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2004 Monaghan Stages Rally - 25 Apr 04

Posted: June 8, 2004 2:34 PM - 10431 Hits

Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally
Round 2 - 2004 Dunlop National Rally Championship
Round 2 - 2004 Border Rally Championship

SPORT MONTHLY a monthly tv sports programme featuring a wide range of Irish Sports events.

The Monaghan Rally will feature on:

  • RTE Network 2, 11.50pm Wednesday 9th June 2004
  • Chorus Sports Channel, Changed to Thursday 10th June 2004

Posted: June 8, 2004 2:34 PM


Photos: Seamus Counihan
On home ground, Niall Maguire and Paul McLaughlin (Subaru WRC) took a comfortable victory on the Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan Rally, the second round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship. At the finish of the day's nine stages, they were 53 seconds ahead of the similar Subaru WRC of Adrian McElvaney/Paul Goodman. Throughout the day, the race for third was between the Subaru WRC of Ray Breen/Andrew Purcell and the Hyundai Accent WRC of Cathal Arthurs/James Kelly, with the latter gaining the advantage towards the finish. The showroom honours were annexed by Willie Fannin/Richard Price (Subaru).
Maguire and Harrison posted identical times on the opening stage, Doogary, near Emyvale. Recording a time of eight minutes and two seconds, they were 14 seconds clear of Kevin Lynch (Subaru WRC) with Adrian McElvaney (Subaru WRC) a second adrift and sharing fourth place with the Subaru WRC of Ray Breen. Patrick Elliott retired the ex-Derek McGarrity Circuit of Ireland winning Subaru S9 when the cockpit of the car filled up with smoke. Cathal Arthurs slotted his Hyundai Accent WRC into sixth and was followed by Kevin Barrett, Alan Nesbitt and Dessie Keenan, who shared seventh place. Keenan took the early advantage in Group N - leading the Mitsubishi of Gabriel Martin by ten seconds.

Harrison rolled his Subaru and subsequently blocked the second stage. Out on S.S. 3., Maguire stalled at one particular junction, the episode cost him about fifteen seconds as fellow local driver, Adrian McElvaney set quickest time albeit by a second from Maguire, who explained that his error was due to the fact that he entered the junction too quickly. Kevin Lynch retired his Subaru midway through the stage that also accounted for the Toyota Celica of Alan Nesbitt, who withdrew with clutch problems.

Cathal Arthurs in fourth place reported no problems with his Hyundai Accent; David Armstrong (Escort WRC) was fifth even though his Escort WRC had no fifth gear.

Sean Gallagher and Kevin Barrett shared sixth place, the latter very fortunate not to drop time when he damaged a rim on the opening stage.

In Group N, Dessie Keenan upheld local honour, he also held eighth overall with an eleven second lead over ninth placed and fellow Group N contender, Gabriel Martin (Mitsubishi). The top ten was completed by David McNulty (Escort Cosworth) and Mac McKenna (Peugeot), who led the rear wheel drive category.

Maguire controlled the pace over the second loop of stages and the double national rally champion duly extricated twenty-seven seconds out of his rival and fellow local, Adrian McElvaney to lead by 41 seconds. In the chase for third, Ray Breen (Subaru WRC) overshot a junction and lost over ten seconds and by the end of the loop had to be content with fourth - six seconds off new third placed incumbent, Cathal Arthurs (Hyundai). David Armstrong continued in fifth and despite the handicap of no fifth gear he was nine seconds ahead of the trouble free Escort Cosworth of Sean Gallagher.

Dessie Keenan (Mitsubishi) remained in control of Group N, his main rival, Gabriel Martin suffered steering woes in his Mitsubishi. Meanwhile, the top ten was rounded off by the Escort Cosworth of David McNulty, Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC) and top rear wheel drive exponent, Enda Keenan (Escort). The latter was having a tremendous duel with the Starlet of Maurice Moffett and the margin between them was a mere second.

Maguire sealed victory with a composed performance on the last loop and won by 53 seconds with McElvaney making a good improvement on his stage times towards the finish. Winner Maguire commented at the finish, "A great loop of stages, well run and I'm delighted to have won the rally."

Arthurs won the race for third - some four seconds ahead of Breen, who overshot on a second occasion. Sean Gallagher (Escort Cosworth) was fifth and David Armstrong (Escort WRC) was sixth. Dessie Keenan (Mitsubishi) encountered differential problems and that gave the Group N category win to Willie Fannin (Subaru).

Meanwhile, the final places in the top ten were secured by Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC), Enda Keenan (Escort), David McNulty (Escort Cosworth) and Maurice Moffett (starlet).

1. N. Maguire/P. McLaughlin (Subaru WRC) 1h. 15m. 54s.
2. A. McElvaney/P. Goodman (Subaru WRC) 1h. 16m. 47s.
3. C. Arthurs/J. Kelly (Hyundai) 1h. 17m. 06s.
4. R. Breen/A. Purcell (Subaru WRC) 1h. 17m. 10s.
5. S. Gallagher/F. Kenny (Escort Cosworth) 1h. 19m.04s.
6. D. Armstrong/C. Kelly (Escort WRC) 1h. 19m. 06s.
7. K. Barrett/B. Goodman (Subaru WRC) 1h. 20m. 08s.
8. E. Keenan/S. Moriarty (Escort) 1h. 20m. 15s.
9. D. McNulty/K. Kilcoyne (Escort Cosworth) 1h. 20m.27s.
10. M. Moffett/J. McKenna (Toyota starlet) 1h. 20m.28s.

Dunlop National Rally Championship positions after
Round 2 (Provisional):

1. N. Maguire 38 Points; 2. A. McElvaney 29 Points;
3. R. Breen 28 points; 4. C. Arthurs 24 points.

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