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Wexford Dick Bailey Stages Rally - 8-9 Sep 07

Posted: September 20, 2007 2:25 PM - 22815 Hits

Round 7 - 2007 Southeast Stages Championship

  • Report-Boland takes record eight win
  • Photos
  • Video Clips

Photo: Sideway Shot Motor Sport Photography

Posted: September 20, 2007 2:25 PM

Report-Boland takes record eight win Eamon Boland and Francis Regan scored a record breaking eight win on the 2007 Riverbank House hotel Dick Bailey Stages Rally, the Wexford car dealer taking a narrow 18 seconds victory from the pursuing Ford Focus WRC of Gareth MacHale and Paul Nagle. 2006 runner-up Noel Redmond with Andrew Purcell on the notes rounded off the podium positions. Phil Collins and Derek Brannigan in there fantastic Escort Mk2 took top honours in the 2wd challenge sponsored by Rallytrader.ie, Murform Structures Ltd and Ruth Motorsport and a fantastic fourth overall with Gabriel Martin and Paddy Robinson taking group N honours and eight overall.

There was drama even before the first stage when David James and Jim Crowe in their Ford Focus WRC retired on the road section with mechanical problems. The pair, who had been third overall for the past two years were looking to repeat the feet but unfortunately their rally was over before it had begun.

Boland set the tone for the weekend on the opening Ballyanne stage, where he took an eight second lead from the flying Darrian of John Dalton. Gareth MacHale and Melvyn Evans tied for third fastest, twelve seconds back from the leading Subaru. Fifth on the time sheets were P.J. McGrath and Killian Duffy with the mighty Escort of Phil Collins rounding out the top 6. Trevor Harding and Gary Nolan heading the group N runners, the Derek Jobb run Evo 9 five seconds ahead of their closest rivals. Last years winners, David Parle and Aidan Kent retired on the opening stage with mechanical gremlins. One very strange happening on stage one was that of Barry Barron and Fergal Pender indicating to turn at the first junction on stage one. There is neat driving and then there’s neat driving, but Barry seemed to take it to the extreme!

Boland stretched his lead to sixteen seconds by first service, which was partly due to John Dalton retiring on stage 2 with half shaft failure. MacHale and Nagle lay second, with P.J. McGrath and Killian Duffy now third after Melvyn Evans and Sean Mullally retired also with a broken driveshaft. Noel Redmond and Andrew Purcell were third but already over and minute behind the flying Boland and Regan. Phil Collins and Derek Brannigan now led the two-wheel drive chargers, and they were only a second back from Redmond. Eoin Doyle and Paul Walsh lay sixth, Neil Williams and Eurig Davies seventh, Trevor Harding and Gary Nolan eight and leaders of Group N, Liam Wall and Denis O’ Mahony ninth with Ollie McPhillips and Billy Collins rounding out the top ten and leading class 15. Early class leaders included Mark Kennedy and Ian O’ Leary (class 11) despite some gearbox problems, Alan Mackey and Frank Dwyer in their N.C. Motorsport services run Nova (class 9A), Paddy O’ Dwyer and David Byrne in the C.K. Performance Engines run Nova (class 9), Simon Kehoe and Veronica Culleton (class 7), Brian O’ Nell and James Duggan (class 6) and Francis Kinsella and James Byrne (class 3).

The rally really came to life on the next loop of stages when Gareth MacHale and Paul Nagle put the hammer down to record fastest times on both, slicing Boland and Regan’s advantage to nine seconds. P.J. McGrath and Killian Duffy were trying desperately to keep in touch with the leading pair, they were thirty-five seconds back from the Boland-MacHale battle. Noel Redmond and Andrew Purcell stayed in fourth, with Phil Collins having a great run in fifth. They only change to the top ten saw Willy and Johnny Whitty start to get onto the pace, they tied for tenth with Ollie McPhillips and Billy Collins, who themselves were having Turbo problems in their Celica. Retirements were coming thick and fast on the fast and dry stages, some local ones included Padraig Neville (Subaru), Shay Byrne and John Delaney (Sunbeam), Thomas Kehoe and Robert Crosbie (Escort), Liam Howlett and Leo Tector (Sunbeam) and Adrian Brady and Noel Moran (Corolla).

Boland need to reinforce his gap at the top, and that’s exactly what he done over stages five and six, taking twenty-one seconds out of the pursuing Focus. MacHale steadied the ship on stages seven and eight, nipping a second back from the Hertz man on the second run through Camlin and equalling him on the final stage of the day to leave the overnight gap at twenty-seven seconds. Redmond and Purcell stayed in third, although any chance of improving on last years second overall seemed remote as he was nearly three-and-a-half minutes behind the Focus of MacHale and Nagle.

The afternoon stages were tighter that the morning stages and as expected, brought some major changes to the leader board. The main retirement was that of P.J. McGrath and Killian Duffy, who were forced to retire their Subaru with engine troubles. Also gone were Group N leaders Trevor Harding and Gary Nolan, who parked up on stage 5 with steering problems. Ollie McPhillips and Billy Collins turbo problems eventually lead to their retirement, while Willy and Johnny Whitty were also forced to take an early bath with alternator problems of a sort in their Escort.

All of which left a flying Phil Collins and Derek Brannigan fourth, last years two-wheel drive winners Neil Williams and Eurig Davies fifth, Eoin Doyle and Paul Walsh sixth, Liam Wall and Denis O’ Mahony seventh, Mark Nangle eight and leading group N, Wayne Evans ninth and John Kehoe tenth. Overnight class leaders included Neil Hickey and Ray Greene (class 11), Alan Mackey and Frank Dwyer (class 9A), Paddy O’ Dwyer and David Byrne (class 9), Ian Davies and Dylan Evans (class 12), Eddie Garry and Alan Whyte (class 15), Ian Jones and Alan Williams (class 6), Michael Ormond and Paddy King (class 2) and Francis Kinsella and James Byrne (class 3).

Day two dawned and once again it was Boland and Regan who set the pace, however fastest by one second on stage nine and equal fastest with MacHale on SS10 had still left the gap at only twenty-eight seconds.

Redmond stayed third, well aware that the C.K. Performance Engines backed Escort of Collins and Brannigan was just over half a minute back in fourth. Eoin Doyle climbed ahead of Neil Williams into fifth. John and Colm Kehoe were really on a push, the Campile men really pouring on the coals on the morning stages, moving up to eight and reducing the gap to Liam Wall and Denis O’ Mahony to just six seconds. Although well down the field, two crews that were putting in some cracking times were John Somers and Niall Fortune in their N.C. Motorsport Services run Nova and the WCR Corsa “B” of John Stafford and Anne-Marie Kennedy. Somers lost time on Saturday with a broken driveshaft while Stafford had encountered a whole host of problems but both men were now just going for broke, driving both cars on the door handles and matching times of those just outside the top 10.

On the second loop of stages it was MacHale who made the charge, taking seven seconds out of Boland through stage eleven and a further three on stage 12, to leave the gap at eighteen seconds with four stages to go. Redmond and Purcell were holding station in third, their gap back to the Escort of Collins having opened to over a minute-and-a-half. Eoin Doyle stayed fifth while the crew still burning up the stages were John and Colm Kehoe and as they entered service, the gap between himself and Liam Wall and Denis O’ Mahony was down to a second.

The battle was now coming to the boiling point, the next stage was crucial, if Boland could stretch his lead once again, would it be the final nail for MacHale? Or could MacHale eat further into the Wexford mans lead and snatch victory at the death? It was Boland who won the battle, a full twelve seconds clear of MacHale, pushing the gap out to thirty seconds. Gareth, to his credit, is not a MacHale for nothing and replied by taking two back but it left the gap at twenty-eight seconds with just two stages left. Redmond and Purcell were settled in third, while Collins was dropping time with his car rising to over 120 degree’s. However, he was still the crowd hero over the weekend as he thrilled the crowds to hold fourth. Eoin Doyle and Paul Walsh were still in fifth while Neil Williams was sixth. Beside the lead battle, the other main battle was for seventh, Liam Wall had a slender one second lead but that lead was erased on stage 13 when John and Colm Kehoe took back one second to tie for seventh, only for Wall to put in a mighty effort on stage 14 to re-take seventh. Another battle coming to a head was the group N class, with an increasingly rapid Gabriel Martin and Paddy Robinson now pilling on the pressure on Mark Nangle and Nollaig Breen.

MacHale wouldn’t let it lie but twenty-eight seconds was just much and for 2007, Eamon Boland and Francis Regan took an eighteen second victory on the Dick Bailey Stages Rally. Gareth MacHale and Paul Nagle had put up a great effort, but in the end it was to be second overall. Noel Redmond and Andrew Purcell rounded out the top three, the Bunclody man quick to point out at the finish ramp that it was his old car that Eamon had piloted to victory! Winners of the inaugural two-wheel drive challenge sponsored by Rallytrader.ie, Murform Structures Ltd and Ruth Motorsport, were Phil Collins and Derek Brannigan with a fabulous run to fourth overall, Phil delighted to have made the trip over for the event and plans to return in 2007.

Rounding out the top five were Eoin Doyle and Paul Walsh, Neil Williams and Eurig Davies sixth and second in the two-wheel-drive challenge, with Liam Wall and Denis O’ Mahony taking seventh and third in the two-wheel-drive honours. Unbelievably, Mark Nangle and Nollaig Breen were pipped for group honours by one second for the second year in succession, this time it was Gabriel Martin and Paddy Robinson who snatched the class win right at the death. Rounding out the top ten were John and Colm Kehoe who suffered intercom problems right at the death, but still a great run for the pair and one that was long overdue.

Class winners included Alan Mackey and Frank Dwyer who had one of the drive’s of the rally to take fourteenth overall and the honours in class 9A in their little 1400cc Nova, another with one of the drives of the event was Neil Hickey and Ray Greene who had a fabulous run to take class 11 honours and 16th overall in their Mivec-engined Mk2 Escort. Paddy O’ Dwyer was the clear winner in class 9, just one of many fine results for the C.K. Performance Engines outfit with John Kehoe, Mark Kennedy and Jason Kinsella all finishing inside the top 20. Ian Davies and Dylan Jones took class 12 honours from James Stafford and Richie Codd, who finished despite a little excursion on the last stage! Fran Kinsella and James Ryan took class three in their N.C. Motorsport Services hired Astra, Mark Cullen took class ten in their Darrian and Eddie Garry and Alan Whyte class 15 in their Subaru. David Parle and Aidan Kent took the Sunday Run award while Eamon Power and Robert Nolan took the honours in the junior section.

Kerill Waters co driven by Ulton McGowan clinched the 2007 Irish 205 Challenge title with a dominant display, winning both days of the Wexford stages rally to tie on points with Kenneth Keyes/Arleigh Scully. With more overall wins to his tally, Waters was confirmed champion at the finish ramp of a very tough 2 day event. Always a fast starter, Waters took the lead on stage1 before Paul Conlon/Thomas Maguire took over the running from stage 2 but it was short lived as a driveshaft broke on the fifth stage putting them out of the title race. Keyes took up the chase of Waters to the end of day 1 but could not close the gap. Waters scored top points for the day, improving his chance of lifting the title. Day 2 was another points scoring round, with the added threat from the crews restarting on the Sunday run, both Waters and Keyes would have to watch the times of all the crews closely to make sure of their positions. Not easy when the Sunday runners where 20 minutes behind the main field. Waters was wide awake early on and started as he left off the previous day, going quickest on the first stage with Mahon next after curing fuel pump trouble from the previous day. Conlon was determined to help his friend Waters win the title by finishing ahead of Keyes but his gearbox would explode on the first stage leaving Waters without a wingman. Keyes started the day thi rd but seemed to get stuck in the rut of third place. Mahon continued to hunt down Waters for the lead, and despite equaling him on a couple of stages towards the end, Waters wouldn’t break. Keyes upped his game with two stages left but could only manage to reduce the gap by 7 seconds on Mahon. Waters finished the final stage delighted with the win, but had an anxious wait for Mahons time to come through to confirm if he was champion. Keyes was first to congratulate Waters and McGowan when all the times were official. The champagne was sprayed on the banks of Wexford harbour for the worthy winners of a brilliant 2007 challenge fought out over six rounds.

Full Results and Times
  • Boland takes on MacHale & Murphy for Wexford Crown
  • Junior Entries still available
  • Entry List
  • Photos and Audio Clips from Rally Launch
  • Dick Bailey Stages Rally coming to a screen near you!
  • Boland to Drive S12
  • Reminder Rally Launch this Sunday 19th August
  • Marshals for Wexford Rally
  • Entries flood in for 2007 Dick Bailey Stages Rally
  • Wexford Rally Goes Two-Wheel Drive Crazy!!!
  • Regulations and Entry Form available
  • Rally Launch - 19 August

Carla Walsh seen here with her boyfriend Stephen Kavanagh have marshaled with the Wexford Marshals Club for the past three years all over the country∑.and now it is pay back time!! Carla has won two tickets to the World Rally in Spain in October 2007. This draw is supplied by Motor Sport Ireland who have been running it for the past two years, if you marshal for five events your name goes into a draw and you get the chance to win like Carla! So if you want to win the chance of a lifetime join our club∑..

Boland takes on MacHale & Murphy for Wexford Crown
The countdown is underway to the 2007 Riverbank House Hotel Dick Bailey stages rally. The 36th running of the event, which has seen an unprecedented entry of over 250 crews for this years rally, will once again be based out of the Riverbank House Hotel where the cars will set out from to tackle the first of sixteen special stages over the two day event.

First crew away on this year’s event will be Eamon Boland and Francis Regan in their new Subaru Impreza S12. Eamon, a record equalling seven times winner of the event, moved from Ford to Subaru in the middle of 2007 in order to try out the latest on offer from the Japanese marquee, whom he rallied with from 2000-2004. He will however, be eager to claim his eight win of the event, as he is currently joined at the top by Carlow-man Stephen Murphy. Although the Subaru is new to Eamon, second overall on the Galway Summer rally and third overall on last weekend’s Ulster rally show all the sign’s that the Hertz man has settled in nicely to his new mount and is ready to take on the challengers to his crown.

However, they face very stiff opposition from the Ford Focus WRC of Dubliner Gareth MacHale, a son of multiple Irish Tarmac champion Austin MacHale. Gareth is more commonly seen on the world championship front, his best result being sixth overall on the 2006 rally Mexico. However, with this being the first time to see Ireland hosting a round of the world championship, Gareth has been getting some extra miles under his belt in preparation for Ireland’s round of the world championship, Rally Ireland, in November. The MacHale name is synonymous with the Wexford rally, with Austin taking victory in the Model County on no fewer than 3 occasions. Gareth will be looking to create a little bit of history, as it is 25 years since Austin took his first win on the event.

And making a welcome return to Wexford, seeded at number 3 are Stephen Murphy and Mickey-Joe Morrissey. The pair, who took victory on the event for five consecutive years between 1991-1995, are themselves aboard a Subaru Impreza WRC. However, this will be their first event since their huge accident on the Donegal International rally, where they left the road at over 200 kph. Stevie however, will be quick to brush this from as his mind as he too goes for that record breaking eight win.

At number four is the popular Welshman, Melvyn Evans aboard another Subaru Impreza WRC with Sean Mullally on the notes. Melvyn is a very popular visitor to these parts, and he will be keen to repeat the form in 2000, where he was the early leader before his Subaru briefly caught fire. Melvyn, who took the honours on the 2006 West Cork rally, has the pace to run at the front, all he needs now is a little bit of luck.

At five are this years West Cork rally winners, Michael Barrable and Dermot O’ Gorman in their Ford Focus WRC. The Dubliner has always been one of the front-runners on the National Championship scene, most recently in 2003 when he pushed a certain Eugene Donnelly all the way to the National Championship title. Michael has been second here on two occasions in the past and will be eager to make it third time lucky on one of his favourite events.

At six is the Bunclody man who ran Boland so close in 2006, Noel Redmond who has Waterford’s Andrew Purcell along for the spin this weekend. Noel was within seconds of Eamon at one point last year, but dropped back over the Sunday stages to finish a close second on the event. This year has seen some mixed results, but the new Subaru, which he debuted at the start of the year, was purchased by Eamon Boland, so it is not yet clear what mount he plans to use on this year’s event. He will be hoping to go one better than last year, but being short of match practice, he will have to be on the limit from the word go to threaten the top men. In the fourth of the Subaru’s is local man P.J. McGrath and his usual sidekick Killian Duffy who are also aboard a new Subaru, which the debuted at the recent Stonethrowers rally in Tipperary. The pair held a comfortable third here last year going into the last stage until they were cruelly struck down by electrical gremlins dropping them way down the field. P.J. will definitely be looking to repeat that form, and if luck were to go his way could well be a darkhorse for overall honours. In at eight is the ever popular and entertaining David James, with Jim Crowe shouting the notes. David, despite having the Focus for nearly two years now, is still fondly remembered for his sideways antics aboard his famous 11 ZIK yellow Mk2 Escort. The Gorey-man finished third overall for the second year in succession in 2006, but like Redmond, will have to be on the door-handles from the word go to repeat that feet against the 2007 line-up. The two-wheel drive challenge, which in it’s opening year is being backed by Rallytrader.ie, Murform Structures Ltd and Ruth Motorsport, see’s the first of it’s contenders at nine in the shape of John Dalton and Gwynfor Jones in their awesome Darrian T90 GTR. This rocket could well upset man of the WRC cars over the weekend, while at the same time he will be expected to set the benchmark for the chasing two-wheel drive pace to follow.

And at ten, in the similar Darrian, are James Stafford and Frank Dwyer in the Clonmines Construction backed Darrian. The pair took the overall honours on the Killarney National rally while they finished second two-wheel drive to Dalton on the Raven’s Rock. That’s a situation they will hope to rectify over the weekend, with the two-wheel drive race expected to provide fireworks over the weekend.

Also in the hunt will be Washington James in another Darrian and at twelve will be Phil Collins and Derek Brannigan, the Welshman making a welcome return to the stages in his C.K. Performance engines backed Escort. Phil is one of the legends of rallying, having piloted the famous pink Sierra in the late eighties. The winner of the Donegal National rally, this pair will be expected to lead the Escort assault on the Darrian’s.

The two-wheel drive battle is promises to be electric, with James Coleman, Liam Wall, Willy Whitty, Tomas O’ Rourke, Neil Williams, Trevor Culbert all lining up for a fabulous battle. Sure to be right in the thick of the two-wheel drive battle will be the 1600cc crews, with the likes of Terence O’ Shaughnessy, who finished top two-wheel drive on the recent Stonethrowers rally, Mark Kennedy, John Somers, Colin O’ Toole and Seamus O’ Grady entered, all these men very capable of giving the more powerful two-wheel drive men a fright!

Group N promises to be a hotly contested affair. Last years winners David Parle and Aidan Kent lead the line up, followed by the Subaru of Mark Nangle and Nollaig Breen who were beaten by just one second on last years event. Next in the line up are the Mitsubishi Lancers of Gabriel Martin who has Paddy Robinson on the notes, followed by the ever spectacular Trevor Harding with Gary Nolan providing the ballast for the weekend. The Subaru’s of Sean Flanagan and Brian O’ Keefe are next up, these two well equipped to battle it out with the leading runners.

The event kicks off on Saturday, the 8th of September when the 151 competitors leave the Riverbank House Hotel for the first of the sixteen special stages over the two days. Service on Saturday will be in the New Ross area while on Sunday, centralised servicing will be held at Wexford race-course, where the public will get to see the huge Micro-Cam Cinema Screen showing action from both inside and outside the cars, with hopefully a live stage being transmitted during Sunday. All are welcome and join in this novel experience, hopefully a first for Irish Motorsport.
Three drivers face a title showdown on next months Wexford stages rally to decide who is crowned the 2007 Irish 205 Challenge champion. Kenneth Keyes, Kerrill Waters and Paul Conlon will battle it out on the super fast roads in Irelands sunny south east in Peugeot 205 gtis. All efforts will be made in the pursuit of the title, with Keyes who has lead the challenge from round two promising to loose two stone in the gym. He has got the last out of his car on every event this year and is hell bent on not losing at this stage. 10 points separate the three on dropped scores with a maximum of 20 available to the winner of the finale. Now in its fourth year, Ireland‚s biggest one make rally challenge the Irish 205 Challenge continues to go from strength to strength.

With five rounds gone so far this year, we saw four different winners, numerous different stage winners, stage times equal to the tenth of a second, and class ten won outright on three occasions against much more powerful cars. Spectator interest has also increased due to the hard charging style shown by the top challenge drivers. Challenge sponsor former works Mitsubishi driver Rory Galligan remarked „every rally these guys astound me with their bravery and commitment on the stages. I would love to see them get a chance in a top class car‰. Round 1 started off on the tarmac roads of north Meath on the ALMC mini stages rally at the end of January. A fine day greeted the twelve crews, four of whom were starting their first closed road rally, but local showers combined with mud getting dragged on to the road allowed the more experienced drivers show first. Last seasons frontrunners, Paul Conlon and Kerril Waters both from co. Sligo set the fastest times during the day with Waters eventually winning by 22 seconds.

Round 2 brought the drivers to the Birr stages where Barry Mahon drove superbly all day to score his first victory in the challenge from Kenneth Keyes who took over the lead of the challenge after his third place finish on the first round. Others to show well that day were Donal Crooke and Craig o Rourke and Dermot Mc Neill. Round 3 took place in Roscommon for the Moto stages. Here round one winner Waters returned after a back operation, to show a clean pair of heels to the others challenge drivers, setting fastest times on 5 of the stages to win by a margin of 29 seconds. Conlon would finish second again, but keep himself in a strong championship position.

Round 4 saw the drivers return to the ALMC club for 90 stage miles on the most changeable day we have ever witnessed. Flooded roads combined with scorching sun at times made tyre chose a lottery. Kenneth Keys made all he right moves to win out by 12 seconds and open up a big lead in the championship, having scored on all four rounds so far. Again Conlon would come home second, that elusive win can‚t be far off.

Round 5 brought the crews to the forests of Cork. This was the first time some of the drivers had tackled stages on gravel. Kerill Waters set the early pace before championship leader Keyes, a forest newcomer, set three fastest times, before problems set him back, allowing Waters to take top points on day one of this two day event. Keyes finished second ahead of Norman Dunne, another novice who also scored a fastest time in third. Day two allowed crews who retired on day one restart, and challenge for points. Paul Conlon did just that from the start, having dropped with a broken wishbone on day one, he set a huge pace, fastest on the first four stages with day one winner Waters his closest rival. Keyes lost seven minutes when he slid off on a tarmac section, leaving him 5th at the close of play. Damien mc Guaran and Waters would share the fastest times for the rest of the day, Waters coming home 12 seconds behind Conlon after some brilliant stage times between the two. The final round on the super fast roads of Wexford in September will provide a fitting finale to this hotly contested championship.

For more info check out www.irish205challenge.com

24/08/07 Junior Entries still available
Contact Event Eecretary
087 2539967.

Photos and Audio Clips from Rally Launch
Pictures from the launch of this year's riverbank House Hotel dick bailey stages rally are now on www.wexfordmotorclub.com in the news updates.

There is also an interview with both Austin and Gareth McHale in the Downloads section.
Click on link below then the Rally Radio and TV section in Downloads to find it.
Dick Bailey Stages Rally coming to a screen near you!
The build up to the 2007 Riverbank House Hotel Dick Bailey Stages Rally is starting to reach fever pitch, with over 200 entries having been received with ten days still left before the closing date is reached. The event, which is held over the 8th and 9th of September, takes place over 16 special stages with nearly 220 competitive kilometres in store for the crews over some of the fastest and demanding stages in the country.

Eamon Boland is the local hero and the Wexford motor dealer has confirmed his intention to be sitting on the start line, aboard his newly purchased Subaru Impreza S12 WRC. Eamon has had a tough year, although third overall on the Jim Clark rally and second overall on the Manx International has brightened up what had been a pretty lean year for the Wexford man. Subaru’s look to be spear-heading the event, with entries having been received from another pair of Subaru’s in the shape of Melvyn Evans and Damien Finneran, while there is always a chance that fellow seven times winner Stephen Murphy may return to the stages for the first time since his spectacular off in Donegal. There is a strong possibility that the Ford challenge will be headed by World Rally Championship regular Gareth McHale, with Michael Barrable another weighing up the possibility of having a crack at the event that he has finished second overall on two occasions in the past. If McHale were to start, he would be battling for victory on the event exactly 25 years on since his father, Austin, took his first of three wins on the Wexford Stages. Also entered is the ever spectacular David James.

The Subaru versus Mitsubishi battle that seems to be the story of Group N looks set to take place in Wexford aswell. Last years group N winner David Parle looks set to return in a Mitsubishi, with usual Wexford rally Group N front runners Mark Nangle, who only missed out on overall honours by one second last year, Sean Flanagan and Padraig Neville likely to field another trio of Subaru’s in the Group N section. The two men most likely to cause a stir in the Group N are Gabriel Martin and Trevor Harding, both entered in Mitsubishi Evo 9’s. Martin led Group N in both 2005 and 2006 while Tipperary man Harding is hoping to debut his new Mitsubishi Evo 9 on the south-east event.

The new 2-wheel drive challenge, sponsored by Rallytrader.ie, Murform Structures Ltd and Ruth Motorsport, is a new dimension for the 2007 event and has already created a huge stir. James Stafford and Frankie Dwyer have been a revelation this year since they debuted their Millington –powered Darrian on the West Cork rally. Their likely to head the local challenge, with the Escorts of Liam Wall, Willy Whitty and John Kehoe bound to right up their with the leaders. However, competition is going to be stiff, with the likes of John Dalton, Phil Collins, Seamus O’ Connell, Trevor Culbert, Gareth Lloyd, Gordon Rodgers, Gary Reidy, Neil Williams, Washington James and Wayne Evans all showing interest in being top dog on the 2-wheel drive challenge. The 1600cc is never to be under estimated, with the likes of Terence O’ Shaughnessy, who had a cracking run on the recent Stonethrowers event, Mark Kennedy, John Somers, Seamus O’ Grady and Colin O’ Toole all hoping to give the more powerful buggies a run for their money! This year’s event will also be the first non-international event in the country to have the spectacular Micro-Cam TV Truck Screen, the massive Cinema-live screen that will be seen at various locations over the weekend, most notably at the Sunday Service area at the Wexford Racecourse where members of the public are welcome to come in and view the action on the big screen. Plans are also underway to broadcast a live stage on the screen, bringing live footage to the public from the comfort of the racecourse grandstands, all free of charge of course! “Plum” Tyndall wasn’t wrong when he said that in rallying, we have the greatest free show on earth!

Marshals For Wexford Rally
Wexford marshals club was set up three years ago by Michael Brady and a group of marshals that have been marshalling for years. We set up this club to help out other clubs to run their events. Marshalling has its advantages too!

We have had one of our members Carla Walsh win two tickets to the world rally in Spain in October. We also have a day in Mondello for marshals. Also this year eight local marshals from the club will be navigating in 00 cars in the Wexford Stages Rally in September. So if you are interested in joining our club we will have a stand at the launching of the Wexford Rally at the Riverbank House Hotel, Wexford on the 19th August or contact 087 2772366 / +353 87 2772366

Rally Launch this Sunday 19th August

I have great joy inviting you to the launch of the Riverbank House Hotel Dick Bailey Stages Rally which will take place this Sunday 19th August. The event will kick off at 4.30pm with a car show and live music outside. There will be plenty of entertainment for the kids and rally videos and guest speakers for the adults!

There will be a host of cars, old and new, e.g. WRC‚s, Mark 2‚s, Group A & Group N cars. At 7pm a rally video display is taking place in the ballroom with probably the best 50 minutes of rallying and on-board cameras of all times! Not to be missed! Following this the official launch will take place at 8pm with guest speakers such as Austin & Gareth McHale and RTE presenter Michael Lyster. During this there will be a draw in which five lucky people from the crowd get chosen to sit in with local drivers in Mondello Park in December. Finger food will also be served!

The night will finish up with music from „Seven Blind Mice‰. I would be delighted if you could attend this event which is the start of what promises to be an exciting and spectacular 36th Wexford Rally.

Wexford Motorclub
Entries flood in for 2007 Dick Bailey Stages Rally
Entries have been flooding in the 2007 Riverbank House Hotel Dick Bailey stages rally. Last year’s event saw Eamon Boland come out on top after a great tussle with Noel Redmond to equal Stephen Murphy’s record of seven wins in the south-east. The Wexford man has once again made his intentions clear that he will be supporting his local event as he goes for a record breaking eight win on the event. Also on the WRC enquiries list include Damien Finneran and local men David James and PJ McGrath.

Every year seems to bring a great battle in the group N class and this year seems to be no exception. In 2005, it was PJ McGrath and Gabriel Martin who battled it out while in 2006, it was David Parle and Mark Nangle who went at it hammer in tongs. 2007 is likely to see another great battle with Mark Nangle once again aiming to return in his ex-Willie Fannin Subaru while also the Subaru’s of Sean Flanagan and Padraig Neville have also hoping to be in the mix. John Paul Ruth hopes to debut his ex-Chris Atkinson Mitsubishi Evo on the event.

New for the Dick Bailey stages rally in 2007 is the two-wheel drive challenge, which in its first year is being sponsored by Rallytrader.ie, Murform Structures Ltd. and Ruth Motorsport and already there is massive interest in it. Those who have made there intentions clear about lining up for the September weekend show-piece include Darrian pilot’s John Dalton, James Stafford, Washington James and Mark Straker while the Escort challenge is likely to be fierce with the likes of Phil Collins, Brian Brogan, Adrian Hetherington, Seamus O’ Connell, Gordon Rodgers, Liam Wall, Neil Williams, Wayne Evans, Trevor Mulligan and Gareth Lloyd all enquiring on the south-east’s only 2-day event, while giant killing 1600cc men looking to be part of the fun over the weekend include Mark Kennedy, Terence O’ Shaughnessy, John Somers and Colin O’ Toole.

As with any rally, the event will require a massive backing of marshall’s to run the event, Anyone that has an interest in marshalling on this years event should contact 087 3140931 / +353 87 3140931
All help would be greatly appreciated by the club.

Wexford Rally Goes Two-Wheel Drive Crazy!!!
For 2007, the Riverbank House Hotel Dick Bailey stages rally moves into a whole new dimension as for the first time ever, it hosts it’s first ever two-wheel drive challenge. The challenge will see some of the finest two-wheel crews battle it out over the 16 demanding stages for the title of two-wheel drive champion, whilst also taking the top cash prize on the event that see’s a total prize fund of €3,500!

Last years event saw an epic battle between welsh pairing Neil Williams and Eurig Davies, local brothers Willy and Johnny Whitty, both crews piloting Mk2 Escorts, and the Astra of Tomas O’ Rourke and John McGrath. In the end, it was the Welsh crew that came out on top, after the Whitty’s suffered time penalties on the Sunday stages and O’ Rourke had an uncharacteristic and spectacular off. This years event is likely to see a similar battle with the prospect of the Darrian’s of James Stafford and last years top two-wheel drive seed John Dalton likely to take to the start. Add to this the returning Liam Wall and you already have the likelihood of a fantastic battle in store! Also this year, Wexford will see the debut of the unique Honda S2000 powered Mk2 Escort in the hands of Graham Scallan. Now that’s bound to be interesting!

This is a complete new venture for the club, a venture which could not be hosted without the backing of a three-way joint sponsorship agreement, the companies being Rallytrader.ie, Murform Structures Ltd and Ruth Motorsport.

Rallytrader.ie is one of the newest and most popular rally sales websites on the Internet. The site has hundred’s of cars and parts on offer and is growing at a phenomenal rate. It is the cheapest site to advertise on, with adds costing just €20 for cars, with the customer able to add up to four pictures’s to his or hers advert. Also, all parts advertisements are free and this extends to all adds until the end of July! The site can be accessed through www.rallytrader.ie., where you will find everything from steering arms to Ford Focus WRC’s on offer!

Murform Structures Ltd are a Wexford based company who specialise in concrete, formwork and rebar. They are involved in the construction of concrete framed buildings, multi storey car parks and various other cast insitu structures all over Ireland. The company is run by Peter and Larry Murphy, two long time competitors and supporters of the Wexford rally.

Ruth Motorsport is the largest suppliers of rally parts and race wear in the southeast. It has developed into one of the largest dealerships in the country, based on the outskirts of Kilkenny city. Well-known competitor, John Paul Ruth, runs the business. Once again, a full range of items available from Ruth Motorsport can be viewed on it’s website at www.ruthmotorsport.com.

The two-wheel drive challenge will take it the majority of the classes on the event, with entrants in class’s 1,2,3,5,6,7,9,10,11,12,13 and 14 all eligible to battle for the cash fund of €3,500. The top two-wheel drive crew will receive two trophies and a cash prize of €1,500, with the second place crew picking up the runners-up prize of €700 and the third place crew taking home €500. Last years battle was as intense as any seen on the Wexford stages before, but the added incentive of the 2007 event promises to make it electric!

Not to be left out, many of the crews in the up to 1650cc machinery often get there cars in amongst the more powerful two-wheel drive cars. With this in mind, the first crew up to 1650cc (and outside the top three two-wheel drive finishers) will receive €400. And also the crews up to 1450cc, who often provide giant killing acts, the first crews home there (outside the top three two-wheel drive finishers) will also receive a prize of €400! There’s going to be battles left, right and centre over the weekend!

So the stage is set for one of the most exciting and surely entertaining Wexford rallies ever witnessed. It’ll be Escort verses Darrian, Nova verses Corolla, Corsa verses Civic as the 2007 Dick Bailey stages rally goes two-wheel drive crazy! Make sure you don’t miss it!

Regs are now available from the club website Below

Topics: Wexford Rally 

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