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November 10, 2009

Rallycross Round Four to Close Circuit Racing Season

Mondello Park is the venue this Sunday for the final Rallycross event of the year as the ‘09/’10 Motorsport Ireland championship passes its half way point. The County Kildare Motor Club will preside over round four of the series which looks set to continue the recent upward trend in Rallycross entries.

With the UK championship now completed the Irish series will once again be bolstered by entries from across the water. ‘Mad’ Mark Watson returns to Mondello having missed the last event to take in the Rallycross Superprix and will be hoping to mount a stronger challenge than his last visit where he came home a fortunate third despite a below par performance, by his standards. Making a first Supercar appearance at Mondello will be Scottish visitor Andy Scott in a car which will be very familiar to Irish Rallycross fans, the ex George Tracey and Ollie O’Donovan Peugeot 306. Also expected is Ford Focus driver Kevin Proctor bringing the visiting field to three and the Supercar entry to a dozen cars.

The overall championship this season has had three different winners from three events. Reigning champion Michael Coyne took round one with his modified class Nova, while round two went to Supercar driver Tommy Graham with his Fiesta. Coyne and Graham then failed to score at round three, leaving the way open for Andrew Morris to take victory, but they still sit one and two in the series. Coyne leads the way from Graham and Supercar newcomer David Dempsey, who is followed by giant killer Kieran Curran, with his 1600cc 2wd Corsa and the Supercars of Morris and Watson.

While the Supercar entry is always the focus for fans the supporting cast of Modified Cars, Stockhatch, Junior Rallycross and Rallycars continues to provide excellent entertainment. The Modified grid continues to move towards the twenty mark, and with entries still coming in this level could be reached this Sunday for the first time in many years. Following his problems at round three Michael Coyne finds himself off the top of the points table in this division for the first time in many years as he trails Tigra driver Dessie Tierney in second, tied on points with his brother Brendan. Round two winner Ian O’Connell returns having missed the last event at Mondello and he too could cause problems for Coyne making this the most difficult season yet for the perennial modified class dominator.

Having shelved his European Rallycross ambitions for the moment Derek Tohill has returned to his Stockhatch roots to once again lead the series. Two wins for Tohill have enabled him to move ahead of fellow race winner Gordon Lynch and former champion Michael Duke who share second place. Proving the worth of the Junior championship is Robert Critchley who has picked up two podiums on his graduation from the junior class to sit fourth in the standings.

The Junior class which Critchley has left behind is still as busy as ever producing future stars with two sons of former competitors emerging as the top dogs in the series. Simon Quinn and Niall Murray have shared the wins between them, two to Quinn and one to Murray but despite their dominance neither sits on top of the points. While Quinn and Murray have both missed a round Andrew Patterson has scored consistently to lead the way ahead of rookie Paul Barrett. All four plus at least four more drivers are all capable of finishing on the podium this Sunday in a class which is regularly providing some of the closest Rallycross competition despite the youth of its competitors.

Sunday’s event gets underway with the first round of heats at 10:15. The event takes a break for half an hour following the second runoff heats and then finishes off the day with the third runs commencing at 13:45 and the finals at 15:30.

 Practice Commences
 Practice Finishes
 Heats Run 1
 Heats Run 2
 Lunch Break
 Heats Run 3