After a successful practice day the week previous, it was back to racing, at long last, with a 2 day event in prospect on the 15th and 16th August. With no racing, due to covid 19, since February, this was round 1 & 2 of the 2020 championship. The Tony Dunphy Cup was up for grabs on Saturday evening and the Maura Walsh cup as well as cups for rookies, juniors, 1B and stocks were awaiting the winners on Sunday.
Track conditions started quite wet and slippy on Saturday which caught out a few of the younger drivers as they got used to being behind the wheel again after such a long break. As the day progress the track dried and the racing stepped up a notch. The usual 3 rounds of racing saw Davy Banville come out on top in class1 with maximum points. Paddy Sullivan was the best of the rest securing 2nd with Ronan Coughlan 3rd. Pat Ryan took the honours in class 2 getting the better of Eddie Baldwin as they renewed their rivalry. Kevin Healy took 3rd. That Ryan #35 car appeared again in class3 with Jason behind the wheel this time and he defied the challenge from Michael Baldwin to take the class win with new man Ronan Bennett grabbing a creditable 3rd.
Class 4 was a straight battle between Kevin Condon & Raymond D’Arcy with Kevin coming out on top with some great driving to keep the 2019 driver of the year at bay. Class 5 saw Stephen Healy taking the honours while in class 6 Brendan Dee got the better of Brian Whelan. Luke O’Donovan was top man in the 1B class while there was no separating Rally Hally & Nathanya Houlihan for 2nd and Conor Harty getting 3rd. Anita Lonergan had a good run out in the ladies building up some championship points along the way. PJ O’Sullivan made a winning return to racing in the stocks but was pushed all the way by Anne McGuire (2nd) and Joe Dilworth (3rd). Cole Mc Gann made a winning start to racing at the Pike in the rookie class with Callum Power a close 2nd and Aaron Kenneally 3rd. Ben Kenneally and Ross Ryan had a great battle all day with Ben’s experience telling in the end as he secured the win over Ross (2nd) and James Deane a close 3rd.
In the big race of the evening for the Dunphy cup, Davy Banville and Paddy Sullivan were going well at the front early on in their class 1 cars but Michael Baldwin was closing the gap and eventually took the lead in his class 3 car just after the half way stage of the race. As the laps kept adding up the more power cars from classes 4,5 &6 were gaining on the race leader and as the last lap sign came out Michael had just enough of a gap to hold on and take the race win with Kevin Condon 2nd and Raymond D’Arcy 3rd.
Sunday saw a few extra drivers at briefing from the previous day and conditions were ideal for a great day’s racing. Davy Banville continued his fine form over the weekend to take the honours in class1 with Paddy Sullivan again settling for 2nd and Darragh O’Shea securing 3rd. Eddie Baldwin and Pat Ryan swopped positions from Saturday with Michael Coughlan taking 3rd. Ronan Bennett pushed hard in class 3 on his 2nd day out to secure the top step of the podium ahead of Michael Baldwin and Paul Fitzgerald. Kevin Condon continued his fine form in class4 as did Stephen Healy in class 5 as Padraig Smiddy played a bit part due to mechanical gremlins. Brian Whelan reversed the podium with Brendan Dee from Saturday in class6.
There was no separating the Houlihans in 1B as Alan and Nathanya finished the day joint 1st with Luke O’Donovan 2nd and Peter Keohane 3rd. The ladies class saw the returning Catherine Walsh drive superbly to take the raceday win with maximum points ahead of Laura Keegan 2nd and Anita Lonergan 3rd. It was the same 1,2,3 in the stocks as Saturday with PJ O’Sullivan, Anne Mc Guire and Joe Dilworth . Cole McGann again took top spot on the podium in the rookies with Aaron Kenneally just pipping Callum Power for 2nd place. Ben Kenneally also continued his good form in the production with another raceday win as James Deane went 1 better than Saturday and joined Ross Ryan on the 2nd step of the podium with Aidan Heney 3rd.
After such entertainment in all classes throughout the day, drivers had it all to do again in the cup races. There was no stopping Brian Whelan in the Maura Walsh cup race as he powered his class 6 car from the back of the grid to take the win ahead of Darragh O’Shea and Davy Banville. Cole McGann once again was at the fore for the rookie cup taking the win ahead of Aaron Kenneally and Callum Twomey taking a very creditable 3rd. Ben Kenneally seems to be the man to beat at this stage in the production juniors as he also completed a clean sweep for the weekend with Ross Ryan 2nd and James Deane 3rd. Nathanya Houlihan got the better of Alan in the 1B cup race with Peter Keohane completing the podium. PJ O’Sullivan took home the stock cup to complete a fine weekend for him in his newly prepared car. Once again Anne Mc Guire had to settle for 2nd and Joe Dilworth 3rd.
The club wish to thank everyone who helped make our return to racing such a success especially while adhering to government and club covid 19 guidelines