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