MOFFETT AND ROWAN CLAIM VICTORY IN SLIGO It was a day to remember for Josh Moffett and the Combilift Rallying team as the young Monaghan driver took his first overall rally win at the Sligo Stages Rally, round 4 of the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship. Co-driven by John Rowan the crew won eight of the nine stages to take victory by over three minutes. When it was announced mid – week that Josh would be taking the Fiesta WRC from his brother Sam for the event everyone was keen to see how his transferral from Group N to WRC machinery would go. Things didn’t start well as he had to ask his brother how to start the car in Parc Fermé! But that was the only blip for the local man and he certainly didn’t disappoint during the event taking the lead from earlier pace setter Paddy McVeigh on stage 2 and never looked back to take his maidan rally victory to add to a great year thus far for the Combilift team. Sam Moffett was out in a brand new class 20 Mitsubishi Evo 9 and lay 3rd overall after the opening loop behind Tyrone’s Paddy McVeigh. However McVeigh retired with gearbox problems before stage 5 promoting Sam to 2nd overall and potentially setting up a Combilift Rallying 1-2. Sadly it wasn’t to be as the Evo 9 broke a wishbone on stage 8 forcing Sam’s retirement. Further down the field there were plenty of great results for local crews. Justin Smith and Sharon Clarke recorded a fine top 10 result in the class 13 escort. David Moffett and Fintan Sherry took another class win in 11R. A brilliant battle with Kevin Bradley and Graham Henderson as well as fellow Monaghan crew, Barry Treanor and Colm Connolly saw them switch position a number of times Treanor and Connolly were the early class leaders but unfortunately only completed four stages before retirement. Moffett & Sherry took the class win by nearly two minutes and also lifted the drive of the day award. Emmett Sherry navigated Armagh’s Calvin Beattie to victory in class 6 in the Ford Fiesta. Michael Carbin and Emmett McCooey were the sole survivors in class 20 in their Evo 4 and came home 20th overall. Cathal Sheridan and Peter Deery took their Nova to 2nd in class 10 with a blistering time on the final stage to jump ahead of his rivals. In class 12 Mark Tierney navigated Brian Armstrong to victory beating fellow Monaghan co-driver and runner up in class, Gary McCrudden who was navigating Martin Toner. Steven Corey and Vinnie Boyd took their Escort to 4th in class 13R. Declan Connolly and Alison Hughes took their Honda Civic to 4th in class 9. In the junior rally Stefan McCann and Stephen McElroy came home 6th in their Peugeot 205. In class 14 Jack Maguire and Andy Hayes were leading right up until their retirement in stage seven. Laurence Sherry and Mark Sheridan were 4th in class until retirement on the final stage. Sligo Stages Rally Top 10 1. Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1:22:10.4 2. Martin Doherty/Kevin Flannagan (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 1:25:10.5 3. Pat Kirk/John McElhinney (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 1:25:35.7 4. Gary Kiernan/Niall Tierney (Ford Escort MK2) 1:25:50.0 5. Trevor Bustard/ John McCafferty (Mitsubishi Evo 9) 1:26:10.9 6. Brian Armstrong/Mark Tierney (Ford Escort MK2) 1:27:29.9 7. Martin Toner/Gary McCrudden (Talbot Sunbeam) 1:27:39:7 8. Anthony Cairns/Mark Preston (Subaru Impreza) 1:27:39.8 9. Ian Gunning/Jeff Gunning (Ford Escort MK2) 1:27:53.7 10. Justin Smyth/Sharon Clarke (Ford Escort MK2) 1:28:11.0 Cork LS Autocross Congratulations to Derek Mackarel on 4th overall and first saloon car home in the Skibbereen Loose Surface Autocross on Sunday last. Derek also won his class and now finds himself in the lead of the National Loose Surface Autocross Championship after round 3, with 4 remaining.
McKenna/Kierans take top spot in Scotland
Daniel McKenna and Arthur Kierans took an important step towards British Rally Championship glory last weekend as the Monaghan duo claimed their second BRC victory of the year at RSAC Scottish Rally in Dumfries. McKenna and Kierans overcame visibility issues caused by a build-up of dust in their Citroen DS3 to win the event by over two minutes. Crucial to their championship aspirations was the retirement of their main rivals Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss. The Welsh crew came into the event level on points with McKenna and Kierans but gearbox problems led to their retirement on the penultimate stage. 2nd overall went to Callum Black and Paul Wakely, whilst another Irish crew in Dean Rafferty and Aileen Kelly finished 3rd overall in their Fiesta R2.
This result for Daniel and Arthur means that the Monaghan crew now lead the championship by 20 points going into round 4, the Todds Leap Ulster Rally in August.
Mixed results for Monaghan Competitors in Waterford
It was a good day for Monaghan crew Michael Conlon and Ciaran McPhillips at the Ravens Rock Rally in Waterford last weekend as the pair took third place in class 13 in their Escort. The Monaghan pair moved into the top 3 on stage 2 and held their position until the end and in doing so also took a fantastic 6th overall. The event was won by Irish rallying star Craig Breen in his Fiesta WRC with Alan Rind 2nd in an EVO 9 and Eoin Doyle 3rd in a focus WRC. Cavan’s Gary Kieran and James Fulton took the two wheel drive honours and 4th overall ahead of Virginia man Chris Armstrong, both in class 13 escorts.
Local competitor Declan McKenna entered the event navigating for Northern Ireland’s Alan Atcheson. The pair contested class 13 in an Escort but unfortunately failed to reach the finish. Local man J. P. McAree also entered class 13 in an Escort. The Monaghan man was navigating for Meath’s Jack Newman but unfortunately also failed to make the finish.
Last weekend saw the running of Ireland’s biggest rally of the year, the Donegal International Rally. This mammoth three day event based in Letterkenny traversed 20 stages over some of Irelands best known rally terrain through County Donegal. Clontibret’s Sam Moffett headed North West looking to make it back to back victories in Donegal having won the event last year. Sam and co-driver James O’Reilly performed magnificently and although they had to settle for the runner up spot they led the rally on the opening Friday stages and were the only crew who were able to mount a serious challenge to eventual winners Declan and Brian Boyle. In the end the winning margin was a mere 35 seconds for the Boyle cousin’s who are the first local Donegal crew to win their home event in over 15 years. Moffett is in fourth place in the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship 22 points behind Declan Boyle. Third overall went to Gary Jennings and Rory Kennedy who were almost 3 minutes further adrift.
In what was to prove a fantastic weekend for the entire Moffett Motorsport family,
Sam’s brother Josh had another convincing Group N win by almost 5 minutes from Cavan man Stephen McCann, with Aaron McHale 3rd. Navigated by John Rowan the Mitsubishi driver lay in second after Day 1 but took the lead on stage 7 and didn’t look back. Josh is currently second in the overall championship 19.5 points behind Boyle.
In the highly competitive and entertaining national section it was a Monaghan victory
once again as Gary McPhillips and Paul Sheridan took the overall win for the second year in a row. A riveting battle saw McPhillips along with fellow Monaghan crew Daniel McKenna and Arthur Kierans and Donegal’s Manus Kelly and Donal Barrett battle it out for top honours. Daniel and Arthur had a slender lead after the first two days of competition, trading stage wins with McPhillips but gearbox trouble on stage 15 forced his retirement. With Manus Kelly crashing out, McPhillips and Sheridan took the win by well over a minute from his nearest competitor Conor Harvey. Frank Kelly rounded off the top three in the National Category.
Richard Moffett and Martin Connolly took a class 13 victory by almost five minutes in the first of the Moffett starlets, whilst younger brother David, navigated by Fintan Sherry won the highly competitive junior rally by just under 30 seconds in the second of the Moffett Engineering backed starlets. There was success also for Mac Kierans who took the win in the Historics Rally co-driving for Seamus O’Connell.
Other local crews include Anthony Hand and James McCarville who took a fantastic second place in class 11R. Pauric Duffy and Kevin Glynn took sixth in class 16. Gerard McQuaid and Gary Quinlan took 3rd place in class 13. Jim McKenna and Thomas Treanor took 6th in class 14 and 10th overall in the National rally while John McQuaid and Seamus O’Connor took 5th in class 14 and 9th in the National Rally. Brendan Cumisky and Gerry McVeigh were running as high as 6th in Group N but unfortunately didn’t make the finish. Shane Maguire and Martin McGarrity were also running inside the top 10 in Group N but gearbox problems forced their retirement on Day 2. Brendan and JP McAree sadly failed to see the finish line in their Porsche 911. The crew were running second in class K in the Historics rally until retirement after four stages. Ryan McKenna and Aidan Coyle also failed to finish. The pair were lying 7th overall in the Junior Rally until retirement on stage 3.
Donegal International Rally Top 10
1 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 21m 56s
2 Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2h 22m 31s
3 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 25m 14s
4 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 26m 42s
5 Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 2h 33m 09s
6 Stephen McCann/Lisa O’Dowd (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 2h 37m 58s
7 Aaron MacHale/Paul McGee (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 2h 40m 02s
8 Callum Devine/Liam McLaughlin (Ford Fiesta R2) 2h 43m 41s
9 Richard Tannahill/Aileen Kelly (Peugeot 208 R2) 2h 44m 18s
10 Brian O’Keeffe/Sean Hayde (Subaru Impreza) 2h 45m 41s
1 Gary McPhillips/Paul Sheridan (Ford Escort) 2h 30m 06s,
2 Conor Harvey/Gerard Callaghan (Ford Escort) 2h 31m 24s,
3 Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Ford Escort) 2h 31m 34s,
1 Seamus O’Connell/Mac Kierans (Ford Escort) 2h 00m 52s,
2 Andy Johnson/Jim McSherry (Vauxhall Chevette) 2h 05m 47s,
3 Aidan O’Connor/Ian Regan (Ford Escort) 2h 08m 52s,
1 David Moffett/Fintan Sherry (Toyota Starlet) 57m 38s,
2 Patrick O’Brien/Thomas Nugent (Citroen C2R2 Max) 58m 02s,
3 Jonathan Orr/Martin McBrearty (Honda Civic) 58m 52s,
Belgian Rally Championship
Congratulations to Stephen and Suzanne Wright who finished tenth in class RC4 in the Geko Ypres Rally last weekend in Belgium. The Newbliss pair are currently 3rd in their class in the Belgian Rally championship 15 points off the leader Guillaume Dilley.
A warm summer’s day greeted competitors on Sunday last as Monaghan Motor Club hosted their rallysprint event at Rally School Ireland outside Scotstown. The event, which was sponsored by McAree Engineering LTD, attracted a healthy list of competitors all ready to attack the course which had been laid out by Clerk of the Course John Kelly. The gathering crowd were in for a real enjoyable day as they were treated to everything from buggies to Mark II’s and even a Porsche 911.
It was Joseph Smith who claimed victory by just 0.8 of a second from the hard charging Gary McPhillips. The two Escort drivers were closely matched all day but Smith came out on top. Michael Tynan took third place in his Evo 5. There was plenty of action throughout the field. Class 6 was a real crowd pleaser as Michael Conlon powered his buggy to victory by less than 10 seconds from Martin Connolly with David Smith in third, both in buggies. In class 5 Michael Tynan won from Cormac McElvaney and Martin Tynan 3rd. Class 4 saw Gary McPhillips, competing ahead of a big weekend for him at the Donegal International Rally; took the win from Justin Smith in his Escort. Class 3B was the busiest category with 10 competitors making the finish. Vincent Deery came out on top in his Nova beating Ronnie Coulter by just over 10 seconds with Richard Cassidy a further 2 and a half seconds behind in third, both of them in Astras. Joseph Smith took class 3A by 40 seconds from Patrick Corey both in Escorts. In class 2B it was Pauric Duffy who took the win in his Citroen C2R2 by just under 15 seconds from John McCabe in his Escort with Gerry McIntyre a further 3 seconds behind in his starlet. Derek Mackarel took top spot in class 2A in his Nova. The Monaghan man was 16 seconds ahead of Shane Marron in his Escort. He narrowly beat Adrian Foley who was half a second behind in third in his Corsa. Michael Brennan took class 1B in his Nova by almost 5 seconds from Aidan Coyle in his Escort with Damien Connolly taking third in his Peugeot, a further second and a half behind. Finally in class 1A Alan Pickins took victory by almost 8 seconds in his Corsa beating Ronan Greene’s Nova with Kevin Flannagan narrowly missing out on the runner up spot. The Mini driver was only 0.1 seconds behind in third. Kieran McCarra took Entertainer of the Day in his Rover 25. The Monaghan man proving to the crowd that a front wheel driver can be driven sideways on tarmac!
CoC John Kelly would like to convey his sincere thanks to all the marshal’s and club members who helped out on the day. To Rally School Ireland for the use of their excellent facilities, Eamon McKenna for the great job he did as MC which was both informative and entertaining. Also to Frankie McCarey in McCagues pub, Scotstown for hosting the prizegiving and providing the food. Also a big thanks to Brendan McAree and McAree Engineering Ltd for sponsoring this event and coming up with a very unique design for the trophies which were fabricated in their engineering facility at Balinode. Over €600 was raised on the day by Monaghan Motor Club for two worthy charities, Alzheimers Ireland and Downsyndrome Ireland who were hosting their annual Ice Cream Sunday event in Balinode also.
- Monaghan Motor Club Rallysprint Top 10
1Joseph Smith (Escort) 8m 08.28s
2 Gary McPhillips (Escort) 8m 09.12s
3 Michael Tynan (Lancer Evo 5) 8m 10.33s
4 Vincent Deery (Nova) 8m 12.44s
5 Pauric Duffy (Citroen C2R2) 8m 15.94s
6 Cormac McElvaney (Lancer Evo 7) 8m 17.10s
7 Derek Mackarel (Nova) 8m 19.22s
8 Martin Tynan (Lancer Evo 8) 8m 20.84s
9 Ronnie Coulter (Astra) 8m 23.09s
10 Richard Cassidy (Astra) 8m 25.39s
Donegal International Rally
Attention now turns to next weekend as many local crews prepare to tackle the biggest event in Ireland’s motorsport calendar, the Donegal International Rally. Among them are last year’s winners Sam Moffett and James O’Reilly. The Clontibret crew will be hoping to make it back to back victories in their Combilift backed Fiesta WRC. Daniel McKenna and Gary McPhillips will be battling it out for the win in the National section as the two Escort drivers look to rekindle their intense battle during the Monaghan Stages Rally earlier in the year. Josh Moffett and Brendan Cumiskey will be in the hunt for group N honours. Jim Mc Kenna and John McQuaid also bring their class 14 escorts to the Donegal Hill’s. Gerard McQuaid, Anthony Hand, Richard Moffett, and Shane Maguire are also on the top class entry list. Ryan McKenna and David Moffett will surely be in contention in the junior Rally with Brendan McAree sporting his porsche 911 in the historic event. Best of luck to all competitors and full report next week.
Wright’s Heading Back To Belgium
Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year Stephen Wright heads back to Belgium this weekend to take on the challenge of the Geko Ypres Rally in his Peugeot 208 R2. The rally is one of the most popular on the European continent and has attracted a stellar entry including over 40 cars in the R2 category alone and will provide a stern test for the talented County Monaghan driver and his co-driving sister Susanne.
Despite the strong entry, Stephen is hopeful the pair can perform well on the challenging Belgian roads where they have already picked up a string of solid results. Speaking before he set off for Ypres Stephen said; “This rally has provided the toughest field of competitors that Susanne and I will have ever competed against. Our focus will remain on the 208 Rally Trophy and accumulating more points in it. However, it would be nice to be in the mix for a podium among the Junior European Championship runners having narrowly missed out on a top 3 placing on the Circuit of Ireland at Easter.”
It has been almost 2 months since Stephen’s last foray to Belgium where he finished 5th among the 208 Rally Trophy runners on the Rallye de Wallonie but he has kept his eye in by tackling rallies on home soil and working on the set up of the pocket rocket Peugeot. “We’ve completed a couple of local events since Wallonie and the feeling is very good with the car now so I’m excited to get going in Ypres” said Stephen.
The action in Ypres starts on Friday afternoon when the crews leave the historic town to complete 7 challenging stages before the overnight halt. Saturday resumes with a 10.00am start with 13 stages (including the 27.56km Hollebeke stage) to complete before returning to the finish ramp at 10.00pm.
Monaghan Motor Club Rallysprint
Monaghan Motor Club, in association with Mc Aree Engineering, Balinode will host their first Rallysprint for quite a few years in the idealic facilities that is Rally School Ireland, Scotstown this Sunday. This is a rare chance for competitors to test the Rally School’s circuit in your own race/rally cars. Their will also be some buggies competing. Clerk of Course John Kelly and his team are hard at work piecing together what is promised to be an enjoyable event with minimum 4 timed runs over the 2.2km track. Mc Aree Engineering Ltd. Ballinode are main sponsors of the event and regulations and entry forms are available on club website at http://www.monaghanmotorclub.net Proceedings will kick off at 8am sharp with Mechanical and paper scrutiny, followed by familiarisation run on foot or bicycle, with first timed runs starting at 10.30am sharp. Mr Scanbitz himself, Eamonn McKenna is coming out of retirement to MC for the day and keep the crowds informed of all that is happening. All competitors doing the event are urged to please get your entries in early so that the organisers can make their final preparations knowing the extent of the entry list. A one day rally licence is available on the day for once off competitors , or anyone not holding a current licence but must be booked with the Motor Club in advance. See regs on Motor Club website for further information. Prize giving and refreshments will follow at approximately 6pm in McCagues, Scotstown village with the possibility of a barbeque, weather permitting.
Laois Heartlands Mini Stages Rally
Well done to all the locals who made the trip to Portlaoise on Sunday last for the Laois Heartlands Mini Stages Rally. The event was won by Ed O’Callaghan and Ger Clancy who had a slender 13 second win over 2nd place Vivian Hamill and Paul Sheridan in a class 13 escort. George Condell and Patrick Brides were 3rd overall in a class 13 starlet. Stephen and Suzanne Wright were 6th overall with a class win to boot in their Peugeot 208 with Cavan’s Gary Kiernan 9th overall and 2nd in class.