Launch of the Mayo Stages Rally – Achill 2017

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.

Pictured at the Launch of the 2017 Mayo Stages Rally in Óstán Oilean Acla from left: Cillian Duffy, Derek Bolton, Donna and Peter McManamon; Trevor O’Connell, COC and Deirdre Burke; at back from left: John McCarthy; Samuel Carroll, David Breen, James Ruane Michael jackson; Alan Maguire and Lorraine Munnelly. Photo: © Michael Donnelly

Pictured at the Launch of the 2017 Mayo Stages Rally in Óstán Oilean Acla from left: Kevin Barnett, Cathal McLoughlin, Óstán Oilean Acla; Michael Lavelle, Trevor O’Connell, COC; Peter McManamon and David and Megan Devers, Connacht Print and Signs; Photo: © Michael Donnelly

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***July Autocross Announcement***

Mayo & District Motorsport Club wish to announce that the Autocross scheduled for the 23rd of July has been cancelled.

***June Autocross Announcement***

Mayo & District Motorsport Club wish to announce that the Autocross scheduled for June 11th has been postponed. We hope to reschedule this event for later in the year.


To whom it concerns.

Due to unforeseen circumstances Mayo and District Motorsport Club has postponed its Autocross (LS) scheduled for 7th May 2017.

It is the club’s intention to seek a new date to run the Autocross later in the year.

Yours in Motorsport,

Derek Bolton

Club Secretary

Mayo and District Motor Club

Mayo Motorsport Club – feature on Lorcan Moore

Moore setting the Pace 

Nineteen-year-old Lorcan Moore from Crossmolina is continuing to show at every occasion that he is one of the main up and coming young Co-Drivers in Irish rallying at present.
Lorcan, who is studying Commerce (Global Experience) at NUI Galway, is not only just after competing in six rallies in the past five weekends, but he also represented Mayo Motorsport Club overseas as he made the trip to the Malcom Wilson Rally in Cumbria on March 11th last, before he flew home immediately after to compete in the Mayo Stages Rally the following morning in Achill, where he had been as high as 7th overall in the event whilst competing with Ballyhaunis man Shane Buckley.

With an astounding eight rallies completed to date this season, and many more in the pipeline, Lorcan is competing in the Clonakilty Black Pudding Irish Tarmac Junior Rally Championship, where he navigates for his older brother and World Rally Mechanic, Brian, in their self-prepared Honda Civic. After taking second place points in round one – the Galway International Rally; and maximum points in round two – the West Cork Rally, he is currently in control of the navigator’s championship. However, he insists that it is still early days in the season, and that anything can happen.

Not only this, but Lorcan also competes in the Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship, in the Dickson Bros. Motorsport team, where he navigates for Tyrone native Ashley Dickson in their fabulous Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9. After solid performances in the earlier rounds of the championship, the Carrick-on-Suir Forestry Rally and the Moonraker Rally in Cork, where he took second and third place points respectably the young Crossmolina man lies second overall in the hotly contested Group N championship.
With undoubtable commitment to the sport, Lorcan also competes as a driver and is the reigning Mayo & District Motorsport Club Young Driver Champion after some stellar performances in his Citroen Saxo rally car last season. However, he has decided to focus on navigating for the 2017 season.

Speaking recently Lorcan said: “It is far too early yet to think about championships, rallying is so unpredictable and it could be all over in a split second. It’s fantastic to get the opportunity to compete most weekends in two superb championships where we get to experience the best stages the country has to offer. It’s a bit of a commitment being away, but whether I’m in Cork, Waterford, or England, I love every second of it. Between University and rallying, it came to a stage where I hadn’t been back home to Crossmolina in five weeks. It is very much a team effort, and I must thank my drivers, Ashley Dickson, Brian Moore, and Shane Buckley (among others) and their sponsors, (Dickson & Co Insurance, BM Motorsport Services, & EPS Group) for making it all possible, not forgetting the service crews”.

Moore is now focusing ahead to the rest of his 2017 season, where he is competing in the Monaghan Stages Rally, in a weeks’ time, before the International Rally of the Lakes in Killarney the following weekend.

Attached photograph:

Local Mayo crew Shane Buckley / Lorcan Moore enroute to winning the Eddie O’Hora Memorial award for top two wheel drive Mayo Motorsport Club crew on Stage 1 of the Mayo Stages Rally in Achill.

Picture: Alan Noonan, Rally through a lens.


Birthday Boy Murphy Survives Moonraker Moment

Andy Walsh



Round two of the 2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship, the Moonraker Forest Rally, took place on Saturday last. The event run by the Munster Motor Club saw a magnificent seventy seven cars start from a sun kissed Ballyvourney, for this eight stage event. It was an event very much enjoyed by the crews, with the fast, flowing stages in fabulous shape.

Local interest focused on young South Mayo driver, Jason Murphy who turned 17 on the eve of the event and had his uncle Matthew in the navigator seat. Fresh from their victory in the new J1000 section at Round 1 recently in Carrick On Suir, the pair are concentrating on the forest trails with the overall end of season Championship prize of a drive in a R2 Rally car on a 2018 Irish Forest Rally round, a fabulous incentive for a young rally driver to gain a real head start for their future rallying careers.

From the outset, the Presentation College Headford fifth year student laid down his intentions creating a lead of three minutes to his nearest challenger after two stages, but stage three was to witness a change in fortune. After a flawless run, as the pair approached the end of the stage, disaster struck; a front strut, the main part of the special adapted gravel suspension in their little one litre Peugeot 107 broke, forcing them to a halt, Jason’s challenge looked in doubt, his three minute lead was soon swallowed up by Alex Byrne from Tipperary in a similar spec car.

Refusing to throw in the towel so early in the event, Jason and Matthew worked on their stricken rally car and after getting back to service park were able to carry out repairs with the help of their C-Sport service team and were able to rejoin the event under Rally 2 rules that with the addition of a time penalty enabled them to score championship points.

With suspension mended the pair rejoined and with a spirited drive which showed the commitment of Jason the pair brought their Westtyre backed Peugeot 107 home in a super second place of the 16 to 18 year old J1000 section, not only adding valuable championship points but proving the ‘never give up’ attitude prevailed!!

Next up for the pair is Round three the Abbey Hotel Donegal Forestry Rally which takes place on the 13th of May.

The event was won by Cork’s Keith Cronin who had Mikie Galvin on the notes; they topped a Ford Fiesta podium lock out ahead of Monaghan’s Josh and Sam Moffett who finished second and third.


Mayo Stages Rally 2017 – Gallery

A gallery of images of our running of the Stages Rally this year, held on the beautiful backdrop of Achill Island.

Pic Credit – Alan McGuire

Click on the pic for full size image:


<span class="light">Joseph</span> McGonigle & Ciaran Geaney 1st OA
<span class="light">Frank</span> Wray & Joe McNulty 2nd OA
<span class="light">Adrian</span> Hethrington & Ronan Oneill 3rd OA

Mayo Stages Rally Full Show

Thanks to Flyin Finn Motorsport we have a full 30 minute programme dedicated to the Mayo Stages Rally 2017.

Watch it here:

Quality Hotel West Cork Rally

A massive field of entries migrated south last weekend for the Quality Hotel West Cork Rally. Always a prestigious event in the rally calender and this year was no exception. Tyre choice was a struggle on day one with top crews finding it hard to get things right. Donagh Kelly and Conor Foley were the best to cope with their choice. Even with what Kelly described as, too soft a compound, they laid down the gauntlet for all who followed. Sam Moffett and Karl Atkinson were not letting them leave their sights, however and pushed them to finish day one just 30 seconds adrift. With Robert Barrable, Damien Connelly happy to hold off Josh Moffett, James Fulton by 5 seconds and remain in 3rd position at the close of day 1.

Day 2 seen Kelly and Foley demonstrate the dominance of the Focus WRC. But unknown to Kelly as he set off into Ss13 his fellow podium men would be feeling very deflated mid way through that stage. Robert Barrable and Sam Moffett both suffered punctures and both had to stop at the same corner to change them. This catapulted Josh Moffett, James Fulton into 2nd behind Kelly with Alastair Fisher, Gordon Noble taking a well deserved 3rd place. This was to be the final podium for an eventful days rallying.

Mayo crews weren’t without their own battles throughout the rally. Seeded no.9 Aaron McHale/Darragh Kelly (Citroen DS3 R5) took a while to get their confidence back after the exit in Galway. They settled into 11th place well though and had fellow club members Pauric Duffy, Kevin Glynn with a target on their backs going into the second day. This battle continued on until Ss12 where Aaron finally got the upper hand, passing the P1 Rally Rentals Fiesta taking the 10th spot. Due to a few retirements on the closing stages Aaron and Darragh finished the rally 8th in the international category with Pauric and Kevin 18 seconds behind in 9th.

In the national category Andrew Grennan had a change of Mk2 as he navigated for Adrian Hetherington who took a very impressive 3rd O/A In the Mayo Stages a week previous. The Mayo shakedown worked well for the pair as they led their class until an early retirement on stage 10.

The Mayo juniors were out in force on Sunday. Noel Murphy, John Burke had an extremely unlucky start. A one in a million mechanical fault stopped the car at the end of stage one forcing them to a heart breaking retirement.

Justin Ryan with Tommy Moynihan on the notes had decided to get a more dramatic view of stage one. As the tyres warmed and the confidence grew they got caught out over a 3 right. Committed + bump = spin + wall = damage. They were very lucky to escape with minor damage but with 2 punctures they knew a top place was out of reach. They finished 10th and took home some valuable championship points.

Brian and Lorcan Moore finally got a chance to bed in their new machine. After an extensive rebuild they took to the stages with little holding them back. The crew had no opportunity to test the car prior to the event so used Ss1 to learn the car. They learn fast though as they took 2nd fastest time on Ss2 and fastest on Ss3 by 17 seconds. The trouble with running so far back on a stage is you never know where the stage can get slippery from the front runners. This was the case as they went wide on a square right causing suspension damage to the left. Wanting to finish their first event in the new car they coasted home with an 8th place finish. Plenty Moore to come real soon.

As the day dawned and the mist lifted over the Achill hills the first round of the Sligo Pallets Border Championship kicked off in style. The early stages were challenging due to overnight rain but once the sun came out and the stages dried up the drivers got into their own rhythm and their confidence increased as the day went on.

First off the mark was Joseph McGonigle with Ciaran Geaney in their Skoda Fabia R5, despite struggling early in the morning, the team recovered in the third stage to maintain their lead for the rest of the day. Late entrant Frank Wray and Joe McNulty in their Subaru Impreza were second overall, narrowly piping Adrian Hethrington and Ronan O’Neill in a Ford Escort to the post with just split seconds between them.   Recently returned from Australia, Pauric Duffy with Kevin Glynn in their Ford Fiesta R5 (class5) had a good day out, they challenged McGonigle all day and were in the lead for the first loop of stages.  Their luck was short lived and after a driveshaft broke which caused a spin and they dropped to 6th place but gradually climbed back up and gained 2 places by stage 5. They finished the day in 4th place overall and were the first Mayo & District Motorsport Club members home to take the Margaret McGreal Perpetual Cup.

In fourth position overall was Pat Donegan and Alan Kenna in a Ford Escort Mk 2, they also claimed first place in class 14.  Mayo navigator Andrew Grennan took teammate Vivian Hamill home to 2nd place in their class and 7th overall.   Monaghan’s Mickey Conlon who is no stranger to the Mayo Stages with his navigator Martin Byrne took first in class 13 and were 6th overall in their Ford Escort Mk 2.

James Mc Greal and Chris Mitchell in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6, continued their success of 2016 and claimed 1st place in class 15 and 33rd overall in their first outing of the year.  We hope that the success of 2016 continues again in 2017.

John Duffy and John Egan in their Honda Integra had a relatively trouble free day, an early encounter with a stray ditch did not upset their day too much as they crossed the finish ramp with a 2nd in class 3 and 32nd overall.

Local man Brian Lavelle and his navigator Darren Curran were very unlucky when gearbox trouble in their Honda Civic forced them to retire after the first stage on home turf.

Foxford duo Stephen Doherty and Alan Moran in their Subaru Impreza (class 15) were troubled from the start with a misfire and despite their best efforts in first service they were unable to fix the problem and retired on stage 3.

Belmullet’s Ciaran Kennedy and Killala’s Paddy O’ Hora in their maiden voyage with their blue mark 2 Ford Escort, had a good day and after a number of small issues which were sorted by their mechanical team in service, they were back on track and came home 3rd in class 12 and 37th overall.

David Moran and John Sweeney finished 3rd in class 10 and were 46th overall in their Citroen Saxo.

After an electrical fault put them out of Birr last week, Ronan Denning and Karl Egan enjoyed their second trip out in a Peugeot 106 cup car, coming first in class 2 and 35th overall.

Trisha Greevey with navigator brother Brendan in their Honda Civic claimed 4th in their class, 43rd overall and took home 2nd place Mayo & District Club award.    Her other brother Terry and his navigator Martin Hastings were not as lucky when they made contact with a stone at the end of stage 1  bringing their Peugeot 106 to a sudden halt ending their day but thankfully escaping with nothing more than minor damage to their car.

Liam Walsh who was on the notes for Florin Niedermueller in a Toyota Corolla and they finished 7th in class 11R and 25th overall.

Father and daughter team Pat and Shauna McEveney had a good day in their Toyota Corolla GTI.  They had a bit of a moment on stage 4 where a bump tried to end their day, however they recovered nicely and went on to finish the event and came home 5th in their class, 45th overall and took home 3rd  place in the Mayo & District Club awards.

Young jetsetter Lorcan Moore just off the plane from navigating in the Malcolm Wilson Rally the previous day in Cumbria, was back on duty with Shane Buckley in his class 13 Honda Civic.  Unfortunately after climbing to 7th place after the first 2 stages, they had a disappointing end to their rally weekend when they clashed with a chicane on stage 3.  But they did not go home empty handed as Shane Buckley took home the Eddie O’Hora award for the fastest Mayo & District driver on stage 1.

Another clubman who had a good day out was Ed Muldoon who navigated for Derek Jobb in a Mitsubishi Evo 9, they finished 2nd in class 4 and 36th overall.   Colm Connor and James Connor finished 3rd in class 11F and 41st overall in their Toyota Corolla GTI.  Well done to Keith Jacob and Michael Carr who took 1st place in the Mayo & District club awards in their Honda Civic, they came 4th in class 16 and 36th overall.

Mayo and District Motorsport Club would like to thank joint title sponsors Óstán Oileán Acla and Connacht Print & Signs, in addition to their many local sponsors, marshals and officials who helped out over the weekend, Midwest Radio and the local residents who were so welcoming and accommodating.  We look forward to returning to Achill again in the not too distant future.