Larne lot storm to the Ross Park Targa Rally
Mid Antrim MC had the joy of running the first Targa Rally of 2020. After the success of their maiden Targa Rally the club with years of Stage Rallying experience brought the Targa back for another tour of the Kells perimeter. Larne Motor Club once again helped their neighbouring club by running the second test Duncans Land. This year MAMC decided to run the same tests as the first year only this time in reverse, if it’s not broke don’t fix it.
80 crews entered the event with several Larne yins arriving at the Ross Park Hotel for the event start. With Storm Ciara due to arrive later in the day, everyone couldn't wait to get started. One of the event favourites David Crothers and Barbara Kane got off to a steady start and were quickly in the mix for the overall lead. David and Barbara had a steady penalty free run finishing strongly with the top times on the final four tests of the day. Unfortunately the couple fell short of the top spot losing to Simon and Gary Woodside by two seconds.
Paul Magill who had Paul Mehaffey in the navigators seat had yet another great battle in class four against Conor O’Boyle, the two Mazda MX5 drivers made few mistakes and at the end of the day there was nothing to separate their times at the end of the fifteen tests.
Conor’s sister, Rachel O’Boyle rumoured to be the most successful member of the Targa family was once again guiding seasoned competitor Andrew Earney around the route in their gold Toyota Yaris. Rachel and Andrew brought their car home in ninth position, yet more bragging rights in the O’Boyle household.
However, it was Hugh O’Boyle who probably had the biggest smile on his face as papa bear kept his MX5 neat and tidy to take class six honours and will now face a new challenge as he joins Conor in class four, a fantastic result for Hugh and his navigator Anthony Mitchell.
Stephen Gilpin and Andrew Wharry found drama before the Rally even began when the Suzuki Swift had engine problems and Stephen resorted to taking a Vauxhall Corsa out for the day. The wee car never missed a beat all day and helped the crew gather more Targa experience as they finished the event 65th overall.
Luke Creaney returned to the navigators seat of Jim Allen’s Renault Clio. The Clio crew had mostly a smooth day with only two penalties until final test maximum saw the two drop a few places finishing 67th overall.
William Cross hit trouble on the fourth test when his MX5 stepped out too wide on the final 360 pylon and had a hit a large stone damaging the rear wish bone and his pride.
James Bearns bought a Toyota MR2 for his first ever motorsport event. The Ross Park Targa was always going to be a learning curve for him, and he got Laharna Lanes Rally Clerk of the Course Jonathan Millar to take the navigators seat for his debut. James enjoyed his event, even though handbrake trouble caused the crew to go backward through a fence causing the test to be stopped whilst the MR2 was recovered. Luckily only suffering body damage the two brought the car to the finish which was a great start for James’ first Targa Rally.
Thanks to all the Larne MC club members who stood out in the cold windy weather to support Mid Antrim MC in another successful event.
Picture - David and Barbara competing in their Mazda MX5. (No Ross Park photo available)