Double victory for Steven Ferguson in the west
November 4, 2012 by Guy Foster
Last weekend saw the Hewison Autotest Championship kick back into life after over a month’s break, with a double header weekend on the west coast.
On Saturday the competitors headed to Oranmore in Galway for round 3 of this year’s championship, organized by Galway motor club with Colin Keegan as CoC.
Conditions were sunny throughout the day. The tests were on varied surfaces including smooth tar, abrasive concrete and concrete with a layer of dust creating low grip.
There were 12 driving tests on the day, a loop of 3 tests ran 4 times.
Steven Ferguson was unstoppable all day, setting a string of fastest times in his Mini special en-route to his third win in a row. Second home was Eamon Byrne driving his Mini saloon 15 seconds behind Stevie. Third overall and first of the rear wheel drives was Simon Echlin in his Caterham 7, only 1.5s behind.
In class A, the Mini saloons, Eamon Byrne took the honors with a 37 second lead after the final test, Chris Grimes was second in class with Guy Foster 3rd.
Class B for front wheel drive specials was dominated by Steven Ferguson. JJ Farrell was second after a torrid day ending up 32s behind the Cookstown man. 3rd in his Mini Moke was Paddy Power.
The rear wheel class C was won by the ever spectacular Simon Echlin. Timmy Lynch had changed some settings in his Westfield’s gearing and his pace raised lots of eyebrows on the day as he fought his way to first Semi-Expert and second in class. Daren Quille in his Westfield was third.
David Thompson, Mark King and Paul Mooney again resumed their battle In the large saloon class d. Mark was the winner on the day, piloting his Nova to 4th overall and beating Thompson by 1.7 seconds. Paul was 3rd in class after a few time penalties. Peter Falvey also in a Nova was best beginner on the day to take the novice award.
Day 2 was organised by Sligo Motor club and was based at one of the more interesting locations visited during the year. The tests were based on varied asphalt surfaces surrounding the now abandoned Sahen Media factory just outside of Sligo Town. In stark contrast to the previous day conditions were cold wet and slippery with showers throughout the day.
CoC on the day was John Golden.
Steven “The Champ” Ferguson again showed that he is worthy of his nickname taking 8 fastest times out of 12 to secure his fourth win of the championship. Eamon Byrne took 3 fastest times in his Mini to finish second and JJ Farrell was third in his Heinz sponsored special.
Class A was again won by Eamon Byrne. Ex-Northern Champion Glen Irwin had made the trip down to drive Ken’s Hire Mini and took 2nd in class as well as fourth overall. The third Mini on the day was piloted by Chris Grimes.
Class B was a repeat of the results seen in Galway the day before with Steven Ferguson, JJ Farrell and Paddy Power taking first, second and third.
Simon Echlin took the win in class C. Darren Quille who had to borrow a friends engine to compete on the weekend finished second in class with Timmy Lynch third and best of the semi-experts.
Class D was again dominated by Vauxhall Novas. Paul Mooney was fastest on the day narrowly edging out local man David Thompson to win by just 1.1 seconds. Mark King was 5 seconds further back in 3rd.
A special mention has to be given to the winner of the Novice class on the day Peter Falvey who was competing on his 17th birthday. Peter, son of historic rally ace Todd, started autotesting less than a year ago had some brillint times on the day and in the end he showed up some of the best drivers in the championship and even edging out multiple Rear wheel drive champion Simon Echlin by 6.7 seconds to finish 13th overall
The next round of the championship is in just over 2 weeks time on November 18th. The Howard Wilde Memorial Autotest will be ran by the Trial Drivers Club in The Mondello Park Paddock.