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Connacht Sligo Stages Rally - 11 Jul 10

Posted: July 16, 2010 10:16 AM - 22764 Hits

Dominic Quinn Body Repairs - Sligo Park Hotel
Sligo Stages Rally 2010
Round 7 - 2010 National Rally Championship
Round 5 - 2010 Border Rally Championship

Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh win in Sligo
Photo: James Burke

Posted: July 16, 2010 10:16 AM

More Photos

Posted: July 14, 2010 3:37 PM

In Car

Posted: July 12, 2010 8:01 PM

John Ward / Gary McNearn - SS1


Posted: July 12, 2010 7:41 PM

2WD and GpN Winners

Posted: July 12, 2010 5:17 PM

2WD Winners and the new Leaders of the rally.ie 2WD Award: Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle

GpN winners: Trevor & Kenny Bustard
Sean Flanagan / Brian Duggan continue to lead the Patterson's GpN Award.

EVAN/WALSH WIN SLIGO RALLY - Report courtesy of Dunlop - Proud sponsors of the National Rally Championship

Posted: July 12, 2010 5:15 PM

WELSH driver, Mel Evans and co-driver, Patrick Walsh brought their Subaru WRC to victory in the Dominic Quinn Body Repairs/Sligo Park Hotel Rally, the seventh round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship. Evans, with his fourth win of the campaign, finished 41 seconds ahead of series leader, Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC), who was co-driven by Enda Sherry. Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru) were third, a minute and 23 seconds further adrift.
Declan Boyle (Escort) won the Modified category and Trevor Bustard (Mitsubishi) took the laurels in the Group N showroom class.

Gary Jennings had a short lived rally, he never made it to the stage start as his Subaru lost power. In slippery conditions, Evans, even though he had selected a hard compound tyre, managed to post the fastest time - three seconds ahead of Maguire, who lost around eight seconds when he stalled at the start line. Barrett was third fastest followed by top modified competitor, Declan Boyle (Ford Escort). Meanwhile, Dunlop Championship contender, Derek McGarrity retired on the opening test with a gearbox malady.

Evans completed the opening loop with a string of fastest times to lead Maguire by 24 seconds at the service halt in Ballinafad. The rally leader opined that he had a very good run on the third test, the 18.82 Km stage, Highwood. Maguire thought he had set a strong pace on same stage but was rather alarmed when he saw Evans' time. Meanwhile, Kevin Barrett was a further 18 seconds behind Maguire in third place.

Fourth placed John Cairns experienced an overshoot on the second stage while Boyle continued to dominate the Modified category, he was fifth in general classification. Despite off road excursions on stages two and three, Raymond Conlon (Escort) was sixth followed by Peter Wilson (Honda Civic), who overshot a junction on the third stage. Shane Maguire (Subaru) led the Group N category although he reckoned there was a slight problem with the gearbox. Mike Quinn in ninth position admitted he was far too cautious on the opening stage. Trevor Bustard (Mitsubishi) completed the top ten, a spin on the opening test cost him little time. Elsewhere, Sean Flanagan's Subaru was down on power for the opening loop when the turbo pipe came adrift. Paul Kiely had an incident packed opening stage, his Mitsubishi was off the road and it didn't help his confidence.

There was little between the leading duo over the repeat of the loop of three stages, Evans gained two seconds on Stage 4, Maguire reclaimed four on Stage 5 but Evans picked up two seconds on the sixth stage to leave the margin at exactly 24 seconds, the same that pertained after the first loop. At service, Evans said, "I had an oil leak on Stage 4 and took it a bit easier through the fifth stage, but all seems alright now." Maguire, like all the other drivers commented on the slippery nature of the sixth stage where it rained and most, if not all the cars were on slick tyres. Barrett remained in third followed by Cairns, who reckoned his Subaru had a gear linkage problem.

Boyle in fifth continued to lead the Modified category but Michael Conlon (Escort) closed to within eight seconds. The top ten also featured the Group N duo of Sean Flanagan and Trevor Bustard along with Samuel Kelso (Escort) and Shane Maguire (Subaru). Paul Kiely moved up to twelfth but the Sligo driver was far from happy with his pace. Mike Quinn dropped to seventeenth after his Escort slid into a drain on S.S. 5 and he had to enlist the help of several spectators to get his car back on the stage.

Evans powered his way through the seventh test and added ten seconds to his advantage, he gained an additional second on the penultimate stage and entered the final stage with a lead of 35 seconds. The Welsh ace finished off with another fastest time to claim his fourth win of the season. At the finish, he said, "it's great, I wasn't sticking my neck out today. I'm feeling well within myself but you need a bit of luck in the Dunlop Championship. There is still a bit of driving to do, but the last three events are down south - closer to home and I have some knowledge of the stages down there."

Maguire and Barrett completed the podium line-up. In Group N, Trevor Bustard (Mitsubishi) pushed hard on the final loop to take victory ahead of Subaru pair, Sean Flanagan and Shane Maguire.

The "Dunlop Driver of the Day" award was won by Monaghan's, Michael Carbin (Peugeot 205), seeded at 121, he finished 33rd. overall.


Posted: July 12, 2010 4:08 PM

1 Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC) 84m 32s,
2 Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC) 85m 13s,
3 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC) 86m 36s,
4 John Cairns/James Cairns (Subaru Impreza 555) 89m 00s,
5 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Escort Mk2) 89m 46s,
6 Trevor Bustard/Kenny Bustard (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 GpN) 90m 34s,
7 Michael Conlon/Aidan Boyle (Ford Escort Mk2) 91m 11s,
8 Sean Flanagan/Brian Duggan (Subaru Impreza N12 GpN) 91m 17s,
9 Shane Maguire/Paul Kelly (Subaru Impreza N11 GpN) 91m 45s,
10 Peter Wilson/Domhnall Lennon (Honda Civic) 92m 02s.

Leaders After:
SS1-9 Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Stage Winners
SS1 Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS2 Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS3 Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS4 Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS5 Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS6 Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS7 Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS8 Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS9 Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC)

SLIGO CALL FOR DUNLOP CONTENDERS - Preview courtesy of Dunlop - Proud sponsors of the National Rally Championship

Posted: July 9, 2010 2:36 PM

FOLLOWING a brief summer recess, the quest for the Dunlop National Rally Championship resumes on Sunday with the Dominic Quinn Body Repairs/Sligo Park Hotel Rally. The title chasing quartet of series leader, Niall Maguire and his rivals, Melvyn Evans, Derek McGarrity and Kevin Barrett, also in Subaru WRC's, head the entry of almost 150 crews.

The event, based at the Sligo Park Hotel, is the seventh round of the series, will feature nine demanding stages that are certain to have a major bearing on the title outcome. As the ever-popular Dunlop National Rally Championship series heads towards the completion of its ten rounds, the battle for the Vard Memorial Trophy is one of the closest in years. Although Niall Maguire, a former triple champion, has an eight-point advantage over Mel Evans with Derek McGarrity a further two points in arrears, the situation is much closer if "dropped scores" were taken into consideration. The Dunlop series is decided on the best eight out of ten rounds, were the current points tally based on that scenario, McGarrity and Evans would share top spot with 76 points with Maguire on 72 points. Dunlop regular, Kevin Barrett would remain on 52 points as he has three non-finishes to his credit and needs the top trio to hit trouble in order to get back into contention.

Top seed Niall Maguire, seeking an unprecedented fourth national crown is certainly the most consistent driver in the series having scored in all rounds to date. His best moment thus far was his victory on his home event, the Monaghan Rally. His second place in the most recent event of the Dunlop series, the Circuit of Munster, illustrated an increase in pace and he will be determined to show similar form in Sligo.

McGarrity had a difficult time on the Circuit of Munster and had to be content with fourth placed Dunlop points. A return to the form that yielded maximum points in the Circuit of Kerry and Cavan rallies is important to his title challenge.

Evans, the only driver to have taken three maximum scores courtesy of his victories in Nenagh, Castlebar (Mayo) and the Circuit of Munster, is trying to become the first overseas driver to win the Dunlop series. A late decision to contest the Circuit of Munster may yet prove invaluable, however, the pace of the Dunlop quartet is very well matched.

Indeed, Kevin Barrett, who must now rank as the outsider of the quartet, could play an important role in the destiny of the title. Denied victory on the Circuit of Kerry by a tie-break, Barrett is very capable of adding to his solitary victory in the Dunlop series - last year's Galway Summer Rally. He is also well capable of splitting the trio of Maguire, Evans and McGarrity.

Fermanagh's, Gary Jennings, who normally drives a Group N Mitsubishi is set to switch to a Subaru WRC for the nine stage encounter. The Fermanagh driver has already picked up twelve points from his Dunlop foray in Cavan. It will be interesting to see how he compares with the Dunlop regulars. Indeed, he could be the surprise packet given his previous performance in a Subaru WRC.

Defending rally.ie champion, Mike Quinn heads the modified entry in his Mk. 2 Ford Escort. With just 14 points from his three outings to date, he is 18 points adrift of leader, Ed Synan, who is not competing in Sligo. Donegal's, Declan Boyle (Ford Escort) seeded at seven is very much in the title equation, a mere five points behind Synan.

The Sligo top ten also includes Strabane's, John Cairns (Subaru), local ace, Paul Kiely (Mitsubishi) and Sean Flanagan (Subaru). Cairns is very much a Sligo regular and will be hoping for a strong result. Meanwhile, former national championship winning co-driver, Paul Kiely switches to the driving seat for his home event where he has finished in the top ten on a few occasions as he targets a Group N victory on this occasion.

Patterson's RallyNews Group N award leader, Sean Flanagan (Subaru) will be eager to add to the 31 points he has garnered from his three outings to date.

Elsewhere, the entry includes the Mitsubishi's of Eugene Meegan, Trevor Bustard and Andrew Mullen, the Escorts of Victor Hunter, Samuel Kelso, John McQuaid, Eugene Ferry, Joe Connolly and Damien Toner, Raymond Conlon (Toyota Corolla), Lloyd Hutchinson (Mini) and Shane Maguire (Subaru), who won the "Dunlop Driver of the Day" award on the Circuit of Munster.

Leonard and Foley Lead HASS Border Championship But Title Race Still Wide Open

Posted: July 9, 2010 2:19 PM

The HASS Border Rally Championship is looking set for an exciting finish as the series enters the penultimate round this week-end in Sligo.

Going into round 5, David Leonard from Grange in Co. Sligo and his co-driver Adrian Foley from Ballyhaise Co. Cavan have established themselves as the competitors to catch. With a total of 35 points, they are four points clear of their nearest challengers thanks to a series of consistent top place finishes. In recognition of their achievement in leading the championship at this stage, the class 6 Citroen Saxo crew will be presented with a special award at the Connacht Stages Rally.

Despite their apparent healthy championship lead though, Leonard and Foley’s championship lead is far from secure, and the pair will need fortune to favour them if they are to lift this year’s HASS Border Rally title. In fact even if they were to take maximum class points on both remaining rounds, they could still end up losing out on the overall title. With a competitor’s four best scores from the six rounds of the series being taken into account, they will now have to start dropping scores, having taken points on all four rounds thus far. It means other competitors, who already have dropped scores to their names, could potentially overtake the Sligo / Cavan duo, and means, almost certainly, that once again the HASS Border Rally Championship is heading for a nail-biting finish.

Currently lying second overall on 31 points, and one of those that could overtake Leonard and Foley with maximum points scores in Sligo and Donegal are the Derry pairing of Eamonn McGuigan and Michael Moran. The class 12 Escort crew took nineteen points from a possible twenty on the last two rounds. A continuation of that run of form will see them as definite title contenders. Ironically they themselves will be under pressure from class rivals Gerry Smyth and Gregory McQuillan. Currently third in the series with 29 points, a non-finish in Cavan was a setback, but they recovered well to score strongly in Newry. A brace of class 12 wins would see the Monaghan Escort crew reach the maximum forty championship points.

Four crews currently share joint third in the championship on 27 points. Monaghan’s David Smith and Austin Hamill are keeping David Leonard / Adrian Foley honest in class six, having taken a class win on the last round in Newry, and could yet force their way into contention for the main title. The Peugeot 106 pairing also became the first crew to win a HASS Border Championship Drive of the Day Award for the second time, claiming the prize on the Mourne Rally to add to their earlier success in Monaghan.

In classes nine and ten Pa Bellew / Willie Fitzpatrick from Meath and Monaghan’s John Kelly / Adrian Flynn lead their respective categories with identical scores, each having second in class finishes from the opening three rounds. The fourth crew sharing third in the series are Michael Conlon and Aiden Boyle from Monaghan, whose Escort leads class 13 by a single point from Donegal’s Samuel Kelso / Gareth Doherty.

Two further competitors are worth keeping a close eye on as the season heads towards an exciting conclusion. The Mini of Lloyd Hutchinson and Kevin Flanagan has been the pacesetter in class 9 all season. A non-finish in Cavan and not starting Newry have pushed the Wicklow men off the overall leaderboard for now, but they can still claim a maximum forty points before the season is out. Likewise Carlow’s Enda McLoughlin can also reach forty points in class 10, making him another who could yet be crowned HASS Border Champion for 2010.

Other class leaders not already mentioned include Pauric McGee / Fergal Loughney in class 2 and Alan McMahon / Benny Grainger in class 3. Trevor and Kenny Bustard share the class four lead with Shane Maguire / Paul Kelly, Eamonn McCafferty leads class 5 ahead with Jackie Donaldson heading the co-driver’s section, and Anthony Masterson / Andrew Browne are the class 7 leaders.

Niall Maguire / Enda Sherry head class 8, Mervyn Wedlock / Adam Kinkade are the class 11 pacesetters, while Declan and Brian Boyle are on top of class 14 with Paddy McCague level on points with Brian in the co-driver’s section.

This week-end’s Connacht Stages Rally marks a critical juncture of the 2010 HASS Border Rally Championship. With positions in every class as well as the overall title still firmly up for grabs, competitors will be desperate for good results in Sligo to bring their championship hopes forward to the final round in Donegal in October. It all promises for a memorable day’s rallying!


Posted: July 4, 2010 12:13 PM

As Entries are published with a week to go, the club are delighted to have received in excess of the 141 allowable starting field and it is hoped that the drop out at this stage will be minimal and that a bumper line out will depart the starting ramp on Sunday next at 8.45. Topping the field are the Dunlop National title contenders led by current leader and three times winner of Sligo, Niall Maguire with all his challengers, Derek Mc Garrity, Melvyn Evans and Kevin Barrett filling the top starters list. Gary Jennings is in at number five while Mike Quinn leads the two wheel drive challenge. Among the Group N boys are Paul Kiely ,Sean Flannagan, Eugene Meegan and Trevor Bustard. Current Hass Border Championship leader David Leonard will be defending his lead on home territory and attempting to maintain that buffer to the final round in Donegal Harvest.

The stages chosen by Clerk of the Course, Michael Sweeney have been described as real competitor stages with a bit for every class category. Each of the three stages have there own uniqueness with a lot of emphasis on safety and spectator access. Stage one is almost 17km long and practically all totally new territory, and even though its open and mountainous, its still challenging and has little room for error. The road section to Stage two is quite short with little time to relax before the special stage itself. It would have some familiar sections but slight alterations throughout can completely give a total different prospective to the 13km stage. Stage three, almost 19km long has lots of scenery, but the competitive field wont have any opportune as to appreciate, while its fast there is no room for a wheel out of place.

Seeded Entry List Available

Posted: July 4, 2010 12:12 PM

Top 20
1 Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC) [8]
2 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC) [8]
3 Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC) [8]
4 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC) [8]
5 Gary Jennings/David Moynihan (Subaru Impreza WRC) [8]
6 Mike Quinn/Grainne McEnery (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
7 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
8 John Cairns/James Cairns (Subaru Impreza 555) [8]
9 Paul Kiely/Pat McSharry (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) [4]
10 Sean Flanagan/Brian Duggan (Subaru Impreza N12) [4]
11 Eugene Meegan/Sorcha Kelly (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) [4]
12 Trevor Bustard/Kenny Bustard (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) [4]
14 Eugene Ferry/Derek Heena (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
15 Samuel Kelso/Gareth Doherty (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
16 Victor Hunter/Michael Doherty (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
17 Michael Conlon /TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
18 Damien Toner/Paddy McCague (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
19 John McQuaid/Seamus O'Connor (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
20 Raymond Conlon /James O'Reilly (Toyota Corolla RWD) [13]
21 Lloyd Hutchinson/Kevin Flanagan (Mini) [9]

Full Entry List available on:

Pre Seeding Entries open until July 1st

Posted: June 29, 2010 8:25 AM

Entries pre seeding open until July 1st

Photo: James Burke

Entries Close on Friday June 25th

Posted: June 24, 2010 11:35 AM

Competitors are reminded that entries for the July 11th event close on next Friday June 25th and whilst the flow of entries received in the opening days were relatively slow , the numbers have been rapidly growing in recent days and it is envisaged by the organising committee that this will accelerate over the closing days . It is appealed to entrants if considering to immediately get them in as it will assist with plans to carry out the seeding on Monday next to have for publication on July 1st .Based on hits on the web site regs and the general opinion , it would appear that there are a large number planning on submitting an entry , therefore the club would appeal that they don’t overlook the closing date .
Entries should be returned to Christina Corcoran , Kilnamonagh ,Coolaney , Co Sligo

TIMEKEEPING PROCEDURES TRAINING NIGHT Tuesday June 29th at 8.30pm in the Sligo Park Hotel

Posted: June 16, 2010 4:12 AM

Entries Open

Posted: June 4, 2010 9:43 PM

On May 31st entries opened for the Dominic Quinn Body Repairs –Sligo Park Hotel / Sligo Stages Rally and a gradual flow of entries have been received by the event secretary during the intervening days . Being a round of both the National and the Border Championships , the organising committee are confident of filling the 141 starting field . Michael Sweeney , Clerk of the Course has appealed though to crews to submit entries as early as possible and not wait until the run up to closing of entries on June 25th.

On Thursday night next , June 10th the photo launch takes place in Sligo Park Hotel when the Organising Committee mingles with sponsors and dignitaries . Also on the night the Road Safety awareness campaign in association with Sligo County Council , which annually runs in tandem with the event ,is also being launched .

Competitors are reminded that Entries close on June 25th.

Regulations and Entry Form:

Regulations for the 2010 Sligo Stages Rally due for publication on May 21st

Posted: May 17, 2010 9:52 AM

With Regulations for the 2010 Sligo Stages Rally due for publication on May 21st , preparation is well advanced with a loop of attractive stages selected by Clerk of the Course Michael Sweeney.
Michael, who is a frequent competitor in a Mitibushi Evo has also undertaken deputy C.O.C. for the Sligo Stages over the past two years. He also during the period of Rally Ireland accrued an abundance of logistical experience as Equipment Officer for the whole event which itself was a momentous task and will undoubtedly benefit his planning strategy for the event.
Coming with this broad wealth of experience he has selected a loop of three stages run three times with a substantial proportion of the stages never used previously. His selection will present a varied , demanding yet safe choice of stages suitable to entrants from across all classes.

Two title sponsors are again on board, Sligo Park Hotel , the home of Sligo Stages will again provide their welcoming and accommodating atmosphere to the weekend . For the second year Dominic Quinn of Dominic Quinn Body Repairs and Recovery has lent his support as the second joint title sponsors. The Club welcome both their support and look forward over the coming months of promoting their names surrounding the event .

The three stages have also secured sponsorship from James Lannon Motors , GULF Oils and Gusclad.
The event is also counting rounds of both the Dunlop National Rally Championship and the HASS Border Rally Championship.
Regulations will only be published for download at the club website from May 21st .

Club Website / Details

Posted: January 1, 2010 12:01 AM

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