CLASSIC HOT ROD RACE REPORT
IRISH SERIES ROUND ONE
the uncertainty of the Irish weather was fortunately kind at the opening round of the eagerly anticipated Irish Series for the CHRs for 2015. Five cars made the opening meeting. It was a delight to see that 777 Jackie Harris had made the long journey down from Portavogie in Northern Ireland with his fantastic looking Mk1 Escort.
All five cars made it out for Heat One. The Parade Lap saw Martin O’Keefe proudly use his Road’Rally Mk1 Escort as the pace car as the debuting drivers took the appreciative applause from the Tipperary crowd. The Open Draw for Grids saw 25 Trevor Cusack on Pole,ahead of 156 Gerry Rothwell, 100 Kevin Keeney, 777 Jackie Harris and 175 Andy O’Donnell. The drivers were glad of the 3 warm up laps they were afforded before the green dropped and Cusack in 25 lead the early laps until 175 Andy O’Donnell impressively took over the lead on the start of lap 3 until the finish. Harris in 777 moved up to 2nd but struggled for grip having gone out on wets but it looked very spectacular to the crowd. Kevin Feeney in 100 up got to 3rd befor race ended prematurely on reds and chequers as the 25 car of Trevor Cusack dramatically dropped coolant allover the raceway when his top rad hose bust.
RESULT: 175, 777, 100, 156, 25 DNF
Unfortunately Cusack was not ready for heat two so there were just 4 cars trackside. Rothwell in 156, currently the only Classic Hot Rod driver anywhere currently campaigning a Ford Anglia 100E, led them away before HARRIS, O’Donnell and Feeney swept by. A great battle developed between Harris and O’Donnell with 777 determinedly holding off 175’s efforts around the outside until fuel pump trouble terminated Andy’s race early leaving 777 with a comfortable win from 100 and 156.
RESULT: 777, 100 ,156, 175 DNF
Pleasingly Trevor Cusack has successfully repaired his former Austin Fitzgerald Mk2 Escort in time for the Final. Andy O’Donnell took a terrific start once again in his former Desie Howard Mk2 and was cruising with a big lead until once again the fuel pump gremlins struck again, leaving the fast moving Ulsterman Jackie Harris to enjoy a big lead and win from Kevin Feeney in his Mk2. Behind, 25 Trevor Cusack got the better of 156 Gerry Rothwell they enjoyed some close racing running side by side for several laps.
RESULT: 777, 100, 25, 156, 175 DNF
A small field to the opening round of the Irish Series from the Classic Hot Rods, but nevertheless they were evocative, colourful and entertaining and well received by the Tipperary crowd. Ulsterman Jackie Harris made his long journey very worthwhile with a warm reception to his visit and two race victories. Harris leads the points after the fist round. Round two takes place closer to home for Harris at the DMC run Tullyroan oval on Saturday 9th May, where those who raced today will hopefully be joined by fellow Ulstermen Kenny Wilson and Sammy McKendry as well as more drivers from the Republic and maybe even an English visitor.
PARAIC MCCORMACK AND ROB HUGHES