Maguire & McGarrity come up Trumps in Sligo

Posted: July 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ballinodes Shane Maguire with Fermanagh native Martin McGarrity on the notes created history at the weekend when they won the Sligo stages rally. Their win means its the first time ever a father and son has won the rally as Shane’s father Niall has also won the rally on numerous occasions. Shane and Martin had the daunting task of running first on the road for the rally, a position they had not had to contend with before. Pat Kirk and Peter Ward were promoted to 2nd over-all on the penultimate stage as the Bustard brothers from Donegal slid out of the event whilst in a great battle with Shane and Martin for the over-all honours. Championship sponsors Andrew Mullen and Elaine Doherty in the Sligo Pallets EVO 9 were 3rd over-all on their home event. This result, coupled with a 2nd over-all in Newry and Mourne shows the series sponsors are well and truly on the pace and with the Donegal Harvest in October as the final round, this crew are sure to be top 5 contenders once again.

Despite the changeable weather conditions Shane with regular navigator Martin Mc Garrity where quickly into there stride setting equal fastest time with regular contenders Trevor and Kenny Bustard. Third seed’s Pat Kirk and Peter Ward set a time four seconds shy of the leading pack, whilst fourth on the road was Garry Jennings who was in an unfamiliar WRC Corolla and unfortunately for Garry and his partner Herbie Blackburn their mount developed an electrical fault early in the opening stage and with a substantial time loss this Fermanagh crew were resigned to the fact they had lost too much time to aim for the win. By first service the Bustard brothers had jumped into an eight second lead, however Maguire and McGarrity answered by taking three seconds back to leave a five second deficit. Garry Jennings was climbing back up well and set four fastest times and the other four fastest stage times where dead ties between the Bustard and Maguire cars, all testament to the closeness of the fight between them. Going into the penultimate stage the Bustard boys did hold the lead by a slender ten seconds, a monumental push from Shane Maguire and Martin McGarrity which saw them take nine seconds from their first pass of the stage was possibly enough to put some pressure on their closest rivals, but unfortunately Trevor and Kenny Bustard crashed out and the battle was ended as Shane and Marty emerged victorious which was tinged with much emotion as their close friends hadn’t made the finish. Thanks goes to all who made this victory possible for the boys.

Possibly the drive of the day (not taking away from Shanes win!) was that of Arthur and Mac Kierans who blitzed the two wheel drive machines and indeed were 3rd over-all heading into the last few stages. Unfortunately for the Aghabog duo, conditions dried up and the EVO 9 of Mullen and Doherty slipped past, but nonetheless 4th over-all for the Kierans brigade a tremendous result. Jim McKenna and Thomas Treanor took the class 14 spoils and 9th over-all. Justin Smyth and Gregory McQuillan made a return to the stages with a convincing class 9 win and 17th over-all. Seamus Connolly and Gary McCruddan were class 11 victors and 18th over-all in the twin cam. John Kelly and JP Mc Aree were in a close class 10 battle throughout the day and settled for 3rd and 31st o/a behind Patrick Kiernan/Darren O’Brien and Martin Ewing/James Ewing. David Smyth and Mark Deery brought the black twin cam home to 4th in class 11. Michael Carbin and Evin Hughes’ day was short lived as they bowed out early on with gearbox issues in the 205.

Fintan Sherry made his debut in the junior category with dad Sean in the navigators seat and was surely giving plenty of tips and encouragement along the way, although but these probably weren’t need as Fintans night navigation experience surely paid off in the slippy conditions. 1st over-all junior was his reward, well done and we’ll surely see more of Fintan in the near future. Worth noting Fintans times were well up in the over-all class 10 classifications.

So with one round remaining its all to play for in this years Sligo pallets border championship but reigning champions Arthur and Mac Kierans have the bit firmly between their teeth now and will be hoping to replicate last years performance in Donegal and put together back to back titles.

CONNAUGHT MC STAGES RALLY TOP 10

1/ Shane Maguire/Martin McGarrity (Impreza Gp N) 69m 59s

2/ Pat Kirk/Peter Ward (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 71m 51s

3/ Andrew Mullen/Elaine Doherty (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 72m 15s

4/ Arthur Kierans/Mac Kierans (Escort) 72m 19s

5/ Anthony Cairns/Mark Preston (Impreza) 72m 20s

6/ Alastair Cochrane/Jonathan Charlesson (Escort) 72m 21s

7/ Daniel Conaghan/Terence Magee (Escort) 72m 25s

8/ Enda Haran/Patrick Corcoran (Escort) 72m 28s

9/ Jim McKenna/Thomas Treanor (Escort) 72m 29s

10/ John Cairns/James Cairns (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 72m 30s.

Vincent and JP McAree 2nd over-all in Cork Forest

McAree cousins Vincent and JP made the journey south to Mitchelstown in Cork last weekend for Tipperary Motor Clubs annual Forestry Rally and had a spirited performance to take 2nd over-all behind the ever hard charging Gary Jennings, with local Cork man Owen Murphy only two seconds adrift in 3rd.

The Mc Aree’s were leading after the first stage but Gary Jennings showed his class on the gravel, winning five of the eight stages as Vincent was fastest on the last and joint with Jennings on the second last. Nevertheless a great performance in the EVO 9. There was plenty of other Monaghan interest as Stephen and Suzanne Wright had a great battle with Josh Moffatt and John Rowan all day and came out on top by almost 30 seconds. Incidentally Sam Moffatt and James O Reilly were also down but their day ended after stage 2 with fuel pressure problems. With this being Sam and Josh’s first venture to the forests its worth noting that they, along with Stephen and Suzanne Wright all set the exact same time on the first stage so will be interesting to look out for this mini “Monaghan” battle over the next events.

With two rounds remaining in this years Valvoline Forestry Championship Stephen and Suzanne Wright hold the lead over Gary Jennings with the Mc Aree cousins third. But with dropped rounds to be taken into account Jennings may hold the upper hand but all is to play for in the Lakelands and Glen’s of Antrim forestry Rally’s.

TIPPERARY M C FOREST RALLY TOP 10

1/ Garry Jennings/David Moynihan (Impreza) 35m 30s

2/ Vincent McAree/J P McAree (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 35m 48s

3/ Owen Murphy/James O’Brien (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 35m 50s

4/ Pat O’Connell/Mark Wiley (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 36m 18s

5/ Stephen Wright/Suzanne Wright (Lancer Evo 6) 36m 49s

6/ Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 37m 17s

7/ Gerard Lucey/James Lucey (Lancer Evo 8 Gp N) 37m 29s

8/ Martin Cairns/Gary Monteith (Impreza WRC) 37m 42s

9/ John Reid/Enda Shiels (Corolla WRC) 37m 54s

10/ Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 37m 57s

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