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Motoring

Big launch for Champion’s 152 Motoring

The Clare Champion’s latest motoring guide coincides with the second half of the 2015 sales season and the introduction of the 152 plate. 152 Motoring provides a comprehensive run down of some of the latest models, just on the market or soon to be introduced. We’ve also got full road tests on two dream machines, the fascinating BMW i8 plug-in hybrid and the unashamedly old school but no less exciting Jaguar F-Type. It’s not only for those with a serious interest in motoring but also those who want a decent car to get from A to B. Whatever your car, whatever your budget, there’s a car out there to suit and if you don’t fancy laying out cash for your purchase, we’ll guide you through the complicated world of car finance. 152 Motoring focuses on a number of important aspects of driving and car ownership. Quite timely, there is a fairly clear outline of summer driving tips, as well as …

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Ease up on the accelerator

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the gardaí have appealed to drivers, in the run up to the June Bank Holiday weekend to save lives by going easy on the accelerator. The organisations have asked drivers not only to reduce speed but to always drive at a speed appropriate to all the prevailing conditions. Over 70,000 speeding offences have already been detected in 2015. Nearly 80% of those detections were for speeds between 10 and 29 km/h over the posted speed limit. A further 10% were in excess of 30 km/h over the posted speed limit. Figures show that the June Bank Holiday has consistently been the starting point for what is traditionally the most dangerous period on Ireland’s roads – summertime. In the last five years, 256 people have died in June, July and August. Over the next three months it is possible therefore that 51 lives could be lost in crashes on the nation’s roads. Minister for Transport …

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Simon McKinley (on right) being presented with the 2010 Connaught Competition Engines Irish Hillclimb and Sprint trophy by Joe Corcoran (President of Motorsport Ireland).

Driver killed at Hillclimb

Four time Irish Hillclimb champion, Simon McKinley, from Meath, has been killed after an accident during the Clare Motor Club’s Hillclimb at Scalp Hill, near Carron. The accident happened towards the end of the event, after all competitors had successfully completed the course a number of times throughout the day. The event at Carron was the first round of the 2015 Hillclimb Championship. Initial reports suggest that McKinley’s car, a Lant RT4, left the road at a tricky left-right combination and rolled several times. An investigation into the accident will be carried out. Simon McKinley is survived by his wife, Deirdre, who also competes in Hillclimbs and their year old son, Rory. Tomorrow’s hillclimb at Ballyalban has been cancelled as a mark of respect.

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Munster Autotest in Ennis

CLARE Motor Club’s first event of the 2015 season kicks into action this weekend, when the club hosts rounds 3 and 4 of the 2015 Premier Autoparts Munster Autotest Championship. Limerick Motor Club hosted the opening two rounds and the top three drivers are fighting for top position. Timmy Lynch from Killorglin leads the series in his Westfield rear wheel drive sports car, followed by Ian White and Paddy Power, who are both driving Minis. The event takes place at Clare Marts on the Quin Road, Ennis on Saturday, with action commencing at 3pm and beginning again on Sunday at 11am.

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Hailstorms hampering M18 driving

SEVERE and sudden hailstorms are affecting the M18 more than most other roads, are all but impossible to forecast and have led to accidents on the route, according to the National Roads Authority (NRA). Clare TD Joe Carey raised concerns about the Crusheen-Gort section of the route in the Dáil and he subsequently received a letter from programme and regulatory manager of the NRA, Gary Carey. The NRA official stated, “There would appear to be a particular problem associated with hailstorms along the M18, which seem to be more frequent along this route than at other locations throughout the national road motorway network. “It was such a hailstorm on January 13, 2015, which resulted in skidding accidents and the closure of the road for a time by An Garda Síochána. “It is worth noting that some of the hailstorms recorded had such intensity that at one point they caused the road surface temperature to drop by approximately 5oC in a …

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New guidelines to reduce speeding

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has published a new document, the aim of which is to provide advice and guidance to those charged with responsibility for imposing speed limits. Guidelines for Setting and Managing Speed Limits will also ensure that greater consistency is applied where speed limits are concerned. The guidelines provide for the introduction of new road signage to deal with speed limits in rural areas on minor local roads and for the implementation of new urban ‘Slow Zones’ in residential areas to reduce the speed limit to 30 km/h. Minister Donohoe said, “Speed limits should not be seen by drivers as setting a target speed, or as being appropriate in all conditions, nor are they intended to be. Drivers must, take responsibility to drive at a safe speed appropriate to the particular road and surrounding environment, while not exceeding the posted speed limit’. “The purpose of the guidelines is to provide advice and guidance to local authority engineers, and …

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Ford's GT will have a limited production run. It's powered by a twin turbo 3.5 litre V6 producing more than 600 bhp.

High performance rules at Geneva

After the years of doom and gloom, it was wonderful to see the Geneva Show back to its sparkling self, with a plethora of new sports cars launched. Ranging from faster versions of more ordinary cars to real dream machines, there was something for everyone, demonstrating that the motor industry at last seems to have got its Mojo back. We first saw the Pininfarina Sergio as a concept at Geneva two years ago and there was no indication it would ever go into production yet it made a return this year as a full production car albeit with a run of only six cars. Based on the Ferrari 458 Spider, it’s official name is now the Pininfarina Ferrari Sergio. Also in the concept realm was the Quantino, a quite breathlessly gorgeous creation although in this case, there was even more going on under the skin. Powered by Nano electricity, essentially two tanks of ionic liquids, one with a positive charge, …

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European Car of the Year 2015 - Volkswagen Passat.

Volkswagen Passat takes Euro COTY title

On the eve of the press opening of the Geneva Motor Show, the Volkswagen Passat has been awarded the title of European Car of the Year 2015. It won out by some margin over its nearest rival. “We are extremely proud of this accolade,” said Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen, at the prize-giving ceremony in Geneva. “In the new Passat we have again succeeded in developing a car that sets the standards for its class in terms of technology and quality. This honour is a tremendous confirmation for the work of our engineers, designers and the entire team. The new Passat shows that the Volkswagen brand has the right answers to the challenges of our time.” One of the oldest and most well-known awards in Europe, Car of the Year has been honouring the best new releases in the car industry every year since 1964. The jury, consisting of 58 European motoring journalists from 22 countries, had nominated seven candidates …

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