Murphy Dominates ALMC Endurance Trial
February 20, 2013 by Alan Binley
Brian Murphy and William Kelly lead from start to finish to win the ALMC Spring Endurance Trial in their Toyota Starlet finishing the event over a minute ahead of the second place crew of Enda McLoughlin and Declan Tynan also in a Starlet. Karl O’Donoghue with Evan Hughes calling the instructions came in third overall in their Rover 200 preventing a clean sweep for the Toyota’s. The event started from its now customary base at the Luttrellstown Golf club in West Dublin and took the fifty competing crews on a loop of selectives through the grounds of various privately owned facilities and estates located in counties Dublin, Louth and Meath before returning to the Luttrellstown Castle estate for the final 15km selective loop of the grounds under the cover of darkness.
Murphy and Kelly made clear their intent right from the opening selective posting fastest time through the test and taking a lead which they did not relinquish for the remainder of the day. McLoughlin and Tynan maintained a steady pace through the course of the day and continued to swap seconds on the tests with the leaders while keeping the gap to less than thirty seconds. On the final test of the day Murphy’s outright pace was too much for them and with just twenty seconds separating first and second at the start of the selective the winners emerged a minute and one second up to secure the win. Number one seeds Daniel Byrne and Kevin Fagan stayed in the hunt for the overall victory while battling with Eddie Peterson and Richard Pain both of which were driving Starlets until the final test in Luttrelstown when disaster struck and Byrne and Fagan took the maximum time and dropped to twenty fifth overall. Early indications at the finish were that Peterson and Pain would take third overall but when corrections were made to earlier test times O’Donoghue and Hughes moved ahead to clinch the final podium place ending the event just five seconds behind second placed McLoughlin. Peterson and Pain took first in class one, with the Starlet of Damien Doran and Anthony O’Neill second and Simon and Deirdre McKinley in their Canary yellow Fiat Cinquecento completing the top three in the class, they even had time for a car wash in Turvey prior to the MacHale test.
Irish young rallying talents Robert Barrable and FIA Academy star Alastair Fisher came together for their first event competing together with Alastair taking to the selective notes. Seeded two for the event their hopes of challenging for the overall award ended less than two kilometres into the first selective when they went straight on at a right hander and ended up getting stuck resulting in a loss of two minutes. Class two of the event for modified cars under 1400cc was a hotly fought battle with Martin Devine and dad John alongside coming home class winners and seventh overall following a blistering time through the final selective and the scrubbing of an earlier late penalty. Frank Lenehan and Olwen Blair took second in class two in their Starlet with Niall and James Driver finishing third in the class, five and a half minutes off the class winners.
Class three was dominated by ex-track racing ace Patricia Denning with former border championship winning co-driver Joe Downey calling the instructions in the Toyota Starlet, proving they are a formidable team on enduro events. Glyn Gaffney and Alan Doran in their Celica finished one minute forty seconds behind Denning, yet another ageing Toyota put to good use. The final place in the class went to Coffee Perfections Sean McEnroe and navigator Paul Tierney in the Proton Sabia GTi. Ted and Karen Gaffney an all ALMC club crew once again swept the selectives in the Golf GTi, Karen feeling the pre-event pressure sitting with Ted following his recent event success she need not have worried they toped class four.
Dermot Carnegie and Paul Bodset lead the rear wheel drive brigade in their Ford Escort, sliding their way through the slippy tests they finished fourth overall and first in class five over five minutes ahead of Martin Nugent and Mark Doran in their Escort with Philip Armstrong and Frank Hussey in the Volvo 544 over seven minutes further back. Ian Downey driving one of several Starlets from the Downey fleet took the inaugural Gary Emmett perpetual Trophy, a tribute to ALMC club member and endurance competitor who passed away late last year. Fifty crews took to the start of the event and with only five crews not making the full distance forty five muck splattered, sump dented, happy crews made it across the finish line late on Saturday night. Congratulations and well done to COC Noel Devlin and his hard working team and all who marshalled on the day.
Results O/A 1st Brian Murphy/William Kelly Toyota Starlet, 2nd Enda McLoughlin/Declan Tynan +1.01 Toyota Starlet 3rd Karl O’Donoghue/Evan Hughes +1.06 Rover 200.
Class 1 Eddie Peterson/Richard Pain Toyota Starlet, 2nd Damien Doran/Anthony O’Neil Toyota Starlet +0.31, 3rd Simon & Deirdre McKinley Fiat Cinquecento +1.33
Class 2 1st Martin & John Devine Toyota Starlet, 2nd Frank Lenehan/Olwen Blai…r Toyota Starlet +3.06, 3rd Niall & James Driver Toyota Starlet +5.27
Class 3 – 1st Patricia Denning/Joe Downey Toyota Starlet, 2nd Glyn Gaffney/Alan Doran Toyota Celica +1.40, 3rd Sean McEnroe/Paul Tierney Proton Sabia GTi +10.26
Class 4 – 1st Ted & Karen Gaffney Volkswagen Golf GTi
Class 5 – 1st Dermot Garnegie/Paul Bodset Ford Escort, 2nd Martin Nugent/Mark Doran Ford Escort +5.15 3rd Philip Armstrong/Frank Hussey Volvo 544 +12.30