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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.

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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.

 

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.

 

The final Navigation Trial of the 2018-2019 season took place last Saturday night in Aghabog. The event was the final round of the National and Border Navigation Championships. The National Championship was to be decided between reigning champions, Derek Mackarel/Muireann Hayes and Cork crew James Fitzgerald/Ken Carmody. Michael & Ciaran Tynan were leading the Border championship. COC Mac Kierans and his team laid out a tricky and challenging 85 mile event which tested even the most experienced of Expert crews.

As early as TP3 many crews were in trouble with a herringbone tulip diagram catching some crews out including top seeds Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes. A series of tightly looped lanes followed with all crews dropping time. By the first time relax section at TP10, Mackarel/Hayes were putting in a championship winning performance to lead on 4 penalties. Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan (6 penalties), Emmet McCooey/Conor Mohan (8 penalties) and Martin Tynan/Fintan Clerkin (8 penalties) were in hot pursuit.

The next section of the event took crews over towards the Drum and Newbliss areas with some new lanes incorporated. Mackarel/Hayes had a setback when they got caught with a wrong approach at TP14. Luckily for them, Fitzgerald/Carmody were having a dreadful night going over maximum lateness and missing multiple timepoints. Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan were now out front on 6 penalties with Tynan/Clerkin in 2nd place on 8 penalties.

A further tricky section followed, the departure from TP20 had been given on an earlier plot & bash which many crews failed to realise incurring wrong departure penalties. TP21 and TP22 were plot & bash timepoints near Swan’s Cross as the event moved towards the Stranooden and Corcaghan areas. Tynan/Tynan powered home their advantage and were well clear of the opposition. Mackarel/Hayes were back up to 2nd place after Tynan/Clerkin missed a pair of timepoints.

Michael & Ciaran Tynan finished with aplomb to take overall honours on a fine total of 15 penalties given the tricky navigation throughout the night. The result secured them the Border Navigation Championship. Mackarel/Hayes had a late scare when they missed a plot & bash timepoint on a clockface tulip diagram but such was the gap behind them they still finished in 2nd place to win a second consecutive National Championship.

Semi-Expert class winners, Peter Deery & David McCrudden finished 3rd overall just ahead of class rivals James McCabe/Shane Farrell. Jack McKenna/Ryan Treanor made it three Semi-Expert crews in the top five.

The Novice class was won by Shane Dalton & Seamus McTigue in 6th overall. Aaron Dixon/Dylan Lennon and Noel Sherry/Danny McKenna completed the class positions. Beginner class honours went to Sean McConnell/Anthony McDonald. Cathal Croarkin/Marco Lennon and Aiden Keenan/Sean Marron secured 2nd and 3rd in class.

COC Mac Kierans would like to extend his thanks to all the contributed to the event particularly the landowners and residents along the route. That concludes the Navigation season until the end of September. Congratulations to Derek Mackarel & Muireann Hayes on their National success and to Michael & Ciaran Tynan for taking the Border again after a few years.

Stages Rally Launch

 The countdown is on for Monaghan’s biggest annual sporting event, the Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally. The committee are delighted to welcome back the Four Seasons Hotel as overall sponsors for the 2019 event. The event well be a counting round of the National & Border Championships this year. Eoghan Corr has taken on the role of COC and has picked three testing and challenging stages mixing some new and previously used terrain.

The buzz will start with the official Launch in the Four Seasons Hotel on Friday April 5th. The evening should be a fantastic night where you can meet some of the top drivers with their cars, see some classic and competition films and get into the swing for the stages.

 

Josh Moffett made it two wins from two in the 2019 National Rally Championship thanks to overall victory on the Midlands Stages Rally. Moffett and co-driver, Andy Hayes, took a start to finish victory on the Longford based event. They also picked up an additional bonus point for the fastest time on the power stage. The results sees them extend their championship lead from Roy White/James O’Brien who finished 2nd. 3rd overall went to Peader Hurson & Scotstown navigator Damien Connolly.

 

Moffett/Hayes immediately set the pace on the short opening test at Killashee, taking 1.4 seconds out of main rivals Declan & Brian Boyle. The pair slightly extended their advantage with another pair of fastest times to lead by 5.2 seconds at service. Roy White/James O’Brien were already a distant 3rd almost 30 seconds down on the leaders. Peader Hurson/Damien Connolly had a difficult morning with two overshoots and they were down in 8th. Darren Gass/Enda Sherry were acclimatising to their new Skoda Fabia R5 to hold 7th.

 

Stage 4 would prove pivotal as Boyle retired after hitting a chicane leaving Moffett over 30 seconds in the clear. White trimmed 0.1 second back on stage five but an overshoot up a bank on stage six cost him 30 seconds and any hope of catching Moffett. Hurson/Connolly had caught up to 4th overall and were closing fast on 3rd placed James Stafford in the Darrian. Gass/Sherry held a solid 6th.

 

Moffett/Hayes maintained their pace with another trio of fastest times to cement overall victory by over a minute. White/O’Brien and Hurson/Connolly completed the podium places. Darren Gass/Enda Sherry finished in 6th place.

 

David Moffett/Martin Connolly took another class 13 win and 12th overall. Shane Maguire/Anthony Nestor finished 15th overall and 2nd in class. John McQuaid/Thomas Treanor took 20th overall and 7th in class. Vincent McAree/David McCrudden were 22nd overall and 4th in class. Jack Maguire/Keith McConnan finished 23rd overall and 4th in class 20.

 

Raymond Conlon/Damien Fleming finished down in 43rd overall after a long delay on stage six proved costly. Sean McCaul/Frank Clerkin took 60th overall and 5th in class 12. Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes finished 66th overall and 2nd in class 3. They also won the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship drive of the day award. Peter Farrell/Shane Farrell overcame early problems to take victory in class 10. Colin & Mark Maguire finished 15th in the Junior class in their Honda Civic.

 

Des Lyons/Aisling McArdle, Martin Swinburne/Gretchen Fegan and Arthur Kierans/Mac Kierans failed to finish during the day.

 

The National Rally Championship will continue with our own Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally on Sunday April 28th.

 

Monaghan Navigation Trial

 

The final Night Navigation of the season takes place this Saturday night with the March event. Aghabog is the venue with COC Mac Kierans hoping to have 85 miles of competitive actions for competitors. The event is the final round of the National & Border Championship as well as a round of the Trader’s and Club Navigation Championships.

 

Derek Mackarel/Muireann Hayes are favourites to retain their National crown but Cork’s James Fitzgerald/Ken Carmody will be hoping to upset the odds. Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan hold a narrow lead in the Border series but Mackarel/Hayes are hot on their heels as they aim for a championship double.

 

Marshals are required for this event and those available are asked to present at Aghabog Community Centre at 8pm.

Stages Rally Launch

The countdown is on for Monaghan’s biggest annual sporting event, the Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally. The committee are delighted to welcome back the Four Seasons Hotel as overall sponsors for the 2019 event. The event well be a counting round of the National & Border Championships this year. Eoghan Corr has taken on the role of COC and has picked three testing and challenging stages mixing some new and previously used terrain.

The buzz will start with the official Launch in the Four Seasons Hotel on Friday April 5th. The evening should be a fantastic night where you can meet some of the top drivers with their cars, see some classic and competition films and get into the swing for the stages.