Midland Moto Rally: Preview

The Admore Air Conditioning Corp Midland Moto Rally features a strong entry including reigning and several former national rally champions for Sunday’s nine stage rally.

It is hosted by the Midland Motor Club with Jeremy O’Connor as clerk of the course.

The Longford Arms Hotel will be the headquarters for the event. In addition to the Triton series, the rally is also counting rounds of the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship and Hugo Loonam Motors Midlands East Rally Championship.

Advertisement

Two years ago Sam Moffett won the event and went on to claim the Triton series and the Vard Memorial Trophy, however, the Monaghan driver is not contesting the nine stage rally.

His younger brother Josh, a winner of the opening Triton round in Abbeyleix, is the top seed on the entry.

Josh has won the Irish Tarmac Championship and the Irish Forest series but so far, the Triton National series has eluded him.

The entry has all the major national championship contenders including triple national champion Donegal’s Declan Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC), who was second on the opening round in Abbeyleix.

Boyle won the Power Stage in Abbeyleix to gain an additional championship point and will begin in Longford just a point behind Josh Moffett.

Fermanagh’s Garry Jennings will compete in his Subaru WRC.

Ex- Triton champion Clonmel’s Roy White (Ford Fiesta WRC) recovered to finished third on the opening round, two years ago on this event, he was runner-up to Sam Moffett.

It is 27 years since Warrenpoint’s Peadar Hurson won the national series, he remains ultra competitive and has won many events in the intervening years and remains a threat.

The list of past national champions continues with Monaghan driver Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC), the first to win three titles, also on the Midland entry.

Donegal’s Joe McGonigle (Mini WRC) is also contesting the event.  The top ten includes the two-wheel drive trio of Cavan pair Gary Kiernan and Chris Armstrong in Ford Escorts and Wexford’s James Stafford (Darrian).

In the Motorsport Safety Team Group N category former champion Monaghan’s Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi EvoIX) will have Donegal duo Michael Boyle and Trevor Bustard (Mitsubishi EvoIX’s) and Dubliner Neil Tohill (Mitsubishi EvoX) as opposition.

Meanwhile Carrick on Shannon’s Sean Gallagher and Shane O’Rourke, will also be competiting for honours.

Former Irish Tarmac champion John Coyne will campaign a Porsche 997 GT3.

There are a number of Longford drivers competing including Drumlish duo Pakie Duffy (Honda Civic) and Stephen Faughnan (Escort.

Longford town driver Sam Johnston (Honda Civic), Lanesborough’s Stephen Healy (Toyota Corolla) and Newtownforbes driver James Reilly, also in a Toyota Corolla.  Ronan Quinn from Moydow competes in a Ford Escort.

Prior to the event, mechanical scrutiny take place this Saturday evening from 2pm until 7.30pm at Mastertech Business Park, Athlone Road, Longford.

On Sunday, the first car away from parc ferme at the Old Army Barracks, Longford is at 9.10am with the finish ramp celebrations at Main Street, adjacent to the Longford Arms Hotel at 5.00pm.

DETAILS:

Organising Club: Midland Motor Club.

Clerk of the Course: Jeremy O’Connor.

Rally Headquarters: Longford Arms Hotel, Longford. (043) 334 6296

PROVISIONAL TOP 10 STARTERS:

  1. Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes (Ford Fiesta WRC)
  2. Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
  3. Gary Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Subaru WRC)
  4. Roy White/James O’Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC)
  5. Niall Maguire/James O’Reilly (Subaru WRC)
  6. Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly (Ford Fiesta WRC)
  7. Joseph McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney (Mini WRC)
  8. Gary Kiernan/Ryan Moore (Ford Escort)
  9. Chris Armstrong/Gavin Doherty (Ford Escort)
  10. James Stafford/Jeff Case (Darrian)

TIMES & PLACES

First Car Away: 09. 10.

S.S. 1, 4 & 7: Killashee (9.50km) 9.39, 12.21 & 14.20.

S.S. 2, 5 & 8: Newtowncashel (9.90km) 10.13, 12.55 & 15.37.

S.S. 3, 6 & 9: Keenagh (18.70km) 10.48, 13.30 & 16.12.

Service: Mastertech Business Park, Athlone Road, Longford. 9.16, 11.38 & 14.20

Finish Ramp: Longford Arms Hotel, Longford. 16.54