Rookie Juniors

Junior Class 1b

Junior Class 1


Class 1 & 2

Class 3

Class 4, 5 & 6

Class 1 - 6 All-In


Helpers' Race


Waterford Raceway

Waterford Raceway’s 2017 championship season came to an end on November 12, on what turned out to be a fine, sunny, if slightly chilly, afternoon. There was plenty of interest remaining in the championships; although a few classes had runaway winners, plenty of trophy positions were still up for grabs. The car count was again down a bit from the mid-season levels, and another clash with a rescheduled date at Rosegreen took away a few potential entrants, but a turnout of 44 cars and 47 drivers was organised to give the usual close, friendly competition.


The three classes of Juniors opened the programme. The ROOKIES’ ranks continued to grow with the addition of East Cork’s Rookie Champion, Darragh Walsh. The drawn and reversed grid format for the heats resulted in good racing with Tadgh Foley going around the outside of the last corner to snatch heat one from Darragh Healy. Another last lap pass won Tadgh the second heat, this time passing Brian Scannell. Abby Hewitt led the final most of the way but her car lost power letting Ian Kelleher past, before yet another last lap move put Tadgh Foley in first from Ian, Brian, Darragh Healy and Darragh Walsh, with Toby McGuire, Conor Fitzgerald and the unlucky Abby completing the field. The Rookies were given a bonus fourth race; in this one Darragh Walsh held off Tadgh to take his first Pike win. Tadgh, Ian and Darragh Healy had all been in contention for the championship after an excellent year for all the Rookies, but Tadgh’s results wrapped it up for him.


The Unmodified CLASS 1B JUNIORS  saw Aiden Heney start with a mathematical chance of beating Cathal McGivern for the championship, but Cathal put it out of reach when he drew pole position for the first race and took a runaway win. Evin Harding took a good win in the second heat, with Aiden picking up another second and Cathal making it to third from right at the back. The final promised one of the day’s best races, and definitely delivered it! Luke O’Donovan’s Starlet and Ben Dunlea took turns in front before Ben Furlong took over while Cathal McGivern moved up to second. Into the last lap Cathal took the inside line and Ben’s defence saw him sideways across Cathal’s nose. To both boys’ credit they sorted it out, both survived and Ben took the win from Cathal and Aiden Heney, with Joey Dilworth taking fourth from Evin Harding, Ben Dunlea and Luke O’Donovan.


Just five cars contested the JUNIOR MODIFIED class, and three of them were still in contention for the championship, but we unfortunately lost the third contender, Cian Deasy, when a visit to the bank cost him a bent back axle. That left the title battle between Ronan Foley and Jack Hickey and they took level scores from the two heats, with a win each. In the final Jack Pollard’s Starlet held the lead for a while but Jack Hickey took over and held off Mark O’Connor and Ronan in a typically close finish. This gave Jack Hickey the overall win for the day, but left Ronan at the top of the championship table.  


The LADIES’ championship was also looking close, with a handful of points between the Egan sisters. Again the Wexford girls got a bit too close in the first heat, but the battle was resolved in Katie’s favour when Jamie’s car started cutting out in the second race. In the final all four contenders seemed to be tied together in the closing stages, with Jamie at the head of the group, but a lap down after an early spin. After a first heat win, Anita Pollard made an excellent job of holding off Anita Lonergan and Katie Egan to take a second win of the day in her Nissan-powered Starlet. A well deserved overall win went to Anita Pollard, one of the club’s most dedicated helpers, from Katie and Anita Lonergan - a fitting end to a season that saw great performances from a group of ladies mostly new to the track. Katie won the championship from Jamie (two dirt racing converts to the fore) with the "temporarily retired" Meaghan O'Daly third and Anita Lonergan's impressive first season bringing her fourth.


The format for the class racing was two rounds of split heats, and an all-in third round for the survivors. CLASS 1 featured four Micras that split up into two battling pairs. Jamie Condon just held off Michael Baldwin the first heat and Michael then turned the tables in the second race. Both did well among the quicker cars in the third round with Jamie securing the class win for the day over Michael, who’d already successfully defended his points championship. The third place battle was no less intense with ex-Autograsser Paul Boland overcoming some engine problems in his newly built Micra to beat Raymond Barry, settling in well in his third Pike meeting.

The CLASS 2s went out with the Ones and provided close action between a trio of Fiat-powered Starlets. Kevin Healy returned to the track and held off son Stephen and James McCoy for a while, but Kevin’s car ran out of steam in each race, while Stephen took the win, and the championship, and James put up a good fight in second.


CLASS 3 was treated to its own races, with a couple of shared cars involved. Unfortunately we didn’t see enough of the continuing battle between Ronan Waters and Alan D’Arcy as Alan had engine trouble in the second heat that sidelined him for the rest of the day. Ronan claimed the overall win from Shaun Lonergan and Kenneth McCoy, who was doubling up with James in their now Fiat 1.2 16 valve powered Starlet. Ronan’s win confirmed him as champion over Alan.


Classes 4, 5 and 6 ran together, with two cars in each. Gavin Mullally’s 1.4 Micra took the CLASS 4 award after Peadar Wall’s 1600 Hot Rod 206 came off worse in a brush with the scenery in the second heat, although Peader was well ahead in the championship. CLASS 5 was again a duel between the two Wexford Andys with their 1500 Honda-powered Starlets; Andy Foley and Andy O’Brien took a win each in the heats, so the overall winner was decided by the all-in third round, in which Andy O’Brien exited on the first lap while Andy Foley had an excellent drive to second overall, giving him the day’s trophy, while Andy O’Brien took the championship. CLASS 6 provided a great spectacle as the Outlaw Hot Rod cars of Martin Fitzgerald and Brian Whelan battled through the traffic. Martin’s Colt won both the heats but didn’t come out for the all-in race, where Brian’s Nissan Turbo-powered 205 came from the back of the 12-car field to win overall, which also gave him the class win. The championship was closely balanced but Martin Fitz held his advantage to win it.


Unfortunately for the second meeting running there were no Class 1b entries, despite three drivers having been in close contention for the championship. We hope to see the budget class, which has provided great entertainment this year, catch on properly next year. The other “basic” class, the STOCK RODS, laid on their usual excellent racing. Alan Houlihan’s Hyundai heat Marty O’Riordan’s Focus and Joe Fitz’s Almera in the first heat. Brian Weston’s Mazda beat these three in the second heat, setting the scene for an action packed final. Joe Fitz and Jamie Condon’s Mitsubishi both had problems while leading, and just behind them Brian Weston lost ground with a big lock-up and Paul Weston’s Mazda took an off-track excursion. All this helped Marty O’Riordan to emerge as the winner from a recovered Brian Weston and Alan Houlihan. With a first, second and third each, Marty and Alan shared the top step of the podium, while Alan held to win the championship.


That just left a HELPERS’ RACE to complete the Pike season; Aiden Heney’s Micra was entrusted to Rally Hally, who took a runaway win, chased by Andy Foley (in Jamie Egan’s Starlet), Shane Hickey (in Jack’s Micra), Chalky Nolan (in Andy Foley’s Starlet), Mikey Daly in Paul Boland’s Micra and Daire Power in Katie Egan’s Starlet.


Another excellent and well-run meeting to round off Waterford Raceway’s season, although there’ll only be a short break before the scheduled St Stephens Day meeting. We’ve certainly enjoyed covering most of the Pike season (although Autograss date clashes kept us away from a few of the summer events) and we’d again like to thank everyone at the Pike for their welcome and hospitality – which, to be fair, is extended to all visitors here. Especial thanks for the surprise at the end of the day, and we’ll look forward to trying to work out a travel schedule including plenty of Pike visits in 2018!