Moffett on Podium in Fivemiletown
Omagh motor club hosted their annual spring forestry stages rally on Saturday last in the forests around fivemiletown. This popular event attracted a large entry with some of the best forestry entertainers on show. Mark Donnelly and Barry Mc Nulty were victorious in their subaru impreza, 25seconds ahead of Gareth Sayers in and EVO 9. Josh Moffett and Jason Mc Kenna were on a real charge all day and finished a well deserved 3rd overall, just 2 seconds behind Sayers.
Frank Kelly took the two wheel drive honours after a short lived battle with his closest rivals, Shane McGirr and Jackie Elliott who crashed out on stage 2 after their steering broke. Adrian Hetherington also failed to finish after mechanical woes. Sam Moffett and James O’Reilly were also in the Fermanagh/Tyrone forests and finished 7th overall in the EVO. Michael Carbin and Stephen Thornton were also on a great pace in the EVO, taking 9th o/a and 2nd in class. Micky Conlon and Ciaran McPhillips brought the black Mark 2 home in 11th overall and 2nd in class. Bobby Sharkey and Mac Kierans took the Kierans Motorsport escort to the forest with great rewards, finishing 13th overall and 2nd in class for their efforts. Martin Tynan made a return to the forests after a lengthy lay-off in the EVO 8 and with Raymond Conlon calling the notes they managed 3rd in class and 14th overall. Maurice Moffett and Martin Connolly returned to fivemiletown and surely enjoyed their day to finish 19th overall and 3rd in class. Emmett Sherry was navigating for Calvin Beattie in a ford fiesta to finish in 30th o/a and also 3rd in class. All in all a good day out for the Monaghan brigade in Fivemiletown as the results sheets suggest a 100% finishing record for the travelling Farney men.
Locals take the Spoils in Midlands
Colin Duffy and Sam Johnston led from the front in last Saturday nights Midlands navigation trial based in the idealic Drumcowra Lake Resort, just outside Ballinamore. This tough event was set out by CoC Enda Mc Loughlin with a 60 mile route circling the Leitrim town of Balinamore taking in many forests and farm lanes along the way. Duffy and Johnston took the win with ease, dropping just 6 penalties in total to prove why they are now the worthy National and Munster Navigation champions with two rounds to spare. They also hold a good lead in the Squealing Pig Border Navigation championship and could possibly wrap it up in Cavan this Saturday night.
Shane Dalton and Micheal Reilly were 2nd overall on the night and novice class winners with Corks Joe and Greg Shinnors 3rd overall and expert class winners. Richard Cassidy and Paul Phelan were 2nd experts ahead of Michael and Ciaran Tynan in 3rd. Corks David Beamish and Muireann Hayes proved once again they are hard to beat with a semi-expert class win ahead of Ashley McAdoo and Laurence Keenan. 3rd semi went to Matt and Enda Hume. Fintan McGorman and Derek Mackarel took a fine 6th overall and 2nd in novice just 2 penalties ahead of Donegal/Cork pairing of Trevor McConnell and Eoghan McCarthy. Michael Carbin made the trip to Leitrim to navigate for Emmet McCooey after driving in the Fivemiletown forestry earlier in the day to prove he can be a winner on both sides of a car
to take the beginners class award ahead of Cootehill cousins Thomas and Andrew Wedlock.
Cavan Motor Club host the penultimate round of both the Squealing Pig Border Navigation championship and National navigation championships this Saturday night in Killinkere Community Center and with many Class and overall awards still to be decided its sure to be a battle royale.
Wright’s Encouraging start to Belgian campaign
Despite treacherous conditions, Stephen and Susanne Wright made it to the finish of the Haspengouw Rally last weekend and the pair brought their Peugeot 208 R2 home in 29th overall and 4th in class. Based around the town of Landen, The Haspengouw Rally was the first of the 8 round Belgian Rally Championship which Stephen and Susanne plan to contest this season so it was crucial that they got off to an encouraging start.
Stephen, the reigning Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year, takes up the story; “We surprised even ourselves on the opening stage, setting fastest time on possibly the most slippy road surface I have ever seen. Unfortunately this was the highlight. We picked up a puncture on SS2 and had a number of spins on SS3 dropping us back the order and breaking our momentum. We picked ourselves back up in first service; setting a string of top three stage times through to the finish of the event, interrupted only by a front left and right puncture on SS6 and another puncture on SS12. We were disappointed to miss out on a good result but on the plus side our pace was promising, we have learned a lot and are feeling much better prepared prior to the opening round of the 208 Rally Trophy in 6 weeks’ time.”
The next Belgian round the Wright Rally Team plan to contest is the TAC Rally on April 12th but they may possibly squeeze in another Irish event to gain more competitive miles in the Killyhevlin Hotel Peugeot. “We are still adjusting to and learning the new car. It really is such a huge transition from the Mitsubishi’s we have been used to but we love every second of it and are so impressed with the car. Ideally we’d like to take in one more Irish event to leave us better prepared for the Circuit of Ireland in April which is also a counting round of the Junior European Rally Championship but we will take some time to let the dust settle before making a decision”said Susanne.
Birr Stages Rally 2014
Last Sunday saw the opening round of the 2014 West Coast Rally championship. The event was staged in Abbeyleix, with two Monaghan crews making the trip down. First home was reigning champions Shane Maguire and Martin McGarrity who were debuting the newly acquired ex-Stephen Wright Mitsubishi Evo9. The duo finished in 8th overall and 2nd in Group N. Jim McKenna and Thomas Treanor also made the trip and had an eventful day whilst battling for top two wheel drive honours. They had been right in the heart of the battle for the lead, however a costly spin on stage five resulted in the boys bringing their trusty Escort home in a fine 2nd place in class 14 and 9th overall.
The rally was won by Welsh visitors Hugh Hunter and Andy Marchbank in a Subaru WRC with James Stafford in the Darrian. Paddy McVeigh and Gary McElhinney were 3rd overall. The next event will be the Mayo stages in two week’s time.
Club Notes/PRO Details
Monaghan Motor Club have set up a new e-mail account solely for the purpose of receiving information from competitors and club members on their exploits throughout the year in all forms of motorsport competition. All competitors are urged to e-mail action photos (no watermarks) and a short note on how they got on in any event throughout the year. We need these details for weekly reports and Facebook news. The e-mail address is email@example.com Obviously we cannot guarantee everything will be published but your input would be greatly appreciated to try and cover all members and their endeavors.