Ballyvourney in Co. Cork played host to the opening 2 rounds of the 2015-16 Irish National Autotest Championship.
Round 1, which took place on Saturday and was organised by Cork Motor Club, saw Robin Lyons triumph after 12 tests. He was followed home by Paul Blair in second and Eamonn Byrne in third. The perfect conditions from Saturday continued into Sunday for round 2 which was run by Munster Car Club. Lyons once again excelled and repeated his round 1 performance taking another victory.
Behind Lyons this time however, was Darren Quille who took his best Hewison Trophy result to date with a fine second place while Paddy Power rounded out the top 3.
Saturday saw the Valvoline Irish Forestry Rally Championship head north of the border for Fermanagh based Lakeland Stages Rally. Sam Moffett triumphed on the 8 stage event with his Ford Fiesta World Rally Car finishing 21 seconds ahead of his younger brother Josh. Sam, who had a new co-driver on board in the shape of James Fulton, powered away from the rest of the field after retaking the lead on stage 3 in what was his first loose surface event on home soil in the Fiesta.
Jonathan Greer took the final podium spot in his Citroen DS3 R5. Frank Kelly and David Vance finished in forth place and was the first 2 wheel drive car home. Such was the pace at the top of the field that championship contenders Michael Conlon and Michael O’Brien could only manage 15th and 17th overall respectively. The next round of the championship will be round 6, the Mayo Forest Rally which will take place on October 18th.
At Rockingham in the UK, Dubliner Aron Smith took a strong podium finish on round 22 of the British Touring Car Championship. Smith brought his VW Passatt CC home in third place behind Ford drive Matt Jackson and Honda’s Gordon Shedden. In race 2 of the meeting, Smith managed to take eleventh place after a testing race but he was back on form in race 3 with the Team BMR RCIB Insurance Passatt scything through the field to take a fine sixth overall.
Smith’s Rockingham results leave him eleventh in the points table on a total of 143 points. The series is lead by Scotland’s Gordon Shedden on 278 points.