May 11th Autocross Report:
DEANE DOMINATES AGAIN
The first Mayo & District Motorsport Club Autocross of 2014 took place on Sunday in Harrington’s Quarry, Kilkelly with a capacity entry for the first time in a number of years.
Derek Deane from Williamstown won the event, continuing his amazing record on his home event, and proving that’s it’s the man and not the machine as his one week old JCR Rally Kart made its debut on the loose surface track. Second home, Martin Tynan from Clones was the early leader, making use of the abolition of the 4 Wheel Drive Penalty for 2014 in his Mitsubishi Evo, but in the end he had to settle for second behind Deane. There were three members of the Deane family in the top 4, as Derek’s brothers Mervyn and Adrian were third and fourth respectively in their JB Buggies.
Next up was James McGreal from Foxford who finished fifth overall and claimed second in class 4 for 4WD cars. Other locals to fare well were Colin Loughney from Hollymount who came home second in class 3 in his Ford Escort. Foxford’s Alan Moran put in a blindingly quick last run in a Peugeot 206 to claim second in the highly competitive class 2 and gain valuable Mayo Young Driver Championship Points. David Carney from Westport fresh from a podium on the last round of the British Rally Championship won the Mayo & District Club Award using the event to get further seat time in his Citroen DS3-R3T. Club stalwart Padraic Roche was fourth in Class 3 while Club Chairman Matthew Murphy was sixth in class 2. Sean McHugh from Bekan was seventh in class 4 in his Group A like sounding Subaru Impreza. Last year’s Mayo Young Driver’s Champion Noel Murphy from Shrule began the defence of his title with a fourth place finish in class 2. David Jordan from Westport finished seventh in that class in his Corolla, with Alan McGuire also from Westport in ninth in a Peugeot 205. Liam and Joe Healy from Achill double drove their Civic and had a great battle with Liam just coming out on top.
MAYO AUTOCROSS 2014 PREVIEW
Always popular with competitors, once again, Mayo & District Motorsport Club will be running two championships as part of its Autocross season. The Frank Harrington Challenge trophy is awarded to the overall champion driver and all competitors are automatically eligible, with points awarded on overall finishing positions. Driver’s best three scores from the four events count towards final championship totals. Derek Deane from Williamstown is aiming for an unprecedented three titles in a row in his family run JB Buggy. He won’t have it all his own way, however, with last year’s runner up Mickey Conlon from Monaghan a real contender having switched to a buggy. The 4Wheel-Drive Penalty has been abolished for 2014, so the likes of Peter McCullagh, James Lannon and James McGreal could be back in contention with their selection of powerful Subaru’s and Evo’s.
Additionally, the Mayo Young Driver Challenge will return in 2014. This competition is open to Mayo & District Motorsport Club members under the age of 30 on the first of January 2014, and has seen some highly competitive driving from up and coming competitors over the years. Champion from last year Noel Murphy from Shrule will be back to defend his title with his main competition sure to be from previous two-time Champion Foxford’s Alan Moran and fellow Foxford man Stephen Doherty. There is also a possibility of former Champion Justin Ryan from Headford making a return after two years out of Autocross action but he will miss the first round due to injury.
Held at the popular Harrington’s Quarry near Swinford, Mayo & District Motorsport Cub’s autocross track is recognised as one of the best venues in the country, regularly attracting entries from all corners of Ireland, as well as overseas.
The first of the four rounds rev’s into action on this Sunday May 11th, followed by Round 2 on June 8th, Round 3 July 27th and the final Round on August 24th.
The third round of the 2014 Valvoline National Forest Rally Championship took place in the picturesque setting of Glendalough Co. Wicklow on Saturday.
(Pics courtesy of John Kilbride)
Closer to home three members of Mayo & District Motorsport Club make the short trip across the border to compete at the Connacht Motor Club Autocross in Saehan, Sligo on Sunday. Best placed of the Mayo’s was Padraic Roche in his Ford Escort Mk2 who finished in 16th place.
Also in action this weekend was a 14 year old Jason Murphy from Shrule who was taking part in Round 2 of The National Grass Surface Autocross Championships which was taking place at ‘The Naul’ in Dublin. Jason put in an excellent performance in his 1.4 Honda Civic, getting progressively quicker during the day and claiming an excellent second place in the Junior section.
Closer to home Aidan Gannon from Tubbercurry navigated Anthony O Brien to a Class 20 victory and excellent 17th overall onThe Seven Oaks Hotel Carlow Rally, round three of the Dunlop National Rally Championship, while Sean Hynes from Foxford, competing in Formula Sheane at Bishopscourt claimed fifth in Race 1 but failed to finish race 2 after a coming together with another racing car while battling for positions.
Defending Dunlop National Rally champions, Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Subaru WRC) made the perfect start to this season’s campaign with a start to finish victory in the Hotel Ballina/Kennedy Motors Mayo Rally, the first event of the eight round series.
In slippery conditions, they finished two minutes and 21.8 seconds ahead of the MG ZR of Roy White/James O’Brien. Paddy McVeigh/Gary McElhinney (Subaru WRC) were a minute and 1.1 seconds further behind third.
The Group N category was won by Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Mitsubishi). The Longford/Cork duo of Tommy Doyle/Liam Moynihan (Renault Clio R3) were the top two wheel drive competitors. The Dunlop “Drive of the Day” award was won by Steve Wood/Keith Moriarty (Subaru WRC).
On an extremely slippery opening stage near Bunnyconnellan, Boyle was 4.9 seconds ahead of Hugh Hunter, who endured a half spin. Roy White (MG ZR) was third fastest – 10.9 seconds further adrift. Former triple Dunlop champion, Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) languished down in fourteenth place almost 40 seconds off the lead due to intercom problems, tyre choice was also an issue. White caught up with Maguire’s Subaru about a mile from the finish but, due to the narrow road, the Monaghan man was unable to allow White overtake.
As the medical services were requested for a resident on the second stage, rally organisers re-routed to the third stage. There, Boyle posted another fastest time to move into a 16 second lead over Hunter. At the Ballina service park, leader Boyle remarked, “It is very slippery out there, I’m taking it nice and steady.” White remained in third – 21.4 seconds behind Hunter.
Daniel Barry in his R4 Mitsubishi was a fine fourth followed by Steve Wood in the ex-Darren Gass Subaru WRC, who clipped a rock and stalled on the third stage. Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC) slotted into sixth.
Sam Moffett led the Group N category, he was seventh overall in a top ten completed by Paddy McVeigh (Subaru WRC), Josh Moffett, who spun his Mitsubishi on the opening stage and Aaron MacHale (Mitsubishi). Elsewhere, Trevor Bustard (Mitsubishi) had a major moment on the third stage and was lucky to escape unscathed. Niall Maguire withdrew at the service halt due to engine concerns.
With all the drivers remarking on the slippery conditions, Boyle fared best on the second loop of stages. His only indiscretion was on S.S. 5 when he stalled his Subaru at a junction. Hunter had a good stage time on S.S. 4 but his rally ended on the next stage when he retired with a sensor issue. Boyle arrived at the final service halt with a lead of one minute and 57.4 seconds. Second placed White opted for a cut slick but having two intermediate compound spare wheels, he changed the front wheels for the sixth stage.
Paddy McVeigh (Subaru) slotted into third despite a huge moment on S.S 6 when he hit a rock that was dragged on to the stage. Daniel Barry in his R4 Mitsubishi was fourth – 4.9 seconds behind McVeigh. Steve Wood and Kevin Barrett completed the top six, the latter had visibility issues when the screen fogged up on S.S. 6, he also experienced problems with sixth gear.
Josh Moffett moved into the lead of Group N when his brother Sam retired with engine troubles on S.S. 5. Donegal’s Trevor Bustard, who had a moment on S.S. 5, was 20.3 seconds behind in a top ten completed by Tommy Doyle (Renault Clio R3) and Raymond Conlon (Toyota Corolla). Aaron MacHale retired his Mitsubishi with fuel pump troubles.
Kevin Barrett withdrew his Subaru at the final service halt due to problems with sixth gear.
On the final loop of three stages, Boyle survived a heart stopping moment on the penultimate stage and went on to take victory and maximum Dunlop points. White and McVeigh completed the top three. Wood in the ex-Darren Gass Subaru WRC was fourth from Daniel Barry (Mitsubishi), who won the R4 category and Group N winner, Josh Moffett, who finished sixth overall.
1. D. Boyle/B. Boyle (Subaru WRC S12B) 1h. 00m. 23.5s.
2. R. White/J. O’Brien (MG ZR S2400) 1h. 02m. 45.3s
3. P. McVeigh/G. McElhinney (Subaru WRC) 1h.03m. 46.4s
4. S. Wood/K. Moriarty (Subaru WRC) 1h. 04m. 02.4s
5. D. Barry/G. Noble (Mitsubishi EvoX) 1h. 04m. 37.1s.
6. J. Moffett/J. Rowan (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 05m. 27.2s
7. T. Bustard/J. McCafferty (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 06. 13.8s.
8. T. Doyle/L. Moynihan (Renault Clio R3) 1h. 06m. 20.6s
9. R. Conlon/D. McCague (Toyota Corolla) 1h. 06m. 21.5s
10. D. Leonard/D. Mullen (Mitsubishi)1h. 06m. 55.0s.
Dunlop National Rally Championship (Provisional Positions after Round 1): 1. D. Boyle 20pts; 2. R. White 18pts; 3. P. McVeigh 16 pts; 4. S. Wood 14pts.
Dunlop National Rally Championship.
How the locals fared on Mayo Stages Rally 2014
Photos by James Burke and Kevin Glendinning
A number of local crews and competitors claimed top awards in the Hotel Ballina / Kennedy Motors Mayo Stages Rally 2014. Top placed local finishers and winners of the Mayo & District Motorsport Club Top Crew Award were Ballinrobe based Sligo man John Warren and Ruthann O’Connor from Kilmaine, finishing in 23rd place overall in their Toyota Corolla. This was after a day long battle with Westport man David Carney in his newly acquired Citroen DS3-R3. Carney led for the majority of the day but John and Ruthann managed to overhaul him on the final stage to claim the award for the second year running. All was not lost for Carney though as he claimed victory in class 7.
Darragh Mullen navigating for David Leonard in a Lancer finished 10th overall. Darragh was highest placed Mayo & District Motorsport Club member and in the process won class 20. Aidan Gannon from Tubbercurry ably navigated Anthony O’Brien to 2nd in that class.
Colin Loughney from Hollymount had Kilfian man Seamus Murphy navigating for the first time. The pair found the stages treacherous but still took the Escort to 5th in class 12 and 35th overall.
Ballaghadereen/Ballina pairing Derek Bolton and Trevor O’Connell survived early intercooler pipe problems in their Impreza to finish 2nd in class 15. Knockmore man Kenneth McHale with Derek McCarthy on the notes took 3rd in class 15 and 42nd overall, also in a Subaru Impreza.
Barry Cuffe from Belcarra powered his often sideways Mk 2 Escort to 43rd overall and a credible 4th in class 11R. Former club chairman Sean McHugh, who had Paul McLaughlin alongside in his distinctive BMW M3 came home in 60th place. Bekan man Sean was delighted to finish his home event and really enjoyed the demanding stages.
Current club chairman Matthew Murphy, with his brother Ronan on the notes finished just behind Sean in 61st in his Toyota Corolla.
Keith McFadden and Chrystal Culkeen claimed 3rd in class 7 and 62nd overall.
Mayo club secretary and Crossmolina man John Duffy with John Egan on the notes finished 67th in their distinctive Honda Integra.
Local man Martin Hastings was navigating for Donegal’s Eamonn McCaffery in a Ford Puma, the pair claimed top honours in Class 5.
Ballina pairing Tony Langdon and Eddie Quinn were happy to come home 4th in class 6 and 73rd overall to bag some valuable Border Rally Championship points.
Bonniconlon man Darragh Devine with Paul McGee on the notes, took his class 2 civic to 74th as he really enjoyed his local stages. Ed and John Muldoon from Westport were next up in their Evo 9. Ed was another who found the stages very slippy and suffered a puncture early on in the event but managed a 79th place finish. The local pairing of Martin Cawley and Kenny Langan, were next, finishing 80th in their Peugeot 205.
An amazing achievement from local girl Trisha Greavy, on her first ever rally she finished 3rd in class 11F driving her pristine Honda Civic, afterwards she thanked her navigator Darren Gilmartin for keeping her clear of the ditches.
Former Mayo Young Driver Champion Justin Ryan from Headford, with Ballinrobe man Andy Walsh on the notes, took his Honda Civic to 3rd in the highly competitive Junior event, finishing just ahead of last year’s winner Noel Murphy from Shrule.
The testing and extremely slippery stages saw a lot of competitors fall by the wayside throughout the day, among them a number of local club entrants. Mayo club member Aaron MacHale with Kilitmagh’s Eamon Walsh sitting on, originally led the race for top local crew but unfortunately had to retire their Evo on the second loop with mechanical issues.
Event joint sponsor Ciaran Kennedy and Paddy O’Hora were leading class 2 until an off on stage 8. Foxford man Alan Moran was embroiled in the local battle in the Junior category until his Peugeot 206 succumbed to clutch trouble. Another Foxford man Stephen Doherty on his first day out had Jared Gill on the notes but was unfortunately stopped after the first stage with electrical woes.
David Doherty was running in 4th in class 7 until he had to retire after stage 5. Local man Patrick Durcan from Bonniconlon unfortunately had to retire his Nova after 7 stages.
On his return to tarmac rallying, Foxford man James McGreal had problems all day with his recently acquired Mitsubishi Evo, eventually retiring with turbo trouble.
The Greavy family were well represented on this rally but unfortunately Terry and Brendan had not the same luck as Trisha, as they failed to finish the final stage of the event.
Mayo Stages Rally Is Go!
The months of preparation are almost at a close. Officials are checking paperwork one final time, Stage Commanders are conducting last-minute spot-checks, marshals are gathering their bibs and all-weather gear for a day out in the elements, and competitors are fastening bonnet clips and loading their rally cars onto their trailers. It’s time for the Hotel Ballina / Kennedy Motors Mayo Stages Rally 2014.
The sense of excitement is palpable as officials, spectators and competitors alike eagerly wait for 9.30am next Sunday morning when the leading cars will be flagged away from rally headquarters Hotel Ballina. It is no exaggeration to say that this Mayo Stages Rally is one of the most eagerly anticipated motorsport events in this country for a long time.
Great stages and a great venue for rally headquarters, huge support from local businesses in Ballina and surrounding regions, family entertainment from 1pm on Saturday in Ballina’s Market Square, and to top it all, a mouth-watering entry list.
Combine that with the event being Round 1 of both the Dunlop National Rally Championships and Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championships, Is it any wonder that anticipation is sky-high?
And what an entry! Since it was revealed on Saturday night, the rally community has been abuzz with the sheer quality and quantity of the field that is coming together to compete in Mayo. More than one observer has said that a finer entry list has not be seen anywhere in a quiet a while. Testament indeed to the hard work of Clerk of the Course Padraic Roche and his team at Mayo & District Motorsport Club.
Ballina Motorsport Weekend
From 1pm on Saturday, there will be an abundant of entertainment for the whole family, planned in conjunction with Ballina’s Chamber of Commerce. Auto-testing demonstrations, Motorcycle stunt shows, RSA Roadsafety accident re-enactments with the local emergency services, static car displays, name just a few of the events happening in the Market Square. Rally Merchandise and refreshments will be available all day. To round off the evening the leading rally crews will bring glamour and excitement as they gather in the holding area in Market Square, for what is a great opportunity for families to see these powerful machines up close.
A small army of volunteers is needed to ensure a safe running of the Mayo Stages Rally. If you would be interesting in lending your support to help out over the weekend, please contact Chief Marshal Stephen McGing whose details are available above. – your assistance would be greatly appreciated.
The overall winner will probably come from the leading half dozen cars which are lead away by last year’s winners Donegal cousins Declan and Brian Boyle, who stormed to an emphatic victory here twelve months ago. Recently the pair kicked off the year with a win on last month’s opening round of the Irish Tarmac Championship in Galway, but will have their work cut out to take a second win in Mayo against the quality opposition lined up against them.
Welsh visitor Hugh Hunter makes his first trip to Mayo. Some say the Subaru WRC driver is the man to beat at the moment, having taken victory on the Birr Stages Rally a fortnight ago. Can he make it two wins from his first two trips to Ireland in 2014?
At three is a multiple National Champion and winner of this event three times in the past, first in 2002, ten years ago in 2004, but more recently in 2012. Niall Maguire will be hungry to get back on the top step of the podium once again and claim another win in Mayo.
Roy White starts from fourth spot in his potent MG ZR and has James O’Brien to guide him around the North Mayo countryside. After a blistering start in stage 1 in Birr two weeks ago was halted by an excursion with a bale a couple of miles into stage two. The pair are keen to impress in Mayo.
At Five and six are Kevin Barrett and Paddy McVeigh in their different model Subaru Impreza’s. Kevin, who won this event in 2011 and finished runner up in 2012, brings his newer model S14 to Mayo while Paddy who has shown a promising turn of speed lately in his S10 will be keen to cause upset.
Add number seven seeds, James Stafford and Amy Ryan in their 2.5 Millington-engined Darrian, eight and nine seeds, the Moffett brothers Sam and Josh, who are both driving Mitsubishi Evo’s and round off the top ten with Daniel Barry in his Evo and you well and truly have the ‘Best’ in the West, at next Sundays event.
2014 Mayo Stages Rally back to Ballina for second year
After a very successful 2013 event, the Mayo Stages Rally is back in Ballina for a second year. The rally got a great response from local businesses and community, and equally was very highly regarded by visiting competitors and spectators. Hotel Ballina is once again Rally Headquarters and co-sponsor for the 2014 Mayo Stages Rally. Mayo & District Motorsport Club wishes to thank Hotel Ballina’s Executive Director Róisín Buckley and Senior Manager Jason Moyles and their team for their continued support and enthusiasm in ensuring this is another event to remember.
The Club also wish to express thanks to Kennedy Motors of Ballina and Bellmullet who also co-sponsor the event. Without the help of our co-sponsors and associate sponsors it would not be possible to run this event.
Clerk of the Course Padraic Roche and his hard working team are currently busy preparing for this ever popular event which takes place on Sunday March 9th 2014.
The rally will once again be run over a similar but not identical route to 2013; it consists of a very compact route with short road sections and three good quality, testing stages, repeated three times. Mayo & District Motorsport Club would like to acknowledge that there would be no Mayo Stages Rally without the support and goodwill of residents and businesses along the rally route and surrounding area.
The 2014 Hotel Ballina/Kennedy Motors Mayo Stages Rally will be the opening round of the 2014 Dunlop National Championship and the 2014 Sligo Pallets Border Championship.
Click here for information on both championships:
Midlands Stages Rally
Photos by James Burke
A tight finish to the 2014 Midland Moto Stages Rally saw Paddy McVeigh from Tyrone come out on top over Pirelli star, Daniel Mckenna. The pair battled for the top spot throughout and only four hundredths of a second separated them at the final service. On the final loop McVeigh’s advantage of four wheel drive in his Subaru Impreza WRC told over Mckenna’s Ford Escort MK2. Longford man Tommy Doyle banged and popped his way to third in his high revving Renault Clio.
A tight loop of mixed fast flowing and technical driving stages awaited the crews on Sunday and the event as always, attracted a number of Mayo & District entries.
Best placed Mayo member to finish was Darragh Mullen, navigating for David Leonard in a Mitsubishi Evo, thepair finished in 7th place overall and claimed 2nd in class 20.
David Doherty from Ballinlough with Cormac Lyons alongside brought his Peugeot 306 home in 42nd place and 2nd in class 7.
Ballyhaunis man Seamus Coffey was calling the notes for John McGeehan in a Subaru Impreza and guided him to 53rd place and 3rd in Class 20.
Foxford’s Stephen Doherty who had Alan Moran navigating proved that he could easily swap his usual hobby of playing Irish music for the thrill of motorsport and still get the same enjoyment, as the pair finished an excellent 5th in the junior section of the rally.
Not so lucky were John Warren and Ruthann O Connor as their Toyota Corolla succumbed to engine failure on stage 7, after being knocking on the door of a top 20 place.
The countdown to the 2014 Hotel Ballina – Kennedy Motors Mayo Stages Rally is firmly on following a successful launch at Hotel Ballina, headquarters for the March 9th event. A large crowd was in attendance on Saturday night last to hear information about this year’s rally from a selection of speakers, including Clerk of the Course Padraic Roche and Chairman of Mayo & District Motorsport Club Matthew Murphy.
Among those attending was Andrew Mullen, sponsor of the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship, of which the Mayo Stages is the opening round. Local representatives included Ballina Town Mayor Johnny O’Malley, Ballina Town Clerk Carmel Murphy, Sgt Amanda Gaynor of Ballina Garda Station, members of Ballina Chamber of Commerce and county councillors.
Mayo & District Motorsport Club reports that a surge of competitors have entered the Mayo Stages Rally in recent days, with the entry list rapidly filling, any local competitors intending to enter the rally are advised to get their entries in without delay to avoid disappointment.
Building on the success of last year’s event in Ballina, a rally festival and an array of entertainment has been organised by the Ballina Chamber of Commerce. This Festival will happen on Saturday the 8th of March 2014 from 1pm-9pm.
Listen below to interviews with Mid West Radio from the Mayo Stages Rally launch Night.
Kuwait International Rally
After losing substantial time with turbo boost issues on the first day of the two day event, there was not enough stage mileage to make a comeback for Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari and Killian Duffy as the pair finished the event in sixth place in their fiesta.
Also suffering misfortune was John Higgins who was navigating Juma Alfalasi in a Citroën DS3. They hit a bump on the inside of a corner on day 1 which landed the Abu Dhabi Racing backed DS3 on its roof, abruptly ending their rally.
A brand new season of the Dunlop National Rally Championship opens with a vibrant entry for the Hotel Ballina/Kennedy Motors Mayo Rally on Sunday next.Reigning champion and last year’s winner in Mayo, Declan Boyle (Subaru WRC) heads an impressive entry with no fewer than seven World Rally Cars in the line-up for the nine stage event.
It is the first time since 2008 that the Mayo club host the opening round of the popular series.Last year, although not a round of the Dunlop series, the rally returned to Ballina for the first time since 2003 when it was won by Eugene Donnelly (Subaru).In the intervening years, the rally was based in Castlebar and Claremorris.
Not since Patrick Elliott in the 2008/2009 seasons has a driver won back to back Dunlop titles.Boyle will have a tough task in trying to emulate the Cavan driver and the quartet of Jer Buckley (1979/1980), Bertie Law (1983/1984), Stephen Murphy (1995/1986) and John Gilleece (1997/1998).
Five victories in six outings in last year’s Dunlop campaign saw Boyle take the title on round six in Tipperary.As he begins his title defence on Sunday, Boyle reflected on his 2013 campaign, “There were no easy rounds last year.When the weather was changing, it made it tough but Niall Maguire was there all the time and has loads of experience and is hard to beat.My toughest event was Sligo as the tar was melting and was very slippy”.
The Donegal driver admitted he knows little about Hugh Hunter, “I don’t know how quick he is, we never competed against him, but from what I hear he is not going to be easy.”
Welsh ace Hugh Hunter (Subaru WRC) was an impressive winner of the recent Abbeyleix Manor Hotel Rally.He won last year’s Dunlop round in Galway and then led the final round in Bantry until transmission problems put an end to his rally.There is little doubt that he is a serious title contender, how he fares against Boyle is just one of the many fascinating aspects of the Hotel Ballina/Kennedy Motors Mayor Rally.
It’s been ten years since Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) won the national series, the three time champion is undoubtedly one of the most ardent supporters of the Dunlop series and he would really like to add that unprecedented fourth title.
Clonmel’s Roy White (MG ZR) occupies the number four berth in Mayo. superb season last year where he took third overall, he also led the recent Abbeyleix Rally after the opening stage but an encounter with a chicane bale brought a hasty exit.
Another Dunlop regular, Kevin Barrett will drive his S14 Subaru WRC, the Maynooth driver won in Mayo in 2011, his last victory in a round of the Dunlop series was the Galway Summer Rally in 2009.
Like Hugh Hunter, Tyrone’s Paddy McVeigh (Subaru WRC) will tackle the Dunlop series and also used the recent Abbeyleix Rally as a shakedown – finishing third overall.
Wexford’s James Stafford on board the nimble Darrian T90 returns to Dunlop action, he was another driver that competed in Abbeyleix as preparation for Mayo, he was second to Hugh Hunter.
The top ten is completed by the Mitsubishi trio of Sam Moffett, Josh Moffett and Daniel Barry.Former Billy Coleman award winner, Sam reverts to his Group N car for Mayo.The Monaghan driver won his home round of the Dunlop series last year.Opposition from his younger brother Josh will, as usual, be frenetic.Daniel Barry’s performance will be watched with interest.Monaghan’s Shane Maguire has acquired the ex-Stephen Wright Mitsubishi EvoIX, he knows that it will take a few events before he comes to terms with his new acquisition.The showroom category also features Trevor Bustard, former Dunlop champion Aaron MacHale and Pat Kirk, all in Mitsubishi EvoIX’s.
Current Irish Forest rally champion London based Cork driver Michael O’Brien (Ford Focus WRC) has decided to make the Dunlop series his number one priority this year as former winner of the popular “Drive of the Day” award, British driver Steve Wood steps up from a Citroen C2R2 to the ex-Darren Gass Subaru WRC.
Meanwhile, the chase for the Dunlop Mk. 2 Ford Escort Champions Trophy begins in Mayo where the main protagonists are Camillus Bradley, Russell Woods, Fergus O’Meara, Brian Brogan, Jack Maguire and Vivian Hamill.
Popular Longford driver Tommy Doyle competes in his Renault Clio R3 that has undergone a number of changes to the suspension and transmission systems.
From a local perspective, the 140 car entry includes Westport’s David Carney (Citroen DS3 R3T), Ballinrobe’s John Warren (Toyota Corolla), Hollymount’s Colin Loughney (Ford Escort) along with Shane Buckley (Honda Civic) from Ballyhaunis, Derek Bolton (Subaru) from Ballaghdereen and Knockmore’s Kenneth McHale, also in a Subaru.
Elsewhere, Clare’s Niall O’Sullivan (Citroen C2) and Cavan’s Damian O’Reilly (Ford Escort) head the Junior entry list.
Chairman of the Dunlop National Rally Championship Committee, Richard Talbot remarked, “We are delighted to have Dunlop on board for the season ahead and we are looking forward to having another quality field of competitors in all categories contesting the 2014 series.It is fantastic to see over 140 crews in Mayo, I think it proves the popularity of the Dunlop championship.It is hugely encouraging to see that our Dunlop champions, Declan and Brian Boyle are making a defence of their title.”
Organising Club: Mayo & District Motorsport Club.
Clerk of the Course: Padraic Roche.
Rally Headquarters: Hotel Ballina. Tel: 096 23600
First Car Away: Hotel Ballina. 9.30am.
S.S. 1, 4& 7: Cloonta (9.14km.) 10.17, 12.54 & 14.29.
S.S. 2, 5 & 8: Lough Brohly (17.30km.) 10.37, 13.14 & 115.51.
S.S. 3, 6 & 9: Ballymore Lough (10.48km.) 11.14, 13.51 & 16.28.
Service: Ballina Mart. 9.40, 11.52 & 14.29.
Finish Ramp: Hotel Ballina. 16.58.
Top 10 Starters:
1. Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Subaru WRC S12B)
2. Hugh Hunter/Andy Marchbank (Subaru WRC S11)
3. Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC S11)
4. Roy White/James O’Brien (MG ZR S2400)
5. Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru WRC S14)
6. Paddy McVeigh/Gary McElhinney (Subaru WRC)
7. James Stafford/Amy Ryan (Darrian T90)
8. Sam Moffett/James O Reilly (Mitsubishi EvoIX)
9. Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Mitsubishi EvoIX)
10. Daniel Barry/Gordon Noble (Mitsubishi EvoX)
The 2014 Dunlop National Rally Championship will consist of the following events:
1.Mayo Rally (Ballina) March 9.
2.Circuit of Kerry (Tralee) April 6.
3.Carlow Rally, May 11.
4.Circuit of Munster June 1.
5.Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally, August 10.
6.Galway Summer Rally, August 31.
7.Clare Rally, September 21.
8.Donegal Harvest Rally, October 11th.
Competitors will be able select the best six scores from the eight events and the Historic and Junior competitors can utilise the best four scores from eight events.