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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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Moffett Masters in Antrim

Posted: April 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

Josh Moffett continued his rich vein of form with overall victory on the Easter Stages Rally, Round 2 of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

The two day event was running in place of the Circuit of Ireland and consisted of 12 stages over two days in Antrim.

Moffett teamed up with Wexford’s Andy Hayes and the pair would lead the Irish Tarmac Championship runners from start to finish. They held off his older brother Sam & co-driver Karl Atkinson by less than five seconds after a frantic finish to the two day event.

The opening day of the rally consisted of two stages repeated three times in wet and challenging conditions. Local favourite Derek McGarritty used his S14 WRC Subaru to good advantage to lead the R5 Irish Tarmac competitors. Martin McCormick/David Moynihan led these crews having squeezed ahead of Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes on the final Friday stage. Just 0.5 seconds separated them with Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson only four seconds further back, demonstrating the close competition between the top R5 competitors.

McGarritty was sidelined with mechanical issues on the Saturday restart. Both Moffetts flew through the Scawt Hill stage to leapfrog McCormick who could only post the sixth best time. The three crews all beat the bogey time on the Knockboy Hill Stage, leaving just 10 seconds between them going into the final loop of three stages.

The Moffett brothers again pulled time out of McCormick on the second run of Scawt Hill with Sam pulling a scant 0.2 seconds off Josh. Sam pulled three seconds back on Stage 11 but with both crews beating the bogey on the final stage, Josh held on for the win, his first overall Irish Tarmac Championship victory since Cork in 2016. This extends his lead in the championship after taking top points in West Cork three weeks ago.

Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson netted 2nd place and Sam will hope to turn the tables on his younger brother at the next round in Killarney. McCormick/Moynihan netted 3rd place but opted not to register for the Irish Tarmac Championship. Scotstown’s Damien Connolly guided Dublin’s Robert Barrable to 4th place after a steady run, less than a minute off the winners. Stephen Wright/Arthur Kierans brought their R5 Fiesta home in 8th place. Arthur’s son, Mac, guided Alan Smyth to 11th overall securing Group N honours in the process. Liam McFall/Matthew McKenna failed to finish.

Kelly/Foley Notch Up Another Win in Kerry

There was also Monaghan success on Round 2 of the Triton National Rally Championship. The Donegal/Monaghan pairing of Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley were hoping to follow up their West Cork win with a top result in Kerry. Featuring some classic West Kerry stages, the Tralee-based event attracted a strong entry.

A unique loop of 11 stages was used throughout the day. Kelly/Foley were involved in a huge battle with the other Donegal/Monaghan pairing of Declan Boyle/James O’Reilly. The lead changed hands on an almost stage by stage basis as they left the rest of the pack trailing in their dust. Boyle/O’Reilly dropped 20 seconds on stage six with a puncture which would prove to be decisive as it gave Kelly/Foley an advantage they were not to lose. In the end Kelly/Foley boosted their championship hopes with a 16.4 second win. Boyle/O’Reilly retained their championship lead with 2nd place while Roy White/James O’Brien were over a minute behind in 3rd.

Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry secured a solid 6th place finish. Johno Doogan/Ciaran Marron put in a storming drive to finish 9th overall and 3rd in class 14 after a stunning turn of pace. They were also 3rd two wheel drive. Raymond Conlon/Darren McCague took 17th overall and 1st in class 13 in their Corolla.

In the Junior class, Jonathan Treanor/Paul Sheridan came out on top edging out Jason Black/Jack McKenna by 29.8 seconds. Such was the pace of this pair they were on the fringes of the top 10 overall over the 7 stages they contested. Calum Maguire guided Gareth Black to 4th in the Junior class.

Mackarel Secures National Navigation Title

Derek Mackarel followed in his father’s footsteps by claiming the National Night Navigation Championship title at the final round of the series in Cavan. Ably assistant throughout the year by Cork woman, Muireann Hayes, Mackarel took the title after a consistently strong season to become a second generation champion. Muireann becomes the first female National Navigation Champion and the first National Champion from Cork since James O’Brien in 1990. The highlight of their year was victory on the classic 1000 Shakes Navigation Trial in Cork.

Overall honours in Cavan went to Michael & Ciaran Tynan who made it back to back wins following their success in Monaghan a fortnight ago. The pair thoroughly dominated the event and finished 8 penalties clear of the charging novice team of Shane Dalton & Seamus McTigue in 2nd. Semi-Expert class winners were James McCabe/Shane Farrell who came home 3rd overall. Keith McConnan/Micheal McCluskey won the Expert class. Consistency proved the key for Arthur Kierans & Conor Maguire who won the Border Navigation Championship thanks to a 6th place finish.

Cavan Navigation Trial Results:

1 Mickey Tynan/Ciaran Tynan (Subaru Impreza) 4 marks,
2 Shane Dalton/Seamus McTigue (Subaru Impreza) 12m,
3 James McCabe/Shane Farrell (Subaru Impreza) 18m,
4 Keith McConnon/Micheal McCluskey (Subaru Impreza) 21m,
5 Richard Cassidy/Paul Phelan (Vauxhall Vectra) 24m,
6 Arthur Kierans/Conor Maguire (Subaru Impreza) 25m,
7 Ray O’Neill/Ryan Treanor (Subaru Impreza) 26m,
8 Mark Reilly/Paddy Corcoran (Toyota Starlet) 27m,
9 Mac Kierans/Conor Boylan (Subaru Impreza) 30m,
10 Robert Graham/Oisin Sherlock (Subaru Impreza) 42m,
11 Aaron McIntyre/Ben McIntyre (Subaru Impreza) 56m,
12 Emmet McCooey/Christopher McMahon (Subaru Impreza) 70m.

 

Excitement Builds for Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally

There’s just over two weeks to go until Monaghan’s biggest annual sporting event, the Monaghan Stages Rally which takes place on Sunday April 22nd. Brendan Flynn returns to the mantle of COC after a year’s absence and has picked new stages in the North-East Monaghan area which are sure to provide a tough, technical challenge to the 100+ crews who will contest the nine stage event. Any competitors who haven’t got their entry in yet are asked to do so as soon as possible.

The Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan returns as sponsor following a successful event in 2017. The event will be a counting round of the ultra-competitive Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship. The event was launched last Thursday night at the Four Seasons Hotel with a raffle for a free entry up for grabs. Cavan’s Mark Wedlock was the lucky winner.

 

Josh Moffett continued his incredible run of results with overall victory on the Limerick Forestry Rally. Ably guided by Stephen Thornton, the Clontibret Man boosted his Irish Forestry Championship campaign thanks to a 13.8 seconds win on Round 2 of the championship. American based Monaghan man, Barry McKenna with Donegal navigator Leon Jordan took 2nd with championship leader Andrew Purcell in 3rd.

It was Purcell who set the early pace taking an early lead from McKenna with Moffett/Thornton in 3rd. These three were league ahead of the opposition who were nearly a minute adrift. Stage 6 would be a turning point as Moffett/Thornton set a scintilating time to take the lead while Purcell slipped back with problems. Solid runs through the final two stages allowed Moffett/Thornton home to victory with McKenna/Jordan a solid 2nd .

Kaine Treanor guided Stephen McCann to 5th overall in another R5 Fiesta. Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips finished 11th overall and 3rd two wheel drive car. Derek Mackarel made the overnight trip from Monaghan to take an impressive 14th overall and 2nd in class. Martin Connolly guided Jody McManus to 24th overall while Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan, Pauric Duffy/Andy Hayes, David Condell/Paul Kelly and Tommy O’Connell/Emmet Sherry failed to finish.

Tynan’s take Navigation spoils

Monaghan Motor Club hosted its annual March Navigation Trial on Saturday night. Derek Mackarel was the COC for the event which was a counting round of the National and Border Championships. After 80 miles of demanding navigation in the Newbliss area, it was the local crew of Michael & Ciaran Tynan who emerged as winners by a four penalty margin.

The event started heading from Newbliss to the Smithborough and Corcaghan areas. A plot & bash section on tulip diagrams for TP6 and TP7 proved testing for most. By the first time relax section it was Mac Kierans/Conor Boylan who led on 5 penalties from the returning Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes who were also on 5 penalties. Both crews hopes would be dashed at TP21 where both picked up wrong approach penalties. Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan and Martin Tynan/Fintan Clerkin were now in the fight for the win and dropped just 1 penalty on TC2 to move into the lead on 10 penalties.

The final section included four plot & bash timepoints which involved some difficult navigation sections near Stonebridge. Tynan/Tynan would negotiate this without dropping a single penalty while Tynan/Clerkin dropped 4. This left Michael & Ciaran as clear winners on 10 penalties with Martin Tynan/Fintan Clerkin in 2nd place on 14 penalties. The Semi-Expert pairing of Peter Deery/David McCrudden (17 penalties) had a strong run to 3rd overall and 1st in class. Mark Deery/Patrick O’Leary (21 penalties) were 4th with Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes (24 penalties) in 5th.

In the Expert class, Tynan/Clerkin took the honours from Duffy/Hughes and Kierans/Boylan. Deery/McCrudden took the Semi-Expert class with Deery/O’Leary in 2nd and James McCabe/Shane Farrell in 3rd . Emmet McCooey/Christopher McMahon took the Novice class on tie-break from Johnny Treanor/Ryan Treanor. Cathal McGlone/Michael Sheridan came home 3rd. Finally a competitive Beginner’s class went the way of David Kelly/Niall McHugh from Damien Treanor/Anthony McDonald and Aaron McIntyre/Ben McIntyre.

Results:
1 Mickey Tynan/Ciaran Tynan (Subaru Impreza) 10 marks,
2 Martin Tynan/Fintan Clerkin (Subaru Impreza) 14m,
3 Peter Deery/David McCrudden (Subaru Impreza) 17m,
4 Mark Deery/Patrick O’Leary (Subaru Impreza) 21m,
5 Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes (Subaru Impreza) 24m,
6 Mac Kierans/Conor Boylan (Subaru Impreza) 28m,
7 Arthur Kierans/Conor Maguire (Subaru Impreza) 28m,
8 Keith McConnon/Micheal McCluskey (Subaru Impreza) 47m,
9 James McCabe/Shane Farrell (Subaru Impreza) 66m,
10 Richard Cassidy/Paul Phelan (Vauxhall Vectra) 78m,
11 Jonny Treanor/Ryan Treanor (Subaru Impreza) 81m,
12 Emmet McCooey/Christopher McMahon (Subaru Impreza) 81m.

 

Monaghan Stages Rally Launch

The launch of the 2018 Monaghan Stages Rally takes place on Thursday April 5th in the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan. An enjoyable night should be had by all.

Conor Foley made it three West Cork Rally wins in succession after guiding Donagh Kelly to overall honours in Clonakilty. The event was the opening round of the 2018 Irish Tarmac Championship.The Donegal/Monaghan pairing were in a league of their own right from the start of the event and finished nearly two minutes clear of the opposition. This result give Kelly a remarkable fifth West Cork win in a row. Remarkably a Monaghan club member was to finish in each of the first five overall placings.

Kelly/Foley stunned the opposition on the opening Ring Stage where they were 18 seconds faster than the opposition. Declan Boyle/James O’Reilly were second with the R5 Fiesta’s of Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes and reigning tarmac champions, Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson just behind. After the opening loop of four stages, Kelly/Foley had increased their lead to almost a minute after leaving their rivals for dust. Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes were leading the R5 runners and was an impressive 26 seconds clear of his brother Sam. Boyle/O’Reilly slipped back to 4th after a huge high speed moment on stage three.

Following another loop of four stages, the crews reached the overnight halt. Kelly/Foley were fastest on all but one stage to lead by 1 minute 25 seconds. Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes were a strong 2nd and leading R5 competitor. Boyle/O’Reilly finished the day in 3rd with Moffett/Atkinson 4th. Damien Connolly held 6th alongside Dublin driver Robert Barrable. Stephen Wright/Arthur Kierans were in 7th in yet another R5 Fiesta.

Day two consisted of six further tests including the classic Ardfield and Sam’s Cross stages. Kelly/Foley maintained their lead with another brace of fastest times. Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes had a scare when their throttle stuck open on Stage 9 and the problem remained intermittent allowing older brother Sam to close in. Boyle/O’Reilly slipped back to 4th again with a broken suspension arm.

Kelly/Foley eased home over the final stages to cement a dominant win a record 5th in a row for Donagh and a hat-trick for Conor. Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes held off Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson by nine seconds for 2nd overall and top points in the Irish Tarmac Championship. Boyle/O’Reilly came home 4th after a difficult event with Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly 5th in their Fiesta. Stephen Wright/Arthur Kierans brought their similar car home to 8th overall. Colin Quirk/Kaine Treanor failed to finish in their Fiesta.

In the National Rally, Emmet Sherry joined forces with Donegal man John Bonner and they would bring their Escort home to fine 5th place finish. Mac Kierans was navigating for Declan Boyle’s son, Michael, but they would retire just one stage from home.

Monaghan Navigation Trial

Newbliss is the venue for this weekend’s Monaghan Navigation Trial. The event is a round of the National and Border Navigation Championships as well as the club championship. COC Derek Mackarel is setting out the event and hopes to have 85 miles for competitors. Regulations are available on the club website. The first car is away at 9.01pm. Marshals are required for this event and those available to marshal should make themselves known to Derek by 7pm.

 

O’Reilly Ascends in Achill

Posted: March 12, 2018 in Uncategorized

James O’Reilly guided Declan Boyle to overall victory in Round 1 of the 2018 Triton National Rally Championship.

The Mayo Stages Rally was based in the island of Achill and featued nine stages in a 3 x 3 format.

With reigning champion, Sam Moffett, not defending his National crown, Two time champion Boyle would prove to be the man to beat. He and new navigator O’Reilly led from start to finish to secure the perfect start to the year. Josh Moffett/Keith Moriarty claimed a fine 2nd in their R5 Fiesta with the similar car of Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan in 3rd.

Boyle/O’Reilly immediately set the pace on the short opening test and extended their lead to 16 seconds after the first loop. Moffett/Moriarty slotted into 2nd place after Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley lost 4 minutes with a puncture. Boyle/O’Reilly maintained their lead gradually over the second loop with Moffett/Moriarty staying in touch in 2nd place after going fastest on stage six. These pair were in a league of their own with Desi Henry a distant 3rd.

Boyle/O’Reilly stretched their lead over the final loop to secure a 37 second win on only their second event together. They also secured the Drive of the Day award in the Border Championship. Moffett/Moriarty took a strong 2nd place with Henry/Moynihan over a minute further back in 3rd.

Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry finished a solid 5th in their Subaru. Brendan Cumiskey/Stephen McAuley brought their Fiesta home in 8th and 1st in class 5 as they used the event as a warm up for West Cork next weekend. Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley recovered to 10th place in their Focus.

Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips got their defence of their Border title off to the perfect start with 12th overall and 3rd in class. Seamus Connolly/Gary McCrudden and Quentin Park/Kaine Treanor failed to finish.

Jack McKenna guided Jason Black to a dominant win in the Junior class. Calum Maguire guided Gareth Black to 6th in class. Johnny Treanor/Paul Sheridan retired on stage five while leading the class.

Bishopscourt Stages Rally

Mac Kierans guided Alan Smyth to 11th overall and 2nd in class on the opening round of the Northern Ireland Rally Championship in Bishopscourt. Matthew McKenna guided Brian McFall to 15th overall and 3rd in class. Johno Doogan/Ciaran Marron finished 28th overall in their Escort. Michaela McGinn guided Damien McGauren to 46th overall.