4x4 Off Road Championship

Round 3
Co. Kildare Motor Club, 1st November 1998.

Report by Ivor Clegg. (Master of the "Beast")

The weather in the previous few days did not look promising. Rain, wind, rain and more rain seemed to be a bad omen of things to come on the Sunday. Shane McMeel and Christy Crowe got slightly damp (!) while laying out the course on Saturday. Perhaps this explains the 'testing' nature of some of the obstacles we encountered on the day!!

FROST AND SUNSHINE!!!! Another beautiful day on the 'Costa del Tullow'!!! Shane must know some good magic spells as we had another perfect day with only a hint of drizzle at the end of the day.

The first spectacle we were treated to was of the Cork contingent being unloaded from their lorry, WITHOUT RAMPS. The lorry driver was using a crane to unload the vehicles! We all waited with bated breath to see if anything was dropped, but we were to be disappointed, as everything went to plan. The same cannot be said about the re-loading however!!

Starting order was determined by the traditional 'numbered balls drawn from a bag' method, and off we went to the first tests.

This intrepid reporter was first into test 1, and having broken the ground and come to a halt at gate 4, made it easy for everyone else (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!). Edwin Pratt in the 'Beast' was the first to get a zero on this test, clearing the last gate in spectacular fashion
with all four wheels off the ground.

Paul O'Byrne also got some airtime in the 'Bald Eagle'.
It was also on this test that the Heneghan's Suzuki decided to lie down and have a little rest.
The remaining tests for the morning passed off without major incident, except for everyone making threats about the course designers, who were strangely conspicuous by their absence. After a nice relaxing lunch in the sunshine, we all set off for the afternoon tests. Shane and Christy had re-appeared by this time and had cunningly altered some of the tests so that most of our carefully created tracks and ruts were now of very little use. More threats were made! The struggle at the top of the leaderboard centered around Tom Twomey in the (extremely) yellow Suzuki, Karl McCarthy in his 'Real Man's Vehicle' (Jeep Wrangler) and Damian Heneghan in the blue Suzuki competing for top honours in the 'Production Vehicles' classes, while Paul O'Byrne, Edwin Pratt and Ivor Clegg (that's me) were battling it out in the 'Specials' class. At the end, Damian won the 'Production Vehicles' trophy, and I won the 'Specials' (blush).

Brian Berkery did very well to come back after a bit of an 'incident' to win Class 1.
He was closely followed by Jonathan Heneghan and Diarmaid Drennan, both of whom moved up from Class 4 (Novices) to take 2nd and 3rd in Class 1. All the other classes were very closely contested, particularly Class 4, where only 1 point separated the first 3 drivers. Dave Hanlon treated us to a display of stunt driving at the end of test 7 when he pulled a very impressive 'wheelie' at the zero gate before running backwards down the hill and coming to an abrupt halt while receiving a great round of applause. We were not told how the young lady who was in the passenger seat at the time reacted to the whole episode. It remains to be seen if she comes 4X4ing again. Do you remember I said earlier in this report that the loading of the Cork lorry did not go exactly to plan ?

Well, Paul (O'Byrne) was driving the 'Bald Eagle' up the ramps at the back of the lorry when something went wrong (right foot trouble, perhaps?) and the back end of 'Bald Eagle' slipped off the ramps, leaving Paul with his back bumper stuck on the ground and his front wheels on the lorry. The lorry driver had to unhitch his tractor unit from the trailer and go around the back to lift 'Bald Eagle' down off the trailer. Paul managed to get it up the second time.


Production Overall:
Place Driver Points

1st Damien Heneghan 14
2nd Karl McCarthy 21
3rd Tom Twomey 21

Class 1
1st Brian Berkery 33
2nd Jonathan Heneghan 38
3rd Diarmuid Drennan 41

Class 2
1st Keith McCoy 43
2nd David Jackson 49
3rd Colin McCoy 55

Class 3
1st Karl McCarthy 23
2nd Gerry Desmond 40
3rd Vincent Dorney 44

Class 4
(Novice drivers):
1st Gordon Cantwell 59
2nd Malcolm Cooper 60
3rd Karl Colton 60

Class 5
(Modified vehicles):
1st Ivor Clegg 19
2nd Edwin Pratt 28
3rd Paul O'Byrne 45

These pictures were created by Ivor Clegg Photographer to the sport!!!

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