Monaghan Crew on podium in Birr

Posted: February 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 Kerry Men Tops in Birr

 Kerrymen Thomas Fitzmaurice and Fionn Foley took a 17 second win on last Sundays Birr Stages Rally. This event was the first round of the Dunlop National championship with 130 starters in the main field. Fitzmaurice and Foley took six of the nine fastest stage times in their S11 Subaru with their main opposition coming from Cork’s Brian O’Mahony and John Higgins, also in a WRC Subaru. Monaghan’s Niall Maguire and Enda Sherry kept the pressure on at the front throughout the day with top three stage times on all nine stages but eventually had to settle for 3rd over-all, a valuable point’s haul at this early stage in the campaign.

Greasy and mucky conditions left the narrow roads around Abbeyleix in south Co. Laois very testing for all competitors and it was a mixed day of fortunes for the travelling local crews. Billy Coleman award winner Sam Moffett along with regular navigator James Reilly were on a great pace once again in their EVO to finish 8th over-all and 3rd in Group N. This Group N production class was won by Dublin’s Robert Barrable with Dermot O’Gorman on the notes in the Skoda Fabia, followed by Limericks Colm Murphy and Don Montgomery in 5th over-all. Unfortunately Sam had all the luck in the Moffett team as brother Josh with Domhall Lennon on the notes were cruelly forced into retirement with mechanical trouble on the final stage while lying 11th over-all. A new pairing for the 2012 season in the form of Shane Maguire and Martin McGarrity finished in 11th over-all and forth in class behind Sam.

Jim McKenna and Thomas Treanor had the all-new class 14 escort out for its second run after Galway and once again consistently climbed the leader board throughout the day to finish 21st over-all. Paddy O’Reilly and Jim Casey had a day of dramas in the G5 escort but eventually finished in 34th over-all. Michael Carbin and Barry Garvey took their peugeot 205 to the Laois roads and had a fine run all day to take a convincing class 10 win and 39th over-all. Tyrone’s Ryan Loughran was once again partner by James McCarville in the class 11 escort but they battled mechanical gremlin’s through the early stages but managed to finish 42nd, setting some good stage times through the latter stages. Stonebridge man Peter Deery got a late call up to sit with Tipperary’s Liam Graham and they finished in 73rd over-all in a class 11 civic.

Mickey Conlon had a weekend to forget as he failed to finish the first stage with an off resulting in retirement, this following a non-finish the previous day in fivemiletown forest when a front hub became dislodged.


Birr & District Motor Club Top 10

1/ Thomas Fitzmaurice/Fionn Foley (Impreza WRC) 75m 59s,

2/  Brian O’Mahony/John Higgins (Impreza WRC) 76m 16s,

3/ Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 77m 00s,

4/ Robert Barrable/Dermot O’Gorman (Skoda Fabia S2000) 77m 16s,

5/ Colm Murphy/Don Montgomery (Impreza Gp N) 77m 34s,

6/ Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 78m 36s,

7/ Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Escort) 78m 47s,

8/ Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 79m 01s,

9/ Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Escort) 79m 18s,

10/ Mike Quinn/Grainne McEnery (Escort) 79m 31s. 2 wheel drive class

1/ Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan,

2/ Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle,

3/ Mike Quinn/Grainne McEnery.



1/ P J O’Dowd/John Young (Sunbeam) 52m 35s,

2/ Denis Collins/Tommy Commane (Escort) 53m 55s,

3/ Philip McKibbin/Padraig Brick (Cortina) 55m 30s.



1/ Richard Moore/Richard Cleary (Civic) 58m 26s,

2/ Christopher Snow/Sean Brunton (Civic) 58m 37s,

3/ Damien Boyle/Joseph Boyle (Civic) 58m 42s.


Jennings Wins Omagh MC Spring Rally

Gary Jennings’ dominant start to 2012 was replicated once again on Saturday last with a convincing win on the Omagh MC Spring Rally based around the gravel forests of Fivemiletown. The Kesh man added this win to an over-all win on the recent Donegal Forestry along with a group N win and 4th over-all in Galway recently. Once again Gary with Enniskillens Barry McNulty on the notes hired a group N Subaru for this event. Aghabog’s Arthur Kierans was navigating for Colin Britton and finished a fine 2nd over-all, only 16 seconds adrift of Jennings. With this weekends Carrick on Suir forestry stages on Sunday next, both crews should be hot on the pace and Britton will be looking to go one better on the second round of the Irish Forestry series. Omaghs Mark Donnelly and Tommy Nugent finished 3rd over-all, only 24 seconds off the pace after the eight-stage event.

            Regular pairing of Enda McNulty and Paul Sheridan had to settle for 5th over-all but once again showed great pace as only 37 seconds separated the top 5 placings. As per usual the two-wheel drive battle was fierce as Frank Kelly once again showed he is the man to beat on the gravel, finishing 7th over-all. Despite being in a less powerful car, Fivemiletown’s Shane McGirr and Niall Connolly set some blistering times throughout the day and were only 4 seconds off Frank Kelly in the end. Seamus O’Connell and Sean Magee rounded off the top three in the two-wheel drive category in 12th over-all as regular escort contender Adrian Hetherington was forced into retirement with gearbox trouble.

            Brendan Comiskey and Conor Foley had a steady run throughout the day to finish in 11th over-all. Jon Armstrong with Monaghan’s Emmet Sherry on the notes had a fantastic run through the Fermanagh Forests to finish 13th over-all and class winners in the Fiesta ST. This being Jon’s first real stages event, and even set a third fastest stage time along he way. Next up was the fun seeking pairing of Andy Mackarel and Raymond Conlon in the EVO 4. Following on from lasts years run in the V6 calibra, Andy decided on the Evo for this year and they had an enjoyable run to 14th over-all.

            Unfortunately that’s where the luck ran out for the local crews as Vincent and JP McAree once again tried their luck in the northern forests but to no avail. Having set an excellent pace on the first stage the Ballinode/Carrickmacross cousins were forced into retirement with engine malfunction. Mickey Conlon had Jackie Elliott in the passengers seat but disaster struck on the 3rd stage when the front right stub seems to have broken, loosing a wheel and forcing them into retirement whilst on a good pace also. Scotstowns Jonathan Treanor partnered Donegal’s Andrew McLoone in his high powered escort but their day was also short lived as they slid off on a mucky section of corners and with no spectators around to push they were there for the day.


Cavan Motorclub Night Navigation

All roads lead to Gallonreagh House, Maudabawn outside Cootehill this Saturday night for the penultimate rounds of both the National and Squealing Pig border navigation championships. CoC for the event is Ashly McAdoo and any marshals available for a time point are asked to be at HQ before 8pm. Full report next week



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