The dust has well settled on the coastal stages for this year’s Ravens Rock Rally. The location and the compact nature of the stages made for a fantastic rally. That local international rally competitor, Craig Breen, wheeled out the Fiesta WRC to blow the cobwebs from the exhaust was just one of the many bonuses. The recce on Saturday was so easy there was time to enjoy more than the odd ice cream and refreshing shandy. The rally was well received in the area and the stages were excellent. It was perhaps the sole opportunity of this generation of competitors to compete on former Circuit of Ireland stages. Who knows, only time will tell.
The Ravens Rock was the fifth round of the 2014 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship and although the overall position hasn’t changed the title race is narrowing. Usually at this stage of the TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship there are just two tarmac events to run, with the forestry competitors easing back to see who will maintain the pressure from the tarmac crews, but this year there is still the Carrick-on-Suir Willie Loughman forestry rally to take place in October. The event was postponed due to the, almost forgotten, storms that raged earlier in the year.
Douglas Stewart / Billy Ryan, class 3, Peugeot are still first overall, having a perfect score of 60points from just three forestry outings. This was achieved with three wins of maximum points plus the bonus points.
Battling their way into second overall on 59 points is the Monaghan crew of Mickey Conlon / Ciaran McPhillips, class 5, Escort MK2. This crew are competing on tarmac and forestry events and are very entertaining to watch. I suspect that the next three rounds are in their scope and it will be hard not to back against them.
Third overall on 56 points are Pierce Doheny /Eilish Dunne in the class 1 Opel Corsa. Pierce was again a stage commander on this years’ Ravens Rock foregoing any chance of increasing their points tally. Pierce is the defending TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Champion. Perhaps the rest from competition will rejuvenate him for the remaining three rounds.
Competition in the classes is equally tight with nobody safe in their current positions. As the pundits on TV say “it’s still all to play for” and with three rounds to go some dark horse may yet enter at this late stage. The minimum of three counting rounds are still to compete on.
1 Andrew Fanning / D Gibbs. Ford Ka. 26 pts.
Will the newest car appear in this his local event? It’s a stunner!
2 Ken Treacy / P. Knox. Peugeot 206. 20 pts.
Late championship register on the Ravens Rock. Was on duty for the Carlow event.
1 Francis Kelly / C. Egan. Opel Corsa. 46 pts.
2 Niall Fitzpatrick / G. Fitzpatrick Escort MK1 45 pts.
3 Kieran O’Sullivan / P. O’Gorman. Escort MK2. 32 pts.
1 Andy Nash / TBA. Honda Civic. 48 pts.
= 2 Richard Dalton / G. Nash. Honda Civic. 36 pts.
= 2 Bobby Hennessey / S. J. Stamp. Escort MK2. 36 pts.
3 Eamon Bates / J. Sinnot. Honda Civic. 35 pts.
1 Sean W. Benskin / J. Fitzgibbon. Escort MK2. 48 pts.
2 Ray Benskin (jnr) / N. Hegarty. Escort MK2. 40 pts.
3 Diarmuid Lynch / J. Falvey. Escort MK2. 27 pts.
1 Shane McGirr / Martin MacGarrity. Toyota Starlet. 45 pts.
2 Emmet Lyons / Kevin Purcell. Honda Civic. 38 pts.
3 Joe Connolly / J. Connolly. Escort MK2. 32 pts.
1 Mark Murphy / A. Wyllie. Mitsubishi Evo 8. 34 pts.
2 Dan O’Brien / M. Glennester. Ford Focus. 27 pts.
3 Paul Barrett / Declan Tumilty. Mitsubishi EVO 6. 26 pts.
1 Conor McCarthy / D. O’Donovan. Honda Civic. 43 pts.
2 Sean W. McGrath / D. Walsh. Honda Civic. 22 pts.
3 Shane Norris / C. Boland. Honda Civic. 1 pt.
This weekend the Tipperary Motor Club and the team with John Ward have laid on the usual testing stages in the Suir Valley, within sight of Slieve na mban. I expect the positions to change again but rallying is as ever totally unpredictable. The TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship is class based making predictions mere speculation.
- ROUND 1. The Sean Conlon Memorial Forestry rally. February 2nd
- ROUND 2. The Munster Moonraker Forestry Rally. Ballyvourney in Co. Cork. April 13
- ROUND 3. Carlow Stages Rally. Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow. May 11
- ROUND 4. ALMC Forestry Rally based in Glendalough Hotel, Wicklow. May 17 2 stages X 2.
- ROUND 5. Carrick-on-Suir Ravens Rock Rally. Waterford. June 29 Tarmac
- ROUND 6. Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally. Clonmel. August 10 Tarmac
- ROUND 7. Wexford Stages Rally. September 13th / 14th. Tarmac (regs. available)
- ROUND 8. The Willie Loughman Memorial Forestry Rally Oct. 12th
- O’Brien email@example.com 086 315 4442