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Hillclimb in Ballyvaughan

The Galway Motor Club will host its annual hillclimb in Ballyvaughan this Saturday and Sunday. The event will form the opening two rounds of the Naylor Engineering National Hillclimb and Sprint Championship 2017. This year’s championship takes place over seven weekends, 14 rounds taking in some of the most scenic parts of Clare, Carlow, Wexford, Limerick, Waterford and Donegal. The organisers welcome back M Fitzgibbon Contractors Ltd as title sponsors of this year’s event, which will have its headquarters at Monks Pub, Ballyvaughan. Competitors will start arrive on Friday afternoon for an optional scrutiny, which will take place in Mooney’s Emo service station between 6pm and 8pm, where everybody is invited to view the cars and speak with the drivers. On Saturday morning, the drivers will head to the world-famous Corkscrew Hill. The 1.5km ribbon of tarmac winds its way up the famous hairpin section before opening out to a fast sweeping road. This provides a huge challenge for all the competitors! Sunday heads out the coast …

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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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