A Rally of Endurance in Nenagh
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.