4x4 Off Road Championship 1999/2000.

Round 2, Dualla, Cashel, Co. Tipperary.
Tipperary Motor Club, 10th October 1999.

Report by Ivor Clegg.

Brian Berkery Climbs New Heights!!!

There were dramas before the event even started, as some people made heavy weather of the hill on the gravel road into the site! When we did get into the site, we discovered that much of the terrain that we had used last year had changed beyond all recognition. The large pond (scene of Vincent's 'submarine' experience last year) had been drained, and was now a series of smaller pools. Some of these were quite deep, as we were to find later. What used to be a 'big hill' was now a gentle slope leading up to a field above the site. As a result, three of the tests were on completely new ground. One of them included an even bigger hill than we had used last year.

Brian finally wins one!!

Sorry Orla!!!

Another was a marathon which took us through mud, over a concrete pipe in the bottom of a drain, through a lot of (thorny) bushes, and ended up in those small pools. The other two were situated high up at the edge of the site, giving us a fantastic view of the surrounding countryside. These consisted of a lot of axle-twisters interspersed with some sharp climbs and steep drop-offs. It was at the end of the first of these two that Steve Mahon in his matt black (stealth technology?) Mitsubishi performed some aerobatics for the spectators!
Gates one and zero were laid out up a short, steep hill about twenty feet high, with a step at the one gate. Steve hit the hill at a high rate of knots and took off at the step at gate one. Witnesses report that the Mitsubishi cleared gate zero with about four feet to spare, and landed on the flat top of the hill just short of the cliff on the other side! Luckily, Orla Mahon (who was double driving with him) was wearing a full-face helmet at the time, so no-one could hear what she was saying!. As if this wasn't enough, Steve proceeded to roll the vehicle on it's side during the afternoon run, on the same test! In spite of all this, Orla managed to win the novice class for the day, and Steve took second in class two.

This is how you do it Steve!!

Orla wins novice class

Mick O'Shea, meanwhile, was having dramas of his own. Having failed to climb a steep hill, his Daihatsu decided to disembowel itself by tearing it's rear axle off at the bottom of the hill. With the axle attached only by the brake lines and the propshaft, help was required to shift the remains. The owner of the site was on hand to start up a (vary large) tracked digger, and having tied the loose axle up to the remains of the chassis, he picked up the entire vehicle and carefully deposited it onto Mick's trailer. Time to break out the welder!

Alan Gettings and Stewart Wallis managed to twist off the rear propshaft on their Suzuki and spent the rest of the day going around in front-wheel drive. Their main mistake was letting slip that they did have a spare, but that it was nice and safe at home. They got a bit of a hard time about that one. Tom Twomey got his Isuzu Amigo hung up on the concrete pipe that I mentioned earlier, and had to be towed off by Edwin Pratt driving the 'Beast' (3.5l Range Rover special). For some reason, Edwin kept his right foot firmly planted even when Tom was free of the pipe, and the Isuzu got a beautiful coat of thick mud over it. Tom's comments as he cleaned his windscreen do not bear repeating. In order to get out of the test, he had to go back over the pipe. The result was predictable. Stuck again!

Too Long!!!

John Buckley does well on his first outing

Edwin very kindly hooked up to the Isuzu once more, and gave it a second coat. He then drove off at high speed before Tom could get out and explain the folly of his actions to him. Malcolm Cooper and Mervyn Colton speared the front differential casing of their Land-Rover on a sharp rock. Lunchtime was spent packing Araldite into the hole, and covering up the whole thing with duct tape. Oil of various grades was poured into the axle, and Malcolm went on to take third overall, and Mervyn won class two. Perhaps they should think of fitting that diff-guard they bought a few months ago. At the end of a tiring, but very enjoyable day's trialling, we all retired to a local hostelry for the prizegiving. Brian Berkery received a great round of applause when he was awarded his trophy as overall winner of the event. He made a short speech thanking the land owner, the organising club, and particularly the large turnout of marshals, and everyone went home well pleased with a great day.

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


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