Wednesday 23 October 2019

Scallans succeed on national stage

Graham and Tomás Scallan have clinched the first-ever Irish Group R national title after a wonderful season in their Mitsubishi Evo X.

Having enjoyed a superb season, dominating the class and often running well inside the top ten overall, the crew entered the season-ending Fastnet Rally hoping to add to their tally of six wins from seven outings, and also confident of claiming another top ten result overall.

After an excellent recce on Saturday, they were looking forward to the next day. Sunday morning was wet but, having gone well in wet conditions all year, this did nothing to curb their enthusiasm for the action ahead.

Unfortunately, fate was to strike a cruel blow to the Wexford duo, as the turbo failed just six km. into the first stage, ending the rally. Immediate retirement was disappointing but the team had done enough to clinch the first-ever national Group R championship after a wonderful season.

They were first in class in the Birr, Midlands, Monaghan, Circuit of Munster and Sligo Stages rallies.

'Winning a championship is not all to do with racing,' Graham said. 'It's tactical planning, struggling, effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.

'Thank you to all our sponsors and everyone who helped, it has been a wonderful year and a special thanks to Killian Duffy of 'On The Limit Notes' for providing top-quality notes all year. He did a top job and comes highly recommended.'

Wexford Motor Club this year launched a new initiative to introduce children to road safety awareness, and awareness for safety at rally events.

This involved a specialist team going to four schools in Wexford, in areas that the rally affected, over two days. Each team gave an interactive presentation where pupils and teachers learned some vital safety do's and don'ts about rally cars, and how it's very different to your everyday safe cross code.

They also got to try on fireproof race suits, fireproof underwear, helmets, gloves etc. while others were turned into marshalls, firemen, start commanders and scrutiny crews.

Students were then brought outside where a specially laid-out course had been designed and pupils got to put into practice all they learned. All the pupils cum officials were put in place before some well-known rally cars were driven around the course at slow speeds while some of the pupils were in the co-driver seat.

The cars then parked up for all the pupils to get into them and have a real feel of a rally car. And with experts on hand, all the safety equipment in the cars was inspected from the roll cages to the harness seats and fire extinguishers. Great feedback from all the schools involved means we will be rolling out this initiative across the county going forward.

All pupils involved entered a colouring competition with a bouncy castle up for grabs for the younger ones and a money can't buy karting experience in Rone Karting for twelve lucky winners.

The karting experience was an introduction to what motorsport is all about. And by the smile on everybody involved, all the children and parents truly learned what motorsport is all about. Here's to the stars of the future.

Children from seven years old can join the Wexford Motor Club and try our karting experience.

For any parents wishing for more information about getting your children involved, or schools who would like to have a demo, just contact Graham Scallan (087-2470425).

Wexford People