Stages Rally 2014 : Mayo Stages Rally Is Go!
Mayo Stages Rally Is Go!
The months of preparation are almost at a close. Officials are checking paperwork one final time, Stage Commanders are conducting last-minute spot-checks, marshals are gathering their bibs and all-weather gear for a day out in the elements, and competitors are fastening bonnet clips and loading their rally cars onto their trailers. It’s time for the Hotel Ballina / Kennedy Motors Mayo Stages Rally 2014.
The sense of excitement is palpable as officials, spectators and competitors alike eagerly wait for 9.30am next Sunday morning when the leading cars will be flagged away from rally headquarters Hotel Ballina. It is no exaggeration to say that this Mayo Stages Rally is one of the most eagerly anticipated motorsport events in this country for a long time.
Great stages and a great venue for rally headquarters, huge support from local businesses in Ballina and surrounding regions, family entertainment from 1pm on Saturday in Ballina’s Market Square, and to top it all, a mouth-watering entry list.
Combine that with the event being Round 1 of both the Dunlop National Rally Championships and Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championships, Is it any wonder that anticipation is sky-high?
And what an entry! Since it was revealed on Saturday night, the rally community has been abuzz with the sheer quality and quantity of the field that is coming together to compete in Mayo. More than one observer has said that a finer entry list has not be seen anywhere in a quiet a while. Testament indeed to the hard work of Clerk of the Course Padraic Roche and his team at Mayo & District Motorsport Club.
Ballina Motorsport Weekend
From 1pm on Saturday, there will be an abundant of entertainment for the whole family, planned in conjunction with Ballina’s Chamber of Commerce. Auto-testing demonstrations, Motorcycle stunt shows, RSA Roadsafety accident re-enactments with the local emergency services, static car displays, name just a few of the events happening in the Market Square. Rally Merchandise and refreshments will be available all day. To round off the evening the leading rally crews will bring glamour and excitement as they gather in the holding area in Market Square, for what is a great opportunity for families to see these powerful machines up close.
A small army of volunteers is needed to ensure a safe running of the Mayo Stages Rally. If you would be interesting in lending your support to help out over the weekend, please contact Chief Marshal Stephen McGing whose details are available above. – your assistance would be greatly appreciated.
The overall winner will probably come from the leading half dozen cars which are lead away by last year’s winners Donegal cousins Declan and Brian Boyle, who stormed to an emphatic victory here twelve months ago. Recently the pair kicked off the year with a win on last month’s opening round of the Irish Tarmac Championship in Galway, but will have their work cut out to take a second win in Mayo against the quality opposition lined up against them.
Welsh visitor Hugh Hunter makes his first trip to Mayo. Some say the Subaru WRC driver is the man to beat at the moment, having taken victory on the Birr Stages Rally a fortnight ago. Can he make it two wins from his first two trips to Ireland in 2014?
At three is a multiple National Champion and winner of this event three times in the past, first in 2002, ten years ago in 2004, but more recently in 2012. Niall Maguire will be hungry to get back on the top step of the podium once again and claim another win in Mayo.
Roy White starts from fourth spot in his potent MG ZR and has James O’Brien to guide him around the North Mayo countryside. After a blistering start in stage 1 in Birr two weeks ago was halted by an excursion with a bale a couple of miles into stage two. The pair are keen to impress in Mayo.
At Five and six are Kevin Barrett and Paddy McVeigh in their different model Subaru Impreza’s. Kevin, who won this event in 2011 and finished runner up in 2012, brings his newer model S14 to Mayo while Paddy who has shown a promising turn of speed lately in his S10 will be keen to cause upset.
Add number seven seeds, James Stafford and Amy Ryan in their 2.5 Millington-engined Darrian, eight and nine seeds, the Moffett brothers Sam and Josh, who are both driving Mitsubishi Evo’s and round off the top ten with Daniel Barry in his Evo and you well and truly have the ‘Best’ in the West, at next Sundays event.
2014 Mayo Stages Rally back to Ballina for second year
After a very successful 2013 event, the Mayo Stages Rally is back in Ballina for a second year. The rally got a great response from local businesses and community, and equally was very highly regarded by visiting competitors and spectators. Hotel Ballina is once again Rally Headquarters and co-sponsor for the 2014 Mayo Stages Rally. Mayo & District Motorsport Club wishes to thank Hotel Ballina’s Executive Director Róisín Buckley and Senior Manager Jason Moyles and their team for their continued support and enthusiasm in ensuring this is another event to remember.
The Club also wish to express thanks to Kennedy Motors of Ballina and Bellmullet who also co-sponsor the event. Without the help of our co-sponsors and associate sponsors it would not be possible to run this event.
Clerk of the Course Padraic Roche and his hard working team are currently busy preparing for this ever popular event which takes place on Sunday March 9th 2014.
The rally will once again be run over a similar but not identical route to 2013; it consists of a very compact route with short road sections and three good quality, testing stages, repeated three times. Mayo & District Motorsport Club would like to acknowledge that there would be no Mayo Stages Rally without the support and goodwill of residents and businesses along the rally route and surrounding area.
The 2014 Hotel Ballina/Kennedy Motors Mayo Stages Rally will be the opening round of the 2014 Dunlop National Championship and the 2014 Sligo Pallets Border Championship.
Click here for information on both championships:
Dunlop National Rally Championship 2014