McKenna/Kierans take R2 class win on Ulster Rally

Posted: August 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Irish Tarmac & British Rally Championships came head to head on last weekend’s Ulster International Rally. The event moved from Antrim to a new base in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. The event was divided into different sections, with the Irish Tarmac registered crews competing on the Ulster Rally. Rally NI was the event in which the British Championship crews competed, while the National Rally contained Northern Ireland Championship crews as well as a plethora of modified entries.

            Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly were out in the McKinstry S14 Subaru Impreza WRC for a third time. With overall wins on both their previous outings in Monaghan and Donegal, the pair were hopeful of making it three wins out of three. Their main opposition was Tarmac Championship points leader Gary Jennings with the experienced Rory Kennedy navigating, with newly crowned National Champions Declan & Brian also competing in a Subaru. Stephen Wright/Suzanne Wright & Josh Moffett/John Rowan were all set for another battle royale for Group N honours.

            Over the opening loop of stages, Moffett/O’Reilly settled into an early 3rd place behind Jennings and early pace-setter Derek McGarritty. However, an ominous noise in the gearbox after stage 5 would spell the end of their event, all but ending their hopes of winning the Tarmac Championship this year. Stephen & Suzanne Wright finished the day as the best placed Monaghan crew in 4th place just 8 seconds ahead of Josh Moffett/John Rowan. Wright’s challenge suffered a major setback as they lost several minutes when a turbo pipe came adrift on Saturday’s opening stage. Moffett/Rowan seized the initiative and secured Group N honours and 4th in the Ulster Rally, with the Wright family recovering to 5th place and 2nd in Group N. Gary Jennings/Rory Kennedy took overall honours moving Jennings to the brink of claiming his first tarmac championship crown. Derek McGarritty/James McKee finished 2nd with Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan in 3rd.

            In the Rally NI section of the event, Scotshouse man Daniel McKenna with Aghabog navigator, Arthur Kierans were gunning for more success in class R2 following class wins on the Jim Clark and Scottish rallies. Local man Jon Armstrong was their main rival for the weekend. Armstrong put in some stunning times on Friday running as high as 2nd in the Rally NI section, beating the times of Group N and some WRC machinery! McKenna/Kierans adopted a more cautions approach and finished the day 2nd in class and 5th overall among the Rally NI competitors just under a minute behind Armstrong. Saturday morning on the Ulster is notorious for catching crews out and sure enough by the end of the first loop, McKenna/Kierans were up to 3rd place and leading R2 while Armstrong retired after going off the road. Gearbox gremlins crept in on McKenna/Kierans’ hopes of a class win but with a comfortable advantage over their nearest class pursuer, the Monaghan crew adopted a steady approach to the finish eventually coming home in 5th place and sealing the class R2 win.

            Monaghan representation was also plentiful in the National section where Damien Hagan/Janice Mackarel were competing in their Mk2 Escort. Emmet Sherry was calling the notes for Omagh’s Amy Cox in a Skoda while Matthew McKenna was sitting with Darren McKelvey. Hagan/Mackarel had a great run to finish 14th overall 6th in class 6. Cox/Sherry finished in 25th overall and 3rd in class 4. McKevley/McKenna came home in 31st place overall and 4th in class 9.


Monaghan Motor Club Night Navigation Classes

Navigation trial classes are back! Monaghan Motor Club’s very popular annual course of navigation classes is due to start again on Wednesday 28th August. Event preparation, map reading, timing along with much more will form the foundation of this popular course. The course will run over 5-6 weeks depending on requirements and includes one week where we cover stage rallying basics for the co-pilot.

            Venue is the GAA complex in Threemilehouse and will start each Wednesday at 8pm sharp until 10. Anyone wishing to attend please register with Conor Maguire on 086 1677446.


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