FIA Hill Climb Masters

Team Ireland

Pictured above is five out of a possible team of seven Irish drivers who will be departing in October to Eschdorf, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to take part in the FIA Hillclimb Masters.

From left to right: Joe Courtney Barnaderg Co Galway, Rory Stephens Dublin, Deirdre McKinley Naul Co Dublin, Irish Hillclimb champion Simon McKinley Naul Co Dublin and Eanna Carroll Loughrea Co Galway. Photo Taken at Knockalla Hill Co Donegal.

The event takes place on the 11th – 12th of October and it will feature some of the fastest drivers in Europe and their amazing Hillclimb cars. The star of team Ireland  has to be the spectacular Simon McKinley, Simon is the current Irish Hillclimb & Sprint champion and multiple record holder. McKinley’s driving style is simply awe inspiring; it’s as if the laws of physics do not apply to Simon. He is one of Ireland’s most stunning drivers to watch in action.

Ireland too may well be the only team with a husband and wife competing; Deirdre McKinley has notched up numerous class wins in the championship, and is one very quick lady in her Reynard.

Rory Stephens will compete in his outrageously good looking BurnFree Radical SR8; Rory is another exceptionally quick driver. He makes driving at speed deceptively easy looking as he effortlessly glides his fire breathing monster through the tightest of corners.

Joe Courtney from Barnaderg Co Galway will be driving his Fiat Cinquecento; Joe took the title for this one make championship after a tense battle over the final rounds in Donegal this weekend gone. And he is looking forward to the challenge of driving in Eschdorf.

Eanna Carroll from Loughrea Co Galway will drive his very powerful Turbo Honda Civic; this is a proper scary fast car that has earned him numerous class wins in Ireland and in France too.

I almost forgot our youngest team member baby Rory McKinley, baby Rory is the newest edition to the Irish Hillclimb & Sprint family and perhaps a future champion like his dad Simon.

We wish Team Ireland the very best of luck for the event. for more information about the Irish championship.

European Hill Race Eschdorf - Lux Facebook Page by Patrick Weber

Eschdorf – Fia Hill Climb Masters 2014 FaceBook Page

Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)


Knockalla Hillclimb 2014

Irish Hillclimb Champion Simon McKinley

Ian Quinn

I have updated the action from Knockalla; and again I want to thank Danny and all of the Marshals for a wonderful weekend of motorsport.
There was so many people coming and going out of closets all weekend it got very confusing, but…well, it was a wonderful weekend of fun!


This year has had its Hi & lo’s; we were all devastated by the sudden and untimely loss of our dear friend and competitor Ian Quinn, Ian has left a void that will never be filled.

It has been wonderful to watch you all in action both on and off the roads; our pictures tell only a tiny part of a wonderful story that is the Irish Hillclimb & Sprint championship.


To our friends in St Gouéno and La Harmoye France we thank you again for the hospitality and friendship extended to us. We will be with you again in 2015.

We wish the very best of luck to Simon, Deirdre, Rory, Joe and Eanna as they prepare to head to the
FIA Hill Climb Masters in Eschdorf Luxembourg in a few weeks time. I know you guys will do us, and Ireland proud. We wish you a safe journey, and as we say over here ‘Keep her Lit’.

Finally I would like to thank all of the Marshals; without you these events would not be possible, and your hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated. We look forward to seeing you all in 2015.

Event Pictures:

St Gouéno 2014

Well we are back…!

So I have been sat here staring at the keyboard trying to collate all the info on this epic trip; tell it like it is I thought!  But you know what? Nobody would believe it and so for a true honest reflection of the events of St Gouéno 2014 have a look at the Pictures..!

Our sincere Thanks to  John Lloyd, Anne Lessard and Olivier Henry and all the Saint Gouéno marshals and crew for another wonderful week/end of action…

Pictures are in the Gallery, more to come…..


St Gouéno Hillclimb 2014

Dermot Nolan Reynard 913

Rory Stephens BurnFree Radical SR8


St Gouéno Hillclimb

Twenty Irish drivers have now entered the Saint-Gouéno Hillclimb masters event held in Côtes-d’Armor in Brittany France. This 3.2Km ribbon of Tarmac is considered by many to be one of the most prestigious motorsport events in the French Hillclimb calendar. The event runs from May 30th to June 1st and attracts thousands of spectators who flank the entire hill all the way up to the infamous Fer à Cheval hairpin bend, where the faster cars approach this bend at well over 240Km/h, and where the metal of both driver, and car are tested to their limits.

Heading up Team Ireland in the Masters section of the event are Dublin drivers Rory Stephens driving the BurnFree Radical SR8 and Dermot Nolan driving his Reynard 913, both drivers are regular competitors in the Irish Hillclimb & Sprint championship and they are popular with the French Fans. Indeed the Irish crews always receive a warm welcome from the people of St Gouéno and indeed one of the most popular pit areas in the paddock is the Irish camp; festooned with Irish flags, banners etc. The French adore the party spirit of the Irish competitors, and a real party atmosphere runs all weekend practically 24hrs a day.

Ed Cassidy

Other Irish Hillclimb Drivers also include Ed Cassidy driving his wonderful 1935 Iona Special, John Farrell MK1 Ford Escort RS, Donal Griffin Hillman Avenger BRM, Mick O’Shea MGB GT and Brendan Keane in his Westfield Sei W to name but a few.



Most of the drivers will be leaving on Thursday the 29th of May and we wish them a safe journey.

                Team Ireland

For more information visit these web links.

Irish Hillclimb & Sprint Webpage by Denis Hogan

Hillclimb France Masters Webpage By John Lloyd

St Gouéno Hillclimb Webpage


1. Rory Stephens BurnFree Radical SR8
2. Dermot Nolan Reynard 913
3. Brendan Keane Westfield Sei W
4. Alex Wilsdon Radical PR6
5. Russell Stanworth Formula Vauxhall Lotus
6. Ben O’Brien BMW E30
7. Barry Smith Ford Escort Mexico
8. Jimmy Doyle Toyota Starlet RWD
9. Garry Cunningham Fiat Punto
10. Robert Swaine Peugeot 106
11. Michael Melia Ford Sierra Nisworth
12. Mick O’Shea MGB GT
13. John Farrell Ford Escort Mk1
14. Ed Cassidy Iona Special
15. Sennan O’Connor Fiat Cinquecento
16. Gary Egan Fiat Seicento
17. Joe Courtney Fiat Cinquecento
18. Donal Griffin Hillman Avenger BRM
19. Neil Bradbury Fiat Cinquecento
20. Billy White Fiat Seicento 

Entry list by John Lloyd.

Category: Motorsport Hillclimb

Ballyvaughan Hillclimb Weekend

Simon McKinley Lant RT2

Sylvie Mullins Gould GR37

It was a wonderful weekend of high octane action in Ballyvaughan and what a difference 24hrs can make, on Saturday heavy rain made driving conditions very tricky on The Corkscrew Hill, however, Simon McKinley in his Lant RT2 got a somewhat dry’ish run and managed to put in 51:69s on run 3 and despite a good run by Sylvie Mullins he only managed 52:57s

Sunday on Ballyallaban was glorious, in the sunshine the Burren was breathtakingly beautiful, Simon McKinley switched to his much loved white Escort and treated the spectators to a dazzling display of high speed driving but he was pipped at the post by Rory Stephens in his Radically good looking Radical SR8 61:94s, Rory won by 0.43, finishing second overall behind Sylvie Mullins who set a blistering pace in the Gould that could not be matched 55:36s


Although the Hill had been shortened, Ballyallaban is still a hill that can catch out a driver, first to fall foul of the hill was Gerard O’Connor and his lovely Sheane FVEE, thankfully Ger was unhurt but the car suffered extensive damage to the front, those Granit walls are very unforgiving.
The award for the most spectacular off for the weekend goes to Gary Egan, Gary was pushing hard on Ballyallaban when he came in contact with the scenery and  rolled, again thankfully Gary was ok, but the Nolan Cinquecento was heavily damaged. That’s Ballyallaban for you folks, make a small mistake and it will bite your head off.


Senan O’Connor

The Battle of the weekend was between the Italian Job crews, The Cinquecento’s battled hard Saturday and Sunday and were very popular with the spectators, On Saturday a last blast by Damien Walsh 77:25s gave him victory over Senan O’Conner 77:29 followed in 3rd by Joe Courtney 77:41s
On Sunday Joe Courtney put in a blistering time of 86.4s to take the win followed home by Senan O’Connor with a 86:61 with Damien Walsh in 3rd in a time of 87:56s

After four rounds of this Italian Mini Classic it looks like this:
Senan O’Connor 27pts
Joe Courtney 23pts
Gary Eagan 19pts
Damien Walsh 19pts
Neil Bradbury 13pts
Results By Senan O’Connor
In a few weeks time the Cinquecento’s will be heading to
St Gouéno in France, we wish them a safe journey.

Full results from the weekend & the latest news are available at
and the pictures are in the Gallery. Our thanks to all the Marshals for an excellent weekend of motorsport.

Ballyvaughan Hillclimb weekend

Ballyvaughan Hillclimb Weekend

Simon McKinley, Lant

Rounds 3 & 4 of the Irish Hillclimb & Sprint Championship
2014 get underway next Saturday and Sunday 26th – 27th of April.
The famous Corkscrew and Ballyallaban hills will be used
over the weekend and the event is based out of the picturesque village of Ballyvaughan with its stunning views of Galway Bay.

This is one of the do not miss weekends of racing and
Ballyvaughan is renowned for its hospitality and excellent sea food menu, action
gets underway early on Saturday morning with some of the fastest race cars in
Ireland going head to head in the stunning Burren.

When: April 26th-April 27th
​            ​Where:Ballyvaughan Co Clare Ireland
​Entry details can be found at and visit for more pictures of this event and previous rounds.
Check out the Gallery for last years action…

Category: Motorsport

Ian Quinn R.I.P

Ian Quinn

Mass will be offered in the remembrance of Ian Quinnon May 24th Saturday evening in the Church of Assumption, Thomastown at 7.00pm. The Quinn Family would like to take this opportunity again to thank everyone for all the help and kindness over the last month. After Mass there will be refreshments in O’Haras Bar and everyone is welcome.

Source Paul Doyle






We are deeply saddened by the very untimely death of
Ian Quinn, over the years we have had the opportunity to
capture memorable
moments of Ian at work, here is  just a sample of them.