Four Seasons Hotel Stages Rally Ready for Off!

Posted: April 23, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

The 2019 Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally is almost here!

With an impressive entry of 160 crews (plus reserves!), the event has underlined its credentials as one of the most attractive events on the motorsport calendar. Competitors are travelling from far and wide including from overseas. The rally is boosted by being a round of the Triton National Rally Championship as well as the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship. The event wouldn’t exist without the support of sponsors, most notably The Four Seasons Hotel who act as title sponsor and Rally HQ. We thank Frank McKenna and his team for taking us on board again.

Eoghan Corr takes on the mantle of COC for the first time and along with his dedicated team have laid out three challenging technical stages which will be repeated three times. The stages will be a mix of fast flowing roads and tighter technical sections which appeal to the tastes of all. Centralised service will again be held in the Courthouse Car Park. First car is due back at The Four Seasons at 5.20pm where the 2019 winner 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. The pair head the entry list in the same Ford Focus with which they won last year.

The Moffett brothers, Sam & Josh start at 2 and 3 respectively. Between them, they have won five consecutive events from 2013 until 2017. Both are expected to compete in WRC Fiestas. Josh has already won the opening two rounds of the 2019 National Rally Championship as he bids to add the last remaining title in Ireland to his resume. James Fulton is sitting with Sam while Andy Hayes is again sitting with Josh.

Another brace of WRC Fiestas are at 4 and 5. Reigning National Champion Declan Boyle is at 4 while another former champion, Roy White is at 5. Both crews are always in the thick of the battle in the National Championship. 7 time winner Niall Maguire starts at 6 with James O’Reilly alongside. Niall once again competes in his Subaru WRC and is always in the reckoning on his home event.

The top 10 is completed by Joe McGonigle (Mini WRC), Peader Hurson (Fiesta WRC), Darren Gass (Skoda Fabia R5) and Stephen Wright (Fiesta R5). All are capable of challenging for podium positions on their day.

The two wheel drive category is once again expected to be hotly contested with Donegal man Kevin Eves in his Corolla leading the way. Jonathan Pringle, Damien Toner, Stuart Darcy, John Bonner, Damien Gallagher and Johno Doogan start right behind all in Escorts. Don’t discount David Moffett or Johnny Jordan from embarrassing the class 14 men in their class 13 Starlets as David showed last year! There are also a few crews on the reserve list who could make an impression if they get in. These include Adrian Hetherington, James Stafford and Damien Tourish.

Michael Boyle heads the Group N entry from Shane Maguire. Interestingly they are the sons of the drivers in cars 4 and 6. The junior category entry is headed by David Kelly in his Starlet. There is expected to be a huge battle in the classes as crews fight for local honours and precious championship points.
Please support our event sponsors by purchasing a rally programme which is available from a number of local outlets including the Four Seasons Hotel.
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.

Easter Stages Rally

The third round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship took place last weekend. The Easter Stages Rally was contested over Good Friday and Easter Saturday. Monaghan interest was headed by Sam Moffett/James Fulton who guided their R5 Fiesta to 6th overall, His brother Josh was an early leader but an incident on stage five cost nearly two minutes. He eventually recovered to finish in 8th overall. Arthur Kierans guided Alan Carmichael to 10th overall while his son Mac guided Alan Smyth to 13th overall and the Group N win. Michael Conlon/Martin Byrne finished 19th overall with Gerard McQuaid/Gary Quinlan coming home in 23rd place.

Comments are closed.