MCKENNA/KIERANS GEARS UP FOR BRC FINALE

Posted: September 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Daniel McKenna and Arthur Kierans are gearing up for what is arguably the biggest rally of their careers so far as they prepare for the final round of the British Rally Championship, the iconic Rally Isle of Man. The Monaghan pair have had a great campaign so far in the championship with three wins and one runner up finish which leaves them with a 22 point lead over championship rival Osian Pryce heading into the Isle of Man rally.

            McKenna had a pre event test in his Citroen DS3 last Friday in Draperstown and feels ready for the Manx challenge. Speaking earlier this week McKenna said ” We’re in good shape heading into the weekend and confidence is high. In truth the preparation for this weekend’s event started back in May when we tackled the Manx National Rally in the Escort. We didn’t know at the time how important it would be but it was vital experience.”

With the cancellation of the final round, Rallye Dorset, the Isle of Man rally is actually two rallies in one. Day one of the event will be worth full championship points with Day 2 worth points and a half with Pryce needing to win both days in order to win the championship. McKenna said that despite being the pre-event favourite for the championship win he won’t let complacency become an issue “We may have the advantage going into the event but I still have to beat Osian at the weekend. I’ll need to drive hard to win the championship. We both have experience in the Isle of Man so it will be a level playing field.” Speaking about the event itself McKenna says he is raring to go because it is an event that offers a unique challenge. “Every stage has it’s own identity. You’d have to travel to rallies the length and breath of Ireland to get all that the Isle of Man Rally has to offer, it really is a unique event. The weather is unpredictable also. When the roads get slippery here they get really slippery! ”

            This year marks the 40th year since Billy Coleman became the first Irish rally driver to win the British Rally Championship and as a former winner of the Billy Coleman Award it would be a huge achievement for McKenna to become BRC champion himself. Referring to this, Daniel said “The Billy Coleman Award gave me a great springboard which led to the Pirelli Star Drive. I’d love to repay both their investments by doing the business on the Manx but there’s a lot of miles to drive before I’ll even let myself think about that.”

            The Microgaming Rally Isle of Man begins on Thursday 11th September, with the shakedown stage during the day before the event gets properly underway on the

Douglas promenade with a side-by-side spectator special stage on the opening night. The following day see the crews tackle 13 stages between 9am and 11pm, headlined by the double run through the popular Castletown stage in the evening. The action continues on Saturday, a further 7 stages building up to the traditional finale through the streets of Douglas to the finish at the TT Grandstand.

            Monaghan Motor Club and all it’s members wish Daniel Mc Kenna and Arthur Kierans the very best of luck for the Rally Isle of Man. Fingers crossed we could have club members crowned British Rally Champions!  Full report next week.

 

WRIGHT IMPRESSES IN BELGIUM

It was back to Belgium again for Stephen Wright as the Monaghan driver continued his attack on the Belgian Rally Championship in his Peugeot 208 R2. Navigated this time by Karl Atkinson, Wright was hoping for another good display and in particular against championship rival Guillaume Dilley.

            The first leg saw the competitors tackle three stages on Friday evening and after the first test Wright lay fourth in class and second in the 208 trophy. A hard push over the next two stages resulted in the Monaghan man finishing the first leg third in class but first in the 208 Trophy.

The second day was to be a real test of man and machine with fifteen stages to tackle! On the opening four stages Dilley went on a real charge and took the class lead but Wright was close on his heals and lay just eight seconds behind and second in class going into service. Over the next five stages Wright kept up the charge and managed to keep his championship rival within 16 seconds going into the next service stop. The next five stages were a fantastic spectacle as the two competitors exchanged time through the stages and heading into the final stage he lay just under sixteen seconds behind Dilley. Through the final stage and it was second in class finishing just over thirteen seconds behind Dilley and second in the 208 Trophy.

            Speaking after the event a delighted Stephen Wright said “It was a great rally I really enjoyed it. It’s a very specialised rally so it was a good feeling to run Dilley so close.” The next round of the Belgian Rally Championship is the East Belgian Rally at the end of the month.

 

MIXED RESULTS FOR MONAGHAN CREWS ON LAKELAND RALLY

It was a mixed bag of results for Monaghan crews on the Lakeland Stages Rally last weekend. The 8 stage event, which was a round of the Northern Ireland Rally championship spawned and entry list that included Kenny McKinstry, Sam and Josh Moffett and Johnny Leonard to name a few, the spectators were in for a real treat.

            SS1 saw Josh Moffett and Jason McKenna take the early lead just 1 second ahead of Donegal’s Donagh Kelly and Mark Cassidy. Irish Forestry Championship regular Pat O’Connell along with navigator Derek Gebbs finished stage 1 in 3rd just 2 seconds behind Moffett with Marty McKenna and Martin McGarrity in 4th. Moffett extended his lead over Kelly by a second on SS2 continuing his impressive start to the event. Desi Henry jumped from 5th to 3rd overtaking Marty McKenna and Pat O’Connell who dropped to 7th. SS3 saw Donagh Kelly take the lead from Josh Moffett, the Donegal man now led the Combilift Rallying driver by two seconds with Desi Henry 13 seconds behind in 3rd. A bad stage for McKenna saw him and co-driver Martin McGaarrity drop down the order to 14th as Martin Cairns and Kevin Flanagan inheriting 4th with the recovering Pat O’Connell up to 5th. The final stage of the first half of the rally saw Kelly and Moffett continue their epic battle with the Monaghan man taking a second off the Mini WRC driver to head into service just one second off lead.

            Into stage 5 and Josh Moffett went on a real charge and beat Donagh Kelly by 3 seconds to take the lead by just two seconds. Moffett extended his led in SS6 but problems on SS7 saw him drop time with Donagh Kelly taking the lead by 4 seconds. Moffett was forced to retire on the final stage, his class 20 Mitsubishi Evolution 9 suffering mechanical issues robbing spectators of spectacular finish. In the end it was Donagh Kelly ho took victory by over half a minute from Desi Henry with Martin Cairns in 3rd.

            It was a good day for Sam Moffett, the Combilift Rallying driver took the class two win and 6th overall along with co-driver James O’Reilly in their Evo 9. Marty McKenna and Martin McGarrity finished 9th overall. It was disappointment for Andy and Derek Mackerel who retired on SS3 in their Ascona while lying 5th in class 6.

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