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Connacht Sligo Stages Rally - 13 Jul 08

Posted: July 18, 2008 4:43 PM - 18400 Hits

Round 5 - 2008 Border Rally Championship
Round 4 - 2008 MSA Asphalt Rally Championship

  • Adrian McElvaney/Paul Kelly win Sligo

Video Clips

Posted: July 18, 2008 4:46 PM

Deane & Burke Claim McAree Engineering Drive of the Day in Sligo

Posted: July 18, 2008 4:43 PM

Mervyn Deane and Trevor Burke from Williamstown, Co. Galway were the winners of the McAree Engineering Border Rally Championship Drive of the Day award on the 2008 Sligo Stages Rally. The Ford Escort crew set fastest time in class 13 on special stage 6 of the rally to claim the award.

The McAree Enginering Drive of the Day award is presented at each of the six rounds of the 2008 Border Rally Championship. Awarded to the fastest crew in a particular class on a particular stage, the class and stage are selected at driver’s briefing prior to the start of the rally. The winning crew need to finish the event in order to claim the award.

Mervyn and Trevor’s time of 9 minutes and 41 seconds to complete stage six was 17 seconds quicker than the next fastest competitor in the class.

Previous winners of the McAree Engineering Drive of the Day award were Rodney Wilton / Conor McMahon on the Mayo Stages Rally, Mark Sheahan / Jonathan McGrath on the Monaghan Stages Rally, Niall Maguire / Paul McLoughlin on the Cavan Stages Rally, and John Ward / Gary McNern on the Mourne Rally.

Review of the fourth round of the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship

Posted: July 18, 2008 4:36 PM

For the second consecutive year, JOHN & CAROLINE PRICE returned home from the Sligo Stages Rally, the fourth round of the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, with a maximum score under their belt. They brought their MG Metro 6R4 home in 4th place overall to move into 4th in the points table with two rounds left to run.

In fact, following the Sligo Stages Rally, a mere twelve points separate the top five drivers and a fascinating end to the season is in prospect! Defending MSA Asphalt Champion STEVE SIMPSON, co-driven on this occasion by Andrew Roughead, had been the leading series contender for much of the day but his Hyundai Accent WRC suffered a last-stage puncture and four minutes were lost while the offending wheel was changed. This pushed them out of the Top Ten but, with the retirement of DAVID KYNASTON, Simpson moves into the lead of the series – just!

Kynaston and ANDY RUSSELL had already scored two maximums and one second this season and another good score would have really made life difficult for their pursuers. However, having suffered the indignity of engine failure on the first stage on the 2007 Sligo Stages Rally, they were not to reach the end of the opener this year either. Their Audi A3 Quattro’s steering rack failed shortly after the start, pitching them off the road and into retirement. The 2006 MSA Asphalt Champions will now have to wait until the end of August for the opportunity to retake the initiative.

DAVID MANN/ALUN COOK were also not without their problems in Ireland – ongoing issues with their Subaru Impreza WRC’s engine had necessitated the loan of another one for the event. However, a turbo-pipe came off a number of times on the first loop of stages and the lost time left them languishing down in 25th place at one point. A determined fight-back, with an engine that was losing oil at an alarming rate, throughout the rest of the day saw them arrive back at the finish in 8th place overall, a feat for which the driver was awarded the John Price Rallying ‘Star Drive’ salver – presented by ‘JP’ himself at the Awards Ceremony on the Sunday evening.

SIMON MAUGER, with co-driver BRIAN CAMMACK, arrived in Sligo in joint second place in the Drivers’ Championship and, in spite of his Ford Escort RS suffering a puncture and an over-charging alternator, had the position all to himself by the end of the day. In spite of a few ‘moments’, ROBERT TOUT took maximum points in Class N4, finishing just eight seconds behind Mauger after approximately 100 miles of special stages, some of which had been used in the route for Rally Ireland!

After a dismal start to the season, DAVE PRICE was hoping for a change of fortune in his Ford Escort MkVI RWD – but it was not to be! Taking a couple of stages to settle in, he was just starting to get into the event when the car’s rear diff. failed, forcing him into immediate retirement.

2007 BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series Champions ADRIAN SPENCER/MARK HEWITT acquitted themselves very well on their first visit to Ireland – their Subaru Impreza recorded a finish just outside the Top 20 in spite of stopping briefly when a spectator waved an SOS board at them to warn of a car off the road. Fortunately, there were no injuries and Simpson/Hewitt were immediately on their way again.

Without wishing to tempt fate, it would seem that PAUL HAREWOOD/BOB JONES have overcome the early-season problems that blighted their Vauxhall Astra GSI. Another strong finish saw them take a maximum score in N3, but commiserations must go to their main class rivals, RICHARD BUTLER/MATT DUBBER, whose Honda Civic Type ‘R’ went out after rolling. Although the crew were unhurt, the car was quite badly damaged – hopefully, the break between now and the Mewla will give them time to restore it to its former pristine condition!

On the subject of jinxes, IAN COPPING has retired on the final stage of the last couple of events he has contested in his rear-wheel drive Ford Fiesta and was understandably nervous as the day wore on in Sligo. He needn’t have been – he and DAVE ROWLEY managed to avoid any serious bothers to record a finish and, following the demise of the Ford Escort RS of PETE HUGHES/CHRIS EVANS after the second of the three loops of stages, take a maximum in Class B11.

MARTIN NEWSON/PETER MORRIS had some electrical problems with their MG ZR which saw it cutting out when they least expected it, but a 2nd in class on the event has done their Championship aspirations a power of good while, having settled into their first-ever Irish event, TRACEY-LOUISE & GARRY MUIR also brought their Citroen AX to a well-deserved finish.

Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship contenders receive a warm welcome from the organisers of the Sligo Stages Rally who are genuinely pleased to see them. Even though the Motorsport Ireland vehicle regulations differ on occasions to those of the MSA, the close working relationship between our Championship Eligibility Scrutineer and the MI technical officials sees to it that any potential variances are overcome with the minimum of inconvenience.

As mentioned previously, the next round of the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship is the Eventsigns Mewla National Rally which will see competition for the coveted MSA Asphalt title resume on the Epynt Military Ranges on Sunday 24th August.

Posted: July 18, 2008 4:33 PM

First 2WD - Terence O'Shaughnessy/Eugene McGrath (Toyota Corolla 2.5 RWD)


Posted: July 18, 2008 4:32 PM

1 Adrian McElvaney/Paul Kelly (Subaru Impreza WRC) 88m 16s,
2 Sean Gallagher/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC) 89m 06s,
3 Terence O'Shaughnessy/Eugene McGrath (Toyota Corolla 2.5 RWD) 91m 46s,
4 John Price/Caroline Price (Metro 6R4) 91m 59s,
5 Fergal Costello/Shane Gilhooly (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 92m 52s,
6 Paul Kiely/Pat McSharry (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 93m 14s,
7 Eugene Ferry/Derek Heena (Escort) 93m 22s,
8 David Mann/Alun Cook (Subaru Impreza WRC) 93m 23s,
9 John Cairns/James Cairns (Subaru Impreza WRX) 93m 36s,
10 John Gallagher/Tomas Maguire (Mit. Lancer Evo 6 Gp N) 94m 09s.
Leaders After: SS1-2 Gary McPhilips/Mark Tierney (Ford Escort Mk II)
SS3-9 Adrian McElvaney/Paul Kelly (Subaru Impreza WRC) Stage Winners
SS1 Gary McPhilips/Mark Tierney (Ford Escort Mk II)
SS2 Adrian McElvaney/Paul Kelly (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS3 Adrian McElvaney/Paul Kelly (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS5 Adrian McElvaney/Paul Kelly (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS6 Adrian McElvaney/Paul Kelly (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS8 Adrian McElvaney/Paul Kelly (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS9 Adrian McElvaney/Paul Kelly (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Posted: July 11, 2008 10:00 AM

Members of the Connacht Motor Club at the Launch Night in the Sligo Park Hotel.
Photo: James Burke

Rally Launched

Posted: July 2, 2008 6:56 PM

At the of the launch of the 2008 Hunt Motors / Sligo Park Hotel Sligo Stages Rally in the Sligo Park Hotel last night , attended by Sponsors , officials , dignitaries and members of the organising Committee in the Sligo Park Hotel last night , Clerk of the course , Robert Lyttle spoke of his appreciation of the Sponsors , the dedicated team behind him , but in particular the residents on the route who have been supportive over the past weeks .In reference to the competitors , he was overwhelmed with the level of interest , and said that he hoped that those who gained an entry would thorough enjoy his selection of stages , which he put a lot of effort in giving the competitor value for money .
He appealed to spectators to direct themselves to recommended vantage points and respect our countryside and take their litter home.

Speaking , Senator Marc Mc Sharry , an avid supporter of Rally Ireland acknowledged the wealth of experience gained by hosting the Sligo Stages over the years , which was channelled into the World Rally when it was hosted in the region . Speaking to the gathering President of the Chamber of Commerce , Joe Mc Cann complimented the dedication Club activists who organised the Sligo Stages, recognising the events contribution to the region.

The opportunity was also used to launch the Road Safety campaign which will run in conjunction with the Rally , supported by Sligo County Council . The initiative is an effort to heighten road safety awareness among drivers through a number of mediums including a radio campaign and a series of road signage and will commence the week prior to the event.

Srutiny takes place in Coopers / Fiat Garage in North West Business park , Colooney between 3pm and 8.30 on Saturday July 12th

The Rally takes place on Sunday July 13th with the first car due to depart Sligo Park Hotel at 9.15am


Posted: July 2, 2008 4:54 PM

As a record number of Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship contenders travel to the Sligo Stages Rally, it is series leaders DAVID KYNASTON/ ANDY RUSSELL in their Audi A3 Quattro who have most to gain from a successful day. Good results on each of the events so far, including an outright win on the Jim Clark National Rally, have put the 2006 MSA Asphalt Rally Champions at the top of the points table and another strong finish would make life all the more difficult for those who believe that 2008 is going to be their year!

However…… Kynaston & Russell will not need reminding that their visit to the Emerald Isle last year was brought to a premature halt on the opening stage and that, if they are to take their second MSA Asphalt title, there is still a good deal of work to be done.

On the subject of champions, multiple series winners JOHN & CAROLINE PRICE took their MG Metro 6R4 to Sligo last year and returned home with maximum points for their efforts. This season’s promising start has been interrupted by a rare mechanical failure towards the end of the Jim Clark National Rally, and another good score is now required in order to get their Championship back on track.

As the 2008 series passes the halfway point, defending champion STEVE SIMPSON (Hyundai Accent WRC) and SIMON MAUGER (Ford Escort RS) are tied in runners-up spot, behind Kynaston, in the Drivers’ table. Simpson has employed more than one co-driver for the events so far, while BRIAN CAMMACK (Mauger) is Andy Russell’s nearest rival in the battle for the Co-drivers’ title.

Mauger’s results thus far in a two-wheel drive car have been most impressive and, in addition to his 2nd= overall, the Bicester driver also leads his class and the Rear-Wheel Drive category. In the latter, GRAHAM HOLLIS/ASHLEY TRIMBLE (Ford Escort RS) are another crew that have finished each round so far and are neatly poised to capitalise on any problems that may serve to impede Mauger’s progress! Hollis holds 4th place in the Drivers’ table, while Trimble is presently 3rd Co-driver.

Two crews who are making their first visit to the west coast of Ireland are ANDY FENWICK/LEE TINDALL (Skoda Octavia WRC) and DAVID MANN/ALUN COOK (Subaru Impreza WRC). Although they were second and third respectively on the Jim Clark National, neither of their campaigns received any benefit from the RBS International Rally just a fortnight before – Fenwick through absence while Mann was forced to beat a hasty retreat when his car caught fire!… The two now find themselves a mere one point apart and, with 25 on offer for each event, they are each well aware of what is required of them!…

ROBERT TOUT leads the Group N challenge in his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9, while 2007 BTRDA Asphalt Rally Series winners, ADRIAN SPENCER/MARK HEWITT (Subaru Impreza) have made the move up to the MSA Championship this year and hold 3rd in class, behind Kynaston and Price.

PETE HUGHES/CHRIS EVANS (Ford Escort RS), DAVE PRICE (Ford Escort Mk6 RWD) ands IAN COPPING/DAVE ROWLEY (Ford Fiesta RWD) have various class issues to resolve whilst, at the same time, keeping their eyes on their fellow Rear-Wheel Drive contenders. With three rounds to go, Mauger’s dominance could still be challenged and, as the saying goes, they have to be ‘in it to win it’!…

Meanwhile, the top two drivers in the ‘Front-Wheel Drive’ category are foregoing the chance to consolidate their positions on this occasion, leaving the way open for the next four in the table to take advantage of the situation. Former winners PAUL HAREWOOD/BOB JONES have been ‘up against it’ as they have fought to overcome transmission problems that beset their Vauxhall Astra GSI, but a good run on the Jim Clark will give them signs for cautious optimism.

Fellow Class N3 crew RICHARD BUTLER/MATT DUBBER (Honda Civic Type ‘R’) are paying a return visit to Sligo and will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s maximum score! Series veterans MARTIN NEWSON/PETER MORRIS had a torrid time with their MG ZR throughout last season, but maximum scores on their last two outings would signify a change of fortune this time, while newcomers TRACEY-LOUISE & GARRY MUIR (Citroen AX) have also maintained a 100% finishing record so far…

The Sligo Stages Rally is in an ‘opt-out’ year from the Irish National Rally Championship but, be that as it may, the entry is still very strong. Following a recce on the Saturday three stages, each run three times, face competitors on the Sunday and, as ever, will pose a tough challenge to all concerned!

Entry List available

Posted: July 1, 2008 10:07 PM

Sligo Stages goes on the Web

Posted: May 26, 2008 3:39 PM

Connacht Motor Club are delighted to announce the launch of their New Website , www.connachtmotorclub.com which will have Regulations and Entry Form available for downloading from Monday May 26th.

No Regulations will be posted by conventional post
Entries open May 30th
Entries close ,including priority, June 23rd.
Entry list will be updated on the website.

In support of the joint title sponsors , Hunt Motors www.huntmotors.ie and Sligo Park Hotel www.sligoparkhotel.com , the Sligo Stages committee are delighted to have secured , Service Park and stage sponsors.

Sligo Motorcycle and Lawnmower Centre have for the past number of years been a consistent supporter of Sligo Stages and this year we are delighted that they have chosen to sponsor the Service area , which , because of the venue , lends itself to facilitate an exhibit of the wide range of equipment they sell adding to the atmosphere surrounding service.

National Lube Oils – www.nationallube.ie , based in Colooney are sponsors of Stage 1 , the longest stage on the route , extending through one of the most scenic areas in the North West.

Stage 2 , practically all new territory to Sligo Stages is sponsored by Ballybofey Autofactors in Donegal , who were last years sponsors of the Junior Category The final stage in the loop , Stage 3 is sponsored by the Ballyfarnon based cladding manufacturer Gusclad.

Details - Press Release 1

Posted: May 21, 2008 9:09 AM

Preparations are well advanced in the planning for the 2008 Sligo Stages Rally which this year takes place on Sunday July 13th , and is a round of both the , Mc Aree Engineering Border Rally Championship and the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Rally Championship.

The route consisting of a three stage loop run three times , with a central , off- road service located close to Sligo town and will provide the competitor with the best value in stage distance and stage to road section ratio. The compact loop provides for an abundance of superb spectator points on each individual stage and choice of viewing locations across the 160 km route.

This year , taking on the role of Clerk of the Course is the recently appointed Assistant C.O.C. for the 2009 Rally Ireland WRC , Robert Lyttle , bringing to local level the vast experience gained through his involvement with Rally Ireland since its inception , building on his grounding as Clerk of the Course previously for the Sligo event from 2000 until 2003. Robert’s intense involvement within the area of safety at national level is well recognised and many of his initiatives have been implemented to the betterment of the sport into the future.

Once again , Sligo Park Hotel and Hunt Motors/Suzuki are the title sponsors of the 26th Sligo Stages Rally .

The Sligo Park Hotel , part of the Lee group of hotels is synonymous with the Stages Rally , playing home to the event since the early eighties , and a key ingredient in the atmosphere surrounding the July weekend.

Hunt Motors , Main Susuki Dealers , located in Castlebaldwin , have been associated with the event since the late eighties, and indeed have been supporters in other areas of rallying over that period. With Suzuki actively contesting the World Rally series this year , a lot of interest will be focused on the Swift WRC when it competes for the first time on Irish soil in January 2009.

Competitors are advised that Connacht Motor club this year for the first time is publishing Regulations only on the web , and available for downloading from May 26th .
Entries will open on May 30th and will close on June 23rd.

Further details will be available over the coming days .

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