Sligo Stages Rally

Donegal driver Donagh Kelly and his Derry co-driver Kevin Flanagan in their Ford Focus WRC clinched the Triton Showers National Rally Championship courtesy of second place on the McCormack Opel -Sligo Park Hotel Rally, round six of the eight round series.

Outgoing champion, Declan Boyle and his co-driver Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC) won the event, finishing thirty seconds ahead of the new champions, who were presented with the Vard Memorial Trophy at the finish ramp in Sligo.

First Mayo club local over the finish line was Darragh Mullen who navigated Mark Geraghty to 2nd place in class 11F and 26th place overall. Top local crew home was Castlebar’s Barry Cuffe who had Aidan Gannon alongside. The pair brought their Ford Escort Mk2 home 5th in class and 43rd overall.  David Healy and Stephen McGing dominated class one, leading from start to finish and coming home in 45th place. Belmullet’s Shane Barry ably navigated Fergal Callaghan to 76th in their Corolla Twincam. John Duffy and John Egan were lucky finished the event, a good recovery after an off road excursion seen the pair finish 6th in class 3 and in 80th place overall. Aubrey Carson and Mary McAndrew guided their Vauxhall Nova to 5th in class 10 and 84th overall.

Other locals taking part in the main field that were not so lucky included Michael and Fergal Loughney, who retired their Mk2 Escort on the second loop and Darren Gilmartin who also finished calling notes on the second loop. Derek Bolton failed to start the event after mechanical trouble before scrutiny cut his weekend short, also falling short of the start line were Crossmolina father and son team Ronan and Lorcan Moore, suffering terminal gearbox trouble in their escort on the way to Saturday scrutiny.

In the Junior category Roscommon’s Cormac Phelan and Katja Auhl were easy winners, taking command from the start in their Citroen C2R2. Ballina’s Derek McCarthy navigating Sligo man Stephen Reynolds finished 3rd just ahead of Justin Ryan and Andy Walsh. Crossmolina pairing of Brian Moore and Stephen Gallagher put in a spirited drive on their first event to finish 5th narrowly ahead of Noel Murphy and Stephen Monaghan.