Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Month - September 2008!
21 year old Paul Grogan from Rathcrogue, Co.Carlow has been selected Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Month for September.
Paul’s achievement is all the more noteworthy because of his main motorsport involvement as a Timekeeper and as a Rallycross competitor of some note, having come second overall in the most recent Rallycross Championship Series. Recently he turned his hand to a Global Light Sportscar and put in a very creditable performance at his first outing, finishing 7th and 8th overall in a field of 20 Sportscars at the Carlow Race Meeting at Mondello on 28th September.
Delighted to be nominated as Driver of the Month for September, Paul expressed his appreciation for all his sponsors throughout the year, namely Milltown Engineering, Mondello Park Ltd., Access Solutions and the Bunclody Motors Ltd. Rallycross Team – all of whom have helped with his success.
Paul is the sixth and final Dunlop Driver of the Month for 2008, and is now a contender for the prestigious Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year Award, the total prize fund of which is €50,000. This award is presented annually and is sponsored by Irish Dunlop Ltd. with additional support from the Irish Sports Council and Motorsport Ireland.
Paul began his assault on the 2008/2009 Irish Rallycross Winter Series yesterday, Sunday 12th October in Mondello Park which was acutally round 2 of the championship as Paul had to miss the opening round in Pembrey due to budget constraints.
It would prove a difficult morning for Paul in his freshly re-built Subaru as the car simply would not start. After alot of effort from the team the car was got going and running well. Unfortunatly the problems were not to end there as the car did not seem itself in practice and Paul felt it was very loose and down on power. An ECU change was then suggested and this put things from bad to worse as the car would not go any faster than almost 20mph! The team were now left scratching their heads for ideas and it was decided that the best plan was to run with the original ECU and try and bring home as many points as possible as it just wasn't going to be our day.
The first heat would see a bad start from Paul as the sun blinded his vision of the gantry lights. Putting that behind him Paul went out for heat 2 to try and get his head down and thats exactly what he did. A good tussle with Kevin McCann in the newer Subaru saw Paul with a good time and moved him up the board a bit. Heat 3 would be Paul's best of the day. A tangle between Laurence Gibson and Derrick Jobb saw Paul go from 4th to 1st going to the 2nd corner. However it wasn't long before the new 2008 British Rallycross Champion Gibson caught and past Paul for the lead. Despite this Paul held his 2nd position and clocked up another good tally of points.
Unfortunatly with some of the British drivers coming over Paul's efforts in the heats were not good enough to qualify for the Supercar A final, but instead he was 2nd on the grid for the Supercar B Final and winning this would move him into the A final. Thats exactly what he did! A superb start off the line saw Paul jump straight into 2nd ahead of pole man Kyle Orr and behind Kevin McCann in the other Subaru. However Kevin's mirrors were full of Paul's yellow Subaru and the pressure was simply to much as he locked up going into the hole in the hedge allowing Paul to jump straight into the lead. A very determined and committed run saw Paul hold off a big charge from David Binks in the European Championship Divison 1a Mitsubishi to win the Supercar B Final. This then moved Paul up to last place on the grid for the Supercar A final.
Unfortunatly a slightly bad start left Paul with alot of work to do to make up any places and also set a good enough time to qualify for the super final. A massive tussle with Derrick Jobb for the whole race ment that Paul's time would not be good enough as Derrick held Paul up on a number of occastions as he tried to pass the 2007 champion.
Paul qualified 12th out of 16 people eligble for the Superfinal, however only the fastest 8 drivers make it to the race while the other 8 are left on reserve in case someone fails to start, so sadly Paul had to sit this one out.
All in all it finished up to be an ok day for Paul and the Bunclody Motors LTD Rallycross Team as we netted some few points to get us going in the overall championship. The lads are hard at work now to have the car ready in time for the next round where hopefully we can put our problems behind us and get some proper results up on the board.
Thanks again to all our sponsors and supporters for their help and we hope to see you all at the next round!
As of today Thursday 25th September, we are delighted to announce that Paul Grogan has just signed for the Bunclody Motors LTD Rallycross Team for the 2008/2009 Irish Rallycross Championship.
In a last minute deal put together by long time friend Mick Curtis and his M.C. Contruction Limited firm which is based in Bristol, England, Paul now has the backing that he needs to take up his position as hot favourite to become the 2008/2009 Irish Rallycross Champion.
Paul will of course be back behind the wheel of the same Subaru Impreza Rallycross Supercar which brought him so much success last season. The car has had a major rebuild over the summer and with Paul competing in a number of events to stay match fit the whole team has never been so well prepared for any championship before.
Keep it here for all the news and photos from Paul's 2008/2009 Irish Rallycross Campain!
In a last minute deal for Mondello Park & Carlow Car Club's end of season fun Race Meeting, Paul will join forces with Alan Byrne Racing for the first time and race a Global GT Light this weekend, Sunday 28th September.
Basically these cars are a much scaled down version of a Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance race car running a 600cc Yamaha engine.
Paul has been off the Track for over 2 months now so this will be the perfect warm up for before he begins his assault on the 2008/2009 Irish Rallycross Championship.
Another exciting twist this weekend is that Paul's girlfriend, Jennifer Mullan who races with the new www.jennifermullanracing.com Team will also be out in another Global GT Light run by Alan Byrne Racing so there could be an interesting battle to see who is the fastest between the two!
Paul Grogan scored a fantastic first overall victory on Carlow Car Club's June Bank Holiday Weekend Historic Sprint Festival.
The two day event which was run in Bagenalstown, Co.Carlow on the Sunday and Athy, Co.Kildare on the Monday would see Paul behind the wheel of a full international Group N specification Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 for the first time in his career. This car is owned by Kevin McCarthy from AVL (Audio Visual Lighting Systems) and he was also double driving the car with Paul for the weekend.
Paul struggled a bit to adjust to the characteristics of the car on day 1 but despite this managed to set some good times earning him 5th overall.
Monday would see yet another warm day and the door was opened for Paul to set some quick times. Starting as he ment to continue, Paul went straight into 4th overall after the first timed run but had only one position in his sights. Run 2 would see another second taken off his previous best escalating him to 2nd overall just 2 tenths off 1st! With no real improvement on run 3 it was all to play for on run 4. A very confident and committed run saw Paul take 6 tenths of his previous best to win the event by 4 tenths of a second!
As this was a 2 day event there was also a combined 2 day award which he also won by 8 tenths of a second.
A delighted Paul reflected on the event saying, "this was one of the best weekends in motorsport I have ever had and I really enjoyed it!"
Paul would also like to thank Kevin McCarthy from AVL for allowing him to use the car for the weekend at such short notice!
Paul's next event will be a race meeting in Kirkistown on Saturday 26th July 2008 where he will be back driving the Access Solutions Renault Clio 197.
Paul Grogan – Ireland’s next superstar has thrown down his marker having completed his first full season in the National Rallycross Championship, while putting it up to Carnegie, the veteran of the Rallycross Circuit in Mondello.
The final round of the 2007/8 Winter Series National Rallycross Championship took place last Sunday in Mondello Park. Carlow competitor Paul Grogan from Kilmenay was second overall going into round 6, just 12 points from Rallycross multi champion Dermot Carnegie, Dublin, while George Treacy, Mullingar was only trailing Paul by a mere 1 point. The championship was going to go down to the wire for all three competitors with the prestigious title in sight.
Consistency was Paul’s strong point; he had a superb season finishing all rounds with a string of good performances, while managing to finish ahead of Carnegie in two events. Equally Carnegie finished all rounds, which ultimately clinched him the title for his 9th time, but he was so close to loosing it all. Paul may have been in a lesser-powered car, worth about half the price of Carnegie’s €130k Ford Supercar, but he certainly showed raw talent while putting Carnegie under pressure.
The penultimate superfinal of the series promised superb action with the line up of competitors at the Carlow Car Club event last Sunday and it certainly delivered. While Carnegie and Treacy were knocking lumps out of each other in the 6 lap final Paul was waiting in the wings to capitalise if they fell off. On two occasions it looked like it was all over for both Carnegie and Treacy. On the final lap Tracey’s car went on fire and he spun on his own oil, Carnegie got out in front and Paul took the flag in a fantastic second place, well earned and was proudly presented by his club colleges later that evening at the awards ceremony.
Paul sponsored by Milltown Engineering was able to hire the use of the Subaru Impreza from the Bunclody Motors LTD Rallycross Team run by brothers Michael and Andrew Morris, both of whom have had a good level of success over the last couple of seasons. They certainly knew what was required in car preparation and Paul said “he couldn’t have done it with them, the lads did an excellent job and that was half the battle”.
Grogan just 20 years old has been involved in the sport since he was old enough to remember. His father Declan has been involved in the Carlow Car Club for many years as an organiser and volunteer, Paul enjoyed getting involved too and he also served his time as a team mechanic with other previous rallycross competitors. It was his dream to one day compete and in this expensive sport it would not be possible without his sponsors on board including Vertigo Heights and Access Solutions. He looks forward to trying out a bit of circuit racing this summer to keep him track ready for the 2008/9 Rallycross season ahead which opens with round one in Pembrey, Uk in September.
We would like to take this opportunity to welcome and thank our new sponsors, Sean Foley of Vertigo Heights and Simon Quinn of Access Solutions for their support for the 2007/2008 Motorsport Ireland Rallycross Winter Series. So far they have helped Paul get some fantastic results leaving the team in a strong position over the winter break.
After a bit of a sabbatical since late last year, we have been trying various ways of putting a deal together for 2007/2008 and up to now haven't had much luck. But now we after some negotiations we have managed to put a deal together in association with the Bunclody Motors Rallycross Team and Milltown Engineering to drive a Subaru Impreza Rallycross Super Car. We will be using the very same car which we used to good effect in November last year. Since then the car has had extensive developments made in various areas of the car that we hope will get us even closer to the action.
Our first outing in the car will be the BRDA Rallycross in Mondello Park on Sunday 14th October.
This Sunday will see history made in Irish Rallycross as Paul becomes the youngest ever person to drive a rallycross supercar. No announcement has been made as to what Paul will be driving but this is a great opportunity for Paul to show his talent and hopefully impress a sponsor for next year.
This weekend is being made possible by a number of people including Mondello Park, Milltown Engineering, Murray Motorsport & Old Mill Landscapes.
As we head into the winter months Paul is hanging up the racing boots to replace them with working ones as he and the team will soon begin building the new car for 2007. The immediate plan is build a Honda Civic EK4 which the team hope to have ready for late May or possibly early June.
The site will be updated regularly with updates on how the build is going so keep it here for all the news.
Seamus Counihan is just about to launch his now annual and famous Irish Rally Calendar. Once again the calendar comes compete with 13 a3 size images from 2006. Check out www.crspics.com for more information. Well worth getting as a stocking filler for Christmas!!
Well thats basically what happened this weekend! Paul and the PGMotorsport.com team were heading into what was going to be their last 2 rounds of the GRT Hire Carlow Car Club Members Championship although there is still another round in September which they will not be competing on. By the end of the weekend they realised that it really could not have gone much better for the team.
This weekend was to see the car being fitted with a new engine due to a certain someone!! they know who they are blew the engine on the first mile of the Carlow Stages Rally. This proved to be a worry to Paul and the team as the engine had no prior competiton or testing so anything could happen. Practice came and the cobwebs and nerves went out the window being replaced with adrenaline and absolute 'No Fear' maximum attack. The engine seemed to be even faster than its predacessor and a delighted Paul went into the first timed run VERY confident that the weekend may well turn out to be quite successful. The first run came and a quick neat and tidy time of 56.26 to leave him midways overall in the event but more importantly leading class 8 but even more importantly beating 'Hade'!!! for club championship honours. Run 2 came and another stomping performance yet again with a few tenths shaved to post a time of 56.13 now moving to 2nd in class 8 but still way ahead of Hade. With poor John scratching his head and crying to his girlfriend we headed out for what was to be the last official timed run and a few little tricks were tested for this one not resulting in the desired effect but still shaving another second off to post a 55.88. There was a 4th run where some of these tricks were perfected resulting in a hairy but very fast run setting a time of 54.20 but due to a few guys having a small off not everyone could complete the run which ment it could not count for results purposes. Despite this we took 2nd in class 8 but vitally a class win for the club championship bagging 16 points leaving us 2 points behind hade going into the next round in Athy.
Yet another buring day on Monday in Athy but we were not out of the woods yet as this was a new day and the target was very much the same as Sunday and that target was going to be just as hard to achieve. Practice came and we deffinatly picked up where we left off on Maximum Attack. The practice run saw us posting a 48.20 which was encouraging for the day. The first run came and one particular turn on the track was very like the square right in Bagenalstown which ment the same racing line, braking points and gears could be used to successfully execute the corner and indeed they worked a treat posting a 48.72 leaving us well up the order, 2nd in class 8 and again beating Mr.Hade for club championship honours!! Poor John yet again devistated left me just to cruise one for the rest of the day!! Run 2 saw us slip just a fraction posting a 49.32 but still faster than John but slipping to 3rd in class 8. We decided then for the third to have a real good cut as it is looking very like this will be our last outing in the car for some time and indeed we did have some run posting a time of 47.63 to move well up the order and indeed into 2nd in class 8. A 4th run was allowed but mearly as a fun run and thats what we used it as and enjoyed it to the max.
So there we have it. Paul and the PGMotorsport.com team really could not have had much more fun, gone much faster and got some good results thrown in also. 2nd in class 8 both days and we showed up alot of regular hillclimb guys and even some club guys... Ye know who ye are!! The points for the GRT Hire Carlow Car Club Members Championship have just been totted up and it shows that we have indeed taken Class 1 honours and cannot be cought now even with 1 round to go.
I would like to personally take this opportunity to thank the organisors of the championship, my class competitors, Ken Treacy who gave me a real run for my money all season, John Hade kept me honest towards the end. Its a bit of competiton that makes it fun and to be able to laugh about it afterwards is even better.
Lastly, how could i forget my extended support crew. Firstly my team, Trevor, Willie & Frank. They have been exceptional all season. The car has always been there, on time and almost always run flawlessly. There has never been any issues. Its for this reason that i owe this win to them. Next my team manager and brother Alan, his help and support had been invaluable all season. Our press officer Mick Nolan who handles the media side of things. Miller (Philip McDonald) my navigator when i could carry him was great at the start to boost my confidence and get me up on the pace. And then my sponsors, without whom all of the above people would be useless. Stephen Murphy - Milltown Engineering, Niall Grogan - Old Mill Landscapes, Joe, Ann & Eoin Murray - MurrayMotorsport.ie, Barry Horan - Horan Promotions, splashIT.net, Diarmuid O'Toole - J&J Signs & Graphics and anybody else whom i have left out, i owe ye a massive thank you. Without all of the above people i would be nothing and certainly not be where i am today without there invaluable guidance, financial, physical and moral support and for just being there to keep the show going.
Thats it for now. Time to think about summer jobs and leaving things... oh ya certs, leaving certs! At the moment there is nothing set in stone for the remainder of the year. The accountant has packed his bags which is always a bad sign so sponsors are always welcome!! Keep it here for the lastest news for the rest of the year and to be the first to hear any developments for the remainder of the year.
PGMotorsport.com is very proud to announce their brand new sponsor Murray Motorsport. We would like to thank Joe, Ann & Eoin Murray for coming on board to show their support to Paul and the PGMotorsport.com team.
Also please make sure to check out their brand new catalogue by logging onto www.murraymotorsport.ie and downloading the catalogue in Adobe PDF format. Alternatively you can get a copy from Murray Motorsport by calling them on 01 4500555 or by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well the story so far is that we are 2nd in Class 1 in the 2005/2006 GRT Hire Carlow Car Club Members Championship. We have had a season full of highs and lows so far this season and now we have it all to do going into the last 2 rounds in which we will be competing. The last round of the championship being a single stage in which we will not be ready for.
The first 2 rounds the rallysprints in December we took a win and a second with engine trouble at the 2nd round. Next was the rallycross where we stormed over the opposition even beating more powerful cars up to 1600 and 2000 (ye know who we are!!) and took a very convincing event and championship class win. Next was the sprint in Tynagh where we could only manage a 2nd place despite our massive efforts. Then came the open event which was an autotest where we took a 2nd to leave us leading the class. The last round was the Carlow stages rally but due to the lack of a licence and funds that along with the single stage are our 2 drop rounds for this season so John Hade took a class win to put him in a class lead.
Going to the Carlow Car Club sprints on the June Bank Holiday weekend the target is simple, we must beat everyone in our championship class to take the title! This will mean that we will not depend on doing the single stage which we are unable to do anyway.
So keep it here for all the news from those sprints to see if we can manage to pull it off!!
Once again I would like to thank my sponsors without whom i would not be able to be in this position this year. Milltown Engineering, OldMill Landscapes, www.MurrayMotorsport.ie, Horan Promotions, and Fatboy Motorsport.