The country roads of Monaghan are set to roar this weekend
The country roads of Monaghan are set to roar with the sounds of Rally Cars as the Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally kicks into gear on Sunday next. After eight months of hard work, it’s time for the 2017 Monaghan Stages Rally to take off. Recognised as one of the most popular and competitive events in the Irish Motorsport Calendar, the Monaghan Stages Rally heads to new ground this year. The Four Seasons Hotel takes over as event HQ for the first time since 1995. We thank Frank McKenna & his team for taking us on board. The event is a counting round of the Triton National Rally Championship and Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship.
The event gets under way on Saturday as competitors check their pacenotes and complete mechanical scrutiny at McElvaney’s on the Dublin Road. The first car will leave the Four Seasons Hotel at 10.00am on Sunday Morning en route to the first of nine stages in the Mid-Monaghan area. The opening test is in the Stranooden area followed by stages in the Scotshouse and Smithborough areas before the cars return to Monaghan for service in the Courthouse Car Park. This loop will be repeated twice more before competitors arrive back at the Four Seasons Hotel shortly after 5.00pm where the winners of the 2017 Four Seasons Monaghan Stages Rally will be crowned!
The event has attracted a superb entry of over 120 cars plus juniors, a tremendous achievement given the current challenges facing Irish rallying. The winning of the rally has been a Moffett family affair over the past four years. Josh Moffett has won the previous two events and hopes to complete a rare Monaghan hat-trick which has only been achieved once before. Stephen Thornton joins him for this event. His brother Sam scored wins in 2013 and 2014 and has been runner-up in the last two years. Sam & navigator Karl Atkinson have dominated the 2017 National Rally Championship so far with commanding wins in the Birr and Midland events. The pair should have the edge with their Fiesta WRC over Josh’s R5 model.
At No.3 is double National champion Declan Boyle in another Fiesta WRC. The pair have had mixed results since acquiring the car last year but when on the pace, there are few in the country who can match the Donegal man. Declan last competed in 2013 where he led until caught on slicks in a sudden rain shower causing a spin. He will be determined to stop Sam on his home patch and strengthen his National Championship aspirations.
Defending National Champions Roy White & James O’Brien start at 4 in their Fiesta WRC. The Tipperary man has had a steady start to the year and was 2nd last time out in the Midland rally. Another former National Champion, Donagh Kelly is at 5 with Ballinode’s Conor Foley navigating. This pair have recorded a number of International wins and most recently recorded a fourth straight win on the West Cork Rally. Their 2.0Ltr Ford Focus will be suited to the fast stages.
Seven time winner, Niall Maguire with Enda Sherry navigating start at 6 in their Impreza WRC. This pair have been ever consistent in the National Rally Championship and always put in a good showing on their home event. Peader Hurson & Damien Connolly are at 7 in another Fiesta WRC. Peader won the rally the last time it was held in the Four Seasons in a Metro 6R4. Now with a modern WRC car, Peader will be aiming to show his undoubted talent over the Monaghan Stages.
Stephen Wright & Arthur Kierans take a break from their Tarmac Championship campaign to start at 8 in their Fiesta R5. The Aghabog pair will be aiming to impress over their home stages. Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC) and Brendan Cumiskey (Skoda Fabia) complete the top ten seeds.
The modified entry is spectacular with some of the top drivers in Ireland set to compete. Jonathan Pringle was the top modified last year and is out to defend his crown. He has recruited local man Paul Sheridan into the hot seat for this weekend. Paul’s regular driver Gary McPhillips has Donegal’s James McNulty joining him this weekend. Gary will be giving it his all as ever to be the top Escort finisher. Gary Kiernan is usually in the running for the Modified win and should be right in the thick of the battle. Brian Brogan. Adrian Hetherington, Damien Toner and Damien Gallagher are just some of the other names that will be gunning for honours.
David Guest, Shane Maguire, Aiden Wray, Neil Tohill and Paul Barrett will all be set to fight for Group N honours. Local hotshot Jonathan Treanor should be the man to beat in the Junior Category in his rapid Civic. The juniors compete on six of the nine stages.
Clerk of the Course Thomas Treanor has made a special appeal to all concerned to think safety at all times. The Event Safety Plan has been compiled meticulously. Marshals, Stage Commanders and Officials have been trained accordingly. What is required is that spectators play their part to ensure the safe running of the event. All are asked to ‘keep the race in its place’ and drive with care to and from the stages. Take time to read the Spectator Safety notice in the rally programme, which provides a guide to safer spectating. Safety is everybody’s business and there is one common ingredient that is essential: common sense. Spectators are asked to please follow the instructions of the marshals and officials, who are working for your safety. Please also respect private property where you assemble and bring your litter home.
Monaghan Motor Club wishes all competitors and spectators a safe and enjoyable rally.
Seeded Entry List
Posted: April 18, 2017 8:16 AM
1 Josh Moffett/Stephen Thornton (Ford Fiesta R5)  2 Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC)  3 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)  4 Roy White/James O’Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC)  5 Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Ford Focus WRC)  6 Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC S12B)  7 Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly (Ford Fiesta WRC)  8 Stephen Wright/Arthur Kierans (Ford Fiesta R5)  9 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC S14)  10 Brendan Comiskey/Ronan O’Kane (Skoda Fabia R5)  11 Gary McPhillips/James McNulty (Ford Escort MkII)  12 Jonathan Pringle/Paul Sheridan (Ford Escort MkII)  14 Gary Kiernan/Ryan Moore (Ford Escort MkII)  15 Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan (Ford Escort MkII)  16 Adrian Hetherington/Ronan O’Neill (Ford Escort MkII)  17 Damien Toner/Denver Rafferty (Ford Escort MkII)  18 Damien Gallagher/Mac Walsh (Ford Escort MkII)  19 David Moffett/Martin Connolly (Toyota Starlet)  20 Conor Curley/Paul Hone (Ford Escort MkII)  21 Cormac Phelan/Katja Auhl (Honda Civic)  22 Vivian Hamill/Andrew Grennan (Ford Escort MkII)  23 John Stone/Danny McMenamin (Ford Fiesta S2500)  24 Paul Rowley/Colin Fitzgerald (Citroen DS3 R5)  25 Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4)  26 David Guest/Paddy Robinson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)  27 Shane Maguire/Darragh Kelly (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)  28 Aidan Wray/Kieran McGrath (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10)  29 Neil Tohill/Gerard Tohill (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)  30 Paul Barrett/Declan Tumilty (Subaru Impreza N14)  31 Maurice Moffett/Jason McKenna (Toyota Starlet)  32 Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips (Ford Escort MkII)  33 Barry Morris/Declan Cambpell (Ford Escort)  34 John Bonner/Rory Kennedy (Ford Escort)  35 Jim McKenna/Damien McKenna (Ford Escort MkII)  36 Raymond Conlon/Darren McCague (Ford Escort)  37 David Armstrong/Paul Mulholland (Ford Escort MkII)  38 Lee Hastings/Alistair Wyllie (Subaru Impreza WRX)  39 Niall Henry/Aaron Johnston (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10)  40 Daniel Conaghan/Terence Magee (Ford Escort MkII)  41 Johno Doogan/Ciaran Marron (Ford Escort)  42 Tommy O’Connell/Emmet Sherry (Ford Escort MkII)  43 Colin O’Rourke/Martin Byrne (Ford Escort)  44 Stephen Reynolds/Emmet Brosnan (Ford Escort)  45 Mark Wedlock/Lois Branyan (Ford Escort MkII)  46 Marty Toner/Sharon Clarke (Talbot Sunbeam)  47 Seamus Connolly/Gary McCrudden (Toyota Corolla) [11R] 48 Leonard Craig/Conal McNulty (Toyota Starlet) [11R] 49 Anthony Hand/Peter Deery (Ford Escort MkII) [11R] 50 Johnny Jordan/Gary McNern (Toyota Starlet) [11R] 51 James McCarville/Paddy McCrudden (Ford Escort) [11R] 52 Declan Hall/Chris Corr (Toyota Corolla) [11R] 53 Gary Cassidy/Paul Kelly (Honda Civic)  54 Brian Armstrong/James Logue (Ford Escort MkII)  55 Gene McDonald/Emmet Kelly (Ford Escort MkII) [11R] 56 Richard Harney/Brian Harney (Ford Escort) [11R] 57 Martin McPhillips/Ciaran Tynan (Toyota Corolla) [11R] 58 Shane Cullen/Connor O’Loan (Ford Escort MkII)  59 Declan McCrory/Graham Henderson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10)  60 Kevin McBride/Mark Donnelly (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)  61 Paul McCann/Paddy Plunkett (Skoda Fabia S2500)  62 Colin Quirk/Will Brown (Ford Fiesta Evo)  63 Jason Roche/Kaine Treanor (Ford Escort MkII)  64 Alan Atcheson/Thomas Wedlock (Ford Escort MkII)  65 Vincent Collins/Fintan Kilroe (Ford Escort)  66 Sam Johnston/Colin Duffy (Honda Civic) [11F] 67 Donal Kelly/Shane Byrne (Honda Civic) [11F] 68 Jason Tuthill/Ben Teggart (Ford Escort) [11R] 69 Shane Cassidy/Calum Maguire (Honda Civic) [11F] 70 Martin Tynan/Declan Tynan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo )  71 Barry McLaughlin/Aodhan Gallagher (Ford Escort)  72 William Armstrong/Philip Armstrong (Ford Escort)  73 Gerard McGivney/Ciaran McGorman (Ford Escort)  74 Quentin Park/TBA Newtownhamilton (Ford Escort)  75 Darrel Quinn/Michael Laverty (Ford Escort)  76 Ashley Dixon/Ryan McCloskey (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)  77 Paddy O’reilly/David Fitzsimons (Ford Escort)  78 Christopher Brennan/Martin Hughes (Honda Civic) [11F] 79 Davd Smyth/Carmel Tuite (Toyota Corolla) [11R] 80 Cian Curley/Emmet McCooey (Toyota Corolla) [11R] 81 Stephen Peoples/Kieran Burke (Ford Escort) [11R] 82 David Hardie/TBA (Skoda Fabia)  83 Bryan Jardine/Declan McKenna (Ford Escort)  84 Colin Currid/Paul Gallagher (Ford Escort)  85 John Kelly/Niall Kelly (Toyota Corolla)  86 Mickey Brennan/Ryan Brennan (Vauxhall Nova)  87 Shane Carr/Ciaran Carr (Vauxhall Nova)  88 Cahal Sheridan/Shane Farrell (Vauxhall Nova)  89 David Kelly/James Conwell (Citroen C2)  90 Roy Baldrick/Dermot Friel (Talbot Sunbeam)  91 Donal Crossan/Paul Lennon (Ford Escort)  92 Andrew McTaggart/Shane McTaggart (Toyota Corolla) [11R] 93 Sean McCaul/Frank Clerkin (Ford Escort) [11R] 94 Damien Treanor/David Treanor (Ford Escort) [11R] 95 Christopher McLaughlin/Barry McBride (Toyota Starlet) [11R] 96 Aaron McIntyre/Ben McIntyre (Toyota Starlet) [11R] 97 Shane Murray/TBA (Ford Escort)  98 Michael McDaid/TBA Newtownbutler (Ford Escort)  99 Sean Heraghty/TBA Ramelton (Toyota Corolla) [11R] 100 Roger Kennedy/Wendy Blackledge (Peugeot 306)  101 Packie Duffy/Evin Hughes (Honda Civic)  102 Gerard Corey/Kevin Treanor (Ford Escort)  103 Martin McGuigan/Sam Clarke (Talbot Sunbeam)  104 Mark Deery/Nigel brennan (Vauxhall Nova)  105 Neil Somerville/Raymond Knox (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6)  106 Conor Hagan/Darren McCaffrey (Honda Civic) [11F] 107 Wayne Feely/Peter Farrell (Ford Fiesta) [11R] 108 Brendan Keenan/Sean Lynch (Ford Escort) [11R] 109 Kevin Hannigan/Dermot McGroary (Ford Escort) [11R] 110 Patrick Connolly/Paul McGuire (Subaru Impreza WRX)  111 Pauric McGinley/Gareth Kelly (Citroen C2) [11F] 112 Philip Hamilton/Damian Kelly (Citroen C2) [11F] 113 Ciaran Phelan/Aine Phelan (Honda Civic) [11F] 114 Fergal Keane/Mairead Dunne (Honda Civic) [11F] 115 Damien Cullen/Danny Cannon (Honda Civic) [11F] 116 Michael Black/Gerard Callaghan (Honda Civic) [11F] 117 Nick Barnett/Martin Brady (Honda Civic)  118 Stephen Reynolds/Derek McCarthy (Honda Civic)  119 Shaun O’Donnell/Michael Hamilton (Honda Civic)  120 Martin Geraghty/Conal Doherty (Honda Civic)  121 Andrew Kearney/Owen O’Neill (Ford Fiesta R2)  122 Colette Rooney/Sinead McCafferty (Honda Civic) [11F] 123 Ronan Denning/Karl Egan (Peugeot 106)  124 Joe Moffitt/Eddie Moffitt (Honda Civic) 
125 Malcolm Pedlow/Ivor Ferguson (BMW 2002tii) 
J1 Johnny Treanor/Adrian Foley (Honda Civic)  J2 Michael Boyle/Dermot McCafferty (Honda Civic)  J3 Jason Black/Jack McKenna (Toyota Starlet)  J4 Tom Holton/Ryan Diver (Honda Civic)  J5 Brian Brady/Leonard Tuite (Honda Civic)  J6 Niall McGaughran/Stephen Cooke (Honda Civic)  J7 Keith Jacob/Michael Carr (Honda Civic)  J8 Gary Byrne/Shane O’Donnell (Honda Civic)  J9 Jonathan Armstrong/Philip Mitchell (Vauxhall Nova)