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 PREVIEW ROUND 4
   
 MOFFETT TOPS MONSTER MUNSTER

Preview courtesy of Triton Showers - proud sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship.

As the Triton Showers National Rally Championship reaches the halfway mark with the Rathkeale Hotel Circuit of Munster Rally on Sunday next, the main question is who can stop the Moffett march to the national title for the Vard Memorial Trophy?  There’s a fascinating entry for the nine-stage event that will be contested over a three-stage loop just off the N21 around Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale.
Monaghan ace Sam Moffett has virtually been invincible in the current series.  On-board his Ford Fiesta WRC, he has won all three rounds to date – taking 62 of the 63 Triton points that were available. Last time out – on what was his home event - he won by a margin of 26.8 seconds, the smallest margin of all three rounds with former Triton champion Donagh Kelly (Ford Focus WRC) his nearest rival.  Moffett, who won the Circuit of Munster three years ago – is in a rich vein of form at the moment and his rivals will need to be at their very best to break his dominance.  However, a fourth win for Moffett will put him in a very strong position to land the series.
Former national champions Kelly (2015) and Declan Boyle, who won the series in 2014 and 2013, know what’s needed and they must break Moffett’s dominance to have any chance of success.
In addition to his Triton title bid, Kelly, who won the Circuit of Munster two years ago, will also be using the rally as a shakedown for his home event, the Donegal International in a few weeks time.  Indeed, many of the others in the top ten are on a similar mission including fellow Donegal driver Declan Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC) and Monaghan’s Josh Moffett, who will be on his first event since crashing on the last Triton round in Monaghan.
Boyle, who won last week’s Cavan Rally, will be in buoyant form as he too tries to stop the Moffett express and secure his own third national title. 
The top quality entry also features Fermanagh’s Alastair Fisher (Ford Fiesta R5), who is also on a test ahead of Donegal while Cork’s Keith Cronin will use his own Ford Fiesta R5 as he gets in some tarmac experience ahead of his BRC outing in the Ypres Rally.    
Meanwhile, reigning Triton champion Roy White (Ford Fiesta WRC) occupies the number seven berth as he concentrates on the national campaign where he is second overall – 17 points behind Sam Moffett.  Donegal’s Manus Kelly (Subaru WRC), who was third on the Midland Rally returns to the series, he too is on a Donegal shakedown while its unlikely he can make up ground on his Triton rivals.

The top ten also features BRC regular Derry driver Desi Henry (Skoda Fabia R5) and former triple Irish national champion Monaghan’s Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC), who is third in the current Triton campaign.
Elsewhere, there are places for Maynooth’s Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC) and two-wheel drive exponents, Frank Kelly, Ed O'Callaghan, Ed Synan, Colin Byrne, Tom Flaherty and Tim Enright, all in Ford Escorts - local driver O’Callaghan will fancy his chances on home ground. 
While the leader of the Triton Mk. 2 Escort Trophy series, Adrian Hetherington is not amongst the seeded list, his closest rivals, Roscommon’s Vincent Collins and Tyrone’s Barry Morris are set to gain.

 
Motorsport Safety Group N leader, Cork’s David Guest (Mitsubishi) heads the Group N contingent that also includes Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi), Paul Barrett (Subaru) and Neil Tohill (Mitsubishi).  Last time out in Monaghan, Maguire denied Guest of a third major score, the battle in Limerick could also see Tohill come into the frame as Barrett continues to build his confidence after crashing on the non-championship Circuit of Kerry Rally.
A late entry is that of former national champion and local driver Colm Murphy in a Subaru, he hasn’t competed in some three years.  Five years ago he won the Circuit of Munster - driving the same Subaru he will use on Sunday, he finished eleven seconds ahead of Donagh Kelly (Subaru WRC) with Roy White (MG ZR) 49 seconds further behind in third.
Aside from Ed O’Callaghan, Ed Synan and Colm Murphy other local drivers looking to impress include Frank Sweeny, Sean Moran, Stephen Bawn, John Danagher and Kenneth Ryan all in Escorts and Eamonn Daly (Mitsubishi).

In the Junior category, Donegal’s Michael Boyle (Honda Civic) is the top seed with opposition emanating from fellow Honda Civic drivers Brian Brady (Meath), Jonny Treanor (Monaghan), Tom Holton (Meath), Shane Norris (Tipperary) and Patrick Naughton (Limerick).


EVENT DETAILS:

Organising Club: Limerick Motor Club
Clerk of the Course: Kieran Ambrose. 
Rally Headquarters: Rathkeale House Hotel. 069 63333. 

First Car Away: 09. 39.

S.S. 1, 4 & 7: Dromade (12.30 km) 10.24, 12.55 & 15.26. 
S.S. 2, 5 & 8: Caherbeg (15.20 km) 11.01, 13.32 & 16.03. 
S.S. 3, 6 & 9: Strand (12.40 km) 11.40, 14.11 & 16.42. 

Service: Desmond Business Park, Newcastle West 12.10 & 14.41
Finish Ramp: Rathkeale House Hotel, Rathkeale. 17.26.

Top 10 Starters: 

1. Sam Moffett/Keith Moriarty (Ford Fiesta WRC)
2. Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Ford Focus WRC)
3. Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
4. Josh Moffett/James Fulton (Ford Fiesta R5)
5. Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Ford Fiesta R5)
6. Keith Cronin/Mikey Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5)
7. Roy White/James O'Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC)
8. Manus Kelly/Gareth Doherty (Subaru WRC) 
9. Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (Skoda Fabia R5)
10. Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC) 

Provisional Championship Positions after Round 3: 1. S. Moffett 62pts; 2. R. White 45pts; 3. N. Maguire 40pts; 4. D. Kelly 35pts; 5. D. Boyle 34pts; 6. D. Guest 30pts; 7. S. Maguire 27pts. & 8. A. Hetherington 23pts.

2017 Triton Showers National Rally Championship Diary Dates:

1. Abbey Court Hotel Nenagh Rally S. Moffett/J. Fulton (Fiesta WRC) 
2.   Midland Rally (Longford) S. Moffett/K. Atkinson (Fiesta WRC) 
3. Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Rally S. Moffett/K. Atkinson (Fiesta WRC)
4. Circuit of Munster  (Rathkeale) June 4
5. Raven’s Rock Rally (Waterford) June 25
6. Sligo Rally         July 9
7. Galway Summer Rally (Gort) August 27
8. Fastnet Rally (Bantry) October 29



Media Co-Ordinator,
Triton Showers National Rally Championship.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ROUND 4 REPORT

MOFFETT MOPS UP IN MUNSTER

Report courtesy of Triton Showers - proud sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship.

Monaghan?s Sam Moffett (Ford Fiesta WRC) continued his domination of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship with victory in the Rathkeale House Hotel Circuit of Munster Rally, round four of the campaign.
In what was the closest contest of the series to date, Moffett and local co-driver Keith Moriarty finished 12.4 seconds ahead of the Ford Focus WRC of former Triton champion Donegal?s Donagh Kelly and his Monaghan co-driver Conor Foley. 
Ulster pair Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Fiesta R5) were one minute and 39.4 seconds further behind in third.
The Group N category was won by Limerick?s Colm Murphy (Subaru) and his Cork co-driver Don Montgomery.  Tyrone?s Vivian Hamill/Denver Rafferty (Escort) were the top two-wheel drive exponents.

Triton series leader Sam Moffett (Fiesta WRC) was quickest through the opening stage near Barnagh where he extricated a 3.1 second advantage over the Ford Focus WRC of Donagh Kelly with Declan Boyle (Fiesta WRC) a further 9.4 seconds adrift and just 1.8 seconds ahead of the Fiesta R5 of Alastair Fisher, Desi Henry (Skoda Fabia R5) and Manus Kelly (Subaru WRC) completed the top six.
In showery conditions tyre choice proved crucial, Donagh Kelly was quickest through second stage and fellow county man Declan Boyle was best on the third and final stage of the loop. 
At the Newcastle West service park, rally leader Kelly expressed satisfaction with his pace. Moffett, 3.1 seconds behind wasn?t happy with his performance through the second and third stages, the Monaghan man admitted to having a few moments on S.S. 3.  
Boyle was 19.7 seconds further adrift in third, he lost time in the rain on the opening stage and he reckoned the set-up of his Fiesta WRC wasn?t right through S.S. 2, however, he made adjustments and it performed much better on the third stage.  
Alastair Fisher in fourth was the leading R5 car and was followed by the Subaru WRC of Manus Kelly, who decided to back off a little on the third stage as he had chosen the wrong tyres.
Seventh on the opening stage, Keith Cronin (Fiesta R5) slotted into fourth a stage later but a massive overshoot on the third stage dropped him to sixth.
Elsewhere, seventh placed Desi Henry slid his Skoda Fabia R5 into a ditch on the third stage and lost over thirty seconds and had to rely on spectators to get him back on the road.
The top ten was completed by Roy White, Josh Moffett and Niall Maguire.  White picked the wrong tyres for his Fiesta WRC, Moffett (Fiesta R5) had a half spin on the third stage, he was on a confidence building exercise after his accident on the last round in Monaghan.  Maguire stalled his Subaru on the opening stage.
In Group N, Athea driver Colm Murphy (Subaru) on his first rally in some three years, led the way, he was eleventh in general classification.  Shane Maguire and Neil Tohill were next in the showroom category as Motorsport Safety Team leader David Guest (Mitsubishi) lost several minutes on the second stage where he slid into a drain and required the help of several spectators to re-join the action.

Out on the second loop and although Kelly extended his lead over Moffett to 6.4 seconds on S.S. 4, the Monaghan man responded in perfect fashion and regained the lead courtesy of two fastest stage times.  At the final service, the event was finely poised with Moffett 2.1 seconds ahead of Kelly.  On the fifth stage Declan Boyle (Fiesta WRC) retired after he lost over five minutes with a puncture.
His demise promoted Fermanagh?s Alastair Fisher into third spot albeit over a minute behind Donagh Kelly.
Manus Kelly (Subaru) occupied fourth from Keith Cronin, who made some adjustments after his Fiesta R5 suffered some steering issues.
Roy White in sixth remarked that the tyres he used for the second loop would have been better for the first loop and vice versa.
Desi Henry (Skoda Fabia R5) was seventh, Josh Moffett continued his confidence building, he was eighth as Niall Maguire and Group N leader Colm Murphy completed the top ten.

Moffett went on to secure his fourth win of the Triton campaign, he also picked up a bonus point from the Power Stage and for good measure, won the Triton Showers Drive of the Day.  Kelly took second to remain in the title equation while Fisher was third.  The remainder of the top ten was unchanged with tenth placed Colm Murphy (Subaru) winning Group N ? Monaghan?s Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi) moves into the lead of the Motorsport Safety Group N category, pre-event leader David Guest retired with transmission problems soon after he completed the seventh stage.  Neil Tohill (Mitsubishi) and Paul Barrett (Subaru) also failed to finish.

Monaghan?s Jonny Treanor/Stephen McElroy (Honda Civic) won the Junior category from Meath?s Brian Brady/Leonard Tuite and Donegal?s Michael Boyle/Dermot McCafferty, also in Honda Civics.


1. S. Moffett/K. Moriarty (Ford Fiesta) 1h. 06m. 14.8s.
2. D. Kelly/C. Foley (Ford Focus WRC) 1h. 06m. 27.2s.
3. A. Fisher/G. Noble (Ford Fiesta R5) 1h. 08m. 06.6s.
4. M. Kelly/G. Doherty (Subaru WRC) 1h. 08m. 12.7s.
5. K. Cronin/M. Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5) 1h. 08m. 35.0s.
6. R. White/J. O'Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h. 08m. 52.2s.
7. D. Henry/J. Rowan (Skoda Fabia R5) 1h. 08m. 53.1s.
8. J. Moffett/J. Fulton (Ford Fiesta R5) 1h. 10m. 02.5s.
9. N. Maguire/A. Nestor (Subaru WRC) 1h. 10m. 59.5s.
10. C. Murphy/D. Montgomery (Subaru) 1h. 12m. 39.8s.


Provisional Championship Positions after Round 4:
S. Moffett 83points.
R. White 59points; 
=3. D. Kelly & N. Maguire 53points.
5. S. Maguire 39points. 

Martin Walsh,
Media Co-Ordinator,
Triton Showers National Rally Championship.




Round 3 Report
                                            SAM,S MONAGHAN FROM START TO FINISH
 
Report courtesy of Triton Showers ? proud sponsors of the National Rally Championship
 
Monaghan?s Sam Moffett (Fiesta WRC) and his Cork co-driver Karl Atkinson took a start to finish victory in the Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Rally, round three of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.  They finished 26.8 seconds ahead of the Ford Focus WRC of Donegal?s Donagh Kelly and his Monaghan co-driver Conor Foley.  Donegal cousins, Declan and Brian Boyle in a Fiesta WRC were 15.5 seconds further behind in third.
 
On the opening 14.9 kilometre Stranooden stage Sam Moffett (Ford Fiesta WRC) set the pace and while the results showed another local driver, Stephen Wright in second spot ? 3.7 seconds behind, he reckoned that his stage time should have been some 20 seconds slower.  Boyle and Kelly were next.
Moffett continued to power through the stages and by the end of the opening loop he was 21.5 seconds ahead as Kelly slotted into second 5.8 seconds ahead of Boyle.  Unfortunately, last year?s winner and top seed Josh Moffett (Fiesta WRC) crashed heavily some two kilometres into the second stage.  On the first stage Brendan Cumiskey hit a chicane and damaged the steering rack of his Skoda R5 and retired.
At the Monaghan service park Sam Moffett stated that he pushed hard over the three stages but needed to soften the suspension set-up.  Second placed Kelly was untroubled unlike Boyle, who remarked that his Fiesta WRC was well down on power. 
Wright occupied fourth from Niall Maguire and reigning Triton champion Roy White.  Maguire admitted he was driving as hard as possible unlike White, who reckoned he lacked commitment.
The top ten was completed by the Escort quartet of Gary Kiernan, Jonathan Pringle, Damien Toner and Damien Gallagher.  Kiernan adopted a steady pace but almost got caught out on a jump on the third stage that he hadn?t made provision for during reconnaissance.  Pringle on his first outing in some eight months was adapting to the pace ? 18.2 seconds behind Kiernan.  Toner reckoned he was off the pace on the third stage while Gallagher had concerns about a vibration emanating from a rear wheel.  Gary McPhillips (Escort) lost time on the opening stage with a gearbox issue and broke a half-shaft on the second test, he re-joined under Rally2.   Brian Brogan (Escort) failed to start the opening stage due to a gearbox issue.  Another driver that failed to get to the first stage was Peadar Hurson - he withdrew as he felt unwell.
Meanwhile, a close contest developed in the Motorsport Safety Group N category where David Guest led the similar Mitsubishi of local ace Shane Maguire by a mere nine tenths of a second.  Neil Tohill, also in a Mitsubishi was a distant third followed by the Subaru of Paul Barrett, who was getting back into the grove after his accident on the recent non-championship Circuit of Kerry Rally.  Guest had a few moments on the opening stage and a slight altercation with a chicane bale on the third stage.
 
On the repeat loop of stages Moffett kept his composure and he edged further in front on S.S. 4; Kelly was quickest on the remaining pair of stages to trail Moffett by 24.4 seconds.  Boyle?s power issue continued and he was 6.1 seconds adrift of Kelly.
Wright Maguire and White completed an unchanged top six, the latter had no intercom through S.S. 5 and opined that he was slow on S.S. 6.
Kiernan retired with an oil leak as Pringle took up the lead role in the Modified category and by S.S. 6 he was 7.2 seconds ahead of Gallagher with Toner and Adrian Hetherington following behind, the latter improving his performance after stiffening the suspension.
It was honours even in the Motorsport Safety Group N category with Guest and Maguire on equal time, however, the former lost time when he had to take evasive action on S.S. 4 when he had to go off road to avoid hitting a car that had stopped on the stage, the impact damaged the front right wing.  Tohill and Barrett retained their positions.
On the closing loop and as Moffett went on to secure his third straight win in the Triton series and also claim the bonus point for the Power Stage albeit by two-tenths of a second from Kelly, a heavy shower caused the latter to temporarily lose second but he regained the spot on the penultimate stage and finished 15.5 seconds ahead of Boyle.
 
Pringle won the Modified section 9.2 seconds ahead of Damien Gallagher (Escort).  
Maguire took the spoils in the Motorsport Safety Group N category finishing 9.8 seconds ahead of Guest. 
The Triton Showers Drive of the Day was won by Donegal?s John Bonner/Rory Kennedy (Ford Escort).
Meath?s Brian Brady/Leonard Tuite (Honda Civic) won the Junior event, they finished 7.3 seconds in front of Donegal?s Michael Boyle/Dermot McCafferty (Honda Civic).
 
1. S. Moffett/K. Atkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h. 01m. 52.0s.                   
2. D. Kelly/C. Foley (Ford Focus WRC) 1h. 02m. 18.8s.
3. D. Boyle/B. Boyle  (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h. 02m. 34.3s.
4. N. Maguire/E. Sherry (Subaru WRC) 1h. 04m. 56.9s.
5. S. Wright/A. Kierans (Ford Fiesta R5) 1:04:57.8   3:05.8  0:00.9
6. R. White/J. O'Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h. 05m. 04.8s.
7. J. Pringle/P. Sheridan (Ford Escort) 1h. 07m. 06.6s.
8. D. Gallagher/M. Walsh (Ford Escort) 1h. 07m. 15.8s.
9. D. Toner/D. Rafferty (Ford Escort) 1h. 07m. 31.7s.        
10. R. Conlon/D. McCague (Ford Escort) 1h. 07m. 55.4s.
 
 
Provisional Championship Positions after Round 3: 1. S. Moffett 62pts; 2. R. White 45pts; 3. N. Maguire 40pts; 4. D. Kelly 35pts & 5. D. Boyle 34pts.
 
 
Round 3 Preview

MOFFETT ON HOME TERRITORY IN MONAGHAN
 
Preview courtesy of Triton Showers
Proud sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship.
 
Having won the opening two rounds of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship, Monaghan?s Sam Moffett (Ford Fiesta WRC) is on home ground for Sunday?s third round ? the Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Rally.
Aside from protecting his lead in the series, he also renews the great family rivalry with his brother Josh, who is the top seed courtesy of his victory in last year?s rally where he finished forty seconds ahead of Sam.   Between them, the Moffett?s have won their home rally since 2013. Sam won in 2013 and 2014 while Josh has won for the last two years.
On Sunday, Josh will drive his own Fiesta R5 while Sam will campaign the Fiesta WRC he has driven on the opening Triton rounds in Nenagh and Longford and indeed on the recent Munster Moonraker Rally where he finished third ? 4.3 seconds behind Josh, who actually campaigned Sam?s Fiesta R5 on that event.  Interestingly, Sam has stated his preference for the R5 car as he reckons it?s a nicer car to drive as opposed to the World Car. 
Former champion Declan Boyle (Fiesta WRC) needs to get back to winning ways if he has designs on a third national victory.  He crashed out of the last round in Longford and really needs to secure a strong haul of points from the nine stages around Monaghan town.
Reigning champion Roy White (Fiesta WRC) is nine points behind Moffett in the current campaign as he chases that elusive event win, however, he is also very aware that consistency is the hallmark of any championship win.
Meanwhile, having missed the last round in Longford due to business commitments, Donegal?s Donagh Kelly (Ford Focus WRC) returns to the series as he eyes up a second National crown - he won the series in 2015.  His battle with Sam Moffett should be intense.
Former triple champion and local hero, Niall Maguire is seeded at number six in his S12B Subaru WRC.  Fourth last time out in Longford, Niall is third in the Triton series and is a multi winner of his home event that he last won in 2010.
 
For 1992 National champion Peadar Hurson, the rally will mark his first appearance in the current series where he will drive a Ford Fiesta WRC, he will have local co-driver Damien Connolly calling the pacenotes.
In the past two years Monaghan?s Stephen Wright (Ford Fiesta R5) has finished fifth on both occasions, given the quality of the opposition, he could find it difficult to achieve a better result.
Title sponsor Kevin Barrett in the Triton Showers liveried Subaru WRC makes his first appearance in the present series, on the recent non-championship Circuit of Kerry he finished third overall.  Dundalk?s Brendan Cumiskey (Skoda Fabia R5) completes the top ten.
 
The Modified entry features a plethora the Escorts in the hands of Gary McPhillips, Jonathan Pringle, Gary Kiernan, Brian Brogan, Adrian Hetherington, Damien Toner and Damien Gallagher along with local hero David Moffett (Toyota Starlet).  That should be a fascinating contest, Hetherington leads the Triton Mk. 2 Challenge Trophy and the rally.ie series.   
 
Current leader of the Motorsport Safety Group N series David Guest (Mitsubishi) has opposition from the Mitsubishi trio of Shane Maguire, Aidan Wray and Neil Tohill along with Paul Barrett (Subaru). 
 
Aside from the aforementioned, other locals include Ballinode?s Maurice Moffett (Toyota Starlet), Micky Conlon (Escort) from Castleblayney, Tydavnet?s Jim McKenna (Escort) and Raymond Conlon from Clones in a Ford Escort ? all of whom will be seeking to impress. 
 
In the Junior category, Scotstown?s Johnny Treanor (Honda Civic) will be aiming to build on his success on the last round where he beat current series leader Donegal?s Michael Boyle (Honda Civic).
The organisers, the Monaghan Motor Club have seeded 124 crews in the main event and nine in the Junior category.
 
 
EVENT DETAILS:
 
Organising Club: Monaghan Motor Club
Clerk of the Course: Thomas Treanor.
Rally Headquarters: Four Seasons Hotel. 047 81888.
 
First Car Away: 09. 30.
 
S.S. 1, 4 & 7:   Stranooden (14.90 km) 10.07, 12.36 & 15.05.
S.S. 2, 5 & 8:   Scotshouse (14.50 km) 10.53, 13.22 & 15.51.
S.S. 3, 6 & 9:   Killeevan (9.50 km) 11.24, 13.53 & 16.22. 
 
Service: Monaghan Town. 11.56 & 14.25
Finish Ramp: Four Seasons Hotel, Monaghan. 16.55.
 
 
Top 10 Starters:
 
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 WRC)
7. Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly (Ford Fiesta WRC)
8. Stephen Wright/Arthur Kierans (Ford Fiesta R5)
9. Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru WRC)
10.Brendan Cumiskey/Ronan O'Kane (Skoda Fabia R5).
 
Provisional Championship Positions after Round 2: 1. S. Moffett 41pts; 2. R. White 32pts; 3. N. Maguire 26pts; 4. A. Hetherington 23pts; 5. D. Guest 19pts; 6. D. Boyle 18pts; 7. D. Kelly 17pts; 8. M. Kelly 16pts; 9. S. Maguire 15pts. & 10. M. Donnelly 13pts.
 
2017 Triton Showers National Rally Championship Diary Dates:
 
1.         Abbey Court Hotel Nenagh Rally      S. Moffett/J. Fulton (Fiesta WRC)
2.         Midland Rally (Longford)                  S. Moffett/K. Atkinson (Fiesta WRC)
3.         Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Rally                         April 23
4.         Circuit of Munster  (Rathkeale)                                 June 4
5.         Raven?s Rock Rally (Waterford)                                June 25
6.         Sligo Rally                                                                   July 9
7.         Galway Summer Rally (Gort)                                      August 27
8.         Fastnet Rally (Bantry)                                                 October 29
 
 

Media Co-Ordinator,
Triton Showers National Rally Championship.
 
.
 
 










PREVIEW ROUND 2

            MOFFETT HEADS TRITON SHOWERS CONTINGENT IN LONGFORD
Preview courtesy of Triton Showers Proud Sponsors of the National Championship  

 
The Triton Showers National Rally Championship zooms in on Longford this Sunday for the Midland Moto Rally.   The nine-stage event in association with The Longford Arms Hotel, A Plus Skip Hire & Admore Air Conditioning Corp has just over 100 entries for what is the second round of the national series.
Opening round winner in Nenagh, Sam Moffett is the top seed in his Ford Fiesta WRC.  The Monaghan driver is certainly a real threat to the more established stars of the national series and has the ability to win the prestigious Vard Memorial Trophy.  On the last round, Moffett - a former winner of the Billy Coleman award - led from the start and finished almost a minute ahead of the Fiesta WRC of former double national champion Donegal driver Declan Boyle.
The terrain around Longford will certainly provide a tough challenge for all concerned with the organising Midland Motor Club under the baton of clerk of the course Sean Cahill, who has laid out a very demanding route of three stages that will be repeated three times. 
Boyle, who won back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014, is hoping to be ultra competitive on Sunday, however, it will be a tough task especially with Moffett in such good form.
Winner of last week?s West Cork Rally in Clonakilty and the 2015 Triton Showers champion Donegal?s Donagh Kelly (Ford Focus WRC) will also have designs on outright victory and his battle with Moffett and Boyle should be intense.
Reigning champion Clonmel?s Roy White (Ford Fiesta WRC) is still searching for his inaugural win in the series and that will continue to be a difficult task given the quality of the entry.
The rally will also mark the first outing of the season for Donegal?s Manus Kelly, who will campaign a Subaru WRC.  Last year he made a stunning debut in a Subaru World Car winning the Carlow round of the Triton series, however on Sunday he may take time to acclimatise to the pace.  Tyrone?s Mark Donnelly (Ford Fiesta WRC) is in his debut Triton season and will be aiming to improve on his fifth place finish in Nenagh.
Former triple champion Monaghan?s Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) occupies the number seven berth in Longford in a top ten that also features Australian based Pauric Duffy (Ford Fiesta R5), Tyrone?s Adrian Hetherington and Meath?s Pat Donegan, both in Ford Escorts.

The top local driver is Keenagh?s Tommy Doyle, who will campaign a Mk. 2 Ford Escort, how he compares with the likes of Hetherington and Donegan will be watched with interest.  Maynooth?s Ian Barrett in his nimble Darrian T90 is also competing in the two-wheel drive category.  Other entries are Blackburn driver John Stone in a Ford Fiesta, Kerry?s Ed Murphy (Escort) and Donegal?s Martin Doherty also in a Ford Escort. 

In Group N, Cork?s David Guest (Mitsubishi) took maximum points in Nenagh and in Longford he will renew rivalry Monaghan?s Shane Maguire in a similar car, Maynooth?s Paul Barrett (Subaru) and Dubliner Neil Tohill (Mitsubishi) as they chase top spot in the Motorsport Safety category of the Triton Showers series.  Carrick on Shannon?s Sean Gallagher (Mitsubishi EvoIX) is also in the Group N frame.  Meanwhile, the entry also features Meath?s Paul McCann (Skoda Fabia), Scottish ace Lee Hastings (Subaru) and Roscommon?s Cormac Phelan (Honda Civic).  

In the Junior category, Donegal?s Michael Boyle (Honda Civic) is the leading entry.  Reigning champion Gary McNamee (Honda Civic) will provide strong opposition that also includes Monaghan?s Jonny Treanor, Cavan?s John McCabe along with Kerry pair Mark Murphy and Kieran O'Donoghue, all in Honda Civics.

Local drivers amongst the entry list include Roscommon?s Colin Flanagan (Mitsubishi), Vincent Collins (Ford Escort) and Longford duo, Sam Johnston (Honda Civic) and Michael Shaw (Mitsubishi).  Elsewhere, Carrick on Shannon?s Gavin Gallagher (Mitsubishi), Pauric Sheridan from Prunty in a Ford Fiesta and the Lanesboro pair, Stephen Healy (Toyota Corolla) and Shane Healy (Peugeot 205) will all be aiming to make an impression.


EVENT DETAILS:

Organising Club: Midland Motor Club
Clerk of the Course: Sean Cahill. 
Rally Headquarters: Longford Arms Hotel & Spa. 

First Car Away: 08. 40

S.S. 1, 4 & 7: Killashee (9.50 km) 9.39, 12.18 & 15.03. 
S.S. 2, 5 & 8:  Newtowncashel (9.90 km) 10.13, 12.55 & 15.37. 
S.S. 3, 6 & 9:  Keenagh (18.70 km) 10.48, 13.30 & 16.12. 

Service: Mastertech Business Park, Longford. 11.38 & 14.20
Finish Ramp: Longford Arms Hotel & Spa. 16.54


Top 10 Starters: 

1. Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC)
2. Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
3. Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Ford Focus WRC)
4. Roy White/James O'Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC)
5. Manus Kelly/Gareth Doherty (Subaru WRC)
6. Mark Donnelly/Barry McNulty (Ford Fiesta WRC)
7. Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC)
8. Pauric Duffy/Kevin Glynn (Ford Fiesta R5) 
9. Adrian Hetherington/Andrew Grennan (Ford Escort)
10. Pat Donegan/Alan Keena (Ford Escort)

Provisional Championship Positions after Round 1:  S. Moffett 20pts; 2. D. Boyle 18 pts; 3. D. Kelly 17pts; 4. R. White 14pts; 5. M. Donnelly 13pts & 6. N. Maguire 12pts.


2017 Triton Showers National Rally Championship Diary Dates:

1. Abbey Court Hotel Nenagh Rally S. Moffett/J. Fulton (Fiesta WRC) 
2.   Midland Rally (Longford) March 26
3.  Monaghan Rally           April 23
4.  Circuit of Munster  (Rathkeale) June 4
5.  Raven?s Rock Rally (Waterford) June 25
6.  Sligo Rally         July 9
7.  Galway Summer Rally (Gort)         August 27
8.  Fastnet Rally (Bantry) October 29
Media Co-Ordinator,
Triton Showers National Rally Championship.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Preview Round 1 
 
TRITON SHOWERS SERIES BEGINS IN NENAGH
 
Preview courtesy of Triton Showers
 Proud sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship.
 
The Abbey Court Hotel Nenagh Rally kicks starts the Triton Showers National Rally Championship season on Sunday next with former champion Donegal?s Donagh Kelly (Ford Focus WRC) heading a competitive entry for eight-stage event in north Tipperary.
Commenting ahead of the new season, M.D. of Triton Showers Kevin Barrett said, ?This is our third season of involvement with the national series.  Irish rallying is in a difficult place right now with competitors finding it extremely hard to find the budget for a full season.  An entry of 90 crews is now seen as a good entry compared to over 130 we had a number of years ago.  It is very different times.  That said, it is great to see a good start to the series in Nenagh and we in Triton Showers are looking forward to our involvement with the series as it winds its was around Ireland between now and the end of October when it concludes in Bantry in west Cork.?
 
Top seed Kelly, who is chasing his third straight win in the Birr Motor Club promoted event has signalled his intentions to compete in the series that he last won in 2015.  Although he only had sporadic outings last season he will still be expected to set a strong pace and a hat-trick of wins is a strong possibility.  ?It?s been a while since I have been in the car (Donegal International Rally, June 2016).  I?m a bit apprehensive but that said I don?t see why I won?t be competitive.  The plan is to compete in the Triton series, we will take it event by event and see how it goes.? 
Reigning champion Clonmel?s Roy White (Ford Fiesta WRC) begins the defence of his title and the Vard Memorial Trophy in his native county.  ?It looks like a very competitive top ten.  Donagh?s car (Ford Focus WRC) is the ultimate and he will go hard as will Declan, no matter what, he is always very quick and then there is Sam Moffett, another very quick driver while Niall (Maguire) can never be discounted.  I can?t wait to get stuck in, I?m really chomping at the bit for this season.?
Former double National champion Declan Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC) has set his sights on a third title, despite winning five of last year?s events, the Lettermacaward native missed out on the title and had to be content with runner-up spot.   He will be hoping that the early season glitches in his Ford Fiesta WRC have all been sorted as he ventures into another Triton season.
With three titles already under his belt, the last in 2004, Monaghan?s Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) has been seeking that elusive fourth crown but with such a strong level of competition this time around, his task will be even more difficult.
An entry from fellow Monaghan man Sam Moffett has spiced up proceedings, he will drive a Ford Fiesta WRC as opposed to his usual Ford Fiesta R5 and outright victory is well within his compass.  The top six is completed by Omagh?s Mark Donnelly in his Ford Fiesta WRC, who has stated his intention to contest the Triton Showers series.
West Cork driver Daniel Cronin competes in a Mitsubishi EvoIX, on his last outing on tarmac surface he won the Kerry Winter Rally in Banna where he beat Cavan?s Stephen McCann, who debuted a Ford Fiesta S2000 on the same event, the latter is seeded behind Cronin as they renew rivalry in County Tipperary.
Meanwhile, another Cavan driver Gary McPhillips (Ford Escort) is also amongst the top ten, he heads the two-wheel drive entry and will be the barometer for Kildare?s Ian Barrett in his Darrian T90, the low projectile will certainly be exciting to watch around the Nenagh roads.
 
Meath?s Trevor Mulligan, the defending rally.ie champion (top two-wheel drive in overall standings) and the Triton Showers Mk. 2 Ford Escort Challenge champion will start from the number eleven berth.  Others in the two-wheel drive category are Tyrone pair Adrian Hetherington and Viv Hamill, Killarney?s Ed Murphy and Donegal?s Mark Alcorn (Toyota Corolla).
 
In Group N, reigning Motorsport Safety Triton Showers champion Tyrone?s Aidan Wray (Mitsubishi EvoX) heads a strong contingent in the showroom category as he seeks a hat-trick of titles.  Dunmanway?s David Guest (Mitsubishi EvoIX) will certainly pose a threat while Monaghan?s Shane Maguire in a similar car and Maynooth?s Paul Barrett (Subaru) will also be aiming to put the pressure on Wray.  Barrett?s car will again carry the Vado (a sister company of Triton Showers) livery, Vado are underpinning the television coverage of the Triton series that will be captured by On the Limit Sports and beamed to over 50 countries around the world.
 
Elsewhere, the entry also features Cahir?s Andrew Fanning (Ford Fiesta), overseas driver Washington James in the ex-Roy White MG ZR, Limerick?s Eamonn Daly (Mitsubishi), New York based Martin Donnelly (Toyota Corolla WRC), Galwegian Richard Whelan (BMW 1M), Wexford?s Richard Moore (Ford Escort), Limerick?s Sean Moran (Ford Escort), Kerry?s Tim Enright (Ford Escort), Clare?s Alan O'Callaghan (Subaru) and another New York based driver, Paul Rowley (Citroen DS3R5).
 
In the Junior category, Donegal?s Michael Boyle (Honda Civic) is the leading entry with opposition emanating from Cavan?s Darren O?Brien, Meath duo Brian Brady and Tom Holton and Kerry?s Kieran Reen, all in Honda Civics.
 
From a local (north Tipperary) perspective the entry features Nenagh?s Andrew Slattery (Peugeot 208 R2), Templemore?s Paul O?Brien (Honda Civic) and brothers David and Shaun Forde from Nenagh.  David competes in a Subaru and while Shaun (Vauxhall Nova) will be making his first competitive outing on a tarmac surface rally.
Slattery?s Garage, Puckane with support from Peugeot Ireland are co-sponsors of the rally.
 
Due to business commitments former National champion Peadar Hurson (Ford Fiesta WRC) is not competing in Nenagh but will be amongst the entry for the second round, the Midland Rally in Longford at the end of March where Donegal?s Manus Kelly (Subaru WRC) will also begin his tilt for the Triton title.
 
 
EVENT DETAILS:
 
Organising Club: Birr and District Motor Club
Clerk of the Course: Bill Ryan.
Rally Headquarters: Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh. Tel: 067 41111.
 
First Car Away: 08. 40
 
S.S. 1 & 3:       Forty Acres (14.7km) 9.32 & 11.42.
S.S. 2 & 4:       Cloughprior (14.7km) 10.01 & 12.13.
S.S. 5 & 7:       Patrick?s Well (11.5km) 13.30 & 15.34. 
S.S. 6 & 8:       Kilmore (15.30km) 13.57 & 16.01.
 
Service: Streame, Nenagh: 10.40, 12.52 & 14.32.
Finish Ramp: Hotel, Nenagh. 16.41.
 
Top 10 Starters:
 
1. Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Ford Focus WRC)
2. Roy White/James O'Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC)
3. Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
4. Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC)
5. Sam Moffett/James Fulton (Ford Fiesta WRC)
6. Mark Donnelly/Barry McNulty (Ford Fiesta WRC)
7. Daniel Cronin/Shane Buckley (Mitsubishi Evo IX)
8. Stephen McCann/Damien Fleming (Ford Fiesta S2000) 
9. Gary McPhillips/James McNulty (Ford Escort)
10. Ian Barrett/Owen O'Flaherty (Darrian T90)
 
2017 Triton Showers National Rally Championship Diary Dates:
 
1.         Abbey Court Hotel Nenagh Rally                  February 26
2.         Midland Rally (Longford)                              March 26
3.         Monaghan Rally                                            April 23
4.         Circuit of Munster  (Rathkeale)                     June 4
5.         Raven?s Rock Rally (Waterford)                    June 25
6.         Sligo Rally                                                       July 9
7.         Galway Summer Rally (Gort)                          August 27
8.         Fastnet Rally (Bantry)                                     October 29
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Report Round 1

MOFFETT WINS ABBEY COURT HOTEL NENAGH RALLY
 
Report courtesy of Triton Showers
 Proud sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship.
 
Leading from the start Monaghan?s Sam Moffett in a Ford Fiesta WRC and co-driven by Cavan?s James Fulton won the Abbey Court Hotel Nenagh Rally, the opening round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.  They finished 59.1 seconds ahead of the similar car of Donegal cousins, Declan and Brian Boyle.
Another Donegal driver, Donagh Kelly and his Monaghan co-driver Conor Foley in a Ford Focus WRC were 36.1 seconds further behind in third, they claimed an extra championship point for setting the fastest time on the Power Stage.
Cork?s David Guest and his Monaghan co-driver Emmet Sherry (Mitsubishi) won the Group N category and Cavan?s Gary McPhillips/James McNulty (Escort) took the laurels in the two-wheel drive section.  Victory in the Junior category went to Donegal?s Michael Boyle and his co-driver Dermot McCafferty (Honda Civic).
 
On the opening stage Moffett, despite stalling his Ford Fiesta WRC on the start line, was quickest and led Kelly by 10.1 seconds.  Roy White (Ford Fiesta WRC) was a second further behind followed by Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC), who was 10.5 seconds further adrift and had to contend with a misted windscreen.  Declan Boyle was next in a top six that was completed by the Escort of Adrian Hetherington.
On the second stage Moffett pushed on and arrived at the Nenagh service park with a 19.3 second lead over Boyle, who was slightly dubious about his time - he was shown as having posted the fastest stage time.  The Donegal driver reckoned there was an error as Moffett arrived at the stage finish hot on his heels.  ? (Boyle?s time was subsequently amended after the finish).  White admitted he took a cautious approach and wasn?t taking any chances, he occupied third ? 12. 3 seconds further adrift and 3.2 seconds ahead of Kelly, who spun his Focus WRC half way through the stage. 
Maguire struggled through the stage due to a heavily misted over windscreen.  Mark Donnelly (Fiesta WRC) rounded off the top six as he took a steady approach on what was his debut outing in the car and his first tarmac rally in four years. Adrian Hetherington, who was next in classification continued to lead the two-wheel drive category and was trouble free.  The top ten was completed by Stephen McCann, who reckoned his Fiesta S2000 lacked top speed on the opening stage.  Gary McPhillips (Escort) was ninth with Daniel Cronin in tenth losing time with transmission woes as his Mitsubishi stuck in third gear, he withdrew at the service halt.
Meanwhile, in the Motorsport Safety Group N category David Guest (Mitsubishi) led the similar car of Neil Tohill by 14.3 seconds with Paul Barrett (Subaru) a fraction of a second further behind.
 
On the repeat of both stages Moffett was in control and duly extended his lead to 30.4 seconds, the rally leader was happy with his pace and remarked that he just needed to stay out of trouble.  Second placed Boyle had a few moments when his car aquaplaned in the wet conditions.  Meanwhile, White retained third as he admitted his tyre choice ? ?a cut slick? - was a little too brave.  Kelly closed to within 1.9 seconds but he reckoned that his lack of seat time and the conditions were costing him time.  An untroubled Mark Donnelly (Fiesta WRC) and Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) rounded out the top six, the latter having sorted the issue with the windscreen.
Top two wheel drive exponents Adrian Hetherington and Gary McPhillips, both in Escorts, were next on the leaderboard, the margin between them stood at 7.2 seconds.  Stephen McCann (Fiesta S2000) and Ed Murphy (Escort) completed the top ten.
In Group N, David Guest continued to control proceedings, he was 29.3 seconds ahead of the Mitsubishi of Shane Maguire with Neil Tohill (Mitsubishi) seven seconds further adrift in third followed by an untroubled Paul Barrett (Subaru).
 
Switching to a pair of stages closer to Nenagh for the afternoon, Moffett continued to blaze the trial and consolidated his lead to 58.8 seconds by the completion of S.S. 6. At the Nenagh service the Monaghan man recalled a major moment on the sixth stage when his Fiesta almost got away from him.  Boyle was second and Kelly moved into third at the expense of White.  Donnelly and Maguire both got through the pair of stages safely to hold fifth and sixth respectively.
McCann in seventh thought he had punctured when he clipped a bridge and he backed off for a few kilometres.
Gary McPhillips (Escort) took over the lead of the two-wheel drive category but Adrian Hetherington was only three tenths of a second behind in a top ten that was completed by the Mitsubishi of Group N leader David Guest, who took a steady pace as Shane Maguire cut the deficit to 17.2 seconds, Paul Barrett (Subaru) was third.
Moffett backed off on the final pair of stages to claim the spoils with Boyle second. Kelly punched in the best time on the Power Stage to claim the additional bonus point.
In the two-wheel drive category, McPhillips held off the challenge of Hetherington. Ian Barrett (Darian T90) was third in the category.  Guest, Shane Maguire and Paul Barrett were the top three in Group N.
In the Junior category, winner Michael Boyle (Honda Civic) had to secure his side window that popped out on the way to the opening stage.  The young Donegal driver found the final pair of stages very slippery, indeed, he endured a moment on the final stage when his Honda Civic slid in the conditions.
The Triton Showers ?Drive of the Day? was won by Mark Donnelly/Barry McNulty (Ford Fiesta WRC).
 
1. S. Moffett/J. Fulton (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h. 00m. 26.9s.
2. D. Boyle/B. Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h. 01m. 26.0s.
3. D. Kelly/C. Foley (Ford Focus WRC) 1h. 02m. 02.1s.
4. R. White/J. O'Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h. 02m. 05.9s.
5. M. Donnelly/B. McNulty (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h. 02m. 57.3s.
6. N. Maguire/E. Sherry (Subaru WRC) 1h. 03m. 37.3s.
7. S. McCann/D. Fleming (Ford Fiesta S2000) 1h. 04m. 54.2s.
8. G. McPhilips/J. McNulty (Ford Escort) 1h. 05m. 12.9s.
9. A. Hetherington/R. O'Neill (Ford Escort) 1h. 05m. 15.3s.
10. D. Guest/E. Sherry (Mitsubishi Evo IX) 1h. 07m. 52.7s.
 
Provisional Championship Positions after Round 1:  S. Moffett 20pts; 2. D. Boyle 18 pts; 3. D. Kelly 17pts; 4. R. White 14pts; 5. M. Donnelly 13pts & 6. N. Maguire 12pts.
 
2017 Triton Showers National Rally Championship Diary Dates:
 
1.         Abbey Court Hotel Nenagh Rally      S. Moffett/J. Fulton (Ford Fiesta WRC)
2.         Midland Rally (Longford)                              March 26
3.         Monaghan Rally                                            April 23
4.         Circuit of Munster  (Rathkeale)                     June 4
5.         Raven?s Rock Rally (Waterford)                    June 25
6.         Sligo Rally                                                      July 9
7.         Galway Summer Rally (Gort)                         August 27
8.         Fastnet Rally (Bantry)                                     October 29
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
JENNINGS WINS POWER STAGE AND LEADS SERIES


Donegal?s Donagh Kelly (Ford Focus WRC) and his Derry co-driver Kevin Flanagan won an exciting Abbeyleix Manor Hotel Rally, the opening round of the new Triton Showers National Rally Championship.
In wet and very difficult conditions they finished 38.7 seconds ahead of the Subaru WRC of Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy with Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC) a further 25.4 seconds behind in third.  
Aidan Wray/Kieran McGrath (Mitsubishi) won Group N and the Triton Showers ?Drive of the Day? was won by Cavan?s Chris Armstrong/James Fulton (Ford Escort), they also won Class 13.


On the opening stage, Tullacommon near Borris in Ossory, Kelly set the best time and led Boyle by 13.9 seconds with Darren Gass (Subaru WRC) 1.4 seconds further behind in third and 0.5 of a second ahead of the Subaru of Niall Maguire.  Kevin Kelleher and Steve Wood completed the top six.  Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Escort) and Mark Kane/Eugene Donnelly (Escort) both crashed out on the opening stage.
Boyle topped the time sheets through the second stage but Kelly arrived at the service park with a lead of 5.9 seconds and remarked on the copious amounts of standing water on the second stage.  Boyle was content enough in second and wasn?t prepared to take any undue risks.  A delighted Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) occupied third ? 4.8 seconds further behind.  
Alan Ring, who had a moment on the opening stage when his Subaru snapped, moved up to fourth place with Kevin Kelleher (Subaru WRC) untroubled and 1.4 seconds behind.
Sixth placed Steve Wood (Subaru WRC) lost time when the windscreen misted over.  Elsewhere, Darren Gass (Subaru WRC) spun on the opening stage and had no wipers for the third stage, he was seventh with Garry Jennings one of many to suffer with a misted windscreen, down in eighth spot.  The top ten was completed by the Mk. 2 Escorts of Chris Armstrong and Craig Breen.


Roy White was down in 25th position after he too struggled with a lack of vision through the misted screen of his MG ZR that completed the third stage with gearbox woes, unfortunately, he retired at the service park when it was discovered that a tooth in the crown wheel was broken.
Donegal?s Declan Gallagher (Toyota GT86) had a brief tenure ? the car ground to a halt on the second stage.  


Out on the repeat loop Boyle held the edge over Kelly.  Closing to within a fraction of a second of his rival after the fourth stage Boyle then moved into the lead on Stage 5 and by S.S. 6, he was the 12.3 seconds in front.  Boyle reckoned that the final stage of the loop was quite tricky as Kelly remarked that he was taking no chances.
Gass showed a fine turn of speed to move into third ? his McKinstry prepared S14 Subaru WRC had more grip than the S11 Subaru of Niall Maguire, who was 32 seconds further behind after a fine drive through the opening loop.


Having raised the suspension of his S12B Subaru WRC Garry Jennings improved his performance and slotted into fifth some ten seconds behind Maguire.  Alan Ring completed the second loop in sixth position but retired with transmission woes.  On S.S. 5 he had a major moment when his Subaru WRC got out of line.


Kevin Kelleher was next on the leaderboard, the windscreen visor of his Subaru WRC came adrift and was entangled in the wiper mechanism, luckily, it blew away in the wind a few seconds later.  Steve Wood (Subaru WRC) held eighth from the Mk. 2 Escorts of Craig Breen and Chris Armstrong, who completed the top ten.


A dramatic final loop brought many changes to the top ten.  On S.S. 7, Boyle punctured and dropped to 25th. overall before eventually finishing 14th.  Darren Gass retired his Subaru with a broken half shaft and Craig Breen?s fine drive ended on the same stage - also with a broken half shaft.
Meanwhile, Kelly went on to claim victory and Jennings, who won the first ever Power Stage in Irish rallying took second ? the three points gained for the Power Stage (where Boyle and Maguire were second and third respectively) - was enough to put him into the lead of the Triton Showers series ? a point ahead of Kelly.  
Kelleher was fourth and Kevin Barrett Subaru WRC) made up ground to secure sixth overall.
The top ten was completed by Chris Armstrong (Escort), Aidan Wray (Mitsubishi), Brendan Cumiskey (Subaru) and Brian Brogan (Escort).  Wray?s victory in Group N was only confirmed late in the evening.  


Elsewhere, John Stone (Skoda Fabia), who stopped to change a punctured wheel on the first stage clawed his way back from 131st to 18th.  Peadar Hurson (Subaru WRC) was the only non-starter amongst the top twenty.


The Cork crew of Vincent McSweney/Michael Kearney (Honda Civic) won the Junior category and Niall Keane/Conor Keane (Talbot Sunbeam ) took the laurels in the Historic section.




1. D Kelly/K Flanagan (Ford Focus WRC) 1h 00m 12.7s
2. G Jennings/R Kennedy (Subaru WRC) 1h 00m 51.4s
3. N Maguire/E Sherry (Subaru WRC) 1h 01m 16.8s
4. K Kelleher/R Fitzpatrick (Subaru WRC) 1h 01m 41.7s
5. S Wood/K Moriarty (Subaru WRC) 1h 03m 08.7s
6. K Barrett/S Mullally (Subaru WRC) 1h 03m 57.7s
7. C Armstrong/J Fulton (Ford Escort) 1h 04m. 01.7s
8. A. Wray/K. McGrath (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 05m. 00.6s.
9. B. Cumiskey/R. O'Kane (Subaru) 1h. 05m. 11.9s.
10. B. Brogan/D. McGettigan (Ford Escort) 1h. 05m. 15.3s.


National Rally Championship - Positions after Round 1: 1. G Jennings (Subaru) 21 points; 2. D Kelly (Ford Focus) 20 points; 3. N Maguire (Subaru) 17 points; 4. K Kelleher (Subaru) 14 points.


Martin Walsh,
Media Co-Ordinator,
Triton Showers National Rally Championship.


Telephone: 086  8212023 - Not for publication).



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