TULLYROAN 07 05 2016-2016

CLASSIC HOT ROD MEETING REPORT TULLYROAN 7/5/16 IRISH SERIES ROUND TWOimage Ten Irish Classics took to the tidy DMC Promotions Oval in the Province on a warmish but damp spring evening. In such conditions the racing still proved fast and the unusual grading balance that currently exists in Ireland (until the completion of novice periods for some drivers) made for some interesting ‘hounds chasing the fox’ style racing. Charleville’s 362 Austin Fitzgerald, as #TheWhiteKnight of the sport, made his crusade North to discover that he was indeed the Fox to be chased on the night! As the only driver with white top present, Austin was presented with a lone position half a lap ahead of the chasing field, but the placid southern Irishman took the challenge in his stride. Heat one saw an excellent clean start from the rolling lap for the 16 lap race with Austin offering his all white machine as the distant target to catch. Typically, the fastest man in Ireland, #TheDungannonCannon 966 Thomas Dilly, accepted the challenge with relish as his Anderson Crossflow began to sing, but not before he had shaken off an early lap challenge from Ireland’s current number two #TheIrishWolfHound 174 Andy O’Donnell. In a race which saw Dilly brake away and quickly begin to reel in Fitzgerald, the remarkable complexion of the race occurred in the second half. Once Dilly had cleanly passed Fitzgerald on the outside, 966 shot off into the distance never to be seen again, but in the remaining hounds catching the fox, a remarkable spectacle took place as each hound seemingly tripped over themselves as each took a turn to nip at the foxes heals! The other Ulsterman who seems destined for race glory at some point in the near future, #TheDiggerMan 976 Clive Richardson, got in the mix with everyone around him, and at one point both he and O’Donnell went for the same space on the track tank slapping each other up the home straight! The challenge from #TheIrishThoroughbred, points champion 25 Trevor Cusack, ebbed and flowed, as did that of #CaptainMorgan 19 Anthony Morgan! All the time, #TheWhiteKnight just sat there, keeping his inside line and making those who wished to challenge for the lead really work for it! Finally, Richardson got past on the outside but in the final lap as other sought to follow suit, O’Donnell clipped the kerb and took himself and Morgan to the wall – fortunately with little damage. A fascinating race. HEAT ONE RESULT : 966, 976, 362, 25, 981, 925, 19. (NOF: 175, 971, 10) Nine cars made the track for heat two, the one absence being that of #TheYellowPeril Anglia of 925 Gary O’Neill. Pleasingly however, both retirees from the first heat, 10 #GoDaddy Podge McQuaid and 971 #TheLepoard Alan Leonard were both out again. The Opel Kadett of Leonard certainly caused a lot of interest in the pits pre-meeting and is certainly one of the best looking cars on the whole CHR scene. The race itself placed out in a similar manner as the first with the chasing pack having the lone white top of Fitzgerald as their target and although one could accuse Dilly of ‘creeping’ a little and closing on blue grader O’Donnell prior to the drop of the green, Thomas certainly did not have such an easy ride as he did in heat one! The early laps saw 966 ease on the inside of 175 and begin the chase of 362, but Clive Richardson in the all orange RS2000 was soon in the hunt and took full advantage to keep in contention as Dilly squoze by O’Donnell. With the Tipperary man seemingly struggling more in the track’s greaser conditions, RIchardson moved to third and was soon hearing after Dilly. The battle behind was equally intriguing as new comer McQuaid took on the might of the points champion Cusack with neither giving no quarter. Dilly still headed the chase but at a pace perhaps not as striking as in heat one. This was later discovered to be the Crossflow missing on one cylinder but Richardson took full opportunity to strike home. The top three joined battle just as they came to lap back marker Leonard in 971, then both Ulstermen cleanly passed Fitzgerald round the outside. With the track clear ahead, it made a fantastic battle in the final laps for the victory. #TheDiggerMan tried all he could to make the outside line struck, and indeed at one point got his droopsnoot nose in front, but in the end #TheDungannonCannon made it stick to make a remarkable fifth victory in Ireland on the trot. HEAT TWO RESULT : 966, 971, 362, 175, 25, 19, 10, 871, 971 The twenty lap clutch start final, according to Ireland’s CHR man Paraic McCormack was the race of the night and here is his observation: The Final was a absolute gem. Austin Fitzgerald in 362 led again for around 14 laps, until Dilly in 966 took it up after a 2 or 3 lap battle with 362. Austin went wide. At this point 966 began struggling with a miss and that allowed Richardson in 976 to close in and soon #TheDungannonCannon 966 had 976 #TheDiggerMan for company as they both went either side of 362! 925 Gary O’Neill, back after missing heat two, was having a much better race of it in the final and went third going around the outside of 362 and with around laps to go there emerged had a three way dice for the lead. 976 tucked in behind 925 to protect 2nd after failing to make a out move on the leader stick. With half lap to go 976 moved to the outside once again for a do or die effort on the last corner but ran out of tarmac as the finish line came to soon. 925 was a close 3rd. Gary O’Neill admitted afterwards that the grip level from the tyres was hard work on the body around a tight oval! He was exhausted! The crowd loved it. 4th to 9th all came home close together but some distance by from the first three. FINAL RESULT : 966, 971, 925 In conclusion, the Classic Hot Rods return to the Province was a great nights racing. The officials enjoyed the proceedings just as much as the drivers and spectators and the talk around the pits was about interest from even more drivers joining the class. Watch this space! Rob Hughes CHR PR

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