Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally is Go….Go….Go!

Posted: April 18, 2012 in Uncategorized


The climax of Monaghan Motor Club’s rally calendar takes place over the coming weekend with the Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally on Sunday next. Many months of meticulous planning will come together over the coming weekend. A bumper entry of 131 crews will descend on Monaghan town and the neighbouring North Monaghan villages like, Balinode, Scotstown, Tydavnet, Bragan and Carrickroe. Saturday will be taken up with recce of each of the three stages where crews will make their pace notes and familiarise themselves with the stages at hand. Mc Elvaney Motors on the Dublin road will be the main hub of activity on Saturday evening where mechanical scrutiny of each car takes place and then its back to the Hillgrove where all cars will be parked over night and ready for Sundays stages. First competing car is due to leave Rally HQ on Sunday morning at 9.25am with Stage 1 starting at 10.00am. CoC for the event is Dessie Keenan and along with his many helpers has laid on a fantastic route of just over 200 stage kilometres. The third stage of each loop is probably the longest (30km) and most challenging stage of the Irish Rally calendar thus far. Centralised service after each of the three stages is once again in the main town car park beside Saint Peters lake (behind fleming’s). The event is estimated to attract up on 20,000 spectators and rally fans over the course of the weekend making it one of the largest sporting events of the year in the county.

            Local Balinode men Niall Maguire and Enda Sherry will lead the field away from the Hillgrove as number 1 seed in their WRC Impreza, followed by Seamus Leonard and Donagh Kelly also in WRC subaru’s. Scothouse man Daniel McKenna with Andrew Grennan back on the notes will start at 4 and head an amazing group of escorts with Gary Mc Phillips and Mark Tierney in hot pursuit at 5. Donegal cousin’s Declan and Brian Boyle are at 6 in a similar escort and sure to be on the pace. Billy Coleman winner Sam Moffatt with James Reilly on the notes are the only class 4 entrant in the top 10 in their EVO 9, starting at 7. Camillus Bradley and Brian Brogan are next at 8th and 9th respectively, both in class 14 escorts while Maurice Moffatt gets reacquainted with navigator Jason McKenna to complete the top 10 in the infamous starlet. Others sure to feature in the top 10 results throughout the day include are Shane Maguire, Trevor Bustard, Josh Moffatt and Conor Harvey, all in class 4 machines. Rodney Wilton is also down to compete in his brand new class 14 escort.

            Looking further down the field Mickey Conlon and Darren Mc Cague head the local entries in class 13, with Kieran ‘Bilko’ Mc Carra, Mac Mc Kenna, Jack Maguire, Barry Mc Kenna and Gerard Mc Quaid to name but a few amongst a group of 24 entrants in class 13. Border champions Arthur and Mac Kierans lead of the class 12 brigade at number 37 with James Cassidy and James at 47 and Eamonn Mc Guigan at 48. Class 11 could also be dubbed “the battle of the locals” with the top 8 from the surrounding areas. Darren and Nicola McKenna lead off at 40, followed by Anthony Hand/Emett Sherry at 41, Ryan Lougheran/James Mc Carville at 42, Seamus Connolly/Gary McCrudden at 43, David Moffatt /Andrew Spears at 44, Martin McPhillips/Ciaran Tynan at 45, Johno and Padraig Doogan at 46 with Damien Sherry starting at 58 in his twin cam. Class 10 will also be ultra competitive with Parick Kiernan starting at 72 in his escort, followed by the ever reliable Michael Carbin/Evin Hughes in the 205 with Aaron McQuaid, John Kelly, Barry Treanor, Cathal Sheridan and Sean Sherry all in hot pursuit.

            Class 9 see’s Justin Smyth and Gregory Mc Quillan lead off ahead of Donegal’s Barry McGill with Cavan’s Brendan O’Reilly 3rd class 9 off the start ramp. David Smith and Austin Hamill are sure to be in contention in class 6, which features the C2R2 of Donegal’s Joseph McGonigle and the puma of Roger Donnan. Sean Agnew and Peter Deery will be hoping for better luck than the circuit in class 6 also. Martin Tynan will have regular night navigation navigator Fintan Clerkin on the notes for the very first time on tarmac in his class 4 EVO 8. Class 15, which is for group N cars out of homologation, will also feature a few locals as Cathal Mc Glone and Damien Doherty lead off the locals. Andy Mackarel and Richard Cassidy are next up at 50 with Michael and Declan Tynan just behind in the EVO 5.

            So Monaghan town is the place to be this coming weekend where the cream of Irish Rallying will pit their wits against one another. Monaghan Motor Club wish all starting crews the very best of luck and hope to see everyone back at the Hillgrove Hotel on Sunday night for prize giving. Any marshal’s available for the day please contact a committee member.  


Mc Aree’s Third o/a on Moonraker

Vincent and Jp Mc Aree brought their EVO 9 home to an impressive 3rd over-all on last weekends Carrick-on-Suir Moonraker forestry Rally. This was the third round of the Irish Valvoline Forestry Championship and the Ballinode crew punched in some excellent times throughout the day. The event was won by last years champion Owen Murphy with Gary Jennings in 2nd. But things could have been a lot different had Jennings not rolled his Subaru while leading the event, remarkably they only lost about half a minute and set fastest stages times thereafter to finish in 2nd, only 12 seconds off Murphy. Vincent and Jp were only 13 seconds off the over-all winner after 9 stages. Colin Britton and Arthur Kierans were in 5th over-all as only 21 seconds separated the top 5 finishers. Stephen and Suzanne Wright finished up in 6th over-all, another good points haul for the championship. Emmet Sherry was sitting with John McLaughlin in their EVO and had a good run to 8th over-all and 4th in class. Mickey Conlon and Damien McCabe had been lying in 12th over-all and leading class 5 after the 7th stage but failed to make the finish as his gear box cried enough.


Squealing Pig Border Navigation Prize Giving

Friday night last saw a hub of activity around championship sponsor the Squealing Pig Bar and Restaurant for this years annual prize giving. After a long year with seven events hosted by the four clubs of Monaghan, Cavan, Midlands and Donegal it was time to let the hair down as many a story was remimised of the year gone past. The Squealing Pig laid on a fabulous meal, which was followed by prize giving, and plenty of banter among the 60 strong who attended. MC for the night was our very own Sean McCaffery and along with Andy Mackarel and Paul Fitzpatrick they organised a very successful night. Well done to all award winners and to the 2011/12 Squealing Pig border navigation champions Andy Mackarel and Liam Higgins. 


Open Navigation Meeting

Monaghan Motor Club is holding an open Navigation Trial meeting on Wednesday 25th April at 8pm sharp in the Hillgrove Hotel. The function of the meeting is to discuss all aspects of the sport and determine if any suggestions or amendments would improve the full spectrum of the sport. This is an important open meeting so we would ask all competitors and event organisers to attend.


Motorsport Ireland National Night Navigation Prize Giving

National night navigation prize giving for the 11/12 season past will take place on Saturday 28th April at 8.00pm sharp in the Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise. All award winners are asked to be present or send a representative. Full list of award winners will be available shortly. There will also be an open forum meeting prior to prize giving, this is important as it is a chance for competitors to voice their opinions on all aspects of the sport with a view to improving it for the future.



Comments are closed.