Stages Rally 2013 – Promo Video – Countdown to the Rally
Click on the link below to view the Promotional video for the Mayo Stages Rally 2013
All Set for Mayo Stages Rally 2013
The last nuts and bolts are being tightened on rally cars, race suits and helmets are being dusted down, and navigators are logging on to Google Maps to find directions to Ballina. The final countdown to the Hotel Ballina & Kennedy Motors Mayo Stages Rally 2013 is underway before the high-octane action takes place this week-end.
Rally Countdown … all go from Friday evening
With competitors arriving from Friday afternoon on, the first task for the drivers and co-drivers after signing-on to the event is on Saturday morning March 9th, when they drive the rally stages in their road cars making pacenotes to use the following day. Later in the day, the rally cars will be presented for scrutineering where they have to pass stringent road and rally safety requirements before being allowed to take part in the rally. After that the cars are locked away securely in Parc Ferme ahead of the start of the rally.
For the public, the rally gets underway in earnest on Saturday when the leading competitors as well as all the local drivers gather on Pearse Street, in Ballina town centre for the Ceremonial Start. Now in its fourth year, this is a great opportunity to see the rally cars and stars up close, and is especially suitable for families with small children. Pearse Street will be closed to traffic from 6pm with diversions in place. The rally cars will start arriving from 7pm with the cars passing over the starting ramp where the drivers will be interviewed at 9pm. Open air music and entertainment will take place during the evening.
When the flag drops….
The serious competition starts on Sunday morning, with the leading cars leaving Parc Feirme in Hotel Ballina at 10 am to tackle the nine challenging special stages. The first stage Cloonta runs for the first time at 10.45 am. Stage two, Lough Brohly, gets underway at 11.05 am, and stage three, Ballymore Lough, which is near Attymass runs at 11.35 am. The cars then return to service in Ballina Mart on the Crossmolina Road, before tackling the loop of three stages two more times. The leading cars are due back at the rally finish at Hotel Ballina at 5 pm. Full details of maps and times will be available in the rally programmes which will be on sale in shops and garages around the area from Friday evening. Online users can follow Mayo & District Motorsport Club’s Twitter (@mayomotorclub) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/mayomotorsportclub) accounts which will be continually updated during the week-end with all the latest news, times and competitor quotes, or you can check into the club website (www.mayomotorsportclub.com). Rally updates will also be available during the day on local radio, as Midwest Radio will carry live coverage of the event on the Sunday Sports Show from their Roadcaster, which will be based in the Service Park.
High Quality Entry Field
Perhaps inevitably the current difficult economic environment has meant fewer WRC cars taking part on this year’s Mayo Stages Rally, compared to recent years, but nonetheless a quality field is all set for the challenge of tackling the Hotel Ballina Kennedy Motors backed event.
Seeded at No 1 are cousins Declan and Brian Boyle from Donegal in their Subaru WRC, fresh from their victory on the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel Rally in Birr two weeks ago. Best known for his exploits in his 2.5 Mark 2 Escort, Declan is now competing at the top end of rallying in Ireland, having acquired the ex-Tim McNulty Subaru S12 in the second half of last year. Any doubts as to whether he could compete at the highest level were quickly silenced with a string of fine results including an overall win on his debut with the car on the Galway Summer Rally which was followed by 2nd place finishes on the Cork 20 and Donegal Harvest, 3rd in the Galway International Rally and the recent win in Birr. Declan and Brian are getting quicker in the car with each event and promise to be spectacular to watch in Mayo.
2 are Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan in their Airtricity backed S11 Subaru Impreza. After a somewhat frustrating 2012 the boys are now finding their feet in the WRC car after a 5th place finish in Galway and it would be no surprise if the Donegal pair led the rally at the finish at 5pm on Sunday evening. The first Group N car is No 3 seed Pat Kirk from Strabane in an Evo 9. He will have Paddy McVeigh chasing him in his new Subaru Impreza S10 in car number 4. Paddy’s regular co-driver Stephen O’Hanlon will be marking his 100th rally on this year’s Mayo Stages.
Modified competitor Declan Gallagher in his Toyota Starlet is at number 5, Declan likely to be mixing it with the 4wd boys. Camillus Bradley, Jonathan Pringle, Rodney Wilton and Russell Woods fill the next four places in the top 10, in similar looking but different spec Ford Escorts Mark 2’s. All are capable of top results, particularly if weather conditions are dry. Mayo & District Motorsport Club Members & Border Rally Championships sponsors Andrew Mullen and Elaine Doherty round off the top 10 in their Group N Evo 9 while another note-worthy entry is the reigning Border Rally Champions Arthur and Mac Kierans who are seeded just outside the top 10 in their MK2 Escort.