15 September 2019




Starting the downhill run to the end of the season, it’s back to a roughly monthly schedule at The Pike, with the last two championship rounds scheduled for October 6 and November 10 – the October meeting also features the last big cup race of the year, the Dick Mackey Trophy. The September meeting was postponed by a couple of weeks, from 1 to 15 September, which suited us down to the ground as it resolved a difficult date clash, although it did mean that the meeting had to go ahead without club chairman Kevin Healy who was away on his hols – the rest of the team filled the gap to run off another full and action packed day’s racing.


The sunshine of the previous couple of days was replaced by ideal racing weather, dry, mild and overcast. Yet again the pits filled up nicely with a total of 61 cars, and 71 drivers signed on. There wouldn’t be quite that many left running by the end of the day! A few different car sharing permutations made a bit of a jigsaw puzzle of sorting the race order, leading to a slightly delayed start to what should have been a 33 race programme, but accidentally turned into 35 races, all sponsored by a regular supporter of the Pike’s meetings, Brian Weston Electrical.


Both Junior classes had 12 entries, just on the cut-off point for splitting the grids, which helped them to run with the minimum of incidents. The ROOKIES as usual had their first two heats early in the day, to facilitate the restrictor plate swapping in shared cars, although in the end there weren’t any drivers sharing Rookies’ cars. Group A started with a runaway win for Toby McGuire, with about a third of a lap gap to the rest of the field, headed by Conor Fitz from Davan Leahy, Liam Og Power, Martin Power and Molly O’Sullivan. Martin started that one well behind the others but he was back in position for the reversed grid second race, which he won from Molly and Toby.  The final started in reverse points order, putting Toby and Martin at the back, yet Toby was challenging for the lead by the end of the first lap. Toby went on to win from Martin, Davan, Molly, Conor and Liam.


Group B of the rookies saw a remarkable performance by Fionn O’Donovan, in his second ever race day, borrowing Adam Cottrell’s car as Fionn’s own isn’t finished yet. From the back of the grid he used the outside line to take third going into the last lap, but emerged from the last corner in front to take the win by inches from Daryl Deane, with Liam Kiersey, Callum O’Shea, Paddy Fitz and Callum Power close behind. The second race had to be stopped and restarted after a small coming together eliminated Fionn, and this time Callum Power won from the battling Paddy, Liam, Callum O’Shea and Daryl. In their final Callum O’Shea led away but was passed for the lead by Callum Power, who went on to win, with Fionn again starting from the back but catching up to a close third behind Paddy, ahead of Liam, Callum O’Shea and Daryl.


The JUNIOR PRODUCTIONS lost Joey Dilworth, whose bad luck with reliability this time struck in his first lap of practice. The first round for Group A saw Ben Kenneally win from the front, chased by Ted McGrath, while Aidan Heney, Darragh Walsh, Eoghan Burke and James Deane raced three or four abreast most of the way. But there was a problem – the race had run over the Rookie’s distance of six laps, not the full ten laps, so they had to come back and do it all again. Again Ben just held off Ted for the win, but this time James Deane held on in front of the third place battle. The rerun left little turn round time before the second heat and Darragh Walsh didn’t reappear, with Eoghan Burke breaking down , leaving just four finishers as Ted McGrath beat Aidan Heney, James Deane and Ben Kenneally. With five cars in the final, and Eoghan still having problems, it only took Ted two laps to get from the back to the front of the pack, then staying there to win from Ben, James and Aidan.


In Group B Ross Ryan won the first six lap race and repeated the performance when it was rerun over ten laps, beating Leon O’Shea (returning after his shunt earlier in the year), Ryan Hickey, Darragh Healy and Tadgh Foley. Ross won again in the second round, with Leon beating Ryan after a very close battle. Ross made it an unbeaten day by taking the final, while Leon again just beat Ryan, with Tadgh Foley and Darragh Healy, now switching to Conor Harty’s car, completing the order.


A strong field lined up for CLASS 1 and produced fast and furious action. Jack Hickey escaped to win the first round, with Paddy O’Sullivan, Shane Hickey, Darragh O’Shea, Cian Deasy and Ronan Coughlan tied together for second – Paddy held the place despite at one stage having all four wheels locked up and another Micra propelling him into the corner! Second time out Cian Deasy had a long run in the lead but was eventually caught by Shane and Jack Hickey and Darragh O’Shea, who were still glued together all the way – Shane won from Jack, Darragh and Cian. Cian got an even better start in the final, and led to the last lap, when Shane Hickey got past to win, with Darragh in third, chased by Paddy O’Sullivan, Noel Deasy and the shared 1B car of John Cottrell, with Ronan Coughlan bringing up the rear after an off course excursion. Jack Hickey retired and Ronan Foley was sidelined after the first heat.


CLASS 2 and 3 ran together, with an addition to Class 3 being Jimmy Boland’s 12 valve Toyota powered Starlet, which ended the first heat with a big hole in its engine. Michael Baldwin was chased home by Alan D’Arcy in both heats. In the final Gavin Downey’s Suzuki-powered Starlet looked as though it would be difficult to catch, but in the closing stages he locked his brakes and shot off backwards into the pit exit lane. Alan Darcy then held off both Michael and Eddie Baldwin in their matching Micras, with Eddie winning Class 2 from Michael Coughlan’s Starlet.


A strong field of six CLASS 4s were to race with two CLASS 6s – Martin Fitz was missing from the 6 lineup thanks to a delayed shock repair, and the promised return of Davy Wall didn’t materialise. Although Brian Whelan’s Nissan-powered 205 led Donie Linehan’s 206 until their first heat was red flagged, for the rest of the day Donie held off Brian as they raced through the Class 4 traffic. Unfortunately in class 4 Raymond D’Arcy’s opposition melted away; Raymond won both heats and by the final Peadar Wall, Jim Scannell and Tom Hill were all sidelined. Andy Foley’s plan to drop into Class 4 to allow Andy O’Brien to race his car in Class 5 proved ill fated, but Andy appeared in Katie Egan’s Starlet in the final and featured in a great battle with Mick Boland’s similar Starlet until first the exhaust and then a front wheel fell off Andy’s. The race was stopped and a two minute repair saw Andy back on four wheels and making a lot of noise as he resumed battle with Mick. This time it was Mick who finished up on three wheels but by then Raymond D’Arcy had already caught and passed them for another win.


CLASS 5 got to run on its own, with four entries including the beautifully presented new Starlet (powered at the moment by a standard 1.3 Toyota) with which Kevin McGann was making his return. Kevin led his comeback race until the last couple of laps when Ronan Waters finally made his move to win in his Starlet-Honda. Andy O’Brien, in Andy Foley’s Starlet after his own blew up at the August meeting, held off Padraig Smiddy for third. In the second heat, Andy moved up to challenge Kevin for the lead, but clipped the inside bank heading onto the back straight, dislodged one of the embedded tractor tyres, and spectacularly flipped before landing on the outside wall with an extremely bent Starlet. Andy was fine, but Andy Foley's historic Starlet had run its last race - a new shell from his large collection is called for! Kevin headed Ronan in the rerun and then, with Padraig Smiddy’s car having been off song all day, there was a two car final in which Ronan narrowly headed off Kevin all the way.


CLASS 1B had its three races compressed into the middle of the programme in case anybody wanted to share a Rookie car, although this time they didn’t. Johnny Kenneally had decided to join in the fun with the car sometimes raced by son Aaron in the Rookies, and he led most of a hard fought first race before losing out on the last lap to Alan Houlihan. Ronan Foley was also up front in Tadgh’s car and held on to third from Willie Heney, Darren Prince and Luke O’Donovan. The second heat saw Ben Hickey make most of the running, but Alan Houlihan came through to win again, with nothing between Ben, Wiilie, Johnny, Darren and Conor Harty as they raced for second. The final was led most of the way by Arthur Cottrell; he was soon caught by the pack but continued to hold then off until a lap from the end, when his fellow Ballinhassig driver Darren Prince took it up – only for Darren to slow on the last lap and be engulfed by the pack. Arthur headed into the last corner back in the lead but Johnny Kenneally had worked his way from the back to the front, and dived past Arthur as the chequers waved. The verdict, however, was a win for Arthur from Johnny, Alan Houlihan, Willie Heney, Ben Hickey, Luke O’Donovan and Conor Harty. Kieran Burke retired while Stephen Healy and Ronan Foley didn’t start the final.


The STOCKS fielded four cars with each heat headed for much of the way by Jonathan McGovern, who’s chased away most of the gremlins that were previously attacking the Alfa 156. In the first heat he held on under pressure until the last corner, where he ran wide and Stevie Slattery snatched the win from Jonathan, Brian Weston and Joe Dilworth. Second time out Brian Weston caught and passed the Alfa, going on to win, but Jonathan defended second place until he brushed the wall on the last lap, bending a front corner. That left three cars for the final, all evenly matched, with Brian passing Joe for the lead and then hanging on in front of Stevie and Joe.


The LADIES’ first heat was stopped when Jamie Egan’s car came to a stop, but the rerun followed the same pattern, with nobody able to catch Gemma Linehan, who took her first win ahead of the battling Orla O’Sullivan, Katie Egan and Catherine Walsh. Second time out Gemma was passed by Catherine, and Catherine could do nothing about Orla, who caught up her regular lap handicap to take the win from Catherine, Jamie and Katie. For the final, the last race of the day, Orla decided to take out her father’s Class 1 rather than the Mick Boland Starlet – good choice as she was already in the Micra before the Starlet broke in the previous race. With the Class 1 Orla was still starting at the back, but with a slightly lesser handicap. She got the better of her tussle with Catherine and Jamie, so when the three of them caught Gemma, it was Orla who broke away to win, with Catherine beating Gemma and Jamie for second.



CLASS RESULTS sponsored by Brian Weston Electrical

CLASS 1: 1st Shane Hickey, 2nd = Jack Hickey & Darragh O'Shea, 4th Cian Deasy

CLASS 2: 1st Eddie Baldwin, 2nd Michael Coughlan

CLASS 3: 1st Michael Baldwin, 2nd Alan D'Arcy, 3rd Gavin Downey

CLASS 4: 1st Raymond D'Arcy, 2nd Jim Scannell, 3rd Mick Boland

CLASS 5: 1st Ronan Waters, 2nd Kevin McGann, 3rd Padraig Smiddy

CLASS 6: 1st Donie Linehan, 2nd Brian Whelan

STOCKS: 1st Brian Weston, 2nd Stevie Slattery, 3rd Joe Dilworth

CLASS 1B: 1st Johnny Kenneally, 2nd = Alan Houlihan & Willie Heney, 4th Ben Hickey

LADIES: 1st Orla O'Sullivan, 2nd Catherine Walsh, 3rd Gemma Linehan

PRODUCTION JUNIOR A: 1st Ted McGrath, 2nd Ben Kenneally, 3rd James Deane

PRODUCTION JUNIOR B: 1st Ross Ryan, 2nd Leon O'Shea, 3rd Ryan Hickey

ROOKIE JUNIOR A: 1st Toby McGuire, 2nd Martin Power, 3rd Conor Fitzgerald

ROOKIE JUNIOR B: 1st Callum Power, 2nd Paddy Fitzgerald, 3rd Liam Kiersey