Weather conditions were far from ideal as crews from all over the country and abroad descended on Nenagh, Co.Tipperary for the Birr & District Motorclub stages rally.
Sam Moffett & James Fulton were quickest out of the soggy blocks taking control from the very first stage. They showed their talent on the wet roads with their Fiesta WRC to take the outright win on the day. A close runner up was the similar machine of Declan Boyle navigated by his cousin Brian. After a cautious start they settled into 2nd place on stage 2. With all the unfortunate non finishes, for various reasons, of late there’s no doubt the crew were delighted with the second step on the podium. Donagh Kelly & Conor Foley had a great battle with Roy White & James O’Brien down to a nail biting finish for the final spot on the podium. Kelly won out in the end by just 3 seconds to take 3rd over all in a tough first outing of 2017 for the WRC Focus.
Mayo members made a splash of their own in the adverse conditions. First man home was Paul McLoughlin who was in the hot seat calling the notes for Shane Maguire. The pairing climbed steadily all day knowing it would have been easy to throw it all away with a small mistake. They brought the Evo 9 home to a fantastic 11th O/A and 2nd in class 4.
Guiding Neil Tohill’s Evo 9 was Darragh Mullen who had an enjoyable day out didn’t let the rain dampen their spirits. They finished up a great 18th O/A and 4th in class.
The regular pairing in a mark 2 Escort was Vivian Hamill with Andrew Grennan on the notes. A misfire on the first 2 stages left them playing catch up from stage 3. They entertained all day out on the course climbing up the ranks to claim 33rd O/A and 6th in class.
The easy to spot Peugeot 106 of Ronan Denning & Karl Egan were getting into their stride as they went from 65th to 51st in 7 stages. But the car slowed to a halt on the last stage which forced them to retire.
The Border Championship winning pair of Barry Cuffe & Stephen McGing were looking forward to putting some stage miles on the new engine. Unfortunately the pair had some teething mechanical issues that called a halt to their day after stage 3.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.”
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)
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.
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.
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