’s “Not the Boxing Day Rally” on the 28th December, but at least that represents a certain amount of hope on the horizon. So keen are the Targa enthusiasts to get going again, that 140 of them have submitted entries for this end-of-year extravaganza.
Eleven local crews have their names on the entry list with the highest seeded position going to Eric Patterson and Raymond Donaldson. They will start at No2 behind top seeds David Crothers and Barbara Kane, both crews driving Mazda MX5s. Also on the list are Stewartstown Father and Son Norman and Steven Ferguson, both in Peugeot 106 GTis. Steven will be navigated by Milton McWilliams, while Normal will have Damien Mooney in the hot seat.
The Mooney Family are further represented by Brothers Damien and Paul, with Tony Anderson sitting along side Damien in the Citroen Saxo, and Lorraine McMorrow navigating Paul in his Vauxhall Nova. There is more family action with the newly crowned 2015 Navigation Rally Champions, Ballygawley Cousins Leslie and Gareth Hawe, taking out their newly acquired MX5 for the first time. Also making a welcome appearance is Alan Jardine in one of his beautiful Mk1 Escorts, and renewing a longstanding acquaintance with former navigator Isaac Busby.
Loughgall Father and Son, John and Jonathan Henderson, will be out in their Nissan Micra, while local navigators Derek Smyth and Malcolm McQueen team up with Peter Faulkner and and Ron Mullan respectively. Gilmore Magee and Mervyn Gregg come out of retirement another time in their MX5, a car that is still by far and away the most popular for this type of event, with 52 of them showing on the entry list.
Looking forward to next year, the Dungannon Motor Club have set the date for the Annual General Meeting of the Club as the 27th January 2016. This is a great chance to get involved with the club and gain experience of the running of the events and activities. Club Chairman Dougie Millar reminds everybody that Members and Non-Members are welcome to come along to the Dungannon Rugby Club at 8pm on that date and join with others to help make the Club events even more successful.
An example of the activities being planned are the highly acclaimed Dungannon Motor Club Navigation Classes. Over the past two years, the graduating members from these training classes have gone on to enjoy both Navigation and Targa rallies with added confidence, and greater enjoyment. More details of time and location will follow in the next couple of weeks, and again, Members and Non-Members are most welcome.