Motorsport: Irish teens Breen and Thompson excel o
2009-05-14 2211

"I'm itching to get back in the car this weekend, as we didn't get a proper run in Gauteng," said Carroll. "We had a good car last day out and if we work hard there is no reason why that can't be maintained."

p Although it is based in Dundalk, the competitive element of the Larsen Circuit of Ireland rally takes place in Northern Ireland, with Saturday's stages based in Co Down. The event moves to Armagh for the final six stages on Sunday.

A close-fought battle is expected in the international section -- counting towards the TROA Tarmac championship -- as top seed Gareth MacHale heads last year's winner, and reigning champion, Eamonn Boland with three-times circuit winner Derek McGarrity starting at number three. Tim McNulty, Galway winner Eugene Donnelly, Peadar Hurson, Aaron MacHale and Kevin Barrett are next in line.

p Local ace Kenny McKinstry tops the Hankook NI championship section from Seamus Leonard, Denis Biggerstaff, Mark Courtney and his daughter Emma, who also drives a Subaru WRC. Meanwhile, Melvyn Evans tops the MSA Asphalt rally championship and expects stiff competition from David Mann (Subaru), David Kynaston (Audi) and Mark Jasper (Metro 6R4).

p The absence of series leader Keith Cronin/Greg Shinnors leaves the door wide open for another crew to establish themselves in the Irish Evo Challenge. Brendan Cumiskey, who makes a welcome return to defend his crown in his championship-winning Evo9, faces tough competition from Alan Carmichael, Neil McCance and Stanley Ballentine, and William Mavitty.

p After his outstanding win in Portugal, Craig Breen continues his hectic schedule and will line up for the second round of the Fiesta Sporting Trophy this weekend. "Obviously, it will be very different to Galway with the absence of Alistair (Fisher), but there are a number of other guys who will be pushing hard to try and get the top spot," said the young Kilkenny star who was runner-up to Fisher in Galway.

p Racing champion turned rally driver Robert Barrable, who makes his Irish Fiesta series debut, will be hoping his speed and experience on tarmac will leave him in a good position to challenge the regular drivers.

p Trevor Harding is top seed ahead of Pat O'Connell, James Murphy, Stephen McGrath, Mark Sheahan and John Reid in the Munster Moonraker rally on Sunday.

The event -- counting towards the Petro Systems national forestry and national junior championships -- has attracted 65 entries, including nine in the junior section.

The eight-stage event is based at Lismore and features two loops of four stages in the west Waterford forests.

p Dunlop confirmed their continued support of the Dunlop Sexton Trophy awarded to the Young Racing Driver of the Year. The award has been amended to one of €50,000, in the form of either cash or a sponsored drive in 2010, at the discretion of Motorsport Ireland. Second and third place awards will no longer be awarded. Meanwhile, Leinster MC hosts the second race meeting of the year at Mondello Park on Sunday.

p Racing fans can enjoy the sight and sounds of powerful single-seaters when racing returns to the Phoenix Park on August 8/9.

Anyone wishing to participate either on or off-track should contact Ann Stevens on 086 2468700.

- Andrew Murphy

From : www.garythompsonracing.com