RESULTS HERE:  autosolo 2018 results


The weather forecasts coming up to our annual AutoSolo event were all over the place, showing frost and low temperatures and a sheet of rain passing eastbound over Ireland. Happily most of this didn’t occur and we enjoyed a mild, rain-free day, albeit extremely windy, knocking over all the pylons. 

The main thing, of course, about AutoSolos is that they are designed to be driven by road going cars without the need for a hydraulic handbrake. The tests are forwards-only and all circled cones have a minimum 5 metre diameter. 

We had a full entry of 40 on Rallyscore and very few drop outs, such is the popularity of this format. 

We started on time with the tests devised by Kevin McNamee. Test 1 in front of the main building had a familiar look about it from previous events, with a fast wiggle-woggle to a series of cones to circle between long stretches. With the tarmac drying out fast, this was a power test and the raw power of the K Series & Zetec Midgets and many MX5s was evident. The big Skoda Octavia estate of Jonathan McDonald looked amazing, a lot of horsepower scrabbling for grip. Visibly quick too was the Fiesta ST of Michael Beattie. 

Having the engine weight over the driven wheels was the way to go, particularly on the very greasy Tests 2 & 3. Test 2 was a brain teaser with approximately 15% of competitors picking up a fail,  mostly by turning away too soon at the 2nd set of pylons.  In addition, as the day went on, the final 360 round the cones became so slippery that the cars seemed to take an eternity to complete the manoeuvre. Times for most competitors on this test got progressively slower as the day went on. 

Test 3 was just slippy all day. Moving into a higher gear might have resulted in an improved time but there was no complete answer to the lack of grip. However, the tests were undoubtedly fun, if continually challenging. 

It was decided that the 3 tests would be run 4 times each and that lunch could be snatched in between. The Food Wagon ( “Born & Bread”) was excellent and the hot food very welcome.  

So how did everyone do? Well, the results turned up some real surprises. Aaron Annett in a black Ford Puma took 2nd place overall and Jonathan in the huge Skoda Octavia came 3rd, proving that AutoSolo is a different discipline to autotesting where size, as they say, doesn’t seem to matter. 

Winner overall was Matthew Mason in the white Micra, sacrificing some power with a different engine to the one normally used in lanes rallies. 

Jack Brien was the quickest MX5, beating Mark Francis by 5 seconds. 

A stellar drive was that of Jimmy Dougan in the delightful sounding Mini. Jimmy was an excellent 5th overall. 

First MG home and 7th was Gordon Buckley in the A Series Midget. 

Failed tests by several front runners certainly mixed things up. That, unfortunately, is part of the competition. 

So, a very well done to our overall and class winners who were as follows:

Winner overall- Matthew Mason

Class 3 – Peter Mann

Class 4 – Gordon Buckley 

Class 5 (in lieu of overall winner)- Aaron Annett

Class 6 – Jack Brien

Class 7 – Simon Brien

Great to see Michael Beattie’s daughter Emma out in the Fiesta. 

Terrific also to see Robert McGimpsey in a new vehicle- a Reliant Scimitar.  Suffering today from a nonexistent handbrake (didn’t need it Robert) and unexpected surges of turbo power, we can nonetheless expect to see him climb the results in due course. 

Good to see another Midget in the fold, a nice blaze colour chrome bumper model owned and nicely driven by Peter Mann  

Finally, sorry to see John Gardner in his Midget retire with engine gremlins. 

A really good day out and well organised. 

Our thanks to all the marshals, in particular Kevin McNamee (COC), Colin & Laura Earney, Trevor Reid, Mervyn Williamson, John Clarke and our friends Brian and Robert who travelled all the way from Enniskillen to help us out. Thanks to Carol as always for taking our entries and doing results. 

Finally, a huge thank you to Martin Hutchinson who permitted the Ulster Centre to use his magnificent facilities at TTS. We are enormously grateful. 


RESULTS HERE:  autosolo 2018 results