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Tipperary Stonethrowers Stages Rally - 12 Aug 12

Posted: August 12, 2012 8:12 AM - 15871 Hits

Sepam Stonethrowers Rally - Sunday August 12th 2012
Round 6 - 2012 National Rally Championship
Round 6 - 2012 South East Stages Rally Championship

Live Results: results.shannonsportsit.ie (Angus Sealy)

PREVIEW: Courtesy of Dunlop proud sponsors of the Dunlop National Rally Championship

Posted: August 10, 2012 3:48 PM

The Dunlop National Rally Championship resumes after its mid-season break with the Clonmel based Sepam Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally on Sunday next. Essentially, the title quest for the Vard Memorial Trophy now rests between Kerry's, Thomas Fitzmaurice, Monaghan's, Niall Maguire and Cork's, Brian O'Mahony, all campaigning S11 Subaru WRC's.

The nine stage encounter is round six of the eight round series and although there are several permutations for Dunlop success, any one of the trio can win the title should they win all three remaining events. However, Fitzmaurice can also win the title (albeit on a tie-break) provided he finishes second to Maguire on all three rounds.

All three have won events this season, Fitzmaurice won the opening round in Abbeyleix and also won his home event, the Circuit of Kerry. Maguire took the spoils in Mayo while O'Mahony notched up his first victory in a round of the Dunlop series on the Carlow Rally. All three were absentees on the last round, the Circuit of Munster Rally that was won by Group N leader, Colm Murphy (Subaru).

In terms of points, the current situation has Fitzmaurice in pole position on 72 points; Maguire with 68 points and O'Mahony has 56 points to his credit. With dropped scores taken into consideration (best 6 scores from 8 events) it's currently Fitzmaurice 58 points, O'Mahony 56 points and Maguire 52 points.

In the context of the Dunlop series, there is little margin for error for any of the trio that have already provided thrilling action throughout the country. Fitzmaurice, in his first season in a Subaru WRC, knows that this is a key moment in the Dunlop series. 'It's game on really. Running as top seed brings its own pressure but now isn't the time to be superstitious. On which one of his rivals is likely to present the main challenge, the Abbeydorney driver said, 'It would be unfair to single out either Niall or Brian, both of them will present a real danger.' On all of their Dunlop aspirations, he added, 'We all have to finish, we all have to do well, if we don't' it will have huge consequences. The break has done me the world of good, I'm hungry for it now.'

Triple champion, Niall Maguire has shown a return to the form that landed him his previous titles and his win in Mayo was a great confidence booster as he tries to add a record breaking fourth national title. In the past, Tipperary hasn't been a happy hunting ground for the Monaghan driver and he will be aware that he needs to be competitive from the very first stage.

O'Mahony, having missed the Circuit of Munster and with a non-finish in Mayo knows that he has to deliver a top performance in Clonmel in order to retain his Dunlop ambitions. Of the trio, he has no margin for error ' he has one non-finish and didn't compete in the Circuit of Munster - as he recovers from a fractured tibia in his left leg.

A strong entry features no fewer than seven World Rally Cars in the top ten. Galway's, JJ Fleming (Ford Focus WRC), who finished second in the Raven's Rock Rally last June, will have the ideal opportunity to compare his pace with the Dunlop regulars.

The Cork duo of Denis Cronin and Kevin Kelleher, both in Subaru WRC's, are seeded at five and six respectively. Cronin failed to start the Raven's Rock Rally due to throttle pump failure and will be on his first outing in several months. Kelleher debuted a Subaru WRC on round five of the Dunlop series, the Circuit of Munster but retired after he spun on the fifth stage. Interestingly, his Subaru WRC is the same car that won last year's Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally in the hands of Connor McCloskey.

Clonmel's, Roy White will try and uphold local honour in his MG S2000, he achieved his best ever result in a round of the Dunlop series when he took third overall in the Circuit of Munster.

Leader of the Motorsport Safety Team Group N award, Limerick's, Colm Murphy (Subaru), who occupies the number eight berth in Clonmel, can take a major step towards securing the showroom title and will be in ebullient form following his victory in the Circuit of Munster.

In the Dunlop Mk2 Champions Trophy, Tyrone's, Frank Kelly and Donegal's, Declan Boyle are tied on 74 points, however, the latter is not competing this weekend - he is set to compete in round seven in Clare in the ex-Tim McNulty S12B Subaru WRC - which leaves Cavan's, Jonathan Pringle as Kelly's closer pursuer in County Tipperary. Cavan ace, Pringle is third in the category, 13 points off top spot.

The top ten is completed by Qatar's, Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, who will drive a Mini WRC.

Billy Coleman award winner, Sam Moffett (Mitsubishi) is seeded at eleven and it will be interesting to see how his times compare with those of Colm Murphy. Shane Maguire (Subaru), a winner of last month's Sligo Rally, is another of the Group N contenders in Clonmel along with Josh Moffett (Mitsubishi), Stephen Cullen (Subaru), Eugene Meegan (Mitsubishi) and Stephen Wright (Mitsubishi).

There are many other interesting entries including Tommy Doyle (Citroen), Mark Donnelly (Renault Clio), Eddie Power (Toyota Corolla WRC), Desi Henry (Citroen), Jonny Greer (Citroen) and Lloyd Hutchinson (Mini).

Elsewhere, the entry features the Escorts of Shay Power, Adrian Hetherington, James Coleman, Liam Howlett, Jim McKenna and Jack Maguire.

Marshal Meeting Points for Sunday 12th August:

Posted: August 10, 2012 10:39 AM

Stage 1 - O'Halloran's Shop - Drangan (Sat Nav Coordinates - N52 30 921 W007 35 132) - Meeting Time 07:30 am

Stage 2 - Daybreak shop - Ballingary (Sat Nav Coordinates - N52 35 177 W007 32 487) - Meeting Time 07:30 am

Stage 3 - Cronin's Shop - Nine Mile House (Sat Nav Coordinates - N52 27 637 W007 27 804) - Meeting Time 08:00 am

Seeded Entry List

Posted: August 6, 2012 11:49 PM

Available at:

Regulations

Posted: July 12, 2012 2:49 PM

Available at:

Preliminary Details

Posted: June 12, 2012 2:13 PM

Sepam Stonethrowers Rally will take place on Sunday August 12th. This Rally will be Rounds 6 of the Dunlop National and Triton Showers South East Stages Championship.
The event will be based in the Clonmel Park Hotel
3 x 3 stage format with centralised service, approx 127km of stages.
For more details contact 086 6030121 / +353 86 6030121


Photo: Michael Sullivan

Club Website

Posted: June 12, 2012 2:12 PM






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