SEVEN ROUND CHAMPIONSHIP
THREE FORESTRY, FOUR TARMAC
PROMOTED BY: CARLOW; CARRICK-ON-SUIR; MUNSTER; TIPPERARY AND WEXFORD MOTOR CLUBS LTD.
The Ravens Rock Rally is round four of the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship and all roads lead to the Marble City of Kilkenny for the Carrick-on-Suir Motor Club’s annual tarmac rally. As ever the event attracts Irelands leading exponents of tarmac rallying with the welcome addition of our near neighbours from Wales who are attracted by the opportunity to rally on “proper” roads, the quality of the stages and the friendliness of the organising clubs.
To date there are two forestry and one tarmac events successfully completed and already there is one clear leader, It is said that winning your first of anything is the most difficult but once you start on your winning ways the more successful you become. There are many reasons proposed for this mainly in the business sections of the media and among the sports analysts. Shay Power, the 2011 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship winner is back on his winning ways. Three events, three class wins and one of these is his bonus round with double points. The only change to last year’s winning formula is a change of navigator, but that has yet to faze Shay. So it’s Shay Power and John Rafter from class 5 out in front with 60 points, in the ever reliable Ford Escort MK2. Last year’s Ravens Rock was a major non-finish as a throttle cable broke within walking distance of his home. It won’t happen again!
Second O/A is another quite and determined pairing of Paschal O’Shea and Robbie Hennessey, Class2, Ford Escort 1600, 46 points Paschal arrived in rallying in recent years and went through the usual learning curve of finding out a reliable package. Robbie has been round the stages and the rally business for a few years now and is a quiet and reliable source of information. Two class wins, one forestry, one tarmac but a non finish on the Moonraker was a small hiccup. As with Shay, he is equally adept on either surface.
Third overall are Ray Benskin (jnr) and Ollie Kierce, Class 3, 45 points and once again a Ford Escort MK2. They usually are regarded are forestry (only) competitors and are keeping their powder dry and the budget intact for the next forestry round, the Sean Conlon Forestry rally in July. Their position may well be under threat as the tarmac specialists make inroads to their points position.
Class1. Starting their championship quest in Carlow were Ken Treacy / Martin Comerford, Peugeot 206 who took the class win in and bonus points. They are comfortable leaders on 20 points. The remaining crews competed on the forestry rounds but did not finish.
Class2. Leading the class are the ever competitive Mick Nevin / David Forde, Ford Escort MK2 with 41 points. Mick is expected to up his pace and put more pressure on his class rivals. Pierce Doheny / Damian Lawlor, Opel Corsa are currently second on 33 points. They may count the Ravens Rock as a dropped score as Pierce is on official duty. Jimmy Doyle / Andrew Griffin, Toyota Starlet, 24 points. The lads started the championship in Carlow, were second on the day and had bonus points to give them a dream start.
Class3. Adrian McElhinney / Shane Buckley, Peugeot 206, 31 points. This crew has made the long trek from Donegal to compete in the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship. They are concentrating on the forestry rounds due to budgetary constraints. John Lynch / Brian Kirwan, Citron C2, are on 30 points, all from Carlow. There may be a pause in their program due to a recent mishap. Andrew Fanning / Derek Gibbs, Ford Puma, 25 points. The majority of the points are from the forestry rounds, expect them to rise to the challenge on the remaining rounds.
Class 4. John Murphy / Niall Fitzpatrick, Ford Escort MK2, have 36 points. Three solid second in class places are on a steady line but the curve may well go up as they gain experience. Leo Doyle / Gordon Manley, Ford Escort Mk2, have 30 points from the class win and bonus points in Carlow. They may come under pressure from third placed crew, Alan and James Commins Ford Escort MK2 with 12 points. The normal reliability associated with Alan is missing but perhaps it’s only a temporary blimp.
Class 5. Sharing the class lead are James Coleman / Kay Shanahan and Mickey McGillen / Aaron Johnston, both in Ford Escort MK2’s and 25 points each. James and Kay are taking the rough with the smooth (forest and tar!) whilst Mickey and Aaron and sticking to the forestry.
David Condell / Ken Blanch, Ford Escort MK2 are serious tarmac competitors, have 20 points from Carlow but are expected to pile them on as the championship progresses. Johnny Curran / Mikey Walsh, Ford Escort Mk2 are on 21 points.
Class 6. Garry Jennings / AN Other, Subaru 555, has 36 points from the forestry events. May not appear again until the Tipperary Forestry. Gemma Kerley / Lynn Martin, Subaru Impreza, are second on 22 points and are the only all ladies crew contesting the championship. Vincent and James McAree, Mitsubishi Evo 9, are third on 20 points. Another serious fast forestry crew who may not appear again until the Tipperary forestry in Mitchelstown.
That’s the current state of play in the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship. We look forward to a safe, exciting and challenging weekends sport in Kilkenny under the baton of John Rafter and his hard working team.
At this juncture I would like to send our condolences to all of the families who are suffering as a consequence of the recent tragic rally accidents. As promoters of stages rallying, we also appeal to all involved in the many events that take place throughout the country, to please put safety foremost in your minds. Rallying is not a sport when it is marred by tragedies.
The remaining rounds of the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship are:
The Ravens Rock Stages Rally, Kilkenny, Sunday 24 June. Tarmac rally.
The Sean Conlon Memorial Forestry Rally. Mitchelstown. Sun. 08 July. Forestry rally.
The Stonethrowers Stages Rally, Clonmel, Sunday 12 August. Tarmac rally.
The Dick Bailey, Wexford Stages Rally, Wexford, Sat.8, Sun 9, Sept. Tarmac rally.
2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship Registrar; Ann Fitzgerald, The Cross, Mooncoin, Via Waterford. ‘Phone / fax. 051 895238. Email; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Press officer, Joe O’Brien, Carrick Beag, Carrick-on-Suir. 086 3154442