Galway Summer Rally - 31 Aug 08

Posted: September 3, 2008 5:48 PM - 26937 Hits

Round 8 - 2008 National Rally Championship
Round 4 - 2008 West Coast Rally Championship

  • Elliott/Connolly win in Galway - Patrick Elliott takes 2008 National Rally Championship

Photo: James Burke

Best Galway Motor Club Crew - Ger Conroy Memorial Trophy

Posted: September 3, 2008 5:48 PM

The Ger Conroy Memorial Trophy is presented to the best Galway Motor Club crew each year at the Galway Summer Rally.
2008 Winners Daragh & Dean Raftery

Victor Farrell (COC), Dean Raftery, Annie Conroy, Daragh Raftery, Michael Conneely ( Loughrea Plant Sales ) John O Connell, President of Galway Motor Club.
Photo: James Burke

Posted: September 2, 2008 6:30 PM

2wd Winners: Maurice Moffett/Jason McKenna

Posted: September 2, 2008 6:25 PM

GpN Winners & 3rd overall: Alan Ring & Adrian Deasy

Posted: September 2, 2008 6:17 PM

Junior Winners: Gary Walker/Jay Walker
Photo: Podge Newe

Video Clips

Posted: September 2, 2008 6:07 PM

(Report courtesy of Irish Dunlop – sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship)

Posted: September 2, 2008 6:06 PM

CAVAN driver, Patrick Elliott (Subaru WRC) achieved his long time ambition of winning the Dunlop National Rally Championship when he triumphed in the Athenry based Loughrea Plant Sales Galway Summer Rally, the eight round of the series.

Co-driven by Damien Connolly, Elliott netted maximum points while his only title rival, Niall Maguire, who was partnered by Paul McLaughlin, crashed out on the fifth stage. At the time, Maguire, who needed to finish ahead of Elliott to keep the title chase alive, trailed his rival by nine seconds.

Meanwhile, Welsh ace, Mel Evans (Subaru WRC) and his Limerick co-driver, Sean Mullally finished second – 39 seconds behind the winners.

Alan Ring/Adrian Deasy (Mitsubishi) took third and extended their lead in the Patterson’s RallyNews Group N award. One of their pre-event title rivals, Eamonn Daly/Kevin Synott crashed their Mitsubishi on the very first stage.

Maurice Moffett/Jason McKenna (Toyota Starlet) won the two-wheel drive category.

Elliott took a valuable three second lead on the opening stage, Kilbeg, close to Headford, where Maguire was his closest pursuer. Both of the Dunlop Championship chasing aces had untroubled runs through the 13 kilometre stage. Elliott remarked that he was probably a little too conservative while Maguire stated that he was losing time exiting junctions, his S11Subaru not as powerful in that respect as compared to Elliott’s S12B model. Meanwhile, Mel Evans (Subaru WRC) was a further seven seconds behind in third, as tyre choice played a crucial role. Martin McGee in a Mk. 2 Ford Escort slotted into fourth place ahead of Group N pacesetter, Alan Ring (Mitsubishi).

The opening test brought two retirements when Eamonn Daly (Mitsubishi) and Trevor Mulligan (Ford Escort) both crashed out. Darragh Raftery, who was called from the reserve list, held sixth in his Subaru WRC followed by Maurice Moffett (Starlet) and Danny McBride (Mitsubishi).

Organisers lost the second stage because of technical issues. Out on the final stage of the loop, Elliott was in command once more. There, he extricated six seconds from his arch rival Maguire and arrived at the Trading Post service halt with a nine seconds advantage. Second placed Maguire remarked that he continued to lose time out of junctions. An incorrect tyre choice continued to cost Evans valuable time and even though he retained third, he was 11 seconds behind Maguire.

Alan Ring (Mitsubishi) was fourth and following the demise of Eamonn Daly, was able to take a more cautious approach. Darragh Raftery stalled at the start of S.S. 3, nevertheless, he slotted into fifth ahead of top two-wheel drive expert, Martin McGee (Ford Escort), who had two overshoots. Maurice Moffett (Starlet) was two seconds further behind as his tyres lost grip towards the stage finish. The top ten also included Trevor Bustard (Mitsubishi), Tom Curley (Mitsubishi) and Danny McBride. Elsewhere, local Galway driver, Mike Bird, in his first event for some seven months had an intermittent misfire onboard his Subaru WRC; Danny McBride (Mitsubishi) experienced something similar.

The Dunlop challengers recorded the same time through S.S. 4 but Maguire’s championship dream ended on the next stage where he crashed his Subaru WRC. Elliott seemed distracted by the episode and freely admitted that he made several mistakes through the sixth stage. At service, he remarked, “I’m really disappointed for Niall (Maguire), it’s a pity it’s gone this way. I found it very hard to concentrate through that last stage.” Nevertheless, the Cavan ace was seven seconds quicker than second placed, Mel Evans, who was 59 seconds behind in general classification.

Alan Ring had intercom woes on the sixth stage, however, he moved into third some 12 seconds ahead of top rear wheel drive exponent, Maurice Moffett, who found the final kilometres of S.S. 6 very slippery. Darragh Raftery’s fifth place was looking somewhat tenuous due to the loss of second gear. Martin McGee, in sixth, hit a wall a few miles from the finish of S.S. 5. Group N pair, Danny McBride and Sean Flanagan were next in classification in a top ten completed by Tom Curley and Trevor Bustard.

Not surprisingly, Elliott slackened his pace as Evans posted strong times on the final loop of stages. Elliott claimed victory and having finished second in 2003, 2004 and 2006, claimed that elusive Dunlop National Championship crown. At the finish, Elliott remarked, “It’s fantastic to have finally won the Dunlop National Rally Championship. I came here with the intention of giving it the best shot, I knew Niall was going to try very hard also. I was happy with my pace early on, it was a very tricky rally, but it all worked out fine. Damien (Connolly) did a great job and so too did Robbie (McGurk) and all the boys.”

Alan Ring (Mitsubishi) secured valuable points in the Group N category and also finished third overall. In the two wheel drive category, Maurice Moffett (Starlet) drove a superb rally and fended off Martin McGee (Ford Escort) for fourth place. Having cured a misfire, Danny McBride (Mitsubishi) came through to take sixth ahead of Darragh Raftery’s Subaru that had transmission trouble.

Meanwhile, Sean Flanagan (Subaru) overcame differential trouble to claim eighth with Trevor Bustard (Mitsubishi) and Eugene Ferry (Escort) rounding of the top ten


Posted: September 2, 2008 6:01 PM

1 Patrick Elliott/Damien Connolly (Subaru Impreza WRC) 60m 38s,
2 Melvyn Evans/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC) 61m 17s,
3 Alan Ring/Adrian Deasy (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 65m 02s,
4 Maurice Moffett/Jason McKenna (Toyota Starlet RWD) 65m 12s,
5 Martin McGee/Damien Crawford (Ford Escort Mk II) 65m 23s,
6 Danny MacBride/Rory MacBride (Mit. Lancer Evo 8 Gp N) 65m 30s,
7 Daragh Raftery/Dean Raftery (Subaru Impreza WRC) 65m 30s,
8 Sean Flanagan/Brian Duggan (Subaru Impreza N12 Gp N) 65m 47s,
9 Trevor Bustard/Kenny Bustard (Mit. Lancer Evo 7 Gp N) 66m 11s,
10 Eugene Ferry/Derek Heena (Ford Escort Mk II) 66m 21s.

Group N Production class:
1 Alan Ring/Adrian Deasy,
2 Danny MacBride/Rory MacBride,
3 Sean Flanagan/Brian Duggan.

1 Gary Walker/Jay Walker (Escort) 44m 18s,
2 Patrick Divilly/Gerard Divilly (Corolla) 46m 04s,
3 John McQuaid/David Smyth (Corolla) 46m 35s.

Leaders After:
SS1-9 Patrick Elliott/Damien Connolly (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Stage Winners SS1 Patrick Elliott/Damien Connolly (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS2 Cancelled
SS3 Patrick Elliott/Damien Connolly (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS4 Patrick Elliott/Damien Connolly (Subaru Impreza WRC)
& Niall Maguire/Paul McLoughlin (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS5 Patrick Elliott/Damien Connolly (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS6 Patrick Elliott/Damien Connolly (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS7 Melvyn Evans/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS8 Melvyn Evans/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS9 Melvyn Evans/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Posted: August 29, 2008 2:49 PM

Michael Conneely (Loughrea Plant Sales), Philip Conneely (Loughrea Plant Sales) Victor Farrell (Clerk of the Course) Jarlath Conneely,(Loughrea Plant Sales) Philomena Conneely (Loughrea Plant Sales)
Photo: James Burke

Updated Entry list

Posted: August 29, 2008 2:45 PM

Updated entry list available on Club website:

1st on Reserve: 154

Major Withdrawals
5 Sean Gallagher
15 Willie Fannin
20 Mark Sheahan
21 Anthony O'Halloran

Paddy Robinson co-driving for PJ McDermott

(Preview courtesy of Irish Dunlop – sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship)

Posted: August 29, 2008 2:25 PM

THE Dunlop National Rally Championship could be decided on the Loughrea Plant Sales Galway Summer Rally on Sunday next. Based at the Raheen Woods Hotel in Athenry, the nine-stage encounter sees Cavan’s, Patrick Elliott (Subaru WRC) and his title rival, Monaghan’s, Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) go head to head yet again. All season long, the pair have provided some thrilling excitement. They entered the last round level on points, however, with a final stage victory, the pendulum has swung in favour of Elliott. Having finished runner-up on three occasions, the Cavan driver is on the verge of his inaugural title. With top points from the Circuit of Kerry, the Circuit of Munster, the Raven’s Rock Rally and the Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally, the Cavan man can secure the title by claiming maximum points in the Galway Summer Rally – irrespective of what happens his title rival, Maguire. Elliott has a new co-driver for the event with Monaghan’s, Damien Connolly deputising for the unavailable Paul Goodman.

Last season, Aaron MacHale won the title in Galway in a duel with Niall Maguire. This time around, Maguire needs to finish ahead of Elliott to keep his title chase alive. Maguire has secured maximum scores in Monaghan and Cavan and will make every effort to keep his hopes of a fourth national title on track. Maguire lost out in agonising circumstances in the Tipperary Stonethrowers event – having led through seven of the eight stages, a puncture and a spin on the final stage saw him finish second to Elliott and lose the all-important maximum 20 Dunlop points.

Welsh ace, Mel Evans (Subaru WRC) with Limerick’s, Sean Mullally in the co-driver’s seat occupies the number three berth, Evans has contested a number of national events down through the years and should the amongst the pacesetters.
The top grouping also includes Donegal’s, PJ McDermott and Leitrim’s, Sean Gallagher, both driving Subaru WRC’s.
Patterson’s RallyNews Group N award leader, Alan Ring (Mitsubishi) is the top showroom entry, he is seded at six followed by early season pacesetter, Eamonn Daly, also in a Mitsubishi.
Meanwhile, the top ten also includes Class 14 duo, Trevor Mulligan (Escort) and Maurice Moffett (Toyota Starlet). Mulligan crashed out of the last round in Tipperary and Moffett has taken a five points lead in the class battle.
Mike Bird (Subaru WRC) is the top local entry that also features Tom Curley (Mitsubishi), Martin Ward (Ford Escort), David Quigley and Martin Cunningham (Honda Civics), the latter is one of the many promising Junior drivers.

Elsewhere, the entry includes Martin McGee (Ford Escort), Eoin Doyle (Subaru WRC) and Danny McBride (Mitsubishi). Inaugural winner of the Patterson’s Rally News Group N award, Willie Fannin (Subaru) is seeded at 15 just ahead of Sean Flanagan (Subaru), who remains in contention for the Group N award along with Trevor Bustard (Mitsubishi).

Mike Quinn (Ford Escort), Eugene Ferry (Escort) and Class 6 champion, Mark Sheahan (Renault Clio) complete the top twenty. Other entries include Fergal Costello (Mitsubishi), Ed Synan (Escort), Anthony Hand (Ford Escort) and Jason McSweeney (Honda Civic).

Tough battle for The Conroy Cup

Posted: August 27, 2008 10:15 PM

The Loughrea Plant Sales Galway Summer Rally gets under way next Sunday at 9am. Patrick Elliott will lead the cars away from the start at the Raheen Woods Hotel but all the Galway eyes will be on car number 10. Mike Bird and Kevin Keane are the only Galway Crew in the top twenty and will be favourites to lift “The Conroy Cup”. The pair are competing in a Prodrive built, Subaru Impreza WRC S7. The cup is awarded to the first Galway crew to finish the summer rally each year, in memory of the late Gerry Conroy.

Loughrea Plant Sales is run by the Conneely family, of which 3 members will be competing in the rally. Michael Conneely and his sons Philip and Jarlath will be in action.

Tom Curley and Aidan Mannion at number 30 will be the next Galway crew in the hunt for the cup. 9 challenging stages in the Headford / Caherlistane area await the competitors next Sunday. Noel Lambert from Gort who was deputy Clerk of the Course in 2007 takes the co-drivers seat this year in a Subaru Impreza Sti with Pat Kelly at number 31. Martin and Linda Ward from Loughrea are next in a Ford Escort Mk 2. Des Sherlock of All Weather Covers takes the co-drivers sat for David Quigley in a Honda. Jason Ollerenshaw and Grace Loughnane are the first of 9 local crews in the Junior rally.

Over 150 Rally Marshals are required to make sure the event runs smoothly and safely. Each Marshal will be entered into a draw for a day in Rally School Ireland which is sponsored by Securitec Systems in Galway.

Full details can be seen on The official rally programme will be on sale in a number of local shops next weekend. The full list of outlets will be available on the club website.

As always with an event of this size, large volumes of traffic and spectators are expected next weekend. Galway Motor Club appeal to everyone attending the rally to behave in a responsible manner and respect private property along the rally route, at all times.

Mechanical scrutiny for all competing cars takes place from 2pm to 8pm in Athenry Mart on Saturday August 30th. The cars leave the Raheen Woods Hotel at 9am on the 31st and stage 1 gets under way at 10.17am
The winning car is expected back in Athenry at 5.30pm

Programme Sales Outlets

Posted: August 26, 2008 10:18 PM

Final Instructions, Time and Distance Schedule, Scrutiny Times available

Posted: August 26, 2008 10:16 PM

Marshals Draw

Posted: August 24, 2008 7:23 PM

One lucky marshal will be selected at prizegiving to go to
Rally School Ireland

Full Details:

Start your engines..............

Posted: August 21, 2008 10:24 PM

The Raheen Woods Hotel in Athenry was the venue for the launch of The 2008 Loughrea Plant Sales Galway Summer Rally. The rally is a round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship and the Top Part West Coast Rally Championship. A large crowd was in attendance to hear Victor Farrell, the Clerk of the Course, announce details of the rally. Loughrea Plant Sales return as title sponsor for the fifth year running. Galway Motor Club are grateful to the Conneely family for their continued sponsorship and support for the rally. The stages are sponsored by Murphys Headford Ltd, Café Express and Sheridans Paving while the service area is sponsored by the Trading Post. Victor also thanked all the companies who placed adverts in the official rally programme.

The 2008 event will run on Sunday August 31st.The rally will have its HQ in the Raheen Woods Hotel and a service area based in the Trading Post near Headford Co. Galway. A loop of 3 stages in the Headford, Caherlistrane area will be run 3 times during the day. The competing cars leave the start arch at the Raheen Woods hotel at 9am and start stage 1 of 9 stages at 10.17am. The cars will use a service halt twice during the day, with the winning car expected at the Raheen Woods Hotel at 5.30pm.

Mechanical Scrutiny for the competing cars will take place in Athenry Mart on Saturday August 30th from 2pm onwards. This is an ideal opportunity to see the cars before they head out on the stages the following day.

The entries for the rally have just closed with in excess of 250 entries received and a huge demand as always for a place on the start list. The stage is set for a championship title showdown in Galway. Patrick Elliott has a slender 2 point lead over Niall Maguire after round 7.
Elliott can wrap up the title if he wins the Galway rally. Maguire and Elliott will be competing in similar Subaru World Rally Cars, which should provide an exciting day on the stages on August 31st. Aaron MacHale won the National Championship in Galway in August 2007. Can Patrick Elliott do the same in 2 weeks time?

A large entry of local Galway drivers will be in action on the stages. They will all have one eye on the Conroy Cup which is awarded each year to the first Galway crew to finish the rally. The Cup is presented by the Conroy family in memory of Gerry Conroy.

Galway Motor Club would like to thank the residents in Athenry and along the rally route for their help and support for the rally. We would also like to thank the Gardai and Galway County Council for providing assistance with a safety and traffic management plan for the rally.

Galway Motor Club and Loughrea Plant Sales appeal to everyone attending the rally to heed the advice of the Gardai and Rally Marshals who are there to help you have a safe and enjoyable weekend of motorsport in Galway.

Entry List Available

Posted: August 20, 2008 6:15 PM

Regulations & On line Entry

Posted: July 20, 2008 10:36 PM

Regulations Available
Galway Summer Stages entries open at midnight tonight (Sunday 20 July)

Early Details

Posted: January 28, 2008 10:43 PM

Galway Motor Club have appointed Victor Farrell as COC to head the team for the 2008 Galway Summer Stages Rally. The event will be a round of , The Dunlop National Rally Championship, The West Coast Rally Championship and The Galway Motor Club Members Championship. Rally Headquarters will be, The Raheen Woods Hotel in Athenry, Co. Galway.

Victor and his team have spent the last number of months putting together a route which provides challenging stages run in a tight loop around a centralised service area. It has been decided to run the event in a 3x3 format, with 3 separate stages running 3 times during the day. This format should help to reduce competitors expenses and provide an event which is good value for money. The rally moves to new stages and a new service area for 2008.

Help is always needed for an event of this size. Regular planning meetings are being held in Galway. If you would like to be notified and help out on the weekend of the rally, please email your details to or text(087)8392298.

The Galway Motor Club website, is undergoing some changes at the moment. Please bear with us and full details of the Galway Summer Stages Rally will be available on the site in the near future.

Aaron MacHale was crowned 2007 National Rally Champion in Galway. Will the 2008 Champion be crowned in Galway?
Get involved in the action and see for yourself!

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