Four Seasons Hotel Stages Rally Ready For Off

Posted: April 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

The country roads of Monaghan are set to roar with the sounds of Rally Cars as the Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally kicks into gear on Sunday next. After eight months of hard work, it’s time for the 2017 Monaghan Stages Rally to take off. Recognised as one of the most popular and competitive events in the Irish Motorsport Calendar, the Monaghan Stages Rally heads to new ground this year. The Four Seasons Hotel takes over as event HQ for the first time since 1995. We thank Frank McKenna & his team for taking us on board. The event is a counting round of the Triton National Rally Championship and Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship.

 

The event gets under way on Saturday as competitors check their pacenotes and complete mechanical scrutiny at McElvaney’s on the Dublin Road. The first car will leave the Four Seasons Hotel at 10.00am on Sunday Morning en route to the first of nine stages in the Mid-Monaghan area. The opening test is in the Stranooden area followed by stages in the Scotshouse and Smithborough areas before the cars return to Monaghan for service in the Courthouse Car Park. This loop will be repeated twice more before competitors arrive back at the Four Seasons Hotel shortly after 5.00pm where the winners of the 2017 Four Seasons Monaghan Stages Rally will be crowned!

 

The event has attracted a superb entry of over 120 cars plus juniors, a tremendous achievement given the current challenges facing Irish rallying. The winning of the rally has been a Moffett family affair over the past four years. Josh Moffett has won the previous two events and hopes to complete a rare Monaghan hat-trick which has only been achieved once before. Stephen Thornton joins him for this event. His brother Sam scored wins in 2013 and 2014 and has been runner-up in the last two years. Sam & navigator Karl Atkinson have dominated the 2017 National Rally Championship so far with commanding wins in the Birr and Midland events. The pair should have the edge with their Fiesta WRC over Josh’s R5 model.

 

At No.3 is double National champion Declan Boyle in another Fiesta WRC. The pair have had mixed results since acquiring the car last year but when on the pace, there are few in the country who can match the Donegal man. Declan last competed in 2013 where he led until caught on slicks in a sudden rain shower causing a spin. He will be determined to stop Sam on his home patch and strengthen his National Championship aspirations.

 

Defending National Champions Roy White & James O’Brien start at 4 in their Fiesta WRC. The Tipperary man has had a steady start to the year and was 2nd last time out in the Midland rally. Another former National Champion, Donagh Kelly is at 5 with Ballinode’s Conor Foley navigating. This pair have recorded a number of International wins and most recently recorded a fourth straight win on the West Cork Rally. Their 2.0Ltr Ford Focus will be suited to the fast stages.

 

Seven time winner, Niall Maguire with Enda Sherry navigating start at 6 in their Impreza WRC. This pair have been ever consistent in the National Rally Championship and always put in a good showing on their home event. Peader Hurson & Damien Connolly are at 7 in another Fiesta WRC. Peader won the rally the last time it was held in the Four Seasons in a Metro 6R4. Now with a modern WRC car, Peader will be aiming to show his undoubted talent over the Monaghan Stages.

 

Stephen Wright & Arthur Kierans take a break from their Tarmac Championship campaign to start at 8 in their Fiesta R5. The Aghabog pair will be aiming to impress over their home stages. Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC) and Brendan Cumiskey (Skoda Fabia) complete the top ten seeds.

 

The modified entry is spectacular with some of the top drivers in Ireland set to compete. Jonathan Pringle was the top modified last year and is out to defend his crown. He has recruited local man Paul Sheridan into the hot seat for this weekend. Paul’s regular driver Gary McPhillips has Donegal’s James McNulty joining him this weekend. Gary will be giving it his all as ever to be the top Escort finisher. Gary Kiernan is usually in the running for the Modified win and should be right in the thick of the battle. Brian Brogan. Adrian Hetherington, Damien Toner and Damien Gallagher are just some of the other names that will be gunning for honours.

 

David Guest, Shane Maguire, Aiden Wray, Neil Tohill and Paul Barrett will all be set to fight for Group N honours. Local hotshot Jonathan Treanor should be the man to beat in the Junior Category in his rapid Civic. The juniors compete on six of the nine stages.

 

Safety Message

 

Clerk of the Course Thomas Treanor has made a special appeal to all concerned to think safety at all times. The Event Safety Plan has been compiled meticulously. Marshals, Stage Commanders and Officials have been trained accordingly. 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 enjoyable rally.

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