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Galway International Rally - 8-9 Feb 14

Posted: February 27, 2014 4:29 PM - 38278 Hits

Round 1 - 2014 Tarmac Rally Championship


Rally winners Declan and Brian Boyle pictured with from left
Kieran Donohue (Clerk of the Course) and Colm Quinn (Rally Sponsor)
Photo: Reg Gordon

More In Car

Posted: February 27, 2014 9:57 AM

Colm Murphy & Don Montgomery (Subaru Impreza N12)


Eugene Donnelly / Paul Kiely (JCW Mini WRC) SS7

More Silverware heading to the Hills of Donegal...

Posted: February 25, 2014 5:03 PM

The opening round of the 2014 Clonakilty Blackpudding International Tarmac Championship, provided to be a tough challenge for all the crews after a demanding two day route that was based south of Galway City where the crews dealt with flooded roads, rain and the occasional hail shower.

It was a great weekend for Donegal Crew Declan & Brian Boyle who took their first ever International rally win on the Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally in their Subaru Impreza WRC. After completing the 13 stages they had a slender 25.5 seconds win over Garry Jennings with Rory Kennedy in the co-driver seat in their Impreza WRC.

Donegal Motor Club crews had a strong presence on the entry list with 4 time tarmac championship winning navigator Rory Kennedy sitting with Current Irish Tarmac Champion, Kesh man Jennings in their Subaru WRC seeded at number one. The 2013 National Rally Championship winners Declan & Brian Boyle in there Subaru WRC were seeded at number four, closely followed by fellow Donegal crew Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan in their immaculate Northgate backed Ford Focus WRC at five.

Seeded at fifteen was Martin Doherty in his Mitsubishi Evo 9, with great results on events in the past few years, he was going to be a threat for overall GpN honours, while another Donegal Motor Club member John McElhiney was navigating for Strabane based car dealer Pat Kirk in their stunning example of an Evo 9.

Due to heavy flooding in the Gort area of Co. Galway after the recent period of bad weather, there were a lot of changes made to Saturday’s schedule with a shortened pair of stages completed three times on the first day. There wasn’t much to choose between the top five overnight with the Boyle’s holding a slender advantage over Jennings followed by five times Tarmac Champion Eugene Donnelly in third in the McGeehan MINI WRC. There were worries for Boyle, who was having problems with the coolant pressure in the Subaru, requiring the mechanics to fight against the clock to resolve the issue in service. Donagh Kelly and last year’s Donegal International Rally Ireland winner Sam Moffett were battling it out for fourth place with only 25 seconds separated the top five overnight.

The first test on Sunday morning greeted the drivers with the infamous Black Road stage where the drama unfolded with Donnelly putting his MINI WRC off the road and into immediate retirement, but Boyle held onto the lead. On the next stage Jennings and Kennedy closed the gap to the Boyle’s to just 0.2 seconds .The third stage of the morning the rally was hit with more drama, when Jennings aquaplaned off the heavy waterlogged roads and ended up in a field costing him around 40 seconds dropping him back to fourth place behind Donagh Kelly. Despite excellent times on the second running of the stages from Jennings and Kennedy and jumping back up to 2nd overall, it wasn’t enough. Boyle was still setting quickest times throughout the afternoon and dug deep to hold on and claim his maiden International win with Jennings second. Rounding off the podium in 3rd was the Donegal Motor Club member Donagh Kelly who overhauled Sam Moffett on the last stage.

In Group N Martin Doherty came home a fine 8th overall and 3rd in GpN, to take good points for the championship while Pat Kirk and John McElhiney finished 10th overall and 5th in GpN after taking much of Saturday to settle into their newly acquired Evo 9, but the times on Sunday where getting much closer to the pace of the front running GpN runners.

In the national section of the event which is a counting round of the modified Championship saw Declan Gallagher and Ryan Moore opening their championship campaign with a full points haul in their Toyota Starlet. After a blistering performance all weekend, beating many more powerful cars but did report a few big 5th gear slides throughout the rally. In a distant second place in their Ford Escort was Wesley Patterson and Donegal Motor Club committee member Johnny Baird on the notes who just had no answer for the rapid Gallagher, the eventual winning margin at just over two minutes.

Very nearly making it a Donegal Motor Club podium again was Kevin Eves and Chris Melly in their very rapid Twin Cam Corolla just finishing five seconds off the podium in 4th overall in the national rally. This result must surely make 22 year old Kevin a huge contender for the prestigious Billy Coleman award again in 2014.

Donegal crews of Mickey Peoples/ Liam McIntyre and John Dolan /Jack McGinley in their Ford Escorts had a great battle all weekend long with Peoples coming out on top with 20th overall in the national and 3rd in class. Dolan and McGinley were only 3 seconds back in 22nd overall and 4th in class after over 150km of stages. Donegal Motor Club chairman Brian Brogan with Mac Walsh on the notes were laying 19th overall in the national section overnight and really looking forward to a good push on Sunday having settled in. Fuel starvation problems ended their rally prematurely on the Brady’s yard stage of the rally however.

In the Junior Section of the rally it was another Donegal Motor Club winner with Paul Creamer and Danny McCloskey winning by a clear margin of 18 seconds in a controlled drive.

Donegal Motor Club would like congratulate all of it’s members that took part and to thank all their members who travelled to Galway over the weekend to help out with timekeeping and marshal. Without these people it just wouldn’t be possible to run these events. A reminder to anyone interested in motorsport in the Donegal region that Donegal Motor Club always welcomes new members and to check out donegalmotorclub.com or facebook.com/donegal.motorclub for more information about the club.

In Car

Posted: February 25, 2014 3:59 PM

Ray Cunningham & Adrian Cusack (Mini Cooper S)


Ed O'Callaghan & James McCarville (Ford Escort Mk2) SS12


Declan Gallagher & Ryan Moore (Toyota Starlet RWD) SS12


Steve Simpson & Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC) SS5

Wright Rally Team get season off to an encouraging start

Posted: February 25, 2014 3:58 PM

Stephen and Susanne Wright got their 2014 season off to a character building start on the season opening Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally last weekend. Stephen, who is the current Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year, used the rally to get used to his brand new Peugeot 208 R2 rally car that he will campaign in Belgium for the majority of this year.

Treacherous conditions made the Galway stages particularly difficult for competing crews and despite having only had a short test in the car, Stephen was instantly on the pace in class 2 swapping times with Cork driver Ian Chadwick. Unfortunately, on the penultimate stage of the first day Stephen clipped one of Galway’s many dry stone walls forcing him to retire the Killyhevlin Hotel and Irish Sports Council backed car with a broken trackrod end.

With only minimal damage, there was a possibility to fix the car and rejoin the rally for day 2 but it would require a mammoth effort by the Wright Rally Team. Fellow competitor Frank Byrnes generously allowed the use of his body repair shop in Oranmore and Keith Rainey and his team got to work. Replacement parts were borrowed from fellow Peugeot 208 drivers Richard Tannahill and Andy Slattery and after working long into the night, Stephen and Susanne rejoined the rally on Sunday morning. Stephen used the remaining miles of the rally to build up his confidence and speed in the new car and was greatly encouraged by his times on the final day taking 6 fastest times on his way to the finish.

“Despite the slight set-back on Saturday we can take a lot of positives away from this event. Thankfully everybody’s efforts to get us back onto the stages on Sunday were justified with solid progress. We are feeling comfortable in the car and as we began to push harder the stage times looked promising. Now our focus shifts to preparing for our first trip to Belgium in a few weeks - we really can’t wait!”

Stephen and Susanne start their Belgian adventure with the Haspengouw Rally on the 21st and 22nd of this month.

Report: Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship

Posted: February 25, 2014 3:55 PM

After 14 tough stages over two days to the south of Galway, Donegal cousins Declan & Brian Boyle took their first ever International win in the Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally. Driving a Subaru Impreza WRC, the pair led for most of the event which was the opening round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship and eventually won by 25.5 seconds from Garry Jennings / Rory Kennedy in a similar car. Jennings who is the reigning Tarmac Champion put considerable pressure on Boyle until an off road excursion on the eighth stage left him with too much to do. Donagh Kelly / Kevin Flanagan in a Focus WRC eventually pipped Sam Moffett / James O’Reilly for third place by just three seconds.

Despite everything the weather clerk threw at them, Galway Motor Club performed something of a miracle in ensuring there was very little disruption to the crews for the event. Both of the locations to be used near Ardrahan and Kinvara had to be severely curtailed because if flooding, but no stage was completely cancelled. It didn’t look promising on the Saturday morning in Gort Mart though, with ferocious rain and hail showers and strong winds putting even the hardiest of souls to the test. The wind did eventually ease off, and despite more rain falling the rally ran on schedule and the competitors got to run on the six stages.

On the first day it was clear that the eventual winner would come from one of the trio of Boyle, Jennings and multiple Tarmac Champion Eugene Donnelly, who was out in a Mini WRC. Seconds were swapped over the six stages and it was Boyle who led by just four seconds from Jennings overnight with Donnelly a further seven seconds back. The top six were only separated by 1 minute with Kelly, fourth, Moffett fifth and English visitor Steve Simpson in sixth.

The second day dawned brighter but was very cold with some heavy showers which promised to make life very difficult for the crews as they attempted to tackle the infamous Black Road stage near Loughrea. This tough stage has seen the end of many a challenge over the years and this time it was Eugene Donnellys turn to fall foul of its unforgiving nature as he crashed out on the latter part of the test. Jennings was turning up the heat on Boyle through the Black Road and Lough Cutra to bring the lead down to just 0.2 seconds. However on the Bradys Yard stage near Craughwell he hit a flood and put the car into a field, costing him 40 seconds and dropping him back to fourth. A storming time over the second run of the Black Road saw Jennings take 13 seconds from Boyle and move back into second place.

Boyle didn’t falter however and held his nerve to take his maiden International win, followed by Jennings, Kelly, Sam Moffett, and Josh Moffett in fifth place. Steve Simpson had been fifth but went off the road on Lough Cutra losing a lot of time and eventually retiring.

In the National Section of the rally Peadar Hurson set the pace on the first day in his Escort WRC with some superb times before mechanical problems forced him to retired on the days penultimate stage. This left Declan Gallagher in his Toyota Starlet in the lead and he simply pulverised the opposition with some incredible driving to win the category by over two minutes from the Escort of Wesley Patterson. Pat & Jonathan Kelly in their Subaru Impreza STI came home in third place and their reward was the Brian Thornton Trophy for best Galway crew. It was a war of attrition in the modifieds as fancied runners such as Ed O’Callaghan, Pat Donegan and Brian Brogan were all forced to retire from the event.

Ray Cunningham had a brilliant drive in his Mini to take the overall honours in the Historic Rally, winning by almost a minute from Ross Forde in his Ford Escort Mk2 with John Reid in another Escort back in third place. Frank Cunningham in a Porsche and Bryan Brophy in a Hillman Imp were among those who retired during the event.

In the Junior Category Paul Creamer & Danny McCloskey led from start to finish in their Honda Civic to take victory from Sean Brady & Barry McLoughlin in a similar car. Niall O’Sullivan and Patrick Horan were third overall in a Citroen C2.

Another challenging but successful Galway International Rally has come to an end and much praise must go to Clerk of the Course Kieran Donohue and his hardworking team that ran an excellent rally despite the challenges leading up to the event. Galway Motor Club would like to thank Galway County Council, the Gardai and of course the residents all along the rally route as without their cooperation and support the rally could not run.

Video Clips

Posted: February 25, 2014 3:50 PM

Galway International Rally 2014 from Sean Hassett on Vimeo.

A short video from the 2014 Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally. The event was won by Declan and Brian Boyle in a Subaru Impreza S12 WRC. For more info on the event visit www.galwayinternationalrally.com





Results

Posted: February 25, 2014 3:30 PM

1 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h 10m 00s,
2 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h 10m 26s,
3 Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Ford Focus WRC) 1h 11m 29s,
4 Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h 11m 32s,
5 Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 R4) 1h 15m 46s,
6 Stephen McCann/Lisa O’Dowd (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 1h 16m 04s,
7 Eugene Meegan/Sarah Whelan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 1h 16m 12s,
8 Martin Doherty/Conor Foley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 1h 16m 40s,
9 Brendan Cumiskey/Ronan O’Kane (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 1h 17m 31s,
10 Pat Kirk/John McElhinney (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 1h 17m 40s.

Class winners:
Ian Chadwick/Johnny Bould (Skoda Fabia),
Eugene Meegan/Sarah Whelan,
Josh Moffett/John Rowan,
Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly.

NATIONAL EVENT:
1 Declan Gallagher/Ryan Moore (Toyota Starlet RWD) 1h 14m 07s,
2 Wesley Patterson/Johnny Baird (Ford Escort MkII) 1h 16m 17s,
3 Pat Kelly/Jonathan Kelly (Subaru Impreza WRX) 1h 16m 46s.

Class winners:
Pat Sheehan/Martin O’Riordan (Honda Civic),
Victor Beamish/Susan Beamish (Vauxhall Nova),
Richard Whelan/James Whelan (Honda Civic),
Kevin Eves/Chris Melly (Toyota Corolla),
Damien Boyle/Sean Boyle (Ford Escort),
Stephen Greaney/Kieran Feeney (Ford Escort),
Tom Flaherty/Pat Curley (Ford Escort),
Martin Donnelly/Brian Doherty (Toyota Corolla),
Maurice Greaney/Keith McHugh (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9),
Mark Nangle/Nollaig Breen (Subaru Impreza WRX).

HISTORIC RALLY:
1 Ray Cunningham/Adrian Cusack (Mini Cooper S) 59m 24s,
2 Ross Forde/Paul Horan (Ford Escort) 1h 00m 16s,
3 Brendan McAree/J P McAree (Porsche 911) 1h 03m 41s.

Class winners:
Mervyn Johnston/Wendy Blackledge (Mini Cooper S),
Niall Keane/Conor Keane (Chrysler Avenger),
James Power/Declan Kelly (Ford Escort),
David Dee/Rita Dee (Mini Cooper S),
John Spiers/Susanne Niedrum (Porsche 911),
John Reid/Enda Shiels (Ford Escort),

JUNIOR RALLY:
1 Paul Creamer/Danny McCloskey (Honda Civic) 43m 10s,
2 Sean Brady/Barry McLoughlin (Honda Civic) 43m 28s,
3 Niall O’Sullivan/Patrick Horan (Citroen C2) 43m 49s.
Class winners:
Sean Brady/Barry McLoughlin,
Mark Finnegan/Brian McLoughlin (Suzuki Swift).

Leaders After
SS1 Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Ford Fiesta WRC)
SS2-14 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Stage Winners
SS1 Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Ford Fiesta WRC)
SS2 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS3 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS4 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS5 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS6 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS7 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS8 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS9 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS10 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS11 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS12 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS13 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS14 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Safety Direct 2 wheel drive challenge attracts maximum entry.

Posted: February 6, 2014 9:25 PM

Galway Motor Club are delighted with the generous sponsorship provided by Safety Direct for a 2 wheel drive challenge which will be run as part of the Colm Qinn BMW Galway International Rally 2014.

Operations Manager, Alan Fair and the team in Safety Direct wanted to give something back to the competitors and have provided a sponsorship package which includes 500 euro to the first FWD car home on Sunday evening and 500 euro to the first RWD car home on Sunday.

The top twenty includes well known, names like Declan Gallagher, Wesley Patterson, Ed O Callaghan, Tom Flaherty and Pat Donegan who are all in 2 wheel drive cars and eligible for the awards.

COC Kieran Donohue and Deputy COC Eamon Dervan have both expressed their gratitude to Safety Direct for their sponsorship of what is sure to be a very competitive challenge in demanding conditions on the stages over the weekend.

Stephen Wright pre Galway Rally press release

Posted: February 6, 2014 9:17 PM

The 2013 Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year, Stephen Wright, starts his 2014 campaign this weekend on the Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally in his brand new Peugeot 208 R2 rally car. It will be his first event of what promises to be a very exciting season for the talented young Monaghan driver.

Stephen plans to use the season opening Galway International Rally to get used to his new car in preparation for the opening round of the BFO Belgian Rally Championship, the Haspengouw Rally at the end of the month. Along with selected Irish rallies, Stephen plans to tackle the 8 round Belgian series, incorporating the Peugeot 208 Belgian Rally Cup with his sister Susanne calling the all-important pacenotes.

“It’s been a very busy winter trying to get everything organised but thankfully everything has fallen into place just in time for Galway, we can’t wait to get the 208 onto the stages to see what it can do!”

The siblings enjoyed a superb 2013 season taking the honours in the hotly contested Group N category of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship and Stephen is looking forward to the prospect of a new challenge this season.

“There is no denying the scale of the challenge we face this season, but hopefully my experience in the Fiesta ST will stand us in good stead for the year ahead. We will take the first couple of events to acclimatise to the car, left hand drive and Belgian tarmac and then hopefully start threatening the frontrunners – we want to ensure that come the end of the season, we are still in the frame for Championship victory.”

Stephen and Susanne would like to thank all their sponsors, Motorsport Ireland and the Irish Sports Council for pledging their support for the season ahead. If you want to keep tabs on the Wright’s progress this weekend in Galway make sure to follow Stephen on Twitter (@StephenWr1ght) and check out wrightrally.com

Message from COC - Revised Saturday Route - Updated Spectator Maps Available

Posted: February 6, 2014 9:24 AM

Message from Clerk of the Course, Kieran Donohue.

"I know that all of you will be aware that the prolonged heavy rain, winds and high tides are causing very serious issues for those living in coastal areas and inland alike. Many farms, homes and access roads have become flooded and damage and hardship is significant for those affected. The community along parts of the route of next Saturday’s stages of the Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally has been particularly badly affected.

Having consulted with residents and local authorities, a decision has been made to shorten both stages of the rally to be run on Saturday. However, Stage 2, which was to have run twice, will now run three times as part of a revised time schedule for the day.

For the benefit of competitors and spectators alike I attach a map showing the amended route and also the revised time schedule. These details replace those previously issued, and also those appearing in the official Rally Programme. For the benefit of spectators, I have also indicated certain access roads that have become impassable. The information indicated was accurate at the time of issue, but is subject to change, such is the nature of these severe conditions.

I would appeal to spectators travelling to the Saturday stages to plan their journeys to arrive early. With the limited access, vantage points will be crowded and traffic congestion inevitable. The club has arranged for additional marshalling on access roads to assist spectators and to keep traffic moving. Patience will be required! I would ask you to please obey marshals, they have a very difficult job to do.

I am very grateful for the support of the residents and the elected representatives of Gort and it’s locality for their forbearance and support. I would ask competitors and spectators alike to respect the their unfortunate situation.

Happily, all of the Sunday Stages are currently planned to run in full and in accordance with the printed schedules in the Official Rally Programme."

More Details:

Updated Time and Distance Schedule (5/2/14)

Posted: January 30, 2014 9:49 PM

Available at:

Seeded Entry List

Posted: January 29, 2014 11:55 AM

Fantastic Entry for the 2014 Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally!

Posted: January 29, 2014 10:55 AM

Galway Motor Club is delighted to confirm that there is a capacity entry of 122 teams for this year’s Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally, a significant increase on last year. The competing teams, their sponsors and crews, and the thousands of spectators that will line the route will bring a welcome early season boost to visitor numbers to Galway city and county. For 2014, the event has reverted to a two day format and is expected to generate over 2,000 bed nights to hotels and guest houses. The event is worth in the region of €5m to the local economy. The entries have been boosted by the recent announcements of sponsorship of the championship by Clonakilty Blackpudding and the fact that the event will be filmed by SportsVision for broadcast on UTV, TG4, Sky and Motors TV during February.

At the recent launch, Clerk of the Course, Kieran Donohue said
“Galway Motor Club is indebted to the staff of Galway County and City Councils, An Garda Siochana, Failte Ireland, the Road Safety Authority, the Directors and staff of Colm Quinn BMW, the 300 volunteer marshals from all over Ireland, and most of all the residents of the route in Gort and the south of the county for their assistance with temporary road closures to ensure the safe running of the event.”

The event will start with a Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square on Friday 7th February at 8pm, following afternoon scrutineering of cars at Monaghans Skoda on the Tuam Road from 2pm. These are ideal opportunities to see the rally cars and drivers prior to the start of the competition.

Headquarters for the event is the Clayton Hotel, Ballybrit, Galway. The rally route will cover 5 closed road stages on Saturday 8th February and a further 8 on Sunday 9th February. The rally Service Park will be in Gort Mart each day, by kind permission of the Mart Committee. Sunday evening will see the Ceremonial Finish at the Clayton Hotel, Dublin Road, Galway, at approximately 3.30pm. Admission to all events is free over the weekend.

Road Safety:
The Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally is an event that is sanctioned by the FIA under an official Permit issued by Motorsport Ireland, and supported by the RSA – The Road Safety Authority of Ireland. The ‘Keep the Race in its Place’ campaign is extremely successful in talking to predominantly young people who follow motorsport. The Galway Motor Club is eager to remind everyone of the need to drive safely at all times – hence the message “Keep the Race in its Place’’. All competing cars will carry this logo and message, and extensive signage to promote this road safety message will be visible.

Kieran Donohue, Clerk of the Course, encourages fans travelling to the Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally to heed the message from the organisers to ‘Keep the Race in its Place’, to slow down, never drink and drive and to always wear a seatbelt. All spectators on the closed road stages must obey the Marshals at all times, as they will be implementing a comprehensive Safety Plan. A traffic management plan has been put in place with the support of the Gardai.

Traffic Diversions:
In order to facilitate the safe running of the event there will be temporary Road Closures on certain roads in south county Galway on Saturday 8th February and Sunday 9th February. All will be clearly sign posted and marshalled. All residents have been informed of the times and arrangements and the details have been advertised by Galway County Council. There will also to additional traffic in the Eyre Square area from 7.00pm to 9.00pm to facilitate the Ceremonial Start on Friday 7th February, at the Clayton Hotel, and in Gort during Saturday and Sunday 8th and 9th February.

Nominated Galway Charity:
Galway Motor Club has chosen a Galway based community-led organisation, Domestic Violence Response (DVR) as its charity partner. The aim of DVR is to identify and respond to the issue of domestic violence in Galway, respond to the needs of women and children affected and to work towards the elimination of domestic violence. The charity’s volunteers will be promoting awareness at various locations along the route and all support will be much appreciated by them.

Rally Programmes:
The Official Rally Programme contains full listings of stage times, service area times, detailed Ordnance Survey Route Maps and all of the information required to locate the many spectator access points. The programme is available from the Clayton Hotel and from various filling stations, newsagents and outlets in the city and county listed on the rally website, www.galwayinternationalrally.com

2014 Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally Timetable:

    Friday 7th February 2pm : Scrutiny at Monaghans Garage, Tuam Rd, Galway.
    Friday 7th February 8pm : Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square, Galway.
    Saturday 8th February 10.00am : 5 Special Stages in South Galway.
    Saturday 8th February 11.00am and 1.00pm: Service Park at Gort Mart.
    Sunday 9th February 9.30am: 8 Special Stages in South Galway.
    Sunday 9th February 10.30am and 12.45pm: Service Park at Gort Mart.
    Sunday 9th February 3.30pm: Finish at Clayton Hotel, Dublin Rd, Galway.
    Sunday 9th February 7pm : Prizegiving at Clayton Hotel, Galway.
Leading Entries :
The entries have been seeded by the organisers and the rally winner is likely to come from one of the top 10 seeds.

Seeded number 1 is the current Irish Tarmac rally champion, Gary Jennings from Fermanagh, with his Donegal co-driver, Rory Kennedy. Gary is driving a Subaru WRC car. He will be followed by Eugene Donnelly from Maghera, co-driven by Paul Kiely, in a MINI WRC. Eugene, a previous winner of the event, has finished second for the past two years, and hopes to do one better this year. The number 3 seed is the identical MINI WRC of Derek McGarrity from Antrim, followed away by the current Dunlop National Champions Declan and Brian Boyle from Donegal, in their Subaru WRC, also from Donegal, Donagh Kelly in his Focus WRC, and then the two Fiesta WRC cars of Sam Moffett from Monaghan, and Daragh O Roirdan from Cork.

Overseas Entries:
There are a total of 10 crews from outside of Ireland taking part in this years event, some travelling from USA and Canada, others from London, Wales and UK.

Leading Local Entries:
Members of Galway Motor Club taking part in the event will be seeking to put their name on the prestigious Brian G Thornton Memorial Cup. The leading Galway crews are:

Car Driver Navigator Address Make/Model
19 Tom Flaherty Patrick Curley Galway Escort RS
25 Pat Kelly Jonathan Kelly Galway Subaru STI
31 Neil Peirce Aileen Kelly Loughrea Honda
32 Richard Whelan James Whelan Galway Honda
33 Stephen Greaney Agne Audiejaityte Galway Escort RS
36 Richard Burke John Burke Oranmore Subaru
43 Jonathan Folan Ger Myers Galway Subaru


Results and regular updates and more detailed information will be available on the rally website:

Combilift Rallying ready for 2014 - Sam Moffet to drive Ford Fiesta WRC

Posted: January 24, 2014 9:31 PM

Following a very successful 2013 season, Sam and Josh Moffett will start their Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship campaign in Galway early next month. Josh, a Billy Coleman Award finalist last year, will continue to compete in his Group N Mitsubishi Lancer and will be aiming to take honours in the class having narrowly missed out on the title last season. Sam meanwhile, has secured the use of a Ford Fiesta World Rally Car for the 2014 season. The decision to change car was taken by Sam after taking wins in Monaghan and Donegal in a hired Subaru Impreza World Rally Car last season and he’s excited by the challenge a new car will bring.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge of driving the Fiesta. The few drives in the Subaru last year gave me great confidence, especially when we were competitive straight away so hopefully we can do the same with the Fiesta. I’m also hoping to do a few rallies abroad later in the year with car.”

Josh is also hoping he can finish on the top step of the podium this year, having narrowly lost out on Group N honours to Stephen Wright last season. “We went very close last year in our first real attempt at the title so it would be great to go one step further in 2014. If I can secure another early nomination for the Billy Coleman Award like last year then that would be ideal.”

The fantastic Fiesta WRC will break cover at scrutiny before the Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally at Monaghan’s Garage, Tuam Road, Galway on Friday the 7th of February before Sam tackles the gruelling Galway roads on Saturday and Sunday. If you want to become a part of the Combilift Rallying team, their all-new clothing range will be on sale in service in Gort over the rally weekend.

To keep up to date with Sam and Josh’s progress in Galway and throughout the season make sure and follow @CombiliftRally on Twitter and like ‘Combilift Rallying’ on Facebook.

Rally Launch - (Fri) 24 Jan 14

Posted: January 21, 2014 9:32 AM

Official launch of the Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally is on Friday night Jan 24th at 7.30pm in The Clayton Hotel Galway

Incentives Boost Entries for Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally!

Posted: January 16, 2014 10:00 AM

Galway Motor Club is pleased to announce more incentives for competitors in this year’s rally which takes place on the weekend of 7th to 9th of February next.

The Maldron Hotel Galway is offering cash incentives totalling €450 to the top crews in the “Honda Challenge”. Awards of €150 each will be made to the top crews of Honda Civic EK4 and EG6 models running in classes 1, 3 or 11.

Also, the organisers have split Class 11. Front Wheel Drive cars can run in Class 11 F, and Rear Wheel Drive cars in Class 11 R.

Finally, all two wheel drive cars are eligible for the “Safety Direct Challenge”, and the top front wheel drive and the top rear wheel drive finishers will each win a cash award of €500. The Club are indebted to both the Maldron Hotel Galway and Safety Direct for these additional competitor incentives.

Entries for the event are filling quickly. The early entries in the Historic Rally include the Mini Coopers of Mervyn Johnston and Ray Cunningham, the Porsche 911 of UK visitor John Spiers, Frank Cunningham in an RS1800 and the return to the stages of 1982 Irish Tarmac Rally Champion, John Coyne and Christy Farrell in a Sunbeam.

Competition in the modified classes will be intense with the early Mk2 Escort entries including Pat Donegan, Wesley Patterson, Chris Armstrong, Liam Howlett, Tom Flaherty and many more.

The strongly supported Group N classes have so far attracted regulars such as Billy Coleman Award nominee from 2013 Josh Moffett, Colm Murphy, Brendan Comiskey and Eugene Meegan and an Mitsubishi Evo R4 for Rory Byrne.

We will need to wait another while to see what cars Eugene Donnelly, Sam Moffett, Gary Jennings, Darren Gass and others may source, but leading entries with cars already confirmed include Donagh Kelly in his Focus WRC, Daragh O’Riordan in his Fiesta WRC, and a provisional entry for an unnamed driver in a Subaru S14 and another in a MINI WRC! The current Dunlop National champion Declan Boyle will be seeking his first International Rally win in his Subaru WRC.

Competitors are reminded that the closing date for on-line entries is January 20th. Junior Rally Entry Fee is just €295, Historic Rally is €545 and the Main Rally is €695. 50% Bonus points will be awarded to registered competitors in this, Round 1 of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. SuperRally (Rally 2) will be available for competitors who retire early from all three rallies.

All events will be televised on the new SportsVision RallyTV shows to be broadcast on UTV, TG4 and Motors TV and Sky.

Be part of it..................get your entry in NOW! 13 Stages await, with only 5 stages to recce!

Aussie Recruitment Drive Reaches European Stages in 2014

Posted: January 12, 2014 11:59 AM

Australia based Irish men Pauric Duffy & Kevin Glynn make their rally debut on the Galway International Rally in their Silverstrand Developments supported Citroen C2R2 Max.

The rally rookies have enlisted the help of onthepacenote.com owner, & regular WRC Co-Driver Killian Duffy to guide them through their rally adventures in 2014.
Pauric & Kevin will commence a full week of training & testing before reaching the stages in Galway.

The week after Galway, the c2r2 Max will be converted to gravel specification for several days gravel testing, followed by the Wyedean Forest Rally in the UK on February 15th.

Pauric & Kevin will return to Australia after the Wyedean Rally, but will return to Ireland again in May & June for a busy schedule of events including; Cavan Stages, Circuit of Munster, Newry Stages, Laois Stages, a European tarmac rally, & finally Donegal International Rally.
At all rallies, you can visit the Silverstrand Developments Rally Team’s service area to collect information booklets on how you could be recruited for a job in Australia.
You can follow Silverstrand Developments Rally Team’s progress on Twitter @SilverstrandRal or visit www.silverstrand.com.au

2014 Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally Details.

Posted: January 4, 2014 10:52 PM

Preparations are well advanced for the first major event in County Galway which will take place over the weekend of the 7th to 9th February 2014. The Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally will be the opening round of the 2014 Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

The 2014 event will return to a full weekend format and will have a total of 13 stages over the two days, mainly in the Gort and south Galway areas. The Saturday route will cover 5 stages and a further 8 stages will be covered on the Sunday. The event Headquarters will be the Clayton Hotel in Ballybrit, Galway. Galway Motor Club President, Mark Parsons, recently welcomed Colm Quinn BMW as the title sponsors for the rally. Colm Quinn BMW is one of Ireland’s leading BMW dealers.

Colm Quinn, Managing Director, stated that he had enjoyed being involved with the previous two Galway International rallies through his support of the Colm Quinn MINI WRC driven by Eugene Donnelly. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to sponsor the first major sporting event in Galway as it coincides with the opening of my new BMW dealership in a brand new facility on the Tuam Road, Galway in 2014” stated Colm.

Galway Motor Club is delighted to confirm the return to a full weekend event, having been run as a one-day event for the past two years. The new format will bring an additional early season boost to visitor numbers to Galway city and county. The event generates over 2,000 bed nights annually as most teams spend two weekends in the area between making their route notes and taking part in the event itself.

Kieran Donohue, Clerk of the Course, said
“Galway Motor Club is indebted to the staff of Galway County and City Councils, An Garda Siochana, Failte Ireland, the Road Safety Authority, the Directors and staff of Colm Quinn BMW, the 300 volunteer marshals from all over Ireland, and most of all the residents along the route for their assistance with temporary road closures to ensure the safe running of the event.”

The event will have a Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square on Friday 7th February at 8pm, following afternoon scrutineering of cars at Monaghans’ Garage, Tuam Road, Galway from 2pm. These will be ideal opportunities to see the rally cars and drivers prior to the start of the competition.

The Galway International Rally is an event that is sanctioned by the FIA under an official Permit issued by Motorsport Ireland, and supported by the RSA – The Road Safety Authority of Ireland. The ‘Keep the Race in its Place’ campaign is extremely successful in talking to predominantly young people who follow motorsport. The Galway Motor Club is eager to remind everyone of the need to drive safely at all times – hence the message “Keep the Race in its Place’’. All competing cars will carry this logo and message. A comprehensive traffic management plan has been put in place with the support of the Gardai.

Winner of the 2013 event, Keith Cronin, followed up his first Irish International win with a successful year competing in the World Rally Championship. He finished a close 2nd overall in the WRC-3 class on his debut year in the top tier global championship, competing in Portugal, Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy. He also collected a clear victory on the specialist stages of Finland, alongside several second place finishes to tie for the WRC-3 championship.

Nominated Charity:

Galway Motor Club have chosen a Galway based community led organisation called Domestic Violence Response (DVR) as their charity partner for the event. Established in 1998 to respond to the issue of domestic violence in County Galway, their aim is to identify and respond to the needs of women and children who are subjected to violence and abuse in the home and to develop long-term responses that work towards the elimination of domestic violence.

Media Coverage:

For 2014 rally enthusiasts worldwide will benefit from extensive media coverage of the event. County Galway based TG4 ,which provides “free to air” terrestrial TV nationally will broadcast two 30 minute programmes devoted to the event during February, while Motors TV will have a one hour programme on its Satellite Channel, available across Europe. Locally the event will receive extensive coverage from local newspapers and the Galway Bay FM sports and news teams.
A new rally website will be regularly updated at www.galwayinternationalrally.com.

The rally will contain three main sections – the International Rally being the main event, attracting both World Rally Cars and the best of the Modified drivers in Ireland. There is also an Historic Rally for cars built in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but fully rebuilt with modern safety features. Finally, on the Sunday route there will be a Junior Rally for drivers under the age of 26. Entries are now being accepted, with the official closing date being 20th January next. In total an entry of over 100 teams is expected.

Regulation Available

Posted: December 16, 2013 11:34 AM

Additional Classes and Awards for 2014 Colm Quinn Galway International Rally!

Posted: November 26, 2013 11:14 AM

The organisers are pleased to confirm that event has applied to MI to run an additional class – Class 20 for certain Four Wheel Drive cars.

Specifically, Class 20 will cater for Four wheel drive ( forced induction or normally aspirated ) cars modified to an extent not permitted for homologated versions ; non homologated four wheel drive production cars; and cars authorised for use at the discretion of Motorsport Ireland under Appendix 29, Category 2, of the Motorsport Yearbook.

Also, the organisers will split Class 11. Front Wheel Drive cars can run in Class 11 F, and Rear Wheel Drive cars in Class 11 R.

Finally, all two wheel drive cars are eligible for the Safety Direct Challenge, and the top front wheel drive, and the top rear wheel drive will each win a cash award of €500.

Rally Guide / Two Wheel Drive Challenge

Posted: November 22, 2013 9:03 AM

Galway Motor Club is pleased to issue it’s Rally Guide for the forthcoming Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally.

The Rally takes place on the 8th and 9th February 2014 over a compact route and 13 classic stages in south Galway. It is a counting round for the new Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. The rally guide includes full time schedules for the International/National , the Historic and the Junior Rallies.

Clerk of the Course, Kieran Donohue, has devised a competitor friendly route, with a centralized base, at a very competitive entry fee. Additionally, the club is running a “Two Wheel Drive Challenge” as part of the event. This will be open to all 2 wheel drive cars, and separate awards of €500 ( cash! ) are on offer to the highest placed rear-wheel drive car and the highest placed front-wheel drive cars at the end of the event. The Challenge is sponsored by Safety Direct.

MAIN SPONSOR ANNOUNCED FOR 2014 GALWAY INTERNATIONAL RALLY!

Posted: October 25, 2013 11:44 AM

Galway Motor Club President, Mark Parsons, recently welcomed Colm Quinn BMW as the title sponsors for the 2014 Galway International Rally.

Mark stated that he was delighted that the event, which has been running annually since 1971, has attracted such a prestigious brand name. Colm Quinn BMW is one of Irelands leading BMW dealers and is celebrating the opening of it’s new Galway dealership in 2014 by sponsoring this major sporting event.

Colm Quinn, Managing Director, stated that he had enjoyed being involved with the previous two Galway International rallies through his support of the Colm Quinn MINI WRC driven by Eugene Donnelly.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to sponsor the first major sporting event in Galway as it coincides with the opening of our new BMW Dealership in a brand new custom built facility on the Tuam Road. Our business in Athlone opened in 2008 in a temporary facility, moving into our purpose built showrooms in June 2009. During those 5 years we have grown to employ over 50 people and all going according to plan, our second business will also be open within that fifth year in a temporary sales facility with the completed dealership opening late Spring 2014 employing an initial 25 people ” stated Colm.

Preparations are well advanced for the event which will take place over the weekend of the 7th to 9th February 2014. The 2014 event will have full International Status and will be the opening round of the Tarmac Rally Championship. The Clerk of the Course is Kieran Donoghue from Headford, an experienced organiser and rally competitor. The rally will revert to a two day format and will have a total of 13 stages over the two days. The Saturday route will cover 5 stages. A further 8 stages will be covered on the Sunday. In order to reduce costs for competitors, the route has been designed to minimise unnecessary time by using a compact overlapping route. The event Headquarters will be the Clayton Hotel in Ballybrit, Galway.

The 2013 Galway International Rally produced an intriguing event. Following the early retirement of the Tarmac Champion, Darren Gass from Armagh, it was a very close contest between Keith Cronin from Cork in a Subaru and Eugene Donnelly from Magherafelt in the Colm Quinn MINI, with the Corkman winning by the narrow margin of 13 seconds at the Ballinasloe finish. The 2013 event was also the opening event of Failte Irelands “Gathering” initiative in the West of Ireland.

The 2014 Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally is expected to be equally exciting with extensive TV and Live Media coverage promised. Further details about the event will be announced in the coming weeks and a comprehensive “Rally Guide” will be published on the rally website shortly.

Websites

Posted: October 25, 2013 11:44 AM

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