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Monaghan Stages Rally 2013  Preview and Rally Report from Dunlop

Report on Round 2 of the Dunlop National Rally Championship the Monaghan Stages Rally Courtsy of Dunlop Proud Sponsors of the National Rally Championship Click Here  CLICK HERE


Preview of Round 2 of the Dunlop National Rally Championship Courtsy of Dunlop Proud Sponsors of the National Rally Championship  CLICK HERE


Abbeyleix Stages Rally 2013 Preview and Report from Dunlop

Report on Round 1 Dunlop National Rally Championship Courtsy of Dunlop Proud Sponsors of the National Rally Championship  Click Here

Preview of Opening Round of the 2013 Dunlop National Rally Championship Courtsy of Dunlop Proud Sponsors of the National Rally Championship  Click Here

Auburn Lodge Clare Stages Rally 2012

 Auburn Lodge Hotel Clare Stages Rally Launch 2012 Round 7 Dunlop National Rally Championship 

Back Row from left Ger Healy,John Fergus,Gerry O Brien,Jason Cummins,Seamus McTiernan,John Flanagan,

Middle Row from left Lisa Scanlan,Liz Baily,Alan O Callaghan,Dermot Kelleher,Aideen O Callaghan,Ciare O Connell,Carrie Moroney,

Front Row from left Eoin Flannaghan, Al Meaney, Thomas McGarry, Charlie McEnery, Martin Leahy, Photo Aidan Sweeney Photography








The Fastnet Stages Rally Round 10 0f the Dunlop National Rally Championship Moves  to Bantry with the West Lodge Hotel as Rally HQ
Link to The  Southern  Star HERE
THE Skibbereen and District Car Club have moved their premier event, the Fastnet Rally, to the town of Bantry where it will be based at the Westlodge Hotel whilst also receiving considerable support from the Bantry Business Association.  The event, that is the final round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship, will take place on the October bank holiday weekend. 
Since its inception in 1982, when it was then based in Schull and won by Drimoleague native, Frank O’Mahony (Ford Escort), the Fastnet Rally has become one of the most popular events in the Irish rallying calendar.
Following a switch to Skibbereen in 1983, when the rally was known as the National Aluminium Rally, the rally became a two day event for a number of years.  However, declining numbers and the need to revamp the rally to suit the demands led to the return of the one-day format and also a new location.
That significant change came in 1988 as the Skibbereen club began a unique relationship with its sponsor and headquarters, the Marine Hotel in Glandore that lasted for seventeen years.  It wasn’t long before the rally gained inclusion in the National Rally Championship then sponsored by Anglo Irish Bank.  As the national series began to thrive under successful sponsorship associations with Coras, Red Mills and present sponsor, Dunlop, the Fastnet Rally decided the outcome of the national series on several occasions.  It also had its own particular milestone in 2004 when Macclesfield’s, Jim Harrison and his London co-driver, Harvey Bell became the first British crew to win the rally.
As the Glandore hotel underwent a major revamp, the event moved back to Skibbereen in 2006 and up until now has been based at the West Cork Hotel.  During its second tenure in Skibbereen, Norwegian, Andreas Mikkelsen (Ford Focus WRC) became the first driver from mainland Europe to win the rally, he triumphed in 2007.
Local drivers have also been quite successful, the aforementioned Frank O’Mahony also won in 1996 (Subaru Legacy) and 1997 (Subaru Impreza).  Liam McCarthy, who was co-driven by Kieran Murphy, whose family own the Westlodge Hotel, won in 1988 (Ford Escort), 1992 (Metro 6R4) and 2008 (Toyota Corolla WRC).  Donal O’Donovan’s (Ford Sierra) victories were in 1993 and 1999 while Denis Cronin triumphed in 1994 (Opel Ascona) and 2009 (Subaru WRC). 
Eileen O’Shea, manager of the Westlodge Hotel said, “We look forward to welcoming the Fastnet Rally which will be a great end of season boost for the area and will highlight the beautiful scenic area here at the hotel and surrounding region.  The bank holiday weekend is the ideal end of year event for the rally and it is always the last winter break for people before the long winter season.  The team here at Westlodge are looking forward to working with the Skibbereen and District Car Club and the local Traders group here in Bantry in making this event memorable and will ensure that the event will run smoothly.”
John Connolly (Bantry Town Council) said, “As Mayor of Bantry, I think the rally will be very good for the economy of our town, we have come on enormously, we are a good town with plenty of accommodation, I welcome everybody to Bantry for what should be a great event.”
Akin to the Ypres Rally in Belgium, the service halt will take place within the town centre thus creating a festival atmosphere. 
Toby Campbell, Chairman of the BBA remarked, “Following the success of a number of local rally drivers there is now a large fan base in Bantry who will be delighted to see the Fastnet Rally come to Bantry.  The Bantry Business Association are also delighted to be able to give their full support to the organisers in order to be able to host this spectacular event.”  The BBA will support the organisers of the Fastnet Rally in marketing the event nationally through advertising, sponsorship and the town’s website while the event will be publicised locally through local press and marketing material.
Ger Hayes, the Clerk of the Course said, “Firstly, we have been made very welcome in Bantry, the enthusiasm shown by the Bantry Business Association and others is very refreshing.  I think it’s a partnership that our club and the BBA can achieve our aims, that in our case, is principally, to host a safe and enjoyable rally and one that will promote Bantry in the best possible fashion.”

Meanwhile, Cllr, Mary Hegarty remarked, “This will be absolutely fantastic for Bantry, a great boost for the bank holiday weekend. I remember the time when the Rally of the Lakes started in Killarney, now its Bantry’s time, I think it will be a great weekend for everybody.”  The event will be officially launched in a few weeks time.
Link to Rally HQ West Lodge Hotel Bantry HERE 


Rally Preview and Report on the Kilmore Hotel Cavan Stages Rally




 MEATH’s, Tim McNulty (Subaru WRC), co-driven by Paul Kiely, continued his dominance of the Dunlop National Rally Championship with victory in the Hotel Kilmore Cavan Rally, the fourth round of the series.  They finished 24 seconds ahead of the Skoda Fabia S2000 of Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly with Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC) a further 25 seconds behind in third.

The Group N category was won by Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Mitsubishi) and the two-wheel drive award was won by Damien Gallagher/Mac Walsh (Ford Escort).

 Late entry, Barrable set the pace on the first stage albeit a second ahead of Dunlop series leader, McNulty with Maguire next best – six seconds further behind.  McNulty punched in the best time for the second stage even though he made a slight mistake; Barrable was quickest through the final stage of the loop.  At the Cavan service halt, McNulty, who held a five second lead, commented, “Everything is fine, the stages are tough, I made a small mistake on the second stage but nothing much to worry about. I have decided to go for a harder compound tyre for the second loop.”

Barrable was quite happy with his tyre choice and general performance.  Maguire was a further 17 seconds behind in third and admitted there was little he could do about matching the pace of the top duo.  Kevin Barrett (Subaru) was fourth as fifth placed Seamus Leonard (Subaru WRC) admitted he was a little rusty, he also stalled his car at the start line of the second stage.  Liam McCarthy (Toyota Corolla WRC) was untroubled in sixth.

Meanwhile, Sam Moffett (Mitsubishi) had a number of niggling problems with the steering and anti-lag systems.  Elsewhere, the top ten also featured Shane Maguire (Subaru) who was four seconds behind Moffett;

Washington James (Darrian), who led the two-wheel category – three seconds ahead of Damien Gallagher (Ford Escort). 

Opening loop retirements included Manus Kelly, his Ford Escort stopped with alternator troubles, Declan Boyle (Ford Escort) while Adrian Hetherington put his Escort on its side on the opening stage.

 McNulty stretched his lead through stages four and five but made a slight error on the sixth stage where Barrable reigned supreme.  The net effect gave McNulty a nine second lead at the final service halt.  Barrable reckoned his tyres were too hard for the fourth stage but were perfect for the remaining stages.  Maguire continued to maintained third – some 15 seconds further adrift.  Barrett was trouble free in fourth with Leonard fifth.  Moffett had a strong run through the loop to move into sixth where he was followed by Liam McCarthy (Toyota Corolla WRC)   

There was a change in the two-wheel drive category, Washington James (Darrian) who had moved 13 seconds ahead of Damien Gallagher (Escort) after S.S. 4, lost time with a broken steering arm.  By Stage 6, Gallagher, who was eighth overall, was 12 seconds ahead of the Escort of Michael Conlon.  James had dropped to 21st. in general classification.  Elsewhere, Trevor Bustard lost time when his Mitsubishi developed a misfire, he was eleventh overall followed by the Escorts of Sam Smyth and Frank Kelly.

 McNulty pushed hard through stages seven and eight and duly stretched his lead to 26 seconds and was able to slacken his pace on the final stage where Barrable was quickest.  Third placed Maguire had a major moment near the finish of the final stage but he survived to take 16 Dunlop points.  Barrett, who was fourth, reckoned his performance improved on the final loop.  Leonard was fortunate to finish due to a gearbox problem while a change of tyres saw McCarthy regain sixth. 

Moffett, who had a slight moment at a crossroads on the final stage, won Group N and Gallagher took the two-wheel drive award.  The top ten was completed by Trevor Bustard (Mitsubishi) and Michael Conlon (Ford Escort). 

The Dunlop “Drive of the Day” award was won by Frank Kelly /Liam Brennan (Ford Escort).

 1. T. McNulty/P. Kiely (Subaru WRC) 1h. 00m. 33s.   

2. R. Barrable/D. Connolly (Skoda Fabia S2000) 1h. 00m. 57s. 

3. N. Maguire/E. Sherry (Subaru WRC) 1h. 01m. 22s.

4. K. Barrett/S. Mullally (Subaru WRC) 1h. 02m. 19s.

5. S. Leonard/J. McCafferty (Subaru WRC) 1h. 02m. 54s

6. L. McCarthy/R. McSweeney (Toyota Corolla WRC) 1h. 04m. 15s.

7. S. Moffett/J. O’Reilly (Mitsubishi) 1h. 04m. 33s.

8. D. Gallagher/M. Walsh (Ford Escort) 1h. 04m. 35s.

9. T. Bustard/K. Bustard (Mitsubishi) 1h. 05m. 04s.

10. M. Conlon/A. Boyle (Ford Escort) 1h. 05m. 13s.

 Dunlop National Rally Championship (Provisional positions after Round 4): 1. T. McNulty 80pts; 2. R. Barrable 52pts; 3. L. McCarthy 48pts; 4. K. Barrett 42pts; 5. S. Moffett 36pts; 6. N. Maguire 35pts;




 The Dunlop National Rally Championship has its own special taste of royalty as Tim McNulty (Subaru WRC) is the top seed for Sunday’s Hotel Kilmore Cavan Rally, round four of the Dunlop National Rally Championship.  The Meath ace, who won this event last year, bids to continue his unbeaten sequence in the current Dunlop campaign that has already yielded wins in Abbeyleix, Monaghan and Tullow.

 With just 19 points out of a possible 60, former triple national champion, Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) knows that he has a difficult task in cutting the deficit to McNulty as a record fourth title seems almost out of reach even at this early stage of the series.  Retirement on the last round in County Carlow and a poor finish in Abbeyleix has pushed him down the order, currently, he is seventh overall.

Another driver in need of a big result in Cavan is Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC), although fourth in the series, he is 32 points behind McNulty. 

Omagh’s, Seamus Leonard (Subaru WRC) is seeded at number four ahead of top Group N driver, Colm Murphy (Subaru).  Having finished an impressive third in the opening round in Abbeyleix, a non-finish in Monaghan was followed by a troubled outing in Tullow where he annexed just eight points.  The Limerick driver is well capable of mixing it with the WRC brigade and will be hoping to return to his opening round form.

Monaghan’s, Sam Moffett (Mitsubishi) occupies the number six berth as he bids to put his national bid back on track after differential woes thwarted his efforts in Carlow.  In terms of the Motorsport Safety Team

Group N award (that is awarded to the highest placed Group N driver in the overall standings) Robert Barrable, who netted major points in Monaghan and Carlow, is on 34 points – with Murphy and Moffett both on 24 points. 

Cork driver, Liam McCarthy (Toyota Corolla WRC), who is second overall in the series (35 points), took his best result in Carlow where he netted fourteen championship points.

Reigning two wheel drive champion, Declan Boyle (Ford Escort) is another driver hoping to rediscover the pace he showed last season.

Opposition in the category includes fellow Donegal driver, Manus Kelly (Ford Escort), Michael Conlon, Damien Gallagher – both in Ford Escorts and the nimble Darrian of British driver, Washington James.

 Donegal’s, Stuart Darcy (Mitsubishi) lines up behind Kelly and completes the top ten.  Monaghan’s, Shane Maguire (Subaru) who missed the last round due to college examinations is set to rejoin the fray in Cavan.  Elsewhere, the entry features Trevor Bustard (Mitsubishi), local aces Mervyn Wedlock, Russell Woods, Sam Smith and Alan Sheridan, all in Ford Escorts.

 Organising Club: Cavan Motor Club. 

Clerk of the Course: Alan Cullinan.      

Rally Headquarters: Hotel Kilmore.

First Car Away: Hotel Kilmore.

   S.S. 1, 4 & 7: Lough Inchin (10.4Km) 11.00; 13.25 & 15.50

S.S. 2, 5 & 8: Derry Lough (19.1Km) 11.28; 13.53 & 16.18  

S.S. 3, 6 & 9: Drumcrow Lough (13.8Km) 12.02; 14.27 & 16.52   

 Service: Adjacent to Hotel Kilmore: 12.39 & 15.04.

 Finish Ramp: Hotel Kilmore: 17.30

 Top 10 Starters:

 1. Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru WRC)

2. Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC)

3. Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru WRC)

4. Seamus Leonard/ TBA (Subaru WRC)

5. Colm Murphy/Don Montgomery (Subaru)

6. Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Mitsubishi)

7. Liam McCarthy/Denis O'Mahony (Toyota Corolla WRC)

8. Declan Boyle/ TBA (Ford Escort)

9. Manus Kelly/TBA (Ford Escort)

10. Stuart Darcy/Eamonn Walsh (Mitsubishi)

 Dunlop National Rally Championship (Provisional Positions after Round 3):

 1. T. McNulty 60pts; 2. L. McCarthy 35pts; 3. R. Barrable 34pts; 4. K. Barrett 28pts; =5. C. Murphy & S. Moffett 24pts; 7. N. Maguire 19pts; =8. M. Evans & S. Maguire 18pts & 10. D. Condell 17pts.


Rally Report and Rally Preview  of Carlow Stages Round 3 Dunlop National Rally Championship and Round 2 Dunlop Junior Championship 




 The Mount Wolseley Country Resort Carlow Rally, the third round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship was won by Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru WRC), who finished 25 seconds ahead of the Skoda Fabia S2000 of Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly.   Daniel McKenna/Andrew Grennan (Ford Escort) were third – 40 seconds further behind. 

McKenna was quickest on the opening test, Tomduff, where he was two seconds in front of his fellow countyman and former triple national champion, Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) with Robert Barrable (Skoda Fabia S2000) a further four seconds behind in third.  The Mk. 2 Escort of Gary McPhillips occupied fourth with the Subaru WRC’s of Tim McNulty and Stephen Murphy completing the top six.  McNulty lost time with the suspension set-up.  Meanwhile, Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC) dropped time with a brief excursion to the scenery while Colm Murphy was caught out at the same location, his time loss was considerable as all four corners of his Subaru showed signs of contact with an unforgiving fence, a bent wishbone made his Group N Subaru difficult to drive through the rest of the loop.  Sam Moffett retired his Mitsubishi with differential failure just a few kilometres from the stage finish.  Trevor Mulligan made an early exit – crashing his Escort between the first and second junctions of the first stage.

Having made some adjustments to the suspension system, McNulty set the best times on the second and third stages of the loop and arrived at the Tullow service halt with an eight second advantage.  Three drivers tied for second spot, Niall Maguire, Daniel McKenna and Robert Barrable lined up behind McNulty.  McKenna recounted a spin on the second test that cost him at least six seconds, he also expressed concern about the brake bias through the third stage.   Maguire was untroubled while Barrable clipped a bale on the second stage and then overshot a junction on the third test.  McPhillips was fifth with local ace and former back to back national champion, Stephen Murphy (Subaru WRC) sixth in general classification.  The Carlow ace opined, “I’m braking far too early for corners, but I’m gradually increasing my pace, it’s been four years since my last outing.”

Simon Mauger, who was seeking a hat-trick of wins in the Mk. 2 Challenge retired at the start of S.S. 3, Ballintemple, when his car failed to start, on the opening test, he clipped a wheel rim, his time for the stage was 22 seconds off the pace set by McKenna, who was six seconds faster than the British ace on the second stage.

Through the second loop, McNulty increased his pace and even though McKenna matched him through S.S. 5, McNulty arrived at the penultimate service with a twenty second lead over Robert Barrable (Skoda), both enjoying untroubled runs.  Niall Maguire was third five seconds further behind despite a spin on the sixth stage, McKenna was only a second behind.   The top six also featured the Escort of Gary McPhillips and Stephen Murphy (Subaru WRC), who took a minute and one second off his previous run through the loop.  McPhillips stated that his tyres were not working well as his car was filling the road.  The top ten also included Kevin Barrett, his opening stage excursion had knocked his confidence, it was a similar situation for Colm Murphy, who occupied equal eighth place with the Toyota Corolla of Liam McCarthy.  The Darrian of Washington James was tenth.  Elsewhere, late entry, Sean Flanagan retired his Subaru after a visit to the Carlow scenery went awry and knocked a wheel off.

 On the final loop, Maguire bowed out on junction four of S.S. 7 when his Subaru WRC failed to select gears.  McNulty, who changed the power steering pump at each of the three service halts, took victory to maintain his one hundred per cent record in the Dunlop campaign.  Barrable, in second, moves into second place in the series.   McKenna took the final spot on the podium.

Meanwhile, Stephen Murphy (Subaru WRC) came home in fourth place with Gary McPhillips (Escort), Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC) and Liam McCarthy (Toyota Corolla WRC) completing the top seven. 

The Dunlop “Driver of the Day” award was won by Sam Smyth, he was eighth overall in a top ten rounded off by the similar Escorts of Adrian Hetherington and David Condell.  Stephen Cullen (Subaru) won the Group N category from Colm Murphy, who lost fifth gear on the final stage.

 Meanwhile, the rally also incorporated the second round of the Dunlop Junior Rally Championship with Monaghan’s, John Doogan (Escort) taking a seven second victory over Meath’s, Chris Snow (Honda Civic).  Cork driver, Pat Barry (Honda Civic) was third – a minute and 35 seconds further behind.

  1. T. McNulty/P. Kiely (Subaru WRC) 1h. 06m. 22s.   

2. R. Barrable/D. Connolly (Skoda Fabia S2000) 1h. 06m. 47s. 

3. D. McKenna/A. Grennan (Ford Escort) 1h. 07m. 27s.

4. S. Murphy/B. Collins (Subaru WRC) 1h. 08m. 24s.

5. G. McPhillips/P. Sheridan (Ford Escort) 1h. 08m. 26s.  

6. K. Barrett/S. Mullally (Subaru WRC) 1h. 08m. 48s.

7. L. McCarthy/D. O’ Mahony (Toyota Corolla WRC) 1h. 09m. 21s.

8. S. Smyth/A. Smyth (Ford Escort) 1h. 09m. 57s.

9. A. Hetherington/G. Nolan (Ford Escort)  1h. 10m. 32s.

10. D. Condell/S. S. Cullen/S. O’Grady (Subaru) 1h. 0m. 37s.

 Dunlop National Rally Championship (Provisional positions after Round 3): 1. T. McNulty 60 points; 2. R. Barrable 34 points; 3. L. McCarthy 33 pts. 






DUNLOP National Rally Championship leader, Tim McNulty (Subaru WRC) headlines Sunday’s Mount Wolseley Hotel Carlow Rally, the third round of the series, as he bids to maintain his one hundred per cent record in the series.
Having retired from last week’s Rally of the Lakes in Killarney, the Meath ace will renew rivalry with his Dunlop colleagues in the nine stage Tullow based event that returns to the national scene after a lapse of a number of years. 
Second seed, Monaghan’s, Niall Maguire, a former triple champion, is currently in fourth spot in the series – trailing McNulty by 21 points - having netted second place points in his home event in Monaghan last time out.
Meanwhile, Kevin Barrett, also driving a Subaru WRC, will be seeking a strong result to get back into contention.
Former double winning Irish national rally champion, Stephen Murphy (1995 & 1996) makes his first appearance in some four years, he will drive the S11 Subaru WRC that Derek McGarrity drove to victory in the recent Circuit of Ireland Rally.
Even though it is his local event and has one stage virtually at his back door, it’s not the principal reason for competing, he remarked, “I just wanted to compete on some event, the opportunity arose and this suits me perfectly at this particular time.” 
Murphy’s last foray in a rally car was in the 2007 Donegal International Rally, however, he crashed out on that occasion.  “Essentially, this is just a bit of fun, I have been too long out of it and I’m on the wrong side of fifty to be starting rallying again, it’s for my own enjoyment.”
Top Group N driver, Limerick’s, Colm Murphy (Subaru) is seeded at number five and having made a quick exit in Monaghan, he will be aiming for the type of performance that yielded third overall in the opening round.
Fresh from finishing second in the Pirelli International Rally last weekend, Robert Barrable (Skoda Fabia S2000) will also tackle the Carlow Car Club organised event.  The Billy Coleman Award winner netted a fine third in Monaghan and could be the surprise packet in Carlow.
The top ten is completed by Cork driver, Liam McCarthy (Toyota Corolla WRC), who is third in the series, second placed Sam Moffett (Mitsubishi), Stuart Darcy (Mitsubishi) and fellow Group N ace, Shane Maguire (Subaru).

The rally also includes the popular Escort Mk. 2 Challenge with British driver, Simon Mauger facing some of the top Irish aces.  Monaghan’s, Gary McPhillips and Daniel McKenna will provide ample opposition in a category that also includes Rodney Wilton, Trevor Mulligan, Adrian Hetherington, John Waring, David Condell, along with overseas drivers, Neil Williams and Thomas Davies.

Elsewhere in the 135 plus entry are Washington James (Darrian), John Hendy (Toyota Corolla) and Carlow club members, James Travers (Renault Clio), Colin O’Toole (Opel Corsa) and Sam Smyth (Escort).

Other interesting entries are those of Motorsport Ireland Rallies Committee chairperson, James Coleman (Escort) and former Carlow Clerk of the Course, Joe Connolly, both in Mk. 2 Ford Escorts.

Organising Club: Carlow Car Club. 
Clerk of the Course: Aidan Kelly.      
Rally Headquarters: Mount Wolseley Hotel

First Car Away: Mount Wolseley Hotel, Tullow. 08.30.  

S.S. 1, 4 & 7: 09.32; 12.21 & 15.10.
S.S. 2, 5 & 8: 10.05; 12.54 *& 15.43. 
S.S. 3, 6 & 9: 10.39; 13.28 & 16.17.  

Service: Tullow Mart: 11.13 & 14.02.

Finish Ramp: Mount Wolseley Hotel. 16.49

Top 10 Starters:

1. Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru WRC)
2. Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC)
3. Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru WRC)
4. Stephen Murphy/Billy Collins (Subaru WRC)
5. Colm Murphy/Don Montgomery (Subaru)
6. Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly (Skoda Fabia S2000)
7. Liam McCarthy/Denis O'Mahony (Toyota Corolla WRC)
8. Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Mitsubishi)
9. Stuart Darcy/Eamonn Walsh (Mitsubishi)
10. Shane Maguire/Charlie McEnery (Subaru)

Dunlop National Rally Championship (Provisional Positions after Round 2): 1. T. McNulty 40pts; 2. S. Moffett 24pts; 3. L. McCarthy 21pts; 4. N. Maguire 19pts; =5. M. Evans & S. Maguire 18pts & =7. C. Murphy & R. Barrable 16pts, 9. W. Patterson 15pts & =10. S. Simpson & D. O’Riordan 14pts.

Monaghan Stages Rally Report 


MEATH’s, Tim McNulty and co-driver, Paul Kiely, in their Subaru WRC, maintained their one hundred per cent record in the Dunlop National Rally Championship with victory in the Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan Rally, the second round of the series.

They finished 43 seconds ahead of locals, Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC) with the Dublin/Monaghan combination of Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly (Skoda Fabia S2000) a further 25 seconds behind in third.

The two wheel drive category was won by Monaghan’s, Daniel McKenna/Andrew Grennan (Ford Escort) while another local pairing, Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Mitsubishi) won the Group N category.

McNulty set the pace on the first stage, Mullynahinch, as he led local hero, Maguire by 14 seconds with Daragh O’Riordan (Subaru WRC) two seconds further behind in third.   Daniel McKenna (Mk. 2 Escort) was an impressive fourth – three seconds behind O’Riordan.

By the completion of the opening loop, McNulty had moved 26 seconds clear of Maguire and admitted to slackening his pace as the tyre compound that he selected was too soft for the conditions.   Maguire in second was only two seconds ahead of the Skoda Fabia S2000 Robert Barrable that had a slight misfire in fifth gear.  

McKenna in fourth also suffered tyre troubles, like McNulty, the compound he selected was also too soft, in addition, the link box had come adrift on the opening stage.   After a bright opening stage, O’Riordan was a little miffed at his own performance as he slipped to fifth.  

The Subaru WRC of Monaghan’s, Adrian McElvaney failed to select third and fourth gears and an oil leak on the second stage didn’t help his cause as he held equal sixth with Kevin Barrett (Subaru), who spun on the opening test and also had engine concerns.   The top ten was completed by Trevor Mulligan (Escort), Sam Moffett (Mitsubishi) and Wesley Patterson (Escort).   Meanwhile, Manus Kelly (Ford Escort) and Liam McCarthy (Toyota Corolla WRC) were just outside the top ten, the former lost a few seconds with a puncture and the latter spun.   

The loop accounted for a number of retirements, on the second stage, Colm Murphy retired when the selector pin of his Subaru broke, Gary McPhillips also bowed out - his Escort succumbed to engine troubles while Declan Boyle crashed his Escort.

On the repeat of the three stages, McNulty extended his lead to 42 seconds with Maguire maintaining second, the Monaghan ace set fastest time on the fifth stage.   Barrable, having sorted the misfire, could do little to improve his third place as he lost out to the more powerful Subaru WRC’s on the long straights.   O’Riordan was fourth with McKenna fifth and leading the two wheel drive category.

McElvaney, who continued to struggle with transmission woes, held sixth spot ahead of Barrett, who admitted he couldn’t go any quicker.

Group N leader, Sam Moffett (Mitsubishi) was trouble free in eighth spot in a top ten rounded off by Manus Kelly (Ford Escort) and Liam McCarthy (Toyota Corolla WRC).   Trevor Mulligan (Escort) lost over four minutes on S.S. 6 and slipped from eighth to 31st. place, he eventually finished 18th.   Elsewhere, Brendan Cumiskey’s Mitsubishi was down on power, Trevor Bustard lost time with an excursion as mud filled the rim of his Mitsubishi and caused a severe vibration.   Shane Maguire reported that the centre differential of his Subaru wasn’t working from the very start.   Pat Kirk (Mitsubishi), who had no brakes over the opening loop, lost more time on the second loop with differential woes.

McNulty went on to claim his second victory of the current Dunlop campaign with Maguire and Barrable completing the podium places.   The misfire in Barrable’s Skoda returned over the final loop of three stages, however, it was more of an annoyance rather than a hindrance, the Billy Coleman award winner did manage to set fastest time on the penultimate stage. O’Riordan finished fourth.

McKenna won the Modified category with a fine performance once he sorted the problems of the opening loop.   Fellow Monaghan driver, Adrian McElvaney (Subaru) was sixth from Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC) and Group N winner, Sam Moffett (Mitsubishi).   The final places in the top ten went to Liam McCarthy (Toyota corolla WRC) and Shane Maguire (Subaru).   Manus Kelly retired on S.S. 7 when he went off near the finish.  

The Dunlop “Driver of the Day” award was won by Cookstown’s, Samantha Thom (Citroen C2R2).

1. T. McNulty/P. Kiely (Subaru WRC) 1h. 27m. 48s.

2. N. Maguire/E. Sherry (Subaru WRC) 1h. 28m. 31s.

3. R. Barrable/D. Connolly (Skoda Fabia S2000) 1h. 28m. 56s.

4. D. O'Riordan/T. McDaid (Subaru WRC) 1h. 29m. 18s.

5. D. McKenna/A. Grennan (Ford Escort) 1h. 29m. 38s.

6. A. McElvaney/P. Kelly (Subaru WRC) 1h. 29m. 50s.

7. K. Barrett/S. Mullally (Subaru WRC) 1h. 30m. 32s.

8. S. Moffett/J. O'Reilly (Mitsubishi) 1h. 32m. 14s.

9. L. McCarthy/D. O'Mahony (Toyota Corolla WRC) 1h. 32m. 46s.

10. S. Maguire/C. McEnery (Subaru) 1h. 33m. 07s.

Dunlop National Rally Championship (Provisional Positions after Round 2): 1. T. McNulty 40pts; 2. S. Moffett 24pts; 3. L. McCarthy 21pts; 4. N. Maguire 19pts; 5. S. Maguire 18pts & =6. C. Murphy & R. Barrable 16pts.

 Photo by Joe Lane


Monagan Stages Rally Preview  


Eight World Rally Cars, an S2000 car and a top Group N car fill the top ten places in the Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan Rally (Sunday April 17th), the second round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship - without doubt, the strongest entry list in Irish rallying in 2011.  
Local ace and last year’s winner, Niall Maguire and co-driver, Enda Sherry are the top seeds in their Subaru WRC.   Having failed to score major Dunlop points on the opening round on Abbeyleix, Maguire will need little motivation for his home event as he bids for his seventh victory.
One stage from the loop of three stages, that will be repeated three times, is quite close to his Ballinode base, but Maguire knows the pitfalls of such situations, “It’s a very fast stage, and you could make a mistake if you decide to push that little bit harder.   I could do with a win but Tim McNulty will be very hard to shake off, his Subaru S12B will gain time exiting the many junctions on the stage.   Kevin Barrett has shown great pace this year, he will go well, remember, he was quickest on the first stage here last year.   The whole top ten is very competitive including Robert Barrable, who won the West Cork in his Skoda Fabia S2000.   In addition, there are a host of very fast drivers in Mk. 2 Escorts.”

Series leader, Tim McNulty (Subaru WRC) occupies the number two berth and will be expected to set the pace.   In Abbeyleix, the Meath driver led from the start and finished almost a minute ahead of reigning Dunlop champion, Mel Evans, who is not competing in Monaghan.   However, it will not be easy for McNulty given the quality of the top ten.   Maynooth’s, Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC), who won the Mayo Rally and finished second in the recent Circuit of Kerry, will be hoping to bring that form to Monaghan, an event he led last year before retiring with head gasket troubles.

Another Dunlop regular, Derek McGarrity, switches to a Subaru WRC for this round as opposed to the Mitsubishi EvoX he drove in Abbeyleix.   The change is due to his participation in the Circuit of Ireland the following week.   The entry of West Cork Rally winner, Robert Barrable, who will again be co-driven by Monaghan’s, Damien Connolly, will provide plenty of interest.   Indeed, the Dubliner, the current Billy Coleman award winner, will also face both of his rivals from the Clonakilty event.

Meanwhile, another Monaghan driver, Adrian McElvaney (Subaru WRC) occupies the number six berth, his lack of competitive action could be a disadvantage.

Cork driver, Daragh O'Riordan (Subaru WRC), who finished just 1.3 seconds behind Barrable in Clonakilty is considering tackling the remainder of the Dunlop series.   Limerick’s, Colm Murphy (Subaru), who was third in the first round in Abbeyleix and also third in West Cork, is the top Group N driver as he continues his Dunlop quest.

The final places in the top ten are occupied by Omagh’s, Seamus Leonard (Subaru WRC) and Dunmanway’s, Liam McCarthy (Toyota Corolla WRC), who was seventh in Abbeyleix.

The Modified entry is equally enthralling with Gary McPhillips (Ford Escort), who won the category in Monaghan last year and was also a magnificent fourth overall, heading an impressive line up.   Local hero, Daniel McKenna, reigning two-wheel drive champion, Declan Boyle, Rodney Wilton, Manus Kelly and Wesley Patterson, all in Mk. 2 Ford Escorts, are all capable of a strong finish.

Meanwhile, the Group N entry features young local aces, Sam Moffett (Mitsubishi) and Shane Maguire (Subaru) along with Stuart Darcy, Thomas Fitzmaurice and Trevor Bustard, all in Mitsubishi’s.
British drivers, John Stone (Skoda Fabia WRC) and Mark Jasper (Hyundai Accent WRC) illustrate the quality of the entry along with Longford’s, Tommy Doyle (Renault Clio R3), Conor Harvey (Honda Civic) and the Escort trio of Trevor Mulligan, Damien Gallagher and Brian Brogan.
Meath’s, Peter Wilson (Honda Civic) is the top Class 11 entry and his battle with Jim McKenna (Starlet) and late entry, Damien McCarthy (Honda Civic) should be intriguing.  

The rally is also the opening round of the Dunlop Junior Rally Championship, Monaghan’s, Anthony Hand (Ford Escort), David Moffett (Starlet), Johno Doogan (Escort), Christopher Snow (Civic) and Damien Whoriskey (Escort) are the leading entries.

Organising Club: Monaghan Motor Club.  

Clerk of the Course: Conor Maguire.       

Rally Headquarters: Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan.

First Car Away: Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan. 09.10   
S.S. 1, 4 & 7: Mullynahinch (18.77km) 10.00; 12.52 & 15.44.

S.S. 2, 5 & 8: Magherarny (12.40km) 10.40; 13.32 & 16.09.  

S.S. 3, 6 & 9: Calliagh (18.50km) 11.14; 14.06 & 16.58.   

Service: Monaghan: 09.45; 12.12 & 15.04.

Finish Ramp: Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan. 17.45.  
Top 10 Starters:

1. Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC)

2. Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru WRC)

3. Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru WRC)

4. Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru WRC)

5. Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly (Skoda Fabia S2000)

6. Adrian McElvaney/Paul Kelly (Subaru WRC)

7. Daragh O'Riordan/Tony McDaid (Subaru WRC)

8. Colm Murphy/Don Montgomery (Subaru)

9. Seamus Leonard/John McCafferty (Subaru WRC)

10. Liam McCarthy/Denis O'Mahony (Toyota Corolla WRC)





  Leading from the start, Tim McNulty (Subaru WRC) and co-driver, Paul Kiely won the Manor Hotel Abbeyleix Rally, the first round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship.   They finished 59 seconds ahead of reigning Dunlop champions, Mel Evans/Patrick Walsh, also in Subaru WRC.   Colm Murphy/Don Montgomery in a Group N Subaru were third.   The Group N category, sponsored by Motorsport Safety Team, was won by Monaghan’s, Sam Moffett/James Reilly and the two wheel drive category was won by Tommy Doyle/Liam Moynihan (Renault Clio R3).

McNulty was impressive on the opening stage and took a decisive 26 second lead over the Subaru WRC of Kevin Barrett with reigning Dunlop champion, Mel Evans a second further behind in third.   Colm Murphy (Subaru) set a cracking pace in the Group N category that was strong enough to elevate him to fourth overall in a top six that also featured the Subaru pair of Niall Maguire and James Belton.   Meanwhile, Wexford’s. James Stafford (Darrian) led the two wheel drive category, he was seventh in general classification.   The remaining places in the top ten were taken by Steve Simpson (Subaru), Derek McGarrity (Mitsubishi) and late entry, Sam Moffett (Mitsubishi).

Barrett retired in the second stage with gearbox troubles with the time sheets reflecting Belton setting the fastest time – four seconds ahead of the two-wheel drive Escort of Wesley Patterson.   In overall terms, McNulty led Belton by 26 seconds with Evans some six seconds further behind in third.   Stafford moved into fourth ahead of Group N leader, Colm Murphy.   Another Group N contender, Kevin Kelleher (Mitsubishi) retired with engine difficulties.

On the completion of the final stage of the opening loop, Evans set the pace to move into second trailing McNulty by 28 seconds with a flying Stafford in third place 34 seconds off the top.

Belton was fourth with Colm Murphy maintaining a dominant position in Group N, he was fifth overall followed by Liam McCarthy (Toyota Corolla WRC).    At the service halt, the top ten was completed by Simpson, Patterson, Niall Maguire and Moffett.   McGarrity was eleventh.   Maguire lost some 25 seconds with an overshoot on the second stage.  

Out on the second loop, McNulty stretched his advantage and even though the Meath ace and second place Evans both beat the bogey time on the sixth stage, McNulty led by 41 seconds at the final service halt in Rathdowney.   

Neither driver reported any problems, Evans admitted he had little chance of catching his rival.   Colm Murphy continued to set very quick times as he retained third and moved some 25 seconds ahead of Maguire.   Simpson - on his second ever Irish rally - held fifth from an untroubled Liam McCarthy (Toyota Corolla WRC) and Wesley Patterson (Escort), who led the two wheel drive after Stafford crashed out on S.S. 4.   Sam Moffett (Mitsubishi) was on the wrong tyres for the loop and lost time, particularly on S.S. 5; fellow Group N aces, Thomas Fitzmaurice and Shane Maguire (Subaru) completed the top ten.   Fitzmaurice was concerned by a drop in fuel pressure through stages five and six.  

Meanwhile, a puncture on S.S. 4 that cost substantial time dropped Derek McGarrity to 18th in general classification.   Declan Boyle punctured on S.S. 4 while local hero, Aidan Bourke (Mitsubishi) was building up his confidence after losing some 13 minutes on the third stage with a broken rear differential.

On the remaining loop of three stages around Rathdowney, McNulty continued to dominate and emerged victorious by 59 seconds.   Evans was content to have finished second and admitted McNulty’s opening stage performance was the decisive factor.   Colm Murphy took a fine third.

Just as he appeared to have secured fourth, former champion, Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) lost time with turbo troubles, he eventually finished seventeenth, one place behind Derek McGarrity (Mitsubishi).   Manchester driver, Steve Simpson (Subaru WRC) was fourth followed by Monaghan’s, Sam Moffett (Mitsubishi), who won the Group N category, on the middle loop of stages, he admitted he had selected the wrong tyres.   Liam McCarthy and Wesley Patterson were next in general classification.   Ninth placed, Shane Maguire (Subaru) was the recipient of the Dunlop “Driver of the Day” award and Ian Barrett (Subaru) on his first rally in some three years, was tenth.

James Belton (Subaru WRC) was a late retirement duo to turbo issues.  

1. T. McNulty/P. Kiely (Subaru WRC) 1h. 14m. 02s.

2. M. Evans/P. Walsh (Subaru WRC) 1h. 15m. 01s.

3. C. Murphy/D. Montgomery (Subaru) 1h. 17m. 12s.

4. S. Simpson/F. Curtin (Subaru WRC) 1h. 17m. 39s.

5. S. Moffett/J. Reilly (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 18m. 13s.

6. T. Doyle/L. Moynihan (Renault Clio) 1h. 18m. 50s.

7. L. McCarthy/D. O'Mahony ( Toyota Corolla WRC) 1h. 18m. 52s.

8. W. Patterson/M. McGarrity (Ford Escort) 1h. 18m. 58s.

9. S. Maguire/C. McEnery (Subaru) 1h.   19m. 16s.

10. I. Barrett/E. O’Flaherty (Subaru) 1h. 19m. 27s.

Dunlop National Rally Championship (Positions after Round 1): 1. T. McNulty 20pts; 2. M. Evans 18pts; 3. C. Murphy 16pts; 4. S. Simpson 14pts.

  Photo by Martin Walsh





QUALITY and quantity abound for the opening round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship, the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel Rally on Sunday next (February 27th).
Reigning champions, Welsh aces, Mel Evans and Patrick Walsh (Subaru WRC) head the capacity entry of 151 crews with an additional ten crews in the Junior category and seven in the Historic section reflecting the popularity of the Dunlop backed ten round series.
Evans created Irish rallying history in 2010 when he became the first overseas driver to win the Vard Memorial Trophy, he secured the title on the penultimate round in Clare after a season long battle that involved the Subaru WRC trio of Niall Maguire, Derek McGarrity and Kevin Barrett.

Evans won the opening round last year, finishing 22 seconds ahead of Derek McGarrity.  In Abbeyleix, the battle for supremacy should be intriguing with current Irish Tarmac Championship leader, Tim McNulty (Subaru WRC) seeded behind champion, Evans.  Meath driver, McNulty has decided to contest the opening two rounds of the Dunlop campaign (Abbeyleix and Monaghan) before deciding on the remainder of his 2011 programme.
Triple Dunlop champion, Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) embarks on another national campaign and will be determined to challenge right from the outset.  Last season, on the opening round, he blew a turbo and had to be content with fourth place.  Meanwhile, another Dunlop regular, Kevin Barrett completes a Subaru WRC quartet and will be hoping to avoid the disappointment he suffered at this juncture last season when he retired his Subaru with a sheared wheel stud.

Antrim’s, Derek McGarrity reckons he can be very competitive in his Mitsubishi Evo IX and it will be one of many interesting features in the nine stage encounter, his battle with Limerick’s, Colm Murphy (Subaru N12B) should be fascinating.  This year’s Group N award for the top showroom category driver in overall classification is being sponsored by the Motorsport Safety Team
Cork driver, Liam McCarthy (Toyota Corolla WRC) had few outings in 2010 and may take time to adjust to the pace of the Dunlop regulars.

Reigning champion, Declan Boyle (Ford Escort) is the top seeded two-wheel drive exponent.  Opposition and the remainder of the top ten features Wesley Patterson (Ford Escort) and James Stafford (Darrian T90).  Elsewhere, overseas drivers, James Belton (Subaru WRC) and Steve Simpson (Subaru WRC) are contemplating an attack on the national series.  Former National and Tarmac Group N champion, Kevin Kelleher (Mitsubishi) is seeded at 14, he finished third on last year’s event and may not start as he’s unhappy with his seeded position.  Aidan Bourke (Mitsubishi) is the top local entry and will be followed off the start ramp by Longford’s, Tommy Doyle (Renault Clio R3), who was fourth overall in the recent Galway International Rally.  Also making the trip to contest the Dunlop opener are Escort pair, Mike Quinn and Camillus Bradley.

Current Group N champion, Sean Flanagan (Subaru) is seeded at nineteen, aside from the aforementioned Group N drivers, Pat Kirk (Mitsubishi), Shane Maguire (Subaru), Thomas Fitzmaurice (Mitsubishi), Stephen Cullen (Subaru) and Ian Barrett illustrate the intensity of the showroom category.

Other entries are Pat Donegan, Neil Williams, Trevor Mulligan, Michael Conlon, David Condell, David Percy, James Cassidy and Joe Connolly, all in Ford Escorts, Washington James (Darrian), Maurice Moffett (Toyota Starlet), Rodney White (Sunbeam) and Subaru pair, Mark Nangle and Pat Kelly (Subaru).

Late entries include Vincent O’Shea (Escort Cosworth), Mark Sheahan (Citroen C2R2) and Sam Smyth (Ford Escort).

Cal McCarthy (Honda Civic) is the top entry in the Junior category and the Historic category will be led away by Gerard McCarthy (Triumph TR7)

Organising Club: Birr & District Motor Club.
Clerk of the Course: Bill Ryan.     
Rally Headquarters: Abbeyleix Manor Hotel, Abbeyleix.

First Car Away: Abbeyleix Manor Hotel: 09.10. 

S.S. 1, 4 & 7: Harristown (19.60km) 10.00; 12.21 & 14.42.
S.S. 2, 5 & 8: Grantstown (12.40km) 10.42; 13.03 & 15.24. 
S.S. 3, 6 & 9: Oldtwon (18.50km) 11.11; 13.32 & 15.53.  

Service: Retail Outlet, Rathdowney: 09.35; 11.42 & 14.03.

Finish Ramp: Abbeyleix Manor Hotel: 16.45. 

Top 10 Starters:

1. Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru WRC)
2. Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru WRC)
3. Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC)
4. Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru WRC)
5. Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Mitsubishi EvoIX)
6. Colm Murphy/Don Montgomery (Subaru N12B)
7. Liam McCarthy/Denis O'Mahony (Toyota Corolla WRC)
8. Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Escort)
9. Wesley Patterson/Martin McGarrity (Ford Escort)
10. James Stafford/Frank Dwyer (Darrian T90)

Event Statistics: Main Entry: 151 crews; Juniors: 10 crews & Historics: 7 crews.









As the 2011 Dunlop National Rally Championship, that begins in Abbeyleix at the end of February, gains momentum, the new series is again based on the successful format of previous years, albeit with the one exception – competitors will be able to count their best seven scores from the ten events as opposed to eight from ten that was in operation in previous seasons.  

Last year, for the first time in its illustrious history, the series was won by an overseas crew with Welsh duo, Mel Evans and Patrick Walsh, securing the series on the Clare Rally, the penultimate round of the 2010 campaign.  

Organisers of the opening round of the 2011 series, the Birr & District Motor Club, will host their event in Abbeyleix.   In line with the “opt out” process, the Circuit of Kerry, Circuit of Munster and the Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally will not have Dunlop status in 2011 and will be replaced by the Carlow Rally, the Galway Summer and the Donegal Harvest Rally.

Richard Warbrick, M.D. of Goodyear Dunlop Tyres Ireland commented, “We are delighted to give the series the continuity it deserves.   Since we began our association with the national series in 2000, each event, while retaining its own particular character, also continues to embrace all aspects of the series.   We are conscious that the Dunlop National Rally Championship brings value for money to the competitor and allied to the strong support from the Motorsport Ireland National Rally Championship Sub-Committee, the series continues to achieve that goal.   I think it is one of the aspects that enhances its reputation as being the most popular series in Irish Motorsport.   The prizegiving ceremony is now a major event in the Irish calendar and it is important that the endeavours of the organisers, competitors and supporters are recognised in such fashion.”

The ten events that comprise the 2011 Dunlop National Rally Championship are as follows:

    1. Abbeyleix Rally - 27 th. February.
    2. Monaghan Rally - 17 th. April.(J)
    3. Carlow Rally - 8 th. May (J)
    4. Cavan Rally – 29 th. May  
    5. Raven’s Rock Rally - 26 th. June. (J)
    6. Sligo Rally - 9 th. July.
    7. Galway Summer Rally - 28 th. August. (J)
    8. Clare Rally - 18 th. September. (J)
    9. Donegal Harvest Rally - 8 th. October. (J)
    10. Skibbereen Fastnet Rally - 30 th. October

(J) = Counting round for the Dunlop National Rally Junior Championship.

Best seven (7) events from ten (10) to count, scoring system remains unchanged with 20 points for a win, 18 for second, 16 for third, 14 for fourth, 13 for fifth and onwards  

Meanwhile, Richard Talbot, Chairman of the Dunlop National Rally Championship Sub-Committee said, “Dunlop is one of the top motorsport brands in the world we are delighted to have them as our sponsors for 2011.   The Dunlop National Rally Championship will prove to be very competitive, the format of each rally, with reconnaissance on Saturday and event on Sunday is very popular with competitors as it doesn’t impinge on their work commitments.   The fact that it is seven events from ten rounds to count will give competitors a chance, should they have a few non finishes.”

The sub-committee has worked very hard over the winter months to attract competitors to the championship that will televise highlights of all ten rallies.   This year, the series will have a standard results provider and time cards.



"Motorsport Safety Team" National Group N Award .


WITH the new season of the Dunlop National Rally Championship fast approaching, the organisers of the series, the National Rally Championship Sub-Committee has announced a new sponsor for the Group N category.

Motorsport Safety Team are to underpin the award in 2011 that will be presented to the highest placed Group N crew in the overall standings.   The Motorsport Safety Team, run by Aidan Harper, provide Spectator Control services for many of the principal sporting events in Ireland including rallying. 

In 2011, the top overall Group N crew will be presented with the "Motorsport Safety Group N Cup."   The Motorsport Safety Team are members of the Motorsport Ireland Safety Committee.

The organisers of the ten round Dunlop series wish to thank Patterson’s RallyNews for sponsoring the Group N award for the last five years.   Last year, the title was decided on the final round with Sean Flanagan (Subaru) securing the title after a season long battle with Shane Maguire (Subaru).

Meanwhile, due to the funding and support of the overall sponsor, Dunlop, the clubs of the ten counting rounds and Motorsport Ireland, all rounds of the 2011 Dunlop National Rally Championship will be televised by On The Limit Sports thus ensuring its transmission on (TG4, Motors TV and Sky Sports) to a world wide audience.

The ten events that comprise the 2011 Dunlop National Rally Championship are as follows:

1. Abbeyleix Rally - 27th. February.

2. Monaghan Rally - 17th. April.(J)

3. Carlow Rally - 8th. May (J)

4. Cavan Rally – 29th. May  

5. Raven’s Rock Rally - 26th. June. (J)

6. Sligo Rally - 9th. July.

7. Galway Summer Rally - 28th. August. (J)

8. Clare Rally - 18th. September. (J)

9. Donegal Harvest Rally - 8th. October. (J)

10. Skibbereen Fastnet Rally - 30th. October



FIA  Road Safety Initiative Press Release by Motorsportireland




The President of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Jean Todt, today launched Motorsport Ireland’s new road safety initiative which is supported by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and aimed at young drivers, particularly those aged between 17 and 24 who are most at risk on Irish roads. The initiative is part of Motorsport Ireland’s activity for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety which will be launched on 11 May and aims to save five million lives on the world’s roads over the next ten years.

 From today (16 February 2011), all participants in Irish four-wheeled motorsport will display the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety Tag which has been designed to encourage support for road safety. The tag, which has the message WEAR. BELIEVE. ACT., will reach an Irish audience of hundreds of thousands of motorsport fans with the clear message, ‘Motorsport supports safe driving’.

 Speaking at the launch today, Mr Jean Todt said:

 “Our sport wants to do everything that it can to help spread the message about safe driving. Irish efforts to improve road safety have been most impressive, winning admiration around the globe. But we still believe that we can do more and that motorsport can help. Motorsport internationally has invested millions in safety. Indeed many key modern safety features like ABS brakes, tyre technology and crumple zones were developed in the crucible of motorsport before becoming standard on cars and saving many, many lives.”

 “This initiative is about declaring our support for safer roads and safer drivers, and encouraging our drivers, teams and thousands of fans to do the same.”

 Mr Alex Sinclair, Chief Executive of Motorsport Ireland said:

 “We know that in Ireland young people, and especially young males, are much more likely to be killed on the roads. We also know that motorsport is hugely popular, with fans turning out in their tens of thousands to support our national and international events. Motorsport Ireland is committed to promoting road safety in motorsports and this initiative will contribute to both the national and global campaigns to save lives on our roads.”

 Commenting on the initiative, Mr Noel Brett, Chief Executive of the RSA said:

 Tragically, young men are over represented in road deaths in Ireland. In fact, young men aged between 17 to 24 years of age are five times more likely to die on the road compared to the rest of the driver population. We also know that Ireland probably has one of the highest numbers of rallying fans per head of population in Europe so it is vital that we engage with this group at their level and in their space to effect changes in attitudes and behaviour. We are delighted to support Motorsport Ireland’s initiative which will take the safe driving message straight to the most important audience. It will show that if you love driving and you love motorsport, then you should respect the roads and drive safely.”

  Motorsport Ireland’s message was supported by its two young Ambassadors for Road Safety, rally drivers Craig Breen (21) from Waterford, and Toni Kelly (22) from Donegal. Their messages to young drivers are simple:

 o        Taking risks on public roads isn’t cool.

 o        If a young driver wants to practise their skill behind the wheel of a car, they can do so in a controlled environment through organised Motorsport events.

 All participants in Motorsport will now be encouraged to “Wear the TAG”, the metal badge that declares their support for the Decade of Action for Road Safety. The tag and further information on the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety is available at

 For media queries, please contact:

 Claire Gunning, Motorsport Ireland           086 8123651

Conor Faughnan, AA Ireland                   087 2530495

Brian Farrell, Road Safety Authority         086 3881009

 Motorsport Ireland’s Activity for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety:

 ·         Signage based on 8 x 4 sheets mounted between stages in Rallies

 ·         Recruitment of part time MI Road Safety Officer (RSO), Robert Lyttle

 ·         Recruitment of MI Ambassadors, Rally drivers Craig Breen and  (Ms.)Toni Kelly

          Displays to coincide with motorsport events throughout the country involving Road versus Rally cars to demonstrate differences

 ·         Standard media pack to accompany demonstrations

 ·         Working with local authorities & RSOs

 ·         Each local motor club to appoint volunteer RSO

 ·         Club programme will be co-ordinated by RL & MI office.



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