Buckstown Brings Down the House at Motorsport Expo

Saturday, 21 May 2011 23:26

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The Irish Motorsport Expo rolled into the "HUB" Cillin Hill Ramplast Sunday, featuring the cream of each Motorsport discipline in Ireland enthusiasts were treated to Tarmac Rally Cars, Autotest Mini's, Autocross Buggies, Vintage Cars and Single Seaters. There was also a host of Motorsport trade stands as the Hub Arena was transformed into a Motorsport spectacular, all organised by the Carrick on Suir Motor Club.

Breen Opens ExpoThe hectic day of Motorsport entertainment was kicked off at 11am as the Expo was officially opened by Kilkenny Rally Driver Craig Breen. The day long show had attractions for all ages of enthusiastsRSA Car and fans. Highlights including the Formula 1 Car simulator, Craig Breen Supporters Club, The Motorsport Ireland Stand and the Road Safety Truck but it was the Seamus Anderson and the Gang from Buckstown Motorsport that set the days action alive. Seamus and the lads from Mullinavat held a gearbox challenge. The Buckstown crew had the challenge down to a fine art after numerous practice sessions in the preceding days. With crowds cheering the Buckstown crew had their Gearbox Challengefirst attempt at 3.30 and stopped the clocks at 4 minutes 11 seconds, exiting the blue Mk11 after the finish Seamus Anderson shouted we must go again. "We got off to the perfect start and everything was going great until we dropped the car off the stands and tried to restart the engine. I couldn't get theBuckstown MS car into the reverse gear. We lost some time here and I know we can set a better time. We'll try again." An hour later with the tension mounting and the crowds shouting encouragement the boys were back to have another go. This time the gang clicked and the crew beat their first attempt by 7 seconds, setting 4 minutes 4 seconds.

Young Drivers Forum: At 5.30 the Young Drivers Forum got underway Forumas Irish Rallying's budding talent were on display. Hosted by renowned Motorsport Journalist Martin Walsh the forum gave fans the chance to here the views and insights of the how these blossoming stars.

First on stage were Donegal's Toni Kelly and from County Monaghan's Stephen Wright and Vincent McAree. Martin questioned the trio about how they got into the sport from an early age and their current respective rallying programmes. Next up to the limelight were current Billy Coleman award winner Robert Barrable from Dublin and his was joined by WRC Academy participants Co. Fermanagh's Alastair Fisher and Kilkenny's Craig Breen. Host Martin Walsh spoke to Robert about his resent move to four wheel drive and the Skoda S2000 and his madden win at the West Cork Rally. He then moved the Alastair and Craig to speak about their exploits in the world stage and the WRC Academy.

SUIRWAY FARM MACHINERY 3The evening was rounded off with the launch of the 2011 Ravens Rock Rally. Clerk of the Course John Rafter took centre stage for the official Launch, during his speech John spoke about the 2010 event being the fulfillment of an ambition by taking on the organisation of the event “One of the most rewarding parts for me came at the ceremonial start in High St, all our hard work over the previous ten months came to the fore. The rally was a major success and the reaction from people who came up to me in the weeks that followed was vindication that Motorsport is alive and well in the Marble City."

After showing his delight about the 2010 event John went onLaunch to unveil the main sponsors for this years event and outlined the rally schedule over the weekend of June 25th and 26th.

"2010 was the start of a three plan; firstly we wanted to showcase the Ravens Rock Rally as a sporting event to Kilkenny City. With that achieved our next step was to build on that achievement and raise awareness of all the Motorsport disciplines here in Kilkenny and I think with the crowds that we've seen here today Motorsport has a strong foothold in the South East of the Country. Now to the part I've been waiting to get to, the 2011 event. After taking a few weeks off to recharge the batteries my team and I were back to work on the 2011 Rock and from the beginning the work has be hard but dedicated and I would like to thank all the members of the Rock committee and I know this years rally will be bigger and better than 2010. We again welcome back our main Sponsor Suirway (James Coleman) but this year its Suirway Farm Machinery as James has launched his new business and the Carrick on Suir Motor Club are delighted to be associated with James' new brand. I also welcome back Pius Phlean and Kilford Arms Hotel as our second joint sponsor. We had the honor last year of basing the club’s premier event in the Kilford and Pius with his team couldn't have been more helpful pre, during and post the event. I'm delighted to announce that the 2011 Ravens Rock Rally will again be based in the Kilford Arms Hotel. On the day of the rally the attention moves from the event HQ to the stages firstly but also to the service area, which becomes the central core when the rally is running. Last year we were luck enough to acquire the use of the Chancellors Mill premises and again this year John Dalton has come onboard to give the use of his facility. The Chancellors Mill’s site will again act as the centralised scrutiny, parc ferme and service and I thank John very much. Moving to the Rally itself, we last year the rally form a counting round in three major championships. Neil McCance was a worthy winner and was competing in the Mitsubishi Challenge, sadly this championship is not running in 2011 but we were grateful for its support last season, 2010 also saw the rock form part of the Southern Four Championship and we welcome back the crew taking part again this year in this prestigious regional championship. Another regional championship that comes back again this year is the South East Stages Rally Championship. The South East Stage holds a special place in the Carrick Club as the championship is organised and promoted by the five Motor Clubs in the South East. The championship is also ran by our own club secretary Ann Fitzgerald, with the championships PRO Joe O'Brien. If I may say I'm keeping a close eye on the South East Stages this year because as of the last round my great friend Shay Power is in top spot in the leader board, he must have a good co driver. In 2010 the Rock had its turn out of the Dunlop Series but we are delighted this year to welcome back the National Championship to Kilkenny. There has been some spectacular rallying over the opening four rounds to date this season and I'm sure round five in the Black and Amber County will be no different.”  

Rally Weekend: The one day rally will take place on Sunday the 26th of June with the ceremonial start taking place in High Street on Saturday evening the 25th with a parade of the competing cars, making the Motorsport Spectacle a weekend event. The rally welcomes back the Dunlop National Championship for this year and will also be counting rounds in the Triton Showers South East Stages Rally Championship and The Southern 4 Championship. The Headquarters will again be based in the Kilford Arms Hotel, with Scrutiny, Parc Ferme and centralised service in Chancellors Mills premises. The rally will keep the same format from a year ago with a three stage layout each being repeat three times. 
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