On a demanding and often times intricate route, the Cork pairing of Mallow’s Derek Butler and Drinagh’s Denis O’Donovan (Subaru Impreza) took a strong victory in the Carbery Navigation Trial, rounds of the National and Munster Navigation series that was based in Ahiohill in west Cork.
They finished the 85-mile route with a total of eleven penalties leading home the Subaru Impreza’s of Monaghan crews Darragh Kelly/Oisin Sherlock and Shane Dalton/Ryan Treanor, who finished with respective penalties of thirty-eight and forty-two.
The winners first loss - a minute late - was at Time Point 6 near Ballinascarthy. However, by that point, their rivals had already dropped more, Kelly/Sherlock in particular, had difficulty negotiating the area around T.P’s 3, 4 and 5 that included a farm underpass within half an hour from the Ahiohill start where they incurred 26 penalties. Dalton/Treanor fared better albeit acquiring seven penalties. Pre-event national championship leaders, another Monaghan crew, that of Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan (Subaru Impreza) were also in trouble at T.P. 3.
By T.P. 6, the winners closest pursuers were the Novice duo of Rosscarbery’s Brian O’Mahony and Leap’s Amy Gallwey (Subaru Impreza) with three penalties. Former national champions, Cork’s James Fitzgerald/Ken Carmody (Subaru) were also in contention (five penalties) only for their Subaru to succumb to a mechanical issue later in the night, north of Ballineen. Two other crews Monaghan’s Derek Mackarel/Conor Boylan (Subaru Impreza) and Cork’s Killian O’Brien/Anthony Cronin (Mazda) also retired with mechanical problems.
O’Mahony/Gallwey were one of several crews that dropped time at T.P. 17 (Coppeen), however, they held third overall (21 penalties) behind Dalton/Treanor (7 penalties) with leaders Butler/O’Donovan with a solitary penalty. The leaders maintained fine form throughout the event and while they lost time at T.P. 20 (Shanagh Cross Roads) their only other loss was at T.P 35 - about a kilometre from the finish. That location cost Dalton/Treanor second spot with Kelly/Sherlock taking advantage. Difficulties finding time points and a via south of Coppeen dropped O’Mahony/Gallwey to seventh overall, they won the Novice category. Carbin/Mohan, who were sixth, retain their lead of the national series although O’Donovan has cut Mohan’s advantage from eleven to five points.
Meanwhile, the dates for next season’s World Rally Championship have been confirmed with the series running from January (Rallye Monte Carlo) to November (FORUM8 Rally Japan). The thirteen round series will feature a new concept with the three-country Central European Rally (Austria, Czech Republic and Germany) during October that will be based out of the south-east German city of Passau. The series marks the return of Mexico and Chile for the first time since Covid-19.
1. Monte-Carlo (January 19-22); 2. Sweden (February 9-12); 3. Mexico (March 16-19); 4. Croatia (April 20-23); 5. Portugal (May 11-14); 6. Italy (June 1-4); 7. Kenya (June 22-25); 8. Estonia (July 20-23); 9. Finland (August 3-6); 10. Greece (September 7-10); 11. Chile (September 28-October 1); 12. Central Europe (October 26-29); 13. Japan (November 16-19).
1. D. Butler/D. O'Donovan (Subaru Impreza) 11penalties.
1. D. Kelly/O. Sherlock (Subaru Impreza) 38pens; 2. S. Dalton/R. Treanor (Subaru Impreza) 42pens; 3. R. O'Neill/P. O'Leary (Subaru Impreza) 48pens.
1. G. Collins/P. O’Sullivan (Subaru Impreza) 74pens; 2. M. Hume/E. Hume (Subaru Impreza) 350pens;
1. B. O’Mahony/A. Gallwey (Subaru Impreza) 99pens Beginners: 1. S. Leech/B. Attridge (Toyota Starlet) 160pens; 2. P. McDonagh/P. Corcoran (Subaru Impreza) 170pens; 3. E. Cronin/S. Power (Toyota Starlet) 254pens.