Excitement Builds for Stages Rally

Posted: April 16, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

The country roads of Monaghan are set to come alive with the sound of Rally Cars as there is just over a week to go until the 2019 Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally! The event is expected to attract a capacity entry of over 140 cars to contest the nine stage event. Eoghan Corr takes on the mantle of COC for the first time and along with his dedicated team they are putting the finishing touches to the event.

The event has been subject to eight months of hard work by the organising team and is set for Sunday April 28th. The Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan town returns as title sponsor for a third successive year. We thank Frank McKenna and his team for taking us on board again. This year we welcome the top contenders in the Triton National Rally Championship as well as crews contesting the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship. The event is also a round of the club Trader’s Trophy Championship.

The event gets underway on Saturday when crews check their pacenotes and complete mechanical scrutiny at McElvaney’s garage on the Dublin Road. The first car is due to leave the Four Seasons Hotel at 9.20am Sunday Morning. The three stages are in the Ballinode, Newbliss, Scotshouse & Ardaghy areas.

Stage 1 features some sections last used in 2012 as well as some new sections and should serve as a challenging opening test. Stage 2 uses some sections last used in 2017 with Stage 3 incorporating roads used on various events over the year. We extend our thanks to the residents along the route for their continued support of the event. Centralised service will take place in the Courthouse Car Park. The loop will be completed three times before returning to the Four Seasons where the winner of the 2019 Monaghan Stages Rally will be crowned!

The event has been dominated by local drivers with only three non-Monaghan drivers tasting success in the last 20 years. One of these is 2018 winner Donagh Kelly and the Donegal man is set to defend his crown with his navigator Conor Foley. A full event preview will be released next week.

Safety Message

Clerk of the Course Eoghan Corr 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. Safety is everyone’s business and there is one common ingredient that is essential ‘common sense’. Spectators are asked to follow the instructions of the marshals and officials, who are working for your safety. Please also respect private property and bring your litter home.

Mackarel Stars on Moonraker

Derek Mackarel put in a starring drive on last weekend’s Moonraker Forestry Rally. The event was Round 3 of the Irish Forestry Championship. Mackarel joined forces with his usual navigator Muireann Hayes hoping to emulate their giant-killing performance from last year’s event. They duly did that when after the first stage they were 9th overall and 2nd two wheel drive! They kept up their performance with more top 10 times throughout the day to win their class and finish a remarkable 11th overall in a 1600cc Nova.

Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan continued their championship push with another excellent result. The Smithborough crew brought their Lancer home to 5th overall. Conor Boylan guided Peter Beaton to 50th overall and 2nd in the 1000cc class. Barry McKenna returned to Irish soil to contest the event but retired on stage 2. Peter McCullagh/Calum Maguire also failed to finish. Vio Dabuso/Mac Kierans made it to stage 4 before retiring while also resulted in the rare retirement of Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips.

Cavan Endurance Trial

Last weekend saw the running of Cavan Motor Club’s Endurance Trial. The event was running for the first time and COC Gerard Hyland organised a 20 selective event covering tests in quarries, lanes and private businesses. The event was a counting round of the Irish Endurance Championship.

There was plenty of Monaghan interest in the event with the growing sport attracting an entry of 60 crews for its first event in Cavan. The opening selectives featured some classic navigation lanes and Latton Hutcross track. The normal front running crews of Peter Barrable & Karl O’Donoghue both hit early penalties for failing to have timecards correctly filled while Jack McKenna/Christopher McMahon were sidelined with gearbox failure. It was local men who made the early running with Andrew Wedlock/Brian Quigley the early leaders from Patrick O’Reilly/Laura Wedlock and Ben McIntyre/Ryan Farrell.

The repeated run through the morning selectives resulted in Patrick Corcoran/Ruadhri Nash taking over out front with Derek Bulter/Oisin Sherlock and Thomas Wedlock/Denver Rafferty in hot pursuit.

The afternoon selectives took crews south of Cavan town for a further six selectives. Patrick Corcoran/Ruadhri Nash retired after their clipping a wheel on their Starlet. Derek Butler/Oisin Sherlock were now in control enjoying a 21 seconds advantage from McIntyre/Farrell and Wedlock/Rafferty. There was late drama as a number of leading crews made a gentleman’s agreement to traverse Selective 17 at road speed due to avoid damaging the cars. Others traversed the selective at competitive speed resulting in a huge change in the leaderboard.

This would prove to be the winning of the event for Thomas Wedlock/Denver Rafferty as they took 51 seconds off Bulter/Sherlock to take the lead. Kieran McCarra/James O’Reilly, Dermot McCafferty/John McCafferty and Emmet Sherry/Alecia Knox also benefited to move into top five places.Wedlock/Rafferty held on to take the win on their home event. Bulter/Sherlock had to settle for 2nd with Sherry/Knox in 3rd. Kieran McCarra/James O’Reilly finished 4th overall and took victory in the Expert class. Other local class winners included Aaron McElroy who guided Nicole Drought to victory in class A1 in an impressive 13th overall. Robert Graham/Ryan Treanor won the Novice class.

 

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