Reminder to all Junior & Historic competitors

Get your entries in for the Mayo Stages Rally 2017, a fantastic, excellent value event not to be missed. You will not get a better opportunity this year to compete on the full distance of an event consisting of 96km for an entry fee of only €330 + Insurance Levy (€188). You will be guaranteed a good day of fun and competition on 2 excellent stages with great grip and a mix of open & technical sections. Get your entries in by contacting the Event Secretary Deirdre on 087 2380376 or at

Closing Date for Mayo Stages Rally 2017

Competitors are reminded that the 27th of Feb is the official closing date for entries for the Óstán Oileán Acla Connacht Print & Signs Mayo Stages Rally 2017.

However, entries for the rally will remain open and all participating competitors are asked to contact the Event Secretary as soon as possible to be included on the entry list. Seeding will take place at the weekend.

Entries to the competition for 2 nights B&B in Hotel Newport will close on this Wednesday evening 1st March and the winner will be announced in the coming days. If you want to have your entry in the hat for the competition, please contact the Event Secretary Deirdre ASAP on 087 2380376 or email your entry form to:”

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

Rally Guide Now Available

Click on the link to download:

Rally Guide 2017

With just 3 weeks to go, Mayo & District Motorsport Club are busy finalizing plans for the Óstán Oileán Acla/Connacht Print & Signs Mayo Stages Rally for 2017.  As the opening round of the ever popular Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship, it promises to be an action packed motorsport weekend with spectacular stages winding along the picturesque Wild Atlantic Way. This is one event you won’t want to miss.

For the competitor and spectator alike, this event is like no other. Competitors will enjoy an equal mix of stages, from tight and twisty to open, flat straights. Flanked with the backdrop from the Atlantic Ocean these stages really have it all and promise to challenge both crew and machine.

Says Trevor O’Connell, Clerk of the Course, “This event is a little different from what we have run in previous years. The roads are in superb shape, with a lot of clean tarmac, excellent road surface and great grip. Traditionally, due to the time of year we run at, our stages tended to be a bit tricky and slippery in places, this will not be the case this year as the Islands roads are well capable of handling the Irish weather”. He continues “It will be breath taking for the spectators too as most locations will provide excellent viewing, among some of the best you will find anywhere”.

As Mayo & District Motorsport Club predominantly has members who compete in rallying, we are conscious of the fact that our sport has been dealt another hard blow this year with the rising insurance costs. Therefore we are running a 6 stage event to keep the entry fee as low as possible.  The event will comprise of 96+ stage kilometres and 100 road kilometres, offering the best value for money per stage kilometre you will find this year. Rally HQ, Scrutiny, Trailer Park, Service Park, Parc Fermé and of course the stages themselves are all on Achill Island. We have kept the route as compact as possible, focusing on keeping the road distance to a minimum. This in turn keeps the costs down for the competitors as it makes for an easy recce on the Saturday and also means less fuel consumed by competing cars on the Sunday. Competitors will also benefit from a compact day on Sunday with the first cars returning to Parc Fermé before 16:45. This gives everyone the opportunity to avail of the fine hospitality that Óstán Oileán Acla has to offer.

We would like to invite you all to visit our Rally HQ, Óstán Oileán Acla, this coming Friday the 24th of February for our Rally Launch Night. The night will kick off at 8pm and everyone is more than welcome to join us.

We also look forward to welcoming you all to Achill on the 11th and 12th March for a weekend to remember.

Jason Murphy takes J1000 Championship opener

As the dew still hung on the trees for the Carrick on Suir Forestry Rally, Mayo crews were getting geared up to tackle into the stages. With tricky conditions out on the stages, crews were cautious for the first loop of stages.

At 16 years old Shrule’s Jason Murphy was at the wheel of his C-sport prepared Peugeot 107 with his uncle Matthew calling the notes. The pair settled in well taking an early lead in their class. Pulling away as the day progressed from Alex Byrne and James Fogarty in their similar machine. The all Mayo crew were well rewarded for the all-nighter they pulled getting the new suspension into the car on Friday night taking the class 21 win and finishing 42nd overall.  An excellent start in a new J1000 championship for the youngster.   J1000 (class 21) is a new class in the Forestry Championship which kicked off today.  It was introduced as a Motorsport Ireland initiative and gives competitors between the age of 16 and 18 an opportunity to compete in the main field as part of a forestry rally.

Overall it was a Ford Fiesta 1 2 3 as Josh Moffett and Stephen Thornton won out narrowly from his brother Sam Moffett navigated by James Fulton by 0.6 of a second.  Keith Cronin and Mike Galvin completed the blue oval podium.

Lorcan Moore from Crossmolina, fresh from picking up his Sports Star award on Friday night headed south to the rally and navigated for Ashley Dickson. The Lancer Evo9 was a change of scenery for Lorcan as he had navigated in a Honda Civic the previous weekend in Galway.  The crew had a problem free event taking a fantastic 20th overall and 4th in class 4.

Calling the notes for Jason Dickson in the Fiesta ST150 was Lahardanes Jared Gill. Jared had to put his shoulder into it as the Fiesta had an off, following an overshoot, which lost them a couple of minutes on stage 2. The Mayo man not only pushed Jason back onto the stage he also pushed him to an excellent result finishing the day 2nd in class 2 and 31st overall.



Mayo Stages Rally – Early Entry Competition

Mayo & District Motorsport Club are delighted to give competitors a great opportunity to stay in the luxurious Hotel Newport for two nights of their choice.

Hotel Newport is located just 30mins from Rally HQ and would be an ideal base for you to enjoy the Rally weekend.

To enter this fantastic competition comprising, two nights B&B and one evening meal, you are encouraging to get your entry into us early. Yes that is all you need to do to enter the draw for this great prize.

So please check the Supplementary Regulations and post your completed entry form to our Event Secretary Deirdre Burke on the address given.

Best of luck.

Amendment to the Regulations of the Mayo Stages Rally 2017

Mayo success in Galway and Qatar Internationals.

Mayo & District Motorsport Club was out in force as they took to tarmac at The Galway International Rally and to gravel at the Qatar International Rally last weekend.

Conditions were very tough over the weekend in Galway as the stages were saturated from torrential rain on the Friday night but the sun broke through the clouds on Saturday morning and everyone was hopeful the stage conditions would improve. Saturday night/Sunday morning brought heavy frost and with icy roads on both stages the organizers had no option but to cancel the first two stages of the day for safety reasons.  This gave the crews an extra chance to check through the notes as they got to drive through the stages at road speed much to the delight of the spectators.

It was last year’s Mayo Stages Rally winners Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy who took the honors in Galway, with Roy White and James O’Brien taking the runner up position, being pushed all the way to the end by Alastair Fisher and Karl Atkinson who were only 8 seconds behind.

It was an anxious start for the Mayo crews on the Saturday morning as they know from experience a finish in Galway is a win in itself.  The first clubman on the road was Aaron Machale in the newly acquired Citroen DS3 navigated by Darragh Kelly. They kept up a great pace all day while still learning the new machine. But unfortunately had an incident near the end of SS8 which called a halt to their rally.

Andrew Grennan was in the navigator seat for Viv Hamill in the well-equipped Mk2 Escort and were entertaining to watch all day as they took home 6th in class 14 and 9th O/A in the National standings.

Finishing just four places behind were the all Mayo crew of Sean McHugh and Kathleen Kennedy. They filled the valleys of Galway with the incredible sounding BMW M3 compact. After a 3 year absence from competitive rallying, the crew were delighted with their highest ever result in Galway coming 21st O/A in the National category

Dawn broke over the frosty stages on Sunday morning and it was the juniors time to shine. It wouldn’t take long for the stages to heat up as Justin Ryan and Noel Murphy resumed their old battle for young driver honors.

Justin Ryan had Lorcan Moore calling the notes in the EK4 Civic. The pair commended the hard work of their service crew on preparing an impeccable car which ran faultless all day. They took home a fantastic 2nd position in the junior category.

Noel Murphy and John Burke were hot on their heels all day in their EG6 Civic, it was almost too hot as the crew had a high speed moment over a crest on stage 15.  Noel suggested it was luck that got him through the slide but we all know the skill this young man has behind the wheel. They took a well-deserved 3rd in the junior class.

Mayo & District Motorsport Club had a great turnout of safety marshals willing to lending a hand over the weekend. Well done to all who braved the elements to make it a safe event. Everyone enjoyed the weekend and we know as a club that help given is always given back. We look forward to meeting you all again for The Óstán Oileán Acla / Connacht Signs Mayo Stages Rally 2017 on Achill Island.

Mayo’s Killian Duffy had a fantastic result as he navigated for Nasser Al Kuwari at the Qatar International Rally. The pairing kicked up the dust in what turned out to be a battle of endurance. Misfortune struck the GrpN Evo on day 1 with a couple of punctures and a fault with the Anti-lag. However the 10 year old car had the luck of the Irish on its side and brought the crew home to an incredible 2nd place O/A. It is fantastic to see what an almost standard car can achieve in the right hands.

Congratulations everyone.

Marshalling Tips

After attending the informative marshals seminar last week in the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon I thought I would pass on a few tips you might find useful. I’m not giving the “how to marshal” here I’m just giving tips I have picked up over the years and feel free to add anything positive you have learned in the comments below.

When you sign on in the morning and receive your pack you’ll normally be asked by the stage commander for your phone number. It would be no harm to just write down on your pack the number of the location before you as they may be needed to give your location an advanced warning, display SOS or stop the stage for you in an accident.

When driving the stage in the morning pay attention on approach to your location and read the road by visualising how the cars could act; (hidden bump, gravel etc.) This will give you a better indication of where is safe for you and spectators to stand. Don’t be afraid to make a prohibited area bigger if you are unhappy with it.

Never stand where you wouldn’t let a spectator stand. The bib or the the magic tape does not make anyone indestructible. We all know to keep boxes and escape roads clear and that is for everyone, media spectators and marshals.

If media or spectators are standing where you deem unsafe politely ask them to move. If they refuse to move, contact your stage commander explaining the matter. If competing cars are still approaching with the matter not resolved, issue the yellow flag from a safe distance back. You are there for the safety of the event and everyone in it.

In an incident please don’t attend the car first. You attend your flag first. An oncoming car could hit you and the stationary car, and possibly spectators too. Be as visible as you can while running back the road about 100 metres, stand in a viable spot & use the flag accordingly. Hold out if it’s a small incident to caution a driver of a change of racing line. Wave the flag in the case of major obstruction, blockage, assistance required. If drivers do not take appropriate action to the flag you can report them to COC and penalties will be issued.

Never use a camera. The only time your phone is to be used when the stage goes live is if you need the emergency services or stage commander. These are your main need for a phone and I would suggest keeping the pack close to you as their numbers are on it. There are people out there for photo and filming duties. When you look at the small picture you’ll miss the big one.

Most of all YOU be safe out there. Without you we are without rallies. So be safe, seen, awake and aware of your duty. It will make a difference to the sport.