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Kirkstown April 6th 2002
In the pre '82 qualifying session hampered by a massive oil slick from one of the agricultural formula vee's, Rory managed to set himself up for a Pole position in his class, with third place over all on the grid for the Pre 87 championship. The race was marked by an incident at the second corner leaving two cars out of the grid, but leaving the front grid the same. After a restart it was a fierce battle between Rory and Suzanne Woodside in a Crossle 32F over the 11 laps, with Rory having to cope with massive amounts of understeer and a late breaking Woodside, challanging at every corner. The race was made more interesting when this battle was joined by Chris Tyndall in another 32F who began applying pressure to both the other Crossles. An exciting one to watch all the way to the line , but Rory managed to keep first place, a car length ahead. The overall race (pre 87)was won by Neville Smyth, in his 84 Reynard, some way off in the distance, with Rory in 2nd Place, gaining valuable points in the opening race of the season.
In the second race, the Southern Irish 1600 championship, Rory qualified 2nd in the class with Neville Smyth on Pole and Neville Anderson in his 89 Mondial 3rd. As in the last race Smyth took the lead and lead to the finish but a fierce battle ensued for 12 laps between Rory and Anderson for 2nd and 3rd place, with Stuart Ball keeping close watch on the battle ahead. The race was a cat and mouse affair with Rory and Anderson battling into debtors on each lap. Such was the ferocity of the battle that the cars were lapping in the low 63's, Rory posting a 63.25, 3 hundreds of a second slower than Neville Smyth in his 84 reynard (Not bad for a 75 Crossle 30F!). The race ended with a photo finish, where the advantage was given to Anderson. A vital third place points were gladly achieved and after a great day of close and exiciting racing we have the next round of races to look forward to. These are scheduled for the 21st of April in Mondello Park. Keep Posted for updates
Mondello Park 20th April 2002
In the Pre 82 Race Rory Qualified 6th in the ever changing weather conditions, from wet to dry. The qualifying was further hampered with some very amateur time keeping by the Mondello staff. The race started without incident, with Rory getting the jump of two places at the off. This left him behind the vetern James Hagan in his 32F. After four laps behind the 32F of Hagan, the front pack were pulling away
leaving a gap of 6-7 seconds to second place man Chris Tyndall. Once Rory passed Hagan it was a gallop to catch Tyndall in his 32F and with a dive up the inside of the 32F at Sport Ireland Corner, Rory took a well earned second place behind the 32F of Stephen Mawhiney. This result leaves Rory with 8 points of a lead over the rest of the pack.
In the Northern Ireland 1600 championship, further rain and more schoolboy behaviour by Mondello time keepers, meant the grid for this race was a mix and match of slow and fast cars up and down the grid. Rory was placed 9th on the grid and within 3 laps had made his way to 5th behind the Crossle 60F of Neville Smyth. Hagan was in 1st, with Peter Magill in his Reynad 2nd, Mawhiney in 3rd. The 5 cars pulled away from the remaining pack. It was nose to tail for the rest of the race and with two laps of the finish Smyth and Rory took Mawhiney at Sports Ireland Corner, bringing Rory up to 4th. On the last lap on the approach to the same bend, Rory made a move on Magill after Smyth had passed on the previous corner. They tangled slightly with Magill riding over the front of Rorys car, this allowed Victor Gibson to come through with Rory Coming in 5th with a damaged front nose and front left wheel.