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February 18, 2010

Rallycross Championship Moves Towards Climax at Mondello

rallycross The Irish Rallycross championship moves into its final two events this weekend (Sunday Feb 21st) with the Carlow Car Club presiding over Sunday’s championship round six. While the Overall championship looks likely to go the way of Supercar driver Tommy Graham, most other classes are still wide open with a number of drivers still in contention for each.

Graham currently leads the Overall championship with his Supercar Fiesta as well as holding a commanding lead in the Supercar class. In the overall standings it’s the fastest of the two wheel drive modified division cars which is his closest rival with reigning champion Michael Coyne just hanging on to Graham’s coat tails in his Vauxhall nova. Coyne trails by twelve points with just twenty available for a win and will be hoping for problems for his supercar rival in order to take the battle to the final race in two weeks time. Best of the rest are Supercar competitors Andrew Morris and David Dempsey who also trail Graham in the Supercar Class where Graham just needs to finish one heat to secure the title.

In the Southside Motor Factors Modified Division three drivers are separated by six points at the head of the field with Renault 5 pilot Barry McArdle leading the way following three straight wins. Michael Coyne has dominated this class over the past few years and while things have gone well for him in the Superfinal's which count for the overall championship he has had a tougher time in the Modified class finals. So far Coyne has only managed one win, at Pembrey in September, and currently lies third behind McArdle and Opel Tigra driver Dessie Tierney.

The closest championship battle is in the Jondol Junior Rallycross class where Mini drivers Paul Barrett and Simon Quinn are separated by a single point with Barrett on top. The strongest other contender is Andrew Patterson who lies seven points back from Barrett with his more modern Nissan Micra and sits ahead of the other two drivers who remain in with a mathematical chance of winning, Mark Francis with another Micra and Niall Murray in the sole Toyota Starlet in Junior Rallycross.

The Rathgar Motor Factors backed Stockhatch Cup is led by former champion Derek Tohill with reigning champ Michael Duke and double ‘09/’10 race winner Gordon Lynch as his closest challengers. In this the largest and most competitive of classes it is a lot easier to drop points than in some of the smaller divisions so Tohill’s lead will need some protection this Sunday if he is to remain in control for the final event of the year. Duke is the only one of the three not to win this season and he will be going all out to put that right and increase his challenge for a second title in a row.

Sunday’s event boasts a strong entry of more than seventy cars with six of the all action Supercars scheduled to take part, including the return of UK visitor, ‘Mad Mark’ Watson with his super quick Citroen Xsara WRC and local favourite David James with his Mitsubishi Evo. The event gets underway with practice at 09:15, the first of the heats at 10:15 and the all important finals scheduled for 15:30.


09:15 Practice Commences

10:00 Practice Finishes

10:15 Heats Run 1

11:45 Heats Run 2

13:15 Lunch Break

13:45 Heats Run 3

15:30 Finals

17:00 Prizegiving