CLONAKILTY’S Paul O’Driscoll (Semog Buggy) took a fine victory in the Skibbereen Loose Surface Autocross at Derryleigh last Sunday week to claim his first maximum score in this season’s Five-Star Catering National Loose Surface Autocross series.
The event, hosted by the Skibbereen & District Car Club, was the third round of the national campaign and a round of the Carbery Plastics Skibbereen & District Car Club Championship.
O’Driscoll finished a mere 0.54 of a second in front of Mountmellick’s Anthony Culleton while Donoughmore’s Stevey Lane was 5.26 seconds further behind in third to complete an all-Semog Buggy top three.
With the track undergoing improvement works in recent times, it was O’Driscoll that set the pace. In the searing heat, he stopped the clocks on two minutes and 4.94 seconds after three loops of the 0.8km circuit, where the uphill and downhill sections provided a good challenge for the entry of almost 40 competitors.
Culleton’s time was almost identical but it fell shy of O’Driscoll’s by 54 hundredths of a second.
The top duo had already stolen a march on the rest with Lane in third some over six seconds adrift. The top ten also featured the Semog Buggy trio of Vicarstown’s Dermot O’Riordan in fifth, Rosscarbery’s Brian O’Mahony and Rossmore’s Fachtna McCarthy, who were seventh and eighth respectively.
A puncture on his second run prevented O’Driscoll from improving his time but he still managed to retain the lead as Culleton spun during his run although he retained second, Lane improved by almost a second but remained in third. Elsewhere, McCarthy was fifth, O’Riordan (eighth) and O’Mahony (tenth).
On the third run and with none of the top three improving on their best times, O’Driscoll took the honours followed by Culleton and Lane. McCarthy finished sixth.
Meanwhile, the Saloon class was won by Limerick’s Matt Shinnors, Dunmanway’s Ger O’Connell (Toyota Celica) took victory in Class 4; Leap’s Ciaran French (Toyota Corolla), who survived an altercation with a bank, won Class 3; Drimoleague’s Gary Lordan (Honda Civic) was third in Class 1 where track owner Timmy McCarthy campaigned a Ford Ka to fifth in the same class.
Results: 1 P O’Driscoll (Semog Buggy) 2mins 4.94secs, 2 A Culleton (Semog Buggy) 2:05.48, 3 S Lane (Semog Buggy) 2:10.74, 4 P MacHale (Yacar Buggy) 2:10.97, 5 E McMahon (Semog Buggy) 2:11.12, 6 F McCarthy (Semog Buggy) 2:11.37.