Four Seasons Hotel Stages Rally Ready For Off

Posted: April 16, 2018 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 gets underway this Sunday.

After eight months of hard work, it’s time for the 2018 Monaghan Stages Rally to take off.

The rally is regarded as one of the most popular and competitive events in the Irish Motorsport Calendar. Following a successful rally last year, The Four Seasons Hotel returns as main sponsor and event HQ. We thank Frank McKenna & his team for taking us on board once again. This year the event is a counting round of the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship.

The event gets under way on Saturday as competitors check their pacenotes and complete mechanical scrutiny at McElvaney’s garage 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.

The opening test is in the Tyholland/Castleshane area followed by stages in the Clontibret and Ardaghy 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 about 5.00pm where the winners of the 2018 Four Seasons Monaghan Stages Rally will be crowned!

The event has attracted a superb entry of over 120 cars, a fine achievement given the current challenges facing Irish rallying.

Victory on the past five events have been shared between the Moffett brothers, Sam & Josh. Sam is the defending champion having also tasted success in 2013 and 2014. Josh will be looking to regain his crown after wins in 2015 and 2016. Sam swept all before him in 2017 with an incredible treble of championship wins, the Irish Tarmac, Irish National and Irish Forestry championships, with the Celtic Trophy also added for good measure. Josh has taken the fight to him this year and currently leads the Irish Tarmac Championship after two rounds and is also well placed in the Irish Forestry Championship.

Sam will lead the field away in his R5 specification Fiesta. Karl Atkinson joines him in the passenger seat. They will have their work cut out if they are to defend their crown as they face tough opposition from a number of WRC cars. Donagh Kelly & Conor Foley start at No.2 int their Focus WRC. This pair have already recorded wins on the West Cork and Circuit of Kerry rallies this year and they would dearly like to add Monaghan to their bulging cabinent. Another Donegal/Monaghan pairing start at No.3 with James O’Reilly teaming up with Declan Boyle. Like Kelly, Boyle is a former National & Tarmac Champion and since teaming up with O”Reilly they have won in Mayo. Josh Moffett/Keith Moriarty start at 4 and will drive the WRC Fiesta that Sam used to win last year. 7 times Monaghan winner, Niall Maguire & Enda Sherry start at 5 in their Subaru WRC and will be aiming to impress on their home event. Antrim’s Derek McGarrity& Paddy Robinson are at No.6 having recently led the Easter Stages. Stephen Wright/Arthur Kierans (Fiesta R5), Kevin Barrett/Declan Tumilty (Subaru WRC), John O’Donnell/Joe Friel (Subaru WRC) and Stuart Darcy (Darrian) complete the top 10 seeds.

The two wheel drive category is one of the most hotly contested of the year and features the likes of Chris Armstrong, Gary McPhillips, Damien Toner, Frank Kelly, Adrian Hetherington & Richard Moffett. Shane Maguire/Darragh Kelly head the Group N entry while Jonathan Treanor & Jason Black will be the favourties in the Junior class. Throughout the classes, there will be huge battles for honours as nothing can bear rhe feeling of a class win in Monaghan!


Safety Message

Clerk of the Course Brendan Flynn 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.


Early Error Costs Moffett in Cork

Josh Moffett was left to rue an early error which cost him a chance of overall honours on last weekend’s Munster Forestry Rally. The Ballyvourney-based event consisted of eight stages and was the third round of the Irish Forestry Championship. Moffett was joined by stand-in navigator Ger Conway for this event.

The pair were fastest on the short opening stage but disaster struck on the second stage as a spin and a stall cost them over a minute dropping them to 34th overall. The pair would mount a spectacular charge back through the field for the remainder of the day. After another brace of fastest times, Moffett/Conway incredibly had gained 31 places and were now 3rd overall! They were unable to catch the leading pair of Martin McCormick/David Moynihan and Barry McKenna/Leon Jordan who secured the top two places. American based Monaghan man, McKenna, leads the championship after three rounds.

Kaine Treanor guided Stephen McCann to a solid 5th place finish. Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan brought their Lancer home in 8th overall. Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips brought their Escort to 15th overall and 3rd two wheel drive. One of the drives of the rally went to Derek Mackarel/Muireann Hayes who brought their Nova to an incredible 16th overall and victory in the Junior class beating a host of more powerful R2 cars. Such was their pace they were the 4th two wheel drive finisher.

Emmet Sherry guided Tommy O’Connell to 18th overall and 3rd in class. Jody McManus/Martin Connolly failed to finish.



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