Stages Rally 2014 – BOYLES BEST IN BALLINA
Defending Dunlop National Rally champions, Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Subaru WRC) made the perfect start to this season’s campaign with a start to finish victory in the Hotel Ballina/Kennedy Motors Mayo Rally, the first event of the eight round series.
In slippery conditions, they finished two minutes and 21.8 seconds ahead of the MG ZR of Roy White/James O’Brien. Paddy McVeigh/Gary McElhinney (Subaru WRC) were a minute and 1.1 seconds further behind third.
The Group N category was won by Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Mitsubishi). The Longford/Cork duo of Tommy Doyle/Liam Moynihan (Renault Clio R3) were the top two wheel drive competitors. The Dunlop “Drive of the Day” award was won by Steve Wood/Keith Moriarty (Subaru WRC).
On an extremely slippery opening stage near Bunnyconnellan, Boyle was 4.9 seconds ahead of Hugh Hunter, who endured a half spin. Roy White (MG ZR) was third fastest – 10.9 seconds further adrift. Former triple Dunlop champion, Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) languished down in fourteenth place almost 40 seconds off the lead due to intercom problems, tyre choice was also an issue. White caught up with Maguire’s Subaru about a mile from the finish but, due to the narrow road, the Monaghan man was unable to allow White overtake.
As the medical services were requested for a resident on the second stage, rally organisers re-routed to the third stage. There, Boyle posted another fastest time to move into a 16 second lead over Hunter. At the Ballina service park, leader Boyle remarked, “It is very slippery out there, I’m taking it nice and steady.” White remained in third – 21.4 seconds behind Hunter.
Daniel Barry in his R4 Mitsubishi was a fine fourth followed by Steve Wood in the ex-Darren Gass Subaru WRC, who clipped a rock and stalled on the third stage. Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC) slotted into sixth.
Sam Moffett led the Group N category, he was seventh overall in a top ten completed by Paddy McVeigh (Subaru WRC), Josh Moffett, who spun his Mitsubishi on the opening stage and Aaron MacHale (Mitsubishi). Elsewhere, Trevor Bustard (Mitsubishi) had a major moment on the third stage and was lucky to escape unscathed. Niall Maguire withdrew at the service halt due to engine concerns.
With all the drivers remarking on the slippery conditions, Boyle fared best on the second loop of stages. His only indiscretion was on S.S. 5 when he stalled his Subaru at a junction. Hunter had a good stage time on S.S. 4 but his rally ended on the next stage when he retired with a sensor issue. Boyle arrived at the final service halt with a lead of one minute and 57.4 seconds. Second placed White opted for a cut slick but having two intermediate compound spare wheels, he changed the front wheels for the sixth stage.
Paddy McVeigh (Subaru) slotted into third despite a huge moment on S.S 6 when he hit a rock that was dragged on to the stage. Daniel Barry in his R4 Mitsubishi was fourth – 4.9 seconds behind McVeigh. Steve Wood and Kevin Barrett completed the top six, the latter had visibility issues when the screen fogged up on S.S. 6, he also experienced problems with sixth gear.
Josh Moffett moved into the lead of Group N when his brother Sam retired with engine troubles on S.S. 5. Donegal’s Trevor Bustard, who had a moment on S.S. 5, was 20.3 seconds behind in a top ten completed by Tommy Doyle (Renault Clio R3) and Raymond Conlon (Toyota Corolla). Aaron MacHale retired his Mitsubishi with fuel pump troubles.
Kevin Barrett withdrew his Subaru at the final service halt due to problems with sixth gear.
On the final loop of three stages, Boyle survived a heart stopping moment on the penultimate stage and went on to take victory and maximum Dunlop points. White and McVeigh completed the top three. Wood in the ex-Darren Gass Subaru WRC was fourth from Daniel Barry (Mitsubishi), who won the R4 category and Group N winner, Josh Moffett, who finished sixth overall.
1. D. Boyle/B. Boyle (Subaru WRC S12B) 1h. 00m. 23.5s.
2. R. White/J. O’Brien (MG ZR S2400) 1h. 02m. 45.3s
3. P. McVeigh/G. McElhinney (Subaru WRC) 1h.03m. 46.4s
4. S. Wood/K. Moriarty (Subaru WRC) 1h. 04m. 02.4s
5. D. Barry/G. Noble (Mitsubishi EvoX) 1h. 04m. 37.1s.
6. J. Moffett/J. Rowan (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 05m. 27.2s
7. T. Bustard/J. McCafferty (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 06. 13.8s.
8. T. Doyle/L. Moynihan (Renault Clio R3) 1h. 06m. 20.6s
9. R. Conlon/D. McCague (Toyota Corolla) 1h. 06m. 21.5s
10. D. Leonard/D. Mullen (Mitsubishi)1h. 06m. 55.0s.
Dunlop National Rally Championship (Provisional Positions after Round 1): 1. D. Boyle 20pts; 2. R. White 18pts; 3. P. McVeigh 16 pts; 4. S. Wood 14pts.
Dunlop National Rally Championship.
How the locals fared on Mayo Stages Rally 2014
Photos by James Burke and Kevin Glendinning
A number of local crews and competitors claimed top awards in the Hotel Ballina / Kennedy Motors Mayo Stages Rally 2014. Top placed local finishers and winners of the Mayo & District Motorsport Club Top Crew Award were Ballinrobe based Sligo man John Warren and Ruthann O’Connor from Kilmaine, finishing in 23rd place overall in their Toyota Corolla. This was after a day long battle with Westport man David Carney in his newly acquired Citroen DS3-R3. Carney led for the majority of the day but John and Ruthann managed to overhaul him on the final stage to claim the award for the second year running. All was not lost for Carney though as he claimed victory in class 7.
Darragh Mullen navigating for David Leonard in a Lancer finished 10th overall. Darragh was highest placed Mayo & District Motorsport Club member and in the process won class 20. Aidan Gannon from Tubbercurry ably navigated Anthony O’Brien to 2nd in that class.
Colin Loughney from Hollymount had Kilfian man Seamus Murphy navigating for the first time. The pair found the stages treacherous but still took the Escort to 5th in class 12 and 35th overall.
Ballaghadereen/Ballina pairing Derek Bolton and Trevor O’Connell survived early intercooler pipe problems in their Impreza to finish 2nd in class 15. Knockmore man Kenneth McHale with Derek McCarthy on the notes took 3rd in class 15 and 42nd overall, also in a Subaru Impreza.
Barry Cuffe from Belcarra powered his often sideways Mk 2 Escort to 43rd overall and a credible 4th in class 11R. Former club chairman Sean McHugh, who had Paul McLaughlin alongside in his distinctive BMW M3 came home in 60th place. Bekan man Sean was delighted to finish his home event and really enjoyed the demanding stages.
Current club chairman Matthew Murphy, with his brother Ronan on the notes finished just behind Sean in 61st in his Toyota Corolla.
Keith McFadden and Chrystal Culkeen claimed 3rd in class 7 and 62nd overall.
Mayo club secretary and Crossmolina man John Duffy with John Egan on the notes finished 67th in their distinctive Honda Integra.
Local man Martin Hastings was navigating for Donegal’s Eamonn McCaffery in a Ford Puma, the pair claimed top honours in Class 5.
Ballina pairing Tony Langdon and Eddie Quinn were happy to come home 4th in class 6 and 73rd overall to bag some valuable Border Rally Championship points.
Bonniconlon man Darragh Devine with Paul McGee on the notes, took his class 2 civic to 74th as he really enjoyed his local stages. Ed and John Muldoon from Westport were next up in their Evo 9. Ed was another who found the stages very slippy and suffered a puncture early on in the event but managed a 79th place finish. The local pairing of Martin Cawley and Kenny Langan, were next, finishing 80th in their Peugeot 205.
An amazing achievement from local girl Trisha Greavy, on her first ever rally she finished 3rd in class 11F driving her pristine Honda Civic, afterwards she thanked her navigator Darren Gilmartin for keeping her clear of the ditches.
Former Mayo Young Driver Champion Justin Ryan from Headford, with Ballinrobe man Andy Walsh on the notes, took his Honda Civic to 3rd in the highly competitive Junior event, finishing just ahead of last year’s winner Noel Murphy from Shrule.
The testing and extremely slippery stages saw a lot of competitors fall by the wayside throughout the day, among them a number of local club entrants. Mayo club member Aaron MacHale with Kilitmagh’s Eamon Walsh sitting on, originally led the race for top local crew but unfortunately had to retire their Evo on the second loop with mechanical issues.
Event joint sponsor Ciaran Kennedy and Paddy O’Hora were leading class 2 until an off on stage 8. Foxford man Alan Moran was embroiled in the local battle in the Junior category until his Peugeot 206 succumbed to clutch trouble. Another Foxford man Stephen Doherty on his first day out had Jared Gill on the notes but was unfortunately stopped after the first stage with electrical woes.
David Doherty was running in 4th in class 7 until he had to retire after stage 5. Local man Patrick Durcan from Bonniconlon unfortunately had to retire his Nova after 7 stages.
On his return to tarmac rallying, Foxford man James McGreal had problems all day with his recently acquired Mitsubishi Evo, eventually retiring with turbo trouble.
The Greavy family were well represented on this rally but unfortunately Terry and Brendan had not the same luck as Trisha, as they failed to finish the final stage of the event.