Club Members Top Event Awards at Weekend

Posted: February 26, 2019 in Uncategorized

It was a weekend of success for Monaghan Club Members as they took overall honours on the opening rounds of both the Northern Ireland Rally Championship and National Rally Championship. On Saturday, Stephen Wright & Keith Rainey took victory on the Kirkistown Rally in their Fiesta R5. The following day, Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes got their National Championship title bid off to the perfect start with overall victory on the Birr Stages Rally.

Kirkistown Stages

The six stage Kirkistown Stages Event was based entirely within the confines of Kirkistown racecourse in Co. Down. Competitors enjoyed the unseasonal warm weather as they competed over the tarmac tests. Multiple Northern Ireland Championship, Derek McGarrity, was the pacesetter from the off.

Stephen Wright/Keith Rainey slotted into 2nd place but a spin on stage two dropped them back to 6th. A charge through stage four resulted in a fastest time and promoted them back to 2nd. McGarrity was sidelined on the final stage after a small engine fire and Wright/Rainey posted a 2nd fastest time to take the victory by a six second margin. Darren & Nathan Gass debuted a Skoda Fabia R5 and claimed 2nd place. Derek & Mark McGeehan completed the podium places.

Matthew McKenna guided Liam McFall to 13th overall. Jack Maguire/Keith McConnan set some good times during the day but a long delay on the opening stage meant they could do no better than 49th overall. Ciaran & Paul Maguire finished 53rd overall and 4th in class in their Honda Civic.

Birr Stages Rally

 Last Sunday, the 2019 National Rally Championship kicked off with the Abbeyleix based Birr Stages Rally. The event consisted of a 3×3 format including some stages in the Slieve Bloom Mountains. A capacity entry made the start including a strong entry of local crews.

Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes immediately set the pace on the short opening stage near Rathdowney. They were two seconds quicker than reigning National Champion, Declan Boyle, in 2nd. Moffett rapidly extended his lead on stage two and three which were fog affected. They arrived in service with a 27 second lead over Boyle with Peader Hurson and Monaghan’s Damien Connolly nearly a minute behind in 3rd overall. Suspension problems had delayed Sam Moffett/James Fulton in their Fiesta R5 while Niall Maguire/Anthony Nestor were getting reacquainted after nearly 20 years since they last competed together.

Boyle only trimmed two seconds off Moffett/Hayes on the second loop while Roy White displaced Hurson for 3rd. Sam Moffett was motoring better now and was involved in a close battle with the R5 Skoda of Scotland’s David Bogie.

Moffett/Hayes took no chances on the final loop to secure the event win 24.8 seconds ahead of Boyle. Roy White/James O’Brien were a distance 3rd ahead of Hurson/Connolly in 4th. Sam Moffett/James Fulton finished 6th overall in their R5 Fiesta while Niall Maguire/Anthony Nestor came home in 7th overall.

David Moffett/Martin Connolly finished a fine 14th overall and took victory in class 13. Shane Maguire/Donal Balfe took 3rd in Group N and 16th overall. Shane was making a return to the series after a year’s absence. Emmet Sherry guided Stuart Darcy to 24th overall and 5th in class in his new Escort. Conor Mohan guided Eamon Kelly to 33rd overall and 1st in class 2. Raymond Conlon/Damien Fleming and Des Moore/Arthur Kierans failed to finish.

The National Rally Championship will continue with the Midlands Stages Rally on Sunday 24th March.


Comments are closed.