The excitement was evident as Mayo & District Motorsport Club gathered in Óstán Oileán Acla last Friday night for the launch of the Óstán Oileán Acla/Connacht Print & Signs Mayo Stages Rally 2017. Guests arriving for the Achill People of the Year Awards which was also taking place in the Óstan got a preview of what’s in store on Rally weekend as they inspected a fine array of rally cars on display in the car park for the launch.
Clerk of the Course Trevor O’Connell kicked off proceedings by officially welcoming everyone to Óstán Oileán Acla, which will be Rally Headquarters for the weekend of the 11th and 12th March. He welcomed all the sponsors and had a special welcome for Andrew Mullen, MD of ‘Sligo Pallets’ who travelled from Sligo and Brendan Flynn from the ‘Border Championship’ who travelled from Monaghan especially for the night. The Mayo Stages Rally has been the first round in the ‘Sligo Pallets Border Championship’ for the last number of years and their support is much appreciated. Trevor thanked Cathal McLoughlin and his staff in the Óstán Oileán Acla for all their assistance and support in the lead up to the event, he welcomed joint title sponsor, David Devers, Connacht Print & Signs to the Island and thanked him for his ongoing support of the Mayo Stages Rally.
Trevor explained that the final touches are being put in place to ensure the Rally runs as smoothly as possible and that it will be a weekend to remember for the competing crews, spectators, sponsors and most importantly the local residents who have been so accommodating and welcoming to all. He added that without local support and sponsorship, it would not be possible to run the Mayo Stages Rally and he thanked everyone who has come on board – sponsors of Service Area, Marshal Meeting Points, Programme Sponsors, Stage & Scrutiny Sponsors. The weekend is a free family friendly event, one not to be missed and he asked that everyone support the sponsors as without their generosity events such as these would not be possible.
Trevor also welcomed Mary Gallagher and Emmet Callaghan of Achill Tourism and thanked them for their assistance and guidance in promoting the event. Emmet told all assembled that the Mayo Stages Rally will kick start the 2017 Summer Tourism Season in Achill and they are all looking forward to the Rally weekend. Trevor thanked Sgt Brian Murphy, his team in an Gardai Síochana and Mayo County Council, in particular Gerry McDonnell and Councillor Paul McNamara who have been very helpful. Wrapping up the formalities Trevor thanked his Deputy Clerk of the Course local man Peter McManamon and all the team for all their support and hard work and said they were all looking forward to the big event on the 11th/12th March. If anyone would like to help out over the weekend they can contact Trevor, Peter or any member of the Rally Team through the Motor club’s Facebook, Twitter or website.
Donna & Peter McManamon; Mary Gallagher, Achill Tourism; Trevor O’Connell, Clerk of the Course; Deirdre Burke, Event Secretary; Michael Lavelle, Emmet Callaghan, Achill Tourism
Peter McManamon Deputy Clerk of the Course; Brendan Flynn, Border Rally Championship; Trevor O’Connell Clerk of the Course; Andrew Mullen, MD Sligo Pallets.
Cathal McLoughlin, Manager Ostán Oileán Acla (Joint Title Sponsor), Trevor OConnell, Clerk of the Course; David & Megan Devers, Connacht Print & Signs (Joint Title Sponsor)
The 2018 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship got back into gear on Saturday for its third round, the Munster Motor Club’s Moonraker Rally based in Ballyvourney, County Cork.
Dull but dry conditions graced the event, but it proved to be a real hit with the competitors, as J1000 winner Jason Murphy in his Peugeot 107 summed up. “The stages were brilliant, and it was a very enjoyable, well-run event”, said the South Mayo driver. Jason won the J1000 section by just over eleven seconds but he certainly made hard work of it coming from behind and surviving clutch failure to extend his impressive run of form in the series for 15-19 year olds in his 1 litre Peugeot 107.
On the opening stage on Saturday morning Jason felt he approached it a little cautious which reflected in his time, dropping 4 seconds to Peter Beaton from Scotland, also competing in a Peugeot 107. On Stage two while getting into a rhythm a strange noise started to manifest intermittently from the Peugeot, despite this they still managed to set fastest time and arrived back into service to address the noise with a cushion of 17 seconds. Believing the starter motor to be the root of the noise this was changed in service and they set off to repeat the loop of morning stages. But during Stage 3 it became apparent that something more sinister was lurking when the noise returned along with strong vibrations and with Aoife Gahan in her Chevrolet Spark stopping the clocks 17 seconds quicker than the Shrule teenager, to win the stage, Jason and his uncle Matthew knew with the long Stage 4 up next, they were in trouble.
Dropping a further 16 seconds to stage 4 winner Rory Byrne also in a Peugeot, which propelled the Newry teenager in his Modern Tyres backed 107 into the lead, the Murphy’s nursed their Westtyre backed 107 into service, now knowing that it was the clutch of their car that had been the root of the noise and vibrations.
Upon arriving back at service, C-Sport Rally Preparation who run the car for Jason performed nothing short of a miracle removing the gearbox of the Peugeot and changing the clutch with one donated by fellow competitor Peter Beaton, all against the clock with the service interval time of just 40 minutes. Exiting the service park just within the allotted time and avoiding any time penalties Jason, while full of thanks and praise for Beaton and the C-Sport team knew he had 4 stages left to go in pursuit of Byrne, and that he did!
Going 9 seconds quicker than Byrne on stage 5 and 16 seconds on stage 6 he arrived back into the final service of the day with his lead restored and another victory, against all odds, now within touching distance.
Two more clean runs over stages 7 and 8 meant that Jason and Matthew once again sprayed the champagne at the finish ramp making it a hat-trick of wins on the opening rounds of the 2018 Michael O’Brien Plant Hire Junior 1000 Championships. With two more rounds remaining the 2017 champion is looking to be odds on of defending his crown.
The Irish Motorsport Support Fund (IMSF) are pleased to formally announce their inaugural fundraising event, the IMSF Mondello 50 on May 12th and 13th which will be held in Mondello Park.
As a response to the rising cost of insurance and various suggestions received regarding fundraising, Motorsport Ireland invited a group of people to a meeting in Dublin in October 2017. This group agreed to create a fundraising committee to raise funds to help offset financial risks to the sport and in the future, when the situation improves, to support motorsport as deemed necessary by the group. The group called itself the Irish Motorsport Support Fund and are independent to Motorsport Ireland with its own directors. The group consists of James Coleman (chairperson), Dermot Healy, Oliver Stanley, Joe Connolly, Brian Brogan, Angela Henehan, Sam Moffett and Art McCarrick.
The IMSF Mondello 50 will coincide with the celebration of 50 years of racing in Mondello Park and the event will feature 13 different disciplines of motorsport over 4 live arenas in the confines of the Co. Kildare venue. Coupled with this, there will be a number of static displays, trade stands and a gala dinner on the Saturday night, which will be held in the CityWest Hotel. A number of special guests have already been confirmed including Irish World Rally
Championship stars Craig Breen and Paul Nagle as well as Irish motorsport luminaries, Rosemary Smith and Gerard Quinn.
In order for the event to happen, help has been requested from every motor club in Ireland and the group have been enthused by the response from the club network and the relevant committees as well as the support of drifting and trial bikes personnel, disciplines which do not fall under the Motorsport Ireland banner.
More announcements and ticketing information will be announced in the coming weeks via
the funds website, www.imsf.ie
On Friday the 23rd of March members of Mayo & District Motorsport Club were on hand to assist club member Marian Gibbons when she facilitated an ‘Introduction to Rally Safety’ demonstration for the students of Youthreach Ballinrobe. The aim of the day was to show the students how much time and work goes into hosting a national stages rally, for both the competitors and the rally organising team.
David Healy was on hand to give an introduction to safety from an organisational perspective, talking the group through the process of P.R, the safety plan and set up. Some volunteers from the group took part in role-play and gave everyone a first-hand view of an initial P.R. meeting between a stage
commander and a resident while at the same time giving the students the opportunity to flex their charismatic charm. It also proved entertaining when David himself was brought face to face with an unconvinced and unimpressed ‘resident’ brought to life by one of the teachers.
The students were then given a short introduction to the ‘what and why’ of the safety plan. After explaining the various elements of a rally stage location using examples from the safety plan for the Mayo Stages Rally 2018 (Achill). The students then had a chance to set up their own rally stage location
(junction) when they were given a blank ‘square left’ junction and had to work as a team and discuss how they would set it up safely.
Pat and Patrick McEveney gave an introduction to rally safety from a competitor’s perspective covering recce, pace notes and scrutiny. The students were then taken through the pace notes from Achill 2018 and shown a short clip from an in-car camera to demonstrate how much road is covered in a single page
of pacenotes. Following the presentation, the students were brought out to see the McEveney’s Toyota Corolla rally car and David Healy’s autocross Primera up close and were shown the various safety features, from demonstrating the engine kill switch to inspecting the roll cage, rally suits and fire
extinguishers. Everyone was given the chance to be strapped into the cars to see first-hand how tight the six point harness is and how little room for movement there is.
Overall the day was a resounding success, with a number of participants making enquiries about how to get involved in motorsport and rallying. Many thanks to the club members who gave their time and equipment to make this day happen – David Healy, Pat and Patrick McEveney for coming along to give their presentations, answer questions and showcase their cars; Michael Loughney for the use of his helmet and HANS device, Killian Duffy for pacenotes and the Mayo Stages 2018 team for their help and support in gathering various paperwork and information.
by Andy Walsh
South Mayo crew Jason and Matthew Murphy in a Peugeot 107 took the J1000 victory on the second round of the 2018 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship, the Limerick Motorclub Forest Rally based over the Silvermines Mountains. At the end of the tough eight stage event they had eighteen seconds to spare over the similar car of Peter Beaton and Conor Boylan with the Chevrolet Spark of Aoife Gahan and Mairead Duane completing the podium places just over a minute further back.
Jason and Matthew who won the 2017 J1000 Championship were in many people’s eyes event favourites after their win on Round 1 in Carrick on Suir back in February; however Scottish driver Peter Beaton pushed them all day waiting to capitalise on any slip up from the South Mayo Leaving Cert student.
Setting the pace from the first stage Jason stopped the clock 14 seconds quicker than Rory Byrne and John Burke debuting a Modern Tyres backed Citroen C1, and after Byrne clipped a chicane on Stage 2 and dropped down the leader board Murphy arrived backed into the first service halt with 29 seconds advantage over Beaton who took over the job of reeling in the 2017 champion.
Despite Murphy setting fastest stage times again over the next 3 stages in his C-sport prepared, Westtyre backed 1 litre Peugeot, Beaton remained in touch knowing that any change in fortune could provide the chance to sneak the win that the young Scotsman desired, and a quickest time for Beaton on Stage 6 left just 45 seconds between them at the final service of the day, a margin that could quickly diminish with a spin on the slippery gravel forest tracks.
On the penultimate stage Murphy again stamped authority going fastest and heading into the final stage with a 47 second cushion, but the old saying ‘it ain’t over till it’s over ‘ almost reared its head, damaging a wishbone midway through the final stage the South Mayo crew nursed their stricken Peugeot over the remaining few kilometres knowing they were losing time to the flying Scotsman, arriving at the final control with emotions high they released despite dropping 30 seconds during the stage they had done enough to win by 18!
Celebrations at the finish ramp as they received their Kumho tyre prizes and event entry vouchers, capped of another fine event ran by the Irish Forestry Team and attention now turns to Round 3 the Munster Car Club Moonraker Forest Rally in just three weeks’ time.
About the J1000 Forestry Championship
The 2018 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship, once again plays host to the Junior 1000 driver’s, aged just 15-19, as the future stars of the stages take to the Irish Forest Rally Championship, an ideal learning ground to perfect their rallying skills.
National Forest Championship Co-Ordinator Ray Fitzpatrick is very excited about the second season of the Junior 1000 which once again is sponsored by former National Forest Rally Champion – Mick O’Brien of M. O’Brien Plant Hire. “Last year was a big one for us to get the whole series off the ground and now for 2018 the interest has risen considerably and it is shaping up to be a big year for Junior 1000. We have a great prize fund on offer with €1500 for the series winner, €1000 for second and €500 for third. Added to this, entry vouchers per round of €200 for first, €150 for second and €100 for third are all designed to help these young driver’s progress in the sport.” Once again the 1000cc chargers will be on a control Kumho gravel tyre supplied by Ears Motorsport Ireland, and Ears will not only be supplying on-event service for the crews but also offering tyre prizes for each of the five rounds, making it an attractive proposition for any 15-19-year-old driver.
Report courtesy of Triton Showers
Proud sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship.
Leading from start to finish, Donegal’s Declan Boyle and his Monaghan co-driver James O’Reilly won the Óstán Oileán Acla/Connacht Print & Signs Mayo Rally, the
opening round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.
At the end of the nine-stage event on the scenic Achill Island, Boyle/O’Reilly finished 37 seconds ahead of the Monaghan/Limerick duo of Josh Moffett and Keith Moriarty.
On their debut in a Ford Fiesta R5, Derry’s Desi Henry and his Cork co-driver Liam Moynihan netted third – one minute and 1.1 seconds further behind.
Top seeds Donegal’s Joe McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney (Mini WRC) were fourth. Former Triton champions Donagh Kelly (Ford Focus WRC) and Roy White (Ford Fiesta WRC) didn’t enjoy the best of fortune, Kelly punctured and dropped away down the order before finishing tenth in general classification while White was an opening stage casualty when he slid off and beached his car.
Boyle, who survived an electrical glitch en-route to the start, punched in the best time on the short opening stage where he was 2.3 seconds ahead of the Ford Focus WRC of Donagh Kelly with Josh Moffett (Fiesta WRC) 1.9 seconds further behind and 0.7 seconds ahead of fourth placed Desi Henry (Fiesta R5).
Former Triton champion Clonmel’s Roy White (Fiesta WRC) had an all too brief event, he slid off and beached his Fiesta at the stage end, under Rally 2 he went on to finish 57th. overall.
On the 15.14 kilometre Atlantic Drive stage Boyle set another fastest time just as he did on S.S. 3, The Valley. The Donegal driver arrived at the Keel service park with a lead of 16.2 seconds. “You won’t believe this but the car stopped on the way to the opening stage, it was an electrical issue that we sorted. I’m playing with the suspension settings, they were a bit too soft earlier.”
Moffett was second, “I haven’t sat in this car since Monaghan two years ago but I’m getting the feel of it now.”
Third placed Henry – 16.3 seconds further behind was happy with his progress although he lost time on the second stage possibly due to the short gearing of his new Fiesta R5, he also had to slow to avoid contact with a sheep dog.
Kelly spun on the second stage and lost a place but a time consuming puncture on the third stage dropped him to 47th. place.
Top seed Joe McGonigle (Mini WRC) – 38.4 seconds off the lead slotted into fourth, he admitted that he was struggling with the set-up, he also had a slight altercation with a bale on the second stage.
An untroubled Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) and Group N leader Aidan Wray (Mitsubishi) completed the top six.
Cavan’s Chris Armstrong (Escort) led the two-wheel drive category and occupied seventh in a top ten that also included Brendan Cumiskey (Fiesta R5), Stuart Darcy (Darrian) and Mickey Conlon (Escort).
On the repeat loop of three stages Boyle managed to extend his lead margin to 21 seconds, the Donegal driver admitted he pushed hard and enjoyed a clean run. Second placed Moffett was of a similar view and was clearly enjoying the challenge.
Henry – 44.7 seconds further behind – was trying various settings and some suspension adjustments to find the ideal set-up for his new car. A more confident McGonigle remained in fourth and as previously, Maguire and Group N leader Wray completed the top six.
Kelly made up several places and was 18th at the final service, he reckoned that he probably opted for a tyre compound that was a little too soft.
Although Armstrong continued to lead the Modified section, a charging Darcy reduced the deficit to 6.9 seconds. Cumiskey, sandwiched between the duo reckoned that the suspension set-up was probably a little too soft. Conlon was tenth.
Championship title sponsor, Kevin Barrett in the Triton Showers liveried Subaru WRC was eleventh, he found the sixth stage particularly slippery. In Group N, Mark Boyle (Mitsubishi Evo IX) and Paul Barrett (Mitsubishi EvoX) were second and third respectively.
Boyle was quickest through stages seven and eight to move 33.6 seconds ahead of Moffett, Kelly picked up two places on the short seventh stage but on the longest stage of the rally, Atlantic Drive he moved from sixteenth to tenth, his final finishing spot.
Boyle went on to record a fine victory, he also won the Power Stage to claim an extra Triton championship point. Moffett and Henry completed the top three.
In the Modified section, Stuart Darcy reeled in Cavan’s Chris Armstrong (Escort) on the final stage despite losing the exhaust of his Darrian on the penultimate stage and some gear oil on the final stage.
In the Triton Showers Junior category Armagh’s Jasson Black and his Monaghan co-driver Jack McKenna took an emphatic victory, they finished two minutes and 58.1 seconds ahead of the Citroen C2R2 of Armagh’s Johny Armstrong/Philly Mitchell. The Donegal crew of David Kelly/Kenny Bustard (Toyota Starlet) were 42 seconds further behind in third. Black/McKenna also won the Triton Showers “Drive of the Day” award.
1. D. Boyle/J. O’Reilly (Ford Fiesta WRC) 50m. 41.4s.
2. J. Moffett/K. Moriarty (Ford Fiesta WRC) 51m. 18.4s
3. D. Henry/L. Moynihan (Ford Fiesta R5) 52m. 19.5s.
4. J. McGonigle/C. Geaney (Mini WRC) 52m. 34.2s.
5. N. Maguire/E. Sherry (Subaru WRC) 54m. 03.9s.
6. A. Wray/K. McGrath (Mitsubishi EvoX) 54m. 59.0s.
7. S. Darcy/K. McCarthy (Darrian T90) 54m. 59.3s.
8. B. Cumiskey/S. McAuley (Ford Fiesta R5) 55m. 04.6s.
9. C. Armstrong/C. Melly (Ford Escort) 55m. 06.2s.
10. D. Kelly/C. Foley (Ford Focus WRC) 55m. 49.5s.
Triton Showers National Rally Championship (Provisional Positions after Round 1): D. Boyle 21pts; J. Moffett 18pts; 3. D. Henry 16pts; 4. McGonigle 14pts; 5. N. Maguire 13pts; 6. A. Wray 12pts.
Report: Martin Walsh
Conditions were perfect for the return of the Mayo Stages Rally to Achill Island. After the success of last year’s event, Clerk of the Course Trevor O’Connell and his team rose to the occasion to make an every bigger and more spectacular event. With the addition of a new stage this year the first round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship and opening round of the Sligo Pallets Border Championship kicked off in style.
Declan Boyle & James O’Reilly took the lead from early on and held on to it. Following close by in second placewas Josh Moffett who had Keith Moriarty on the notes. Antrim’s Desi Henry and Liam Moynihan took 3rd, with last year’s winner Joseph McGonigle & Ciaran Geaney coming in 4th. In 5th place was Niall Maguire and his navigator Enda Sherry; next up were Aidan Wray and Kieran McGrath in a Mitsubishi Evo 10, they took 6th place. Stuart Darcy and Keith McCarthy in an eye catching Darrian T9 were 7th. Just out of the workshop with their brand new Ford Fiesta R5, Brendan Cumiskey and Stephen McAule were delighted with its performance and came 8th. Following closely in 9th place were Chris Armstrong who had Chris Melly on the notes. Donagh Kelly and picked up a puncture after stage 3 and limped his way back from 46th on one occasion to finish in 10th place.
Closer to home, Mayo & District Motorsport Club member had a mixed day. James McGreal & Chris Mitchell, had a good day out in their Mitsubishi Evo 6, the duo came 2nd in class 15 and 43rd overall. James & Chris were the first Mayo crew home and were proud recipients of the Margaret McGreal Award.
Crossmolina’s Stephen Gallagher with Mark Taheny on the notes had a fantastic first day out in their Honda Civic, they led their class for most of the afternoon. They came 1st in class 1 and came 44th overall. John Duffy & John Egan in their Honda Integra were in flying form, they had little to correct at either service and came 1st in class 3 and were 46th overall. Derek Bolton & Ronan Moore had a steady start in their Subaru Impreza and they maintained their position during the day to take 3rd in class 15 and 49th overall. Ronan Denning & Karl Egan had a great start in their Citroen C2R2, despite some electronic issues after the second loop, they recovered to take 1st in class 2 and 50th overall. Belcarra brothers, Colm Connor & James Connor came 6th in class 11F and 51st overall in their Toyota Corolla. They picked up the 1st place Mayo Club award. Martin Cawley & Kenneth Langan had a good day out in their Peugeot 205; despite leaking fuel after stage 3 that their crew sorted in service, which brought them home in 2nd place in class 10 and 55th overall – their best finish yet to date. Barry Cuffe & Stephen McGing came 6th in class 11R in their Ford Escort Mk 2 and were 59th overall. Despite some problems with a wheel bearing on the road section between stage 1 and 2, they rejoined on Rally 2 after the first loop, they took home the 2nd place Mayo Club award. Trisha Greavy was flying the flag on behalf of the ladies, coming 9th in class 11F and 60th overall in her Honda Civic with her brother Brendan Greavy on the notes, they took 3rd place in the Mayo Club awards. Gordon Nimo & Kerrill Dempsey were out for their first trip in their Supermacs sponsored Ford Fiesta. They came 10th in class 11F and 61st overall. Achill men Brian Lavelle & Daniel Kilbane in a class 11F Honda Civic had issues after the first loop and rejoined the event on Rally 2 for the final loop. They fought hard to finish in 62nd place and 11th in class 11F. Another Achill man – Peter McManamon with John McCarthy on the notes in their Peugeot 205 GTI had a good day out on home soil, they came 3rd in class 10 and 64th overall, after finishing under rally 2 rules. In the Juniors Noel Murphy & John Burke in their Honda Civic came 7th in class 16.
A number of club members were not so lucky on the day. Tony Langdon and Chrystal Culkeen were unfortunate when towards the end of stage 1, their Honda Integra lost its sump; they subsequently lost reverse & 5th gear so weren’t able to rejoin on Rally 2. Shane Buckley & Lorcan Moore’s day came to an early end when they went out on their second trip around the scenic Atlantic Drive in their Honda Civic, however Shane took home the Eddie O’Hora award for the fastest Mayo & District member on Stage 1.
Margaret McGreal Award – Highest placed Mayo & District crew – James McGreal & Chris Mitchell
Eddie O’Hora Award – Fastest Mayo & District on stage 1 – (2wheel drive modified on) Shane Buckley
Robert Masterson Award – highest placed driver in class 13 – Mickey Conlon, Monaghan
Bob Kelly Perpetual Award – Fastest Rear Wheel Drive (finisher) – Stuart Darcy, Donegal