Mc Phillips/Barrett Second in Mark II Challenge

Posted: May 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Carlow Motor Club hosted their ever-popular stages rally and Mark II challenge on Sunday last. A bumper entry in the main field took to the roads around the East Carlow town of Tullow for nine stages. It was number 3 seeds Brian O Mahoney and John Higgins who took over the lead after stage 2 and went on to take a 14 second winning margin from championship leader Thomas Fitzmaurice in 2nd. Ballinode men Niall Maguire and Enda Sherry were 3rd over-all and only 3 seconds further adrift after overcoming a number of small mechanical issues in the early stages. This result for the Monaghan men ensures they keep the pressure on Fitzmaurice and O’Mahoney for the Dunlop national title at the half way stage. Incidentally all three are in similar spec WRC S11 Impreza’s.

            Just behind the top 3 was the battle for two wheel drive honours and the title of Mark II challenge winner. On the opening test it was Wesley Patterson who got the upper hand with a slender 1 second lead from Daniel Mc Kenna and Andrew Grennan with Frank Kelly on the pace in 3rd. Gary Mc Phillips had Donal Barrett on the notes for this event (Donal is regular navigator for Donegal’s Manus Kelly) but they were struggling with suspension woes through the opening loop and doing well to stay in contention with the top 3. Stage two saw the demise of Patterson, which left Daniel and Andrew in control at the head of the mk2 challenge. By first service they were 17 seconds ahead of Frank Kelly with Mc Phillips 14 seconds further adrift. The middle loop would shake things up again as the Scanbitz escort experienced oil pressure problems as well as an engine miss-fire which saw them drop 21 seconds to the hard charging Kelly through these three stages. McPhillips/Barrett were now very much on the pace and trading times with Frank although a 23 second gap would be hard to pull back. The decision was taken at second service to retire the scanbitz escort of McKenna/Grennan to avoid any terminal damage. Placing’s remained the same over the final loop as Kelly/Brennan went on to lift the mk2 challenge trophy ahead of Gary Mc Phillips and Donal Barrett who finished 5th o/a in the main field. Donegal cousins Declan and Brian Boyle were 3rd two-wheel drive car home in 7th over-all.

            The group N category was equally as competitive in Carlow as Colm Murphy returned to winning ways in his Impreza ahead of Monaghan’s Josh Moffatt and Domhall Lennon who finished in 9th over-all. The second Maguire International Impreza of Shane Maguire and Martin McGarrity had been 3rd group N throughout the day but mechanical trouble forced their retirement on ss7, big disappointment for Shane following his first group N win in Monaghan three weeks prior.

            Ryan Lougheran and James McCarville were in contention in class 11 once again and finished 21st over-all and 2nd in class 11 behind the civic of Neil pierce and Jason Ollerenshaw. This result leaves Ryan and James in a strong position for class 11 honours in the Dunlop national championship. Damien Connolly teamed up with Ardee man Liam Bowhan for this event and had a steady run all day to finish 9th in the highly competitive class 13. Stephen Rushe and Threemilehouses’ Conor Hagan put in a strong performance all day to finish 2nd in class 10 in their Mk2 escort.

            Unfortunately the success of the Monaghan Stages deserted Seamus Connolly and Gary Mc Crudden on this occasion as their day ended on the opening test with engine trouble. Enda Mc Nulty and Paul Sheridan’s misfortunes in the new class 13 escort continued in Carlow as their day was also cut short with mechanical problems.   


1 Brian O’Mahony/John Higgins (Impreza WRC) 67m 38s

2 Thomas Fitzmaurice/Fionn Foley (Impreza WRC) 67m 52s

3 Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 67m 55s

4 Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Escort) 69m 00s

5 Gary McPhillips/Donal Barrett (Escort) 69m 28s

6 Colm Murphy/Don Montgomery (Impreza Gp N) 69m 55s

7 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Escort) 70m 05s

8 Sam Smyth/Alan Smyth (Escort) 70m 57s

9 Josh Moffett/Domhnall Lennon (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 71m 01s

10 Tom Cave/Craig Parry (Citroen DS3) 71m 23s


Motorsport Safety Team Group N Production class:

1 Colm Murphy/Don Montgomery

2 Josh Moffett/Domhnall Lennon

3 Paddy McVeigh/Stephen O’Hanlon (Impreza) 73m 59s. Two wheel drive class:

1 Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan

2 Gary McPhillips/Donal Barrett

3 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle



1 Denis Collins/Tommy Commane (Escort) 55m 21s

2 Dick Mauger/Steve McNulty (Escort) 57m 07s

3 Philip McKibbin/Padraig Brick (Cortina) 58m 23s



1 Chris Snow/Sean Brunton (Civic) 49m 15s

2 Damien Boyle/Joseph Boyle (Civic) 50m 20s

3 James Bradley/Maria Kehoe (Civic) 50m 21s


Co. Cavan Motor Club Stages Rally

Co. Cavan Motor Club will host their annual stages rally on Sunday 27th May 2012. This year the event moves in a slightly different direction with the Bailie Hotel, Bailieboro being the main sponsor and HQ for this popular event. As always Monaghan Motor Club must return the favour of supplying up to 60 marshals for this event and this year is no exception. All club members (and friends) are asked to make themselves available if possible to marshal. Please contact any committee member to register your name.


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