Friday 19 January 2018

In Brief - Monaghan pair lead Irish motorsport charge

Daniel McKenna and Andrew Greenan, in their Ford Escort Mk 2, in 2012
Daniel McKenna and Andrew Greenan, in their Ford Escort Mk 2, in 2012

Monaghan crew Daniel McKenna and Arthur Kierans fared the best of a strong Irish contingent in the opening round of the MSA British Rally Championship, the Pirelli International Rally based in Carlisle.

Their Pirelli-backed Citroen DS3 finished 46 seconds behind the similar car of Welshman Osian Price, who has been rallying over the Cumbrian stages for several years and knows them well.

Another Irish pair, David Carney and Ray Fitzpatrick, took third place overall in yet another Citroen, while the Galway-Cork combination of Dean Raftery and Aileen Kelly won the BRC Rally Two section, and finished fourth overall, also taking top places in the Ford Fiesta Sport Trophy and the Ravenol Oils Newcomers' Trophy.

Dubliner Derek Tohill, twice the European Touring Car Rallycross Champion, started his promotion to the Supercar class well by taking eighth place in the opening round of the World Rallycross Championship in Portugal.

Tohill, driving a Citroen DS3 for the LD Motorsports Team, took victory in his qualifying heat and fifth in his semi-final.

MERCEDES CALL DOCTOR TO OVERCOME WOBBLES

The Mercedes team have turned to the sports psychologist credited with helping the All Blacks to overcome their reputation as serial World Cup chokers, in an attempt to maintain their dominant start to the season.

In a move increasingly in vogue, with Liverpool's hiring of Dr Steve Peters helping to sustain their challenge for the Premier League, Mercedes have enlisted the services of sports psychiatrist Dr Ceri Evans.

Evans, who not only worked with the All Blacks in the run-up to their World Cup triumph in 2011 but is a former captain of New Zealand's football team, travelled to the most recent race in Shanghai to review Mercedes' operations.

It is understood that he was in the Mercedes garage during qualifying and the race to observe how the engineers and mechanics coped with key pressure moments, such as pit-stops.

However, Evans has not had any direct involvement with either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg, the team's drivers who have been almost untouchable on the track so far this season. At this stage he is working for the Brackley-based team on a consulting basis. It is thought that he will attend races when required to.

Irish Independent

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