Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally Preview

Posted: April 19, 2016 in Uncategorized


Monaghan plays host to one of the the biggest annual sporting events in the county with this weekend’s Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally. The event has once again attracted a full entry of 130 cars plus 15 juniors and 1 historic entry. This is a notable success considering the rally is an opt out round of the National Rally Championship this year. The event is once again a counting round of the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship.


Clerk of the Course Brendan Flynn and Deputy COC Thomas Treanor have laid out three new tests in the North Monaghan area. The opening stage includes some classic roads around Tydavnet. Stage two is in the Knockballyroney/Scotstown areas with the third and final stage near Ballinode. Each stage will be completed three times. Centralised service is once again located in the Courthouse Car Park. A brotherly battle is expected at the top of the leaderboard as Josh & Sam Moffett will be pushing their Fiestas to the limit in pursuit of overall honours. Josh & Jason McKenna are defending their crown from last year whilst Sam & navigator Karl Atkinson hope to reclaim victory after wins in 2013 and 2014. Seeded between the two brothers is seven times winner Niall Maguire & four times winning navigator Enda Sherry. This pair are relishing the challenge of their home stages as they pursue their first win since 2010.


Kevin Barrett/Declan Tumilty & Stephen Wright complete the top five seeds in a Subaru WRC and Fiesta R5 respectively. The battle for 2 wheel drive honours is set to be the highlight of the event. Gary McPhillips/Paul Sheridan head the entries at no.6 but any of the top twenty seeds cannot be discounted from setting the pace. Gary Kiernan, Chris Armstrong/Chris Melly, Dessie Keenan/Conor Foley, Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan, Ryan Loughren and Jonathan Pringle/Alan Keena have all recorded excellent results at different events and come into the event in good form.


The likes of Adrian Hetherington, Richard Moffett, Vivian Hamail, Damien Toner, David Moffett, Damien Tourish and Conor Harvey have the potential to be in the thick of the two wheel drive battle also. Shane Maguire/Mac Kierans head the Group N entries where they face a challenge from Trevor Bustard/John McCafferty & Pat Kirk/John McElhinney. Overseas entries are headed by John Stone/Jack Morton in their rare 2.5 litre 4 wheel drive Fiesta. As always there is a strong local entry who will be fighting hard to secure good results on their home event whilst competition will be fierce in each class as a Border Championship round.


Safety Message


The most important feature of the preparations for the rally is the safety of all concerned. Marshals, Stage Commanders and Officials have been trained accordingly. The Event Safety Plan has been compiled meticulously. What is required is that spectators play their part to ensure the safe running of the event. All are asked to ‘keep the race in its place’ and drive with care to and from the stages. Take time to read the Spectator Safety notice in the rally programme, which provides a guide to safer spectating. Safety is everybody’s business and there is one common ingredient that is essential: common sense.  Spectators are asked to please follow the instructions of the marshals and officials, who are working for your safety. Please also respect private property where you assemble and bring your litter home.


Monaghan Motor Club wishes all competitors and spectators a safe and successful rally.




Mixed Success for Monaghan Crews in Cork


Ballyvourney, Co. Cork was the venue for Round 2 of the Irish Forestry Rally Championship. Brendan Cumiskey/Ronan O’Kane put in a good showing in their Fiesta R5 to take 3rd overall. Robert Moffett is getting the hang of the Fiesta WRC. He and navigator Emmet Sherry came home 8th overall and 1st in class. Michael Carbin/Darragh Kelly took their Lancer to 10th overall securing some useful championship points. Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips continued their domination of the 2wd section with 12th overall and 1st in class 13. Michaela McGinn guided Damien McGauren to 15th overall and 2nd in class 13. Defending Champions, Josh Moffett & Jason McKenna retired their Lancer on stage two as did Derek Mackarel/Muireann Hayes who went out with a timing belt failure.


The Irish Forestry Rally Championship continues with the Tour of the Sperrins Rally in mid-May.


Success Here and There


Whilst, Josh & Robert Moffett were tackling the forests of Cork, Sam Moffett tried his hand in the Supercar racing class at Mondello Park. Sam produced a great performance to take 2nd place in one of the races. Derek Mackarel overcame his disappointing retirement in Ballyvourney with 2nd overall at the Tipperary Autocross in one of the McHale Motorsport buggies. Kieran McCarra was the top Monaghan finisher at the Connaght Multi-Venue Autotest in Sligo, taking a class win and 4th overall. Eoghan Corr, Oisin Sherlock and Craig McPhillips also contested the event. Meanwhile in Dungannon, Evin Hughes guided Karl O’Donoghue to 9th overall and 1st in class in the local Lanes Rally with Fintan Clerkin guiding Graham O’Donoghue to 23rd overall in the same event.



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