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Wexford Dick Bailey Stages Rally - 10-11 Sep 05

Posted: September 12, 2005 5:02 PM - 13943 Hits

Round 7 - 2005 South East Stages Championship

  • Stephen Murphy takes 7th Wexford win
  • Event Report
  • Results and Times
  • Photos
Event Report
At the end of two days of rallying on the by-roads of county Wexford, it was Stephen Murphy, partnered by Mickey Joe Murphy who took there seventh and, one of there most comfortable wins on this years event. In the end, they had over three minutes to spare over the second place Subaru of PJ McGrath and Killian Duffy with David James and Jim Crowe taking a fabulous third and top two wheel drive car aboard their mk2 Escort.

Posted: September 12, 2005 5:02 PM

With the withdrawals of Eamon Boland, Eddie Kinirons, and Damian Cole and the decision of Noel Redmond to try out a group N Lancer for the weekend, the challenge facing Murphy was made an awful lot easier. It was left to David Long and Dermot Harrington, who had come in off the reserve to put the challenge to Murphy and after two stages, they lay second, 19 seconds back from the Carlow man in his ex-Denis Cronin Toyota Celica. Leading group N and third overall was PJ McGrath, just ahead of Gabriel Martin with Mark Kane on the notes. Fifth and first of the two wheel drives was David James, just ahead of the 1600cc Nova of Mark Kennedy and Ian O’ Leary who were revelling in the wet conditions. Seventh was Liam Wall and Bob Kelly while the welsh wizard Gwyndaf Evans lay eight. Another two escorts rounded off the top ten, John Nolan ninth and another Welshman Wayne Evans tenth, making it five Escorts in the top ten, just how rallying should be!

The next loop of two stages brought the first days action to a close and it saw Stevie consolidate his position up front, taking a lead of 39 seconds with him overnight from David Long, who was having a great run in only his second outing in the car. Martin had forged a slender 2 second gap from McGrath in the battle for group N honours while the two wheel drive race was really hotting up, with David James and Liam Wall lying fifth and sixth while seventh was shared by the Nova of Kennedy and the Escort of Evans who was trying hard to catch the leading two. John Nolan was also flying it, ninth overnight and Wayne Evans was still rounding off the top ten. Class leaders overnight included David Parle, Nicky Cahill, Tomas O’ Rourke and Martin McGrath.

Day 2 saw much brighter weather but by the end of the first loop, one of the top contenders had fallen by the wayside. On the first run through the Ballymitty stage, long lost the Celica on a tight stretch of road and his rally was over. McGrath was up to second, reversing the 2 second gap on Martin while the man really on the charge was Liam Wall, who had the gap between himself and David James down to 6 seconds in the battle for fourth. Gwyndaf was up to sixth, another 20 seconds behind.

With the great weather and fast flowing nature of the stages, retirements were now coming thick and fast and by the end of the second loop, the leader board had been turned on It’s head again. Murphy had a comfortable two minute gap out front, but behind him, the battle for second overall and group N honours were decided in dramatic fashion when Gabriel Martin left the road at high speed on stage 9, with both occupants being taken to hospital for a check up. David James now moved up to third but he also saw his great dice with Liam Wall come to an end when the Fethard man suffered diff failure. Simon Kehoe and Veronica Culleton took over the leadership aboard their Peugeot 306 after Tomas O Rourke and John McGrath crashed out. The pink panther Nova of John and Geraldine Somers and the Escort Cosworth of Sean Gaul and Pat Caufield were now in the top ten.

Murphy was obviously enjoying himself out front and over the final loop, he extended his winning margin to three minutes over the field to take his seventh win in the south-east. PJ McGrath took and excellent runners up spot and group N honours while the ever entertaining David James thrilled the crowds on his way to a great third overall. The Escorts of the legend himself, Gwyndaf Evans and John Nolan took fourth and fifth overall. In sixth was another Welshman, Neil Williams who flew over the Sunday stages while the crackpot Kennedy surely had the drive of the rally to seventh. Wayne Evans consistent run netted him eight, while another great run for John and Geraldine Somers netted them ninth. Into the leader board at the very end came Washington James in his very powerful Darrian to take tenth.

Class winners included David Parle and Aidan Kent, Nicky Cahill and Barry Barron who so nearly threw it all away on the last junction of the last stage but, with the help of the local cavalry, got back on course to take class 3, Simon Kehoe took class seven on his first run in the car from Padraig Neville and Amy Ryan while Kenny O’ Brien and Tom Byrne survived a scare on Saturday evening when a ball-joint collapsed to take class 9. Martin and Dot McGrath took class 9A while Mark Kennedy took class 11. Seamus O’ Grady took the junior event from John Stafford and Ann Marie Kennedy while in the Sunday run, John Kehoe had been setting the stages alight aboard his new mount until the second last stage when an off allowed Niall Fortune and James Kelly to take the honours.

1 Stephen Murphy/Michael Morrissey (Subaru Impreza WRC) 01:21:02
2 PJ McGrath/Killian Duffy (Subaru Impreza N11) 01:24:11
3 David James/Jim Crowe (Ford Escort MkII) 01:24:42
4 Gwyndaf Evans/Alan Davies (Ford Escort) 01:25:42
5 John Nolan/John Smithwick (Ford Escort) 01:25:59
6 Niel Williams/Eurig Davies (Ford Escort RS) 01:26:04
7 Washington G James/Geoff R Forster (Darrian T90 GTR) 01:26:16
8 Mark Kennedy/Ian O'Leary (Vauxhall Nova 1600 16V) 01:26:52
9 Wayne Evans/Sion Jones (Ford Escort) 01:27:00
10 John Somers/Geraldine Somers (Opel Corsa 1600 16V) 01:27:11

Leader after:
SS1-13 Stephen Murphy/Michael Morrissey (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Stage Winners SS1-13 Stephen Murphy/Michael Morrissey (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS9 All Crews given Stephen Murphy's Time

3rd overall and 1st 2WD - David James/Jim Crowe

  • Rally Programmes available
  • Shaughnessy & McGrath look set to become 2005 Overall Triton Showers South East Stages Rally Champions
  • Entry List
  • Countdown Begins!!
  • Regulations available
  • Regulations available shortly

Rally Programmes available
Shaughnessy & McGrath look set to become 2005 Overall Triton Showers South East Stages Rally Champions
This years TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship is again going to the wire. The preceding seven rounds have not determined the outcome of the championship. Some crews elected to run outside of their normal discipline and have ventured onto tarmac or forestry to maximise their chances of scoring on five rounds. Dropped scores will still determine the outcome of overall and class positions. And it’s a bit late at this stage to look up the regulations to see what can be done!

Allowing for dropped scores and counting the competitors points from a maximum of five rounds.

The current leaders of the TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship 2005 are Terence O’Shaughnessy / Eugene McGrath, Toyota Corolla, Class 3, 60 points (*4). They are the only competitors so far to score maximum points from all the events entered. A fantastic achievement, and they are going for five on the trot. They must finish no lower than 4th in class win the championship.

Second overall is the winner of the 2004 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship, Mick Nevin / John Kinihan, Escort MK2, Class 2, 59 points (*5) Mick and John have contested all seven rounds to date and are great supporters of this championship. Unusual for them are the two non- finishes. They will however be there to the final control and then see how the points divvy up.

The dark horses of the championship must be this third places crew, Francis Kelly / Charlotte Egan, Opel Corsa, Class 2, 54 points (*4) Their battle has been with Mick Nevin / John Kinihan and its been nip and tuck for class supremacy between them throughout the championship. They need maximum points from this event to bring home the necessary points. A tall order but nonetheless it’s achievable.

Class 1. The Dineens, Alan and Tony (Nova) are leading the class, on 40 points (*3). They excel on forestry and have forsaken the tarmac rounds. Slotting into second place are John O’Donnell / Brendan Furlong, Suzuki Swift, 39 points (*5). The Dick Bailey Stages is their home event and it will be shoe it or bust. Conor Kelly / John Quill, Corsa are hot on their heels on 37 points (*3). One small hiccup and it’s all change again.

Class 2. With Mick Nevin and Francis Kelly gone to the overall positions for the moment, the remaining crews in this class may see a dramatic change. The class leader, one of our overseas contestants, the Welsh crew of Mark Andrews / Aled Richards (Escort MK 2) on 39 points (*5). In second place are Joe Conway / Ciaran McCullagh (Peugeot 205) on 31 points (*4). Alan Commins / Declan Norris, MK2 Escort are third on 27 points (*4).

Class 3. A new name to the class lead are Eddie Grinsell / Christine O’Leary Peugeot 206, 36 points (*5) Their consistent high scoring are reaping dividends. They have edged ahead of Tom Dunne / Declan Grogan (Peugeot) on 33 points (*5). Paul Mulcahy / Karl Bauman (Starlet) still hold a class position, third, on 30 points (*2).

Class 4. The Roches, Jason and Patrick MK2 Escort, 51 points (*4) for so long on the overall leader board have slipped back to leading the class. Regarded as forestry experts, elected to skip the Birr Stages and this may have cost them an overall position on TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship. Second are Sean Benskin / Brian Doherty (Escort MK2) on 41 points (*4), are waiting for Birr and the loose surface. Mick Kehoe / Tim Boyle (Peugeot 205) on 40 points (*3) are a very close third and are expected to excel on their home event.

Class 5. Another forestry crew that has slipped from the overall positions to class leaders are Brian T. Lawlor / Peter Kavanagh, MK” Escort, 49 points (*5) A non finish in Birr has cost them an expected haul of points and are now tying with David James / Jim Crowe, MK2 Escort 49 points (*4). A battle royal is anticipated in this class this weekend as the more powerful MK2 Escorts do battle.

Third in class are Liam Wall / Bob Kelly (Escort MK 2) 39 points (*3). Fourth are James Coleman / Eoin O’Neill (Escort MK 2) 37 points (*4).

Class 6. Four times an event winner this year is Ray Breen / Andrew Purcell (Focus WRC) are class leaders on 32 points. TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship sponsors Kevin Barrett / Barry Goodman (Subaru) has jumped to second on 20 points. Former winners, Richie Curran / Gerry English (Subaru / Escort) are third on 19 points.

That’s the provisional current standings with adjustments for dropped scores (*) = maximum counting rounds allowed as I understand them!! We can as ever look forward to an exciting finale to the 2005 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship.

No Driver/Navigator (Car)
1 Stephen Murphy/Michael Morrissey (Subaru Impreza WRC)
2 Eamonn Boland/Francis Regan (Ford Focus WRC)
3 Noel Redmond/TBA (Subaru Impreza WRC)
4 Eddie Kinirons/Sean Moriarty (Toyota Celica GT-Four)
5 Damien Cole/TBA (Hyundai Accent WRC)
6 PJ McGrath/Damien Morrissey (Subaru Impreza N11)
7 Gabriel Martin/Donal Lennon (Subaru Impreza N11)
8 Mark Courtney/Gerry McGivney (Toyota Celica GT-Four)
9 Eddie Garry/Sean Hade (Subaru Impreza WRC)
10 David James/Jim Crowe (Ford Escort MkII)
Countdown Begins!!
The time is upon us again for what was formally known as the Wexford rally, now the Dick Bailey stages rally. Last year saw a fantastic battle between the Subaru Impreza of five time winner Stephen Murphy and the Ford Focus WRC of Killarney’s Donie O’ Sullivan. After splashing through all the puddles over a rain soaked weekend, it was Murphy who took his sixth win in Wexford by a mere ten seconds, with Carraig on Suir man Richie Curran taking third in his Escort WRC.

This year’s event see’s a new format for the 131 crews taking the start, with four stages up the north of the county with a further nine down south of the county on Sunday. Preparations are at an advanced stage with entries flooding in as we speak. Last years winner Stephen Murphy will be back to defend his crown but for the first time in ten years, we should see the Carlow man take on his old adversary Eamon Boland. Boland is expected to make the start aboard his new Ford Focus WRC. Entries are also expected from the Subaru trio of Noel Redmond, Damian Cole and Melvyn Evans while 1996 winner Pete Douethy has also signalled his intentions to line up come September 10th. Group N will see the Oakland Quarries Subaru of PJ McGrath try and repeat his success of 2004, but he will face stiff opposition in the form of Gabriel Martin in a similar Impreza.

The modified cars are always great to watch and this year is sure to be no different. Some of the best mk2 escorts in Ireland and from across the water will take to the start, with drivers such as Liam Wall, Gwyndaf Evans, David James, Willy Whitty and James Coleman all throwing their cars from lock to lock over the weekend. The 1600 16v class will also be one to watch with the front wheel drive Nova’s of Mark Kennedy, John Somers and James Stafford taking on the Toyota twin cam of Terence O Shaughnessy.

The launch of the event will take place at the Crosbie Cedars Hotel on Thursday, 25th of August at 8p.m. and it promises to be a great night’s entertainment, with a fabulous display of cars outside the hotel, and inside, wide screen televisions showing some of the most entertaining rallying and in-car action around, definitely not to be missed! Afterwards, there is music from Thomas and Speedy and sure to be some interesting discussions among drivers and fans as the countdown begins to Wexfords main motorsport event of the year.

Regulations and Entry Form on:
COC Pat O'Dowd and his team are putting the final touches to the regulations for the 2005 Wexford Rally. The regulations are expected to be available in mid August for the September rally.

The HQ is the Crosbie Cedars Hotel, Rosslare.

Topics: Wexford Rally 

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