Kierans’ Crowned Border Rally Champions

Posted: October 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Aghabog’s father and son team of Arthur and Macartan Kierans were crowned 2011 Sligo Pallets Border Rally Champions on Saturday last. Donegal Motor club hosted the final round of this popular championship from the Oceanfront Golf & Spa Resort in Redcastle on the Inishowen Peninsula. 125 starters in the main field braved the elements of a wet October morning, many of whom were in pursuit of class awards in the border and national championships. Tim McNulty and Paul Kiely had already claimed the national championship with 2 rounds remaining and choose to sit this one out. Top seed’s Gary Jennings and Rory Kennedy in their group N EVO 9 revelled in the wet conditions and pulled out a 12 second lead after the first stage. Jennings’ nearest rival’s were Niall Maguire and Enda Sherry who took 4 fastest stage times but despite this Jennings had done enough to take the rally win by a mere 5 seconds. The two-wheel drive battle was equally as entertaining but it was the red escort of Gary McPhillips and Donegal’s Gary McNern who led their challenger’s home in style. A winning margin of 48seconds and more impressively 3rd over-all showing just how hard this crew were trying on the slippery Donegal stages.

            15 Monaghan crews in all were on the starters list for this popular event known as the Donegal Harvest stages Rally. With Maguire/Sherry and McPhillips/McNern in the top 3 over-all it was a mixed day for the remaining crews. John McQuaid and Seamus O’Connor closed their season in style with an excellent 11th over-all amongst some tough opposition. Shane Maguire and Ciaran Geaney battled numerous mechanical gremlins throughout the day and rectified a turbo problem in service, which cost them valuable time on the middle loop. They managed to soldier on however and finished 13th over-all and 2nd in group N behind the hard charging Donegal EVO of Trevor and Kenny Bustard. Michael Conlon and Aidan Boyle had a massive battle with Frank Kelly and Liam Brennan, trading stage times throughout the day but had to settle for 2nd in class 13 on the day.  Michael and Aidan are however class 13 champions in the border series.

            Next up and success story of the day must surely go to Arthur and Macartan Kierans. The Sharkey Motorsport, KES engineering backed white escort has performed impeccably on each outing of this year with 4 class wins and a maximum 40 points. Arthur and Mac are this years Sligo Pallets Border Rally Champions finishing 20th over-all on the day amongst more powerful machinery. Prior to the event the Aghabog men had to win their class and they duly obliged, winning by almost 3 minutes from James Cassidy and John Norris. Great to see the border rally championship trophy back to Monaghan once again and well done lads. Arthur and Mac would like to thank everyone who helped them achieve this success, especially Sharkey Motorsport and their service crews. Rumour has it the celebrations are on-going in the Aghabog area!

            Young Ryan Loughran once again had James McCarville on the notes and they had an enjoyable run to 34th over-all and 4th in class 11.  James did report some close calls with the bales but they managed to keep it together and get the finish. Balinode’s Barry Garvey teamed up with Donegal’s James Greenan in the ex-Stephen Wright corsa to take 2nd in class 9 and 51st over-all.  David Smith and Austin Hammil had a mixed day to eventually finish 56th over-all and 4th in class 6. A bad stage time on ss2 cost them dearly but they still managed to take 3rd in class 6 in the border series. Barry and Jonathan McKenna were another crew to battle with the elements but are sure to be happy with a finish considering the treacherous conditions. Aaron McQuaid and Aidan Coyle finished off their border campaign in style despite a last stage scare. Prior to this event they were leading the border campaign but the Kierans’ class win would always demote them to 2nd in the series. They managed another class win on the day but a puncture on the final stage nearly derailed their good work. Luckily for this crew they had amassed a good lead in the class, which allowed them to stop and change the puncture. 2nd over-all in the border championship for this crew so well done lads. Sean and Fintan Sherry also ended their season on a high with 2nd in class 10 in Donegal. With McQuaid/Coyle taking 2nd over-all in the border, Sean and Fintan move up to take a well deserved class 10 win in the championship as their efforts throughout the year finally pay off.

            Darren and Gary McKenna were having a good run in class 11 through the Donegal hills and were lying in 3rd before they were caught out on a slippy left hander where they clipped a fence and were forced into retirement. Martin McPhillips and Ciaran Tynan were also in contention in class 11 but their day was short lived when the clutch gave in on the way to stage 4.

As the 2011 season draws to a close well done to all the award winners in Donegal, especially to our new Border champions, Arthur and Mac Kierans. Also to Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry and Gary McPhillips/Gary McNern who were both in the top 3 over-all. Gary would like to thank his service crew for their efforts throughout the year and on Saturday last, especially Francis, Cathal, Emmett and Declan and also to the tea ladies Debra, Jennifer and Siobhan. This years Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship Prizegiving will take place on Saturday 5th November in the Sligo Park Hotel.          

Donegal Harvest Stages Rally Top 10

1 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 70m 45s

2 Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 70m 50s

3 Gary McPhillips/Gary McNern (Escort) 72m 22s

4 Manus Kelly/Donal Barrett (Escort) 73m 10s

5 Brian Brogan/Mac Walsh (Escort) 73m 45s

6 Trevor Bustard/Kenny Bustard (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 73m 50s

7 Camillus Bradley/Crawford Henderson (Escort) 74m 02s

8 Wesley Patterson/Martin McGarrity (Escort) 74m 02s

9 Rodney Wilton/Conor McMahon (Escort) 74m 16s

10 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Escort) 74m 29s

Doogans are crowned Junior Rally Champions

Last weekends Donegal Harvest Stages Rally was also the final round of the 2011 junior rally championship. Carrickmacross men Johno and Padraig Doogan were leading the series going into this final round but they still had to finish this event to lift the title. With weather conditions nothing short of monsoon a finish was easier said than done! Chris Snow and Sean Brunton took the rally win on the day ahead of David Moffatt and Patrick Brides in their starlet. Moffatt and Brides did think they had done enough to win the junior section but scratch times were enforced after the event for certain stages which unfortunately relegated them to 2nd over-all. Johno and Padraig Doogan seemed to do all in their power to unravel their years good work with an off on ss1 followed by an even bigger one on ss3. Thankfully they survived both scares to finish in 4th over-all and take the title of 2011 Irish junior Rally Champions. Well done lads and another success story for Monaghan rally circles.

Birr Night Navigation Trial

Saturday night last saw the national night navigation campaign kick off in earnest. Birr and District Motor Club were hosts with well known midlands man Eoin Longworth taking up the reigns as CoC. A wet and windy night greeted a depleted entry of 27 starters for this event. Donegal’s Harvest stages Rally possibly accounting for some of the regular national navigation competitors. However Eoin laid on a demanding route centred around the Roscrea area, which included many time points through the local forest complexes. Cork novice pairing of David Beamish and Muireann Hayes took a surprise win on the night on 38 minute’s. 2nd over-all on the night went to Colin Fitzgerald and Daire Hayes on 52 minute’s. A good night for the Hayes household as Muireann and Daire are brother and sister. 3rd over-all went to midland men Packie and Colin Duffy with Chris Kelly and Sam Johnston 4th. Monaghan’s sole representatives were Michael Carbin and Evin Hughes but they had a difficult night in the forests and eventually finished in 11th over-all. 

Cavan Night Navigation Trial 

Cavan Motor Club will kick off the 2011/12 Squealing Pig Border Navigation Championship this Saturday night. Tullyvin Community Centre outside Cootehill is HQ with Mervin Wedlock and Bart McArdle in charge of the maps as CoC’s. Route cards are available from 6.30 and anybody available to marshal are asked to be there by 8pm. Full Report next week.

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