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McKinley is fastest on Corkscrew Hill

DAMP and greasy conditions greeted the drivers on the Corkscrew Hill near Ballyvaughan for the opening two rounds of the 2010 Connaught Competition Engines Hillclimb/Sprint Championship last Saturday.
THE Logue’s Lodge Clare Hillclimb Weekend was won by Simon McKinley from Rush in Dublin driving his Lant RT2 Racing Car. Simon was fastest on both days.
As local hillclimb ace Sylvie Mullins from Ballyvaughan did not have his car ready for the event the battle for supremacy was between Simon McKinley and current Hillclimb champion, Limerick’s Paul O’Connell.
This was Paul’s first event in his new 2.8 litre, four cylinder Hart Engined Pilbeam MP58H Hillclimb Racing Car which produces 350 horse power.
It turned out to be a troublesome day for both drivers as McKinley failed to make the first timed run and the car broke a cv joint after leaving the start line on run two. Simon posted his best time of 56.00 seconds on run three to take the fastest time on the corkscrew. O’Connell had electrical and gear selection problems with his new car and he also failed to make the first two timed runs. Paul also posted his fastest time on run three, 58.12 seconds. Both drivers failed to improve on the fourth and final run. Brendan Keane (Swallow DRI4) and Stephen Gillis (Westfield SEI) tied for third overall.
The Class winners were Ray Cunningham, Tommy Murphy, Stephen Gillis, Rory Stephens, Gerry Freeman, Joe Courtney, Paul O’Connell, Peter Cummins. Clare motor club members Ross Kenny finished first in his class while Michael Rodgers finished third in class.
Sunday’s action moved to the Scalp Hill near Carron. With the majority of the corners being third and fourth-gear corners and the surface being relatively bumpy, it presents a different challenge to the Corkscrew. With drivers reaching speeds in excess of 130mph, it is certainly not for the faint-hearted.
Simon McKinley was first to head the time sheets after run one with a time of 59.42 seconds on the fully extended hill having broken another CV Joint while crossing the finish line at the top. Simon improved his time on the second timed run to 59.42 which was the fastest time of the day and gave him overall victory. Paul O’Connell still had electrical problems on Sunday but with the help of the Clare motor club officials, he managed to complete all three timed runs and posted a best time of 59.93 seconds on run two. Rory Stephens Radical SR3 Hayabusa Turbo finished third overall with a time of 69.68 seconds while Seamus Morris (Pilbeam MP52) finished fourth overall on 70.64 seconds.
There was a big increase in the number of rally cars on the Sunday as a lot of Clare club members did battle for class positions. Anthony O’Halloran was the top Clare club member on the day finishing fifth overall and second in class with a time of 71.73 seconds in his Mitsubishi Evo 9. Clare club member Patrick Horan put in a stunning drive in his Vauhhall Nova to finish 10th overall and first in class. Other Clare club award-winners included Tony Tuttle third in class, Martin O’Halloran second in class, Tom Ryan third in class and  Robert Ryan third in class.
The class winners were Ray Cunningham, Tommy Murphy, Stephen Gillis, Rory Stephens, Dermot Quigley, Joe Courtney, Paul O’Connell, Patrick Horan, Ed Synan.

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