Mackarel/Higgins win national title

Victory on the Midland Navigation Trial, the penultimate round of the national series in Athlone,

Victory on the Midland Navigation Trial, the penultimate round of the national series in Athlone,

was enough for the Monaghan/Longford combination of Andy Mackarel/Liam Higgins to win their inaugural national title.

On the 110-mile event around the shores of Lough Rea, they finished with four penalty points – four less than locals and second placed, Garry Kelly/Richard Howard.

Third place went to the Cork crew of Diarmuid/French/Jason O'Mahony – competing in the novice

category, they were only a point adrift of second spot.

Championship challengers, Ray and Stephen O’Neill finished fifth and saw their chance of championship success end.

Even if they were to win the final round, it still wouldn’t be enough.

1. A. Mackarel/L. Higgins (Ascona) 4 penalties.

2. G. Kelly/R. Howard (Peugeot 205) 8 penalties.

3. D. French/J. O'Mahony (Toyota) 9 penalties.

4. G. Mackarel/A. McAdoo (Cavalier) 11 penalties.

5. R. & S. O'Neill (Golf) 12 penalties.

6. K. & F. O'Donoghue (Peugeot) 14 penalties.

7. P. Duffy/H. Bleakley (Golf) 17 penalties.

8. G. Gowan/A. Deasy (Toyota) 18 penalties.

9. J. Shinnors/K. Daly (Nova) 32 penalties.

10. D. Hagan/S. Hagan (Punto) 36 penalties.

Well known rally co-driver, Brian Murphy, who recently acquired a Subaru Impreza, showed his talents as a driver as he won the Kildare Rallysprint at Mondello Park.

He posted fastest times on the first two runs even though he spun on the second outing.

The Toyota Celica driven by Tom Holton, was second – some four seconds adrift.

1. B. Murphy (Subaru Impreza) 14m. 28.30s.

2. T. Holton (Toyota Celica) 14m. 34.40s.

3. D. Breach (Mitsubishi Evo) 14m. 46.00s.

4. J. Sleator (Mitsubishi Evo) 14m. 47.02s.

5. M. Curtis (Opel Tigra) 14m. 47.20s.

6. F. Allen (BMW M3) 15m. 05.2s.

Meanwhile, in Cavan, victory in the Loose Surface Autocross went to Cyril McCullagh (Peugeot 205) by just three seconds from the Metro engined Escort of Robert Moffett. Ronnie Coulter (Astra) was third.

Irish interest in the third round of the Fran-Am Winter series in Miami centred on James Murphy and

Philip Kershaw. Murphy had an untroubled run to sixth – a position he now enjoys after three rounds of the series. Kershaw was 15th.

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