Birr Stages 2018 – Sample Video & Stage Speed Traces.

The Birr Stages Rally 2017. Birr MC have put together a fine combination stages for the 2018 event. A good mixture of surfaces and roads, from fast and flowing to narrow and technical. An additional chicane will be added to SS 2 at 7.1 Km due a small flood that developed over the weekend.

Below is a short sample video along with our usual stage data samples.



 


Notes & DVD are now available. Telephone either (ROI) 048 9084411 or (NI) 028 90844111 or order online at RallyNews.net – Click Here

 

2018 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship Preview – by Kevin O’Driscoll.

2018 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship Preview

The 2018 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship gets underway on St. Patricks weekend, the 17th & 18th March with the Quality Hotel Clonakilty West Cork Rally. With the traditional season opener, the Galway International Rally not running this year it means the lead up to this year’s series is six weeks longer. This doesn’t appear to have dimmed the enthusiasm of the crews looking to participate though, with strong interest from most of the regular contenders.

Last year’s champion Sam Moffett had a remarkable year, winning championships both on tarmac and forestry surfaces. While not planning as hectic a schedule for 2018, he does nonetheless plan to defend his title starting with West Cork in March. With two outright wins on international rallies last year Sam with co-driver Karl Atkinson will be pushing hard to add to that list for this year. Sam’s younger brother Josh is also looking forward to the forthcoming season after a mixed year last year. He will be hoping for a more consistent run in 2018 and had his best result of the championship in Clonakilty last year when he finished second overall and took his only maximum points score of the year. He had a titanic struggle with Sam on the Cork 20 only to go off the road on the final stage when leading and will be hoping for better luck this year.

Sam Moffett & Karl Atkinson 2017 ITC Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Champions

Robert Barrable only competed on four rounds last year and finished on two of them. He brought the first Hyundai i20 R5 to Ireland and showcased its enormous potential with some strong performances and very quick times. Rob estimates he is 80% certain to contest this year’s championship but hasn’t disclosed which car it will be at this time.

Desi Henry is another driver who has yet to announce which car he will have for 2018, but has committed to the championship for the coming year. Jonny Greer also plans to be in West Cork having only done two rounds last year as he concentrated on BRC commitments. Jonny has had some very good results in Clonakilty in the past and a repeat of this in March would get his campaign off to a very good start.

Stephen Wright did very little rallying in the latter half of 2017 and in general it was a frustrating season for the Monaghan driver. He is looking forward to committing to a full championship campaign starting in Clonakilty. Brendan Cumiskey is another who is looking to compete again this year while Keith Lyons from Limerick is moving up to a Fiesta R5 for 2018 and also plans to be in Clonakilty.

A lot of attention was focused on Eugene Donnelly’s deal with MRF to drive a Hyundai i20 R5 for the coming year and Eugene is currently working on testing the new car to get it ready for Irish roads and is pleased with progress to date. 2016 champion Keith Cronin and 2017 runner up Alastair Fisher haven’t made any firm commitments for the coming year yet but neither have ruled out competing on the Tarmac series.

The Irish Tarmac Rally Championship is heading into its 40th season having started back in 1978 (the 2001 championship didn’t happen due to Foot & Mouth Disease). Over the years some of the best drivers in Ireland and the UK have taken the title with Eugene Donnelly & Austin McHale leading the roll of honour with five titles each.

Donnelly is the last driver to retain his title (in 2007) which gives an idea of the task facing Sam Moffett this year. Other drivers who have taken the title more than once over the years include the likes of Bertie Fisher, Jimmy McRae, Mark Lovell, Kenny McKinstry, Andrew Nesbitt and Derek McGarrity.

by Kevin O’Driscoll,
T.R.O.A. Press Officer,

Navigation Rally Challenge set to attract new rally competitors.

Navigation Rally Challenge by Dungannon Motor Club

This year sees the introduction of a new 3 event navigation challenge aimed at encouraging new competitors to the field of navigation rallying, the three events making up the challenge are.

2nd Mar  Enniskillen MC, Erne Safari Rally
9th Mar, Dunganon  MC Snowdrop Rally
30th Mar, Cookstown MC Souse Developments Rally.

To prepare beginners for these events Dungannon MC are running a 4 week navigation course beginning Wed 7th February in Dungannon Rugby Club, the course will provide the students with all the knowledge and techniques they need to participate in the events. Traditionally table top rally schools and rally navigation class’s have provided the stepping stone to greater things for some our top competitors.

Anyone interested in attending please contact

David White – email david123white@btinternet.com.

Triton Showers National Championship – Seven round Calendar as Carlow bows out and Sligo slips in.

TRITON SHOWERS & THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN by Martin Walsh

Achill Island, the largest island off the coast of Ireland, will host the opening round of this year’s Triton Showers National Rally Championship. Linked to the mainland by Michael Davitt Bridge – the road network on Achill Island while showcasing some stunning scenery, will provide the ultimate challenge for the competitors in the Óstán Oileán Acla/Connacht Print and Signs Mayo Rally on March 11th. next.

This year’s championship will consist of seven events, the Sligo Rally replaces the ALMC Rally while the Carlow Rally will not be part of the series this year due to a switch of dates. In effect, the series will be based on the best five scores from seven events.

Speaking ahead of the opening round, Kevin Barrett, MD of Tritin Showers said, “Triton Showers have decided to continue its sponsorship of the National Rally Championship. Back in 2015, we agreed to underpin the series for a three-year term. During that time and particularly in the past year Irish motorsport has experienced tough times with rising costs and depleted entry lists. With that in mind, we have agreed to continue our association with the series for 2018.”

Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC) – Triton Showers will underpin the 2018 National Rally Championship. Photo: Martin Walsh.

“This year, due to a fundraising event, the Carlow Rally has moved from its traditional date and as a consequence, will not form part of the series that will now consist of seven rounds with the best five scores to count.”

The Triton Showers National Rally Championship will get underway with the Mayo Rally in Achill Island on March 11th. and will conclude in County Donegal in early October.” Kevin added, “In our three years to date with the national championship, we have had three different champions, Monaghan’s Sam Moffett last year, Clonmel’s Roy White in 2016 and Donegal’s Donagh Kelly in 2015. Who knows, we may have another new champion in 2018. Time and the seven rounds will reveal the outcome.”

Former champion Declan Boyle is aiming for his third title. He outlined his plans, “Yes, I am going to Birr for a run out and then Mayo to sign up for the Triton and take it from there. I’m looking to do a lot of rallying before Donegal and see how I am getting on with the championship, hopefully better than last year.”

Declan will have a new co-driver this year. “Brian (his cousin) is not sitting with me this year, he has too much on with work and everything. Brian did well for me and I’m sad to see him pack it in but that’s life, nothing lasts for ever.”
“James O Reilly from Monaghan is going to do a few events with me until we see how we get on with each other, I’m sure we will get on fine, he has plenty of experience and has been with Sam Moffett for a few years so we’ll give it a go anyway.” While he will campaign his usual Fiesta R5, he added, “I will get an R5 later in the year, there is more new ones coming out again soon so will have to keep an eye out to see what is the best one to get.”

The Óstán Oileán Acla/Connacht Print and Signs Mayo Rally will feature a loop of three stages repeated three times for a total of 110 kilometres. Service after S.S. 3 and S.S. 6 is at the Keel Sandybanks Caravan & Camping Park in Keel. The ceremonial start takes place on Saturday March 10th in Achill Sound at 8pm. Headquarters is at the Óstán Oileán Acla.

Geographically, the seven counting rounds of the 2018 Triton Showers National Rally Championship are split as follows: the province of Munster host three rounds, Connacht and Ulster will each have two rounds. It’s the first time in several years that the province of Leinster will not feature in the national series. The seven rounds are as follows:

1. Mayo Rally (March 11)
2. Circuit of Kerry Rally (April 8)
3. Cavan Rally (May 27)
4. Sligo Rally (July 8)
5. Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally (August 12)
6. Clare Rally (September 16)
7. Donegal Harvest Rally (October 6)

…………………………………………………………

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

Dance to Tipperary to sponsor Irish Tarmac Rally Championship

London based music collective backs Ireland’s elite rally for three years

The Tarmac Rally Organisers Association (TROA) has last evening (Sunday 19 November 2017) confirmed it has reached agreement with Dance To Tipperary as title sponsor for the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship (ITRC).

The deal is for an initial three years, – 2018, 2019 and 2020 – with the championship being known henceforth as the Dance To Tipperary Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

Dance To Tipperary is a London based predominately Irish music collective founded in 1998. Over the past two decades, it has developed a unique and successful enterprise combining Irish, EDM, Celtic, Rock, Pop, Techno and Trance music to create a flow of Top 30 Hits and No.1 Dance Singles with sales in more than 35 countries.

The ITRC is Ireland’s number one rallying championship combining seven events around the country – north and south.

Dance to Tipperary will be the official title branded partner of the championship as well as the coproduction and distribution partner for its TV and media feeds. You could call it an early stage dynamic new Irish sports version of the hugely successful Red Bull Media House!

The sponsorship agreement gives Dance To Tipperary co-branding and co-title of the championship, on-event signage including decals on all championship entries and co-branding on official championship merchandise.

Dance To Tipperary also intends to appoint select brand ambassadors for the Dance To Tipperary Irish Tarmac Rally Championships TV, Radio, and online media output. These will be selected from drivers and co-drivers, radio and TV personalities, YouTube Stars, musicians and other longtime associates and friends. The main criteria will be that the brand ambassadors represent the core brand values of both Dance To Tipperary and the Championship.

Brand Ambassadors and other details of the sponsorship to be announced at the official launch of the Dance To Tipperary Irish Tarmac Championship on December 9th.

TROA Chairman David Gray said

“We are thrilled to welcome Dance To Tipperary on board. As rallying supporters know, the environment is challenging for sponsors. TROA board members worked carefully over recent months to secure this deal. Dance To Tipperary is a name well known and familiar to many rally fans. We look forward to working with them for the 2018 championship and in the years ahead to further build the ITRC as a championship and event with an even greater experience for participants and supporters alike”.

TROA Director Colman Hegarty said,

“although the past ten days brought some disappointing news for the ITRC, we are immensely happy to have secured a three-year commitment with a brand like Dance To Tipperary that knows and understands the true value, sports and lifestyle exposure the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship brings in a modern digital world and we look forward to making the Championship even more attractive to other brands and media partners with their assistance during that period.

TROA Championship Manager Paddy Flanagan added

“We are delighted to have secured a title sponsor who truly understands Irish rallying, promotion, new media, and shares a mutual love and respect of our sport and its fans”

In response, Tricia Kelly accordion player of Dance To Tipperary and originally from Cape Clear in Co.Cork said,

“it is 20 years next year since we started Dance To Tipperary and the sport of rallying played a big role in our early success. It feels right to begin our celebration of 20 years of Dance To Tipperary by availing of this opportunity and becoming the title sponsor of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. Rallying is an attractive, accessible sport for men, women and youth alike. We already have many fans in common and look forward to reaching many more together. We believe that we can help further build the appeal of the Championship working with TROA to apply the experience and knowledge gained in building our brand to make the most of this wonderful year-round championship and great exciting country-wide events”.

John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally – Antrim beckons amid ERT Inclusion.

The John Mulholland Motor Group has tonight confirmed that as it continues to support the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally, the event will move back to Antrim for 2018. Equally exciting, is the news that the rally will be a counting round of the FIA European Rally Trophy (Celtic Rally Trophy)) and will continue to form part of both the British Rally Champiosnhip and the Irish Tarmac Championship.

Making the announcement, event sponsor John Mulholland said “We’d like to send a personal thank you to all the local councillors from all parties on the Antrim and Newtownabbey council for assisting us in bringing the rally to the historic stages of County Antrim. This is also fantastic news for us with our Randalstown showroom a short hop from all the action”

The rally was last based in Antrim in 2012 before a move to Enniskillen and more recently to the Ebrington facility in Londonderry. The Ulster Rally forms part of the British Rally Championship, the Irish Tarmac Championship and theFIA European Rally Trophy (Celtic Rally Trophy)) and will next run in August 2018.

John Mulholland went on to say “The economic benefit to the Borough cannot be understated with an anticipated 16,000 visitors generating income in excess of £1 million with local hotels and guesthouses set to profit from an additional 2,500 bed nights alone”

John Mulholland Motor Group in partnership with the Northern Ireland Motor Club are determined to make the 2018 Ulster Rally the most successful in the entire history of the event. We will be attracting some of the biggest names in the sport from UK, Europe and beyond who will compete over some of the most iconic stages in Irish rallying. We have some very exciting plans which will be unveiled in due course.

It is hoped that the Ulster Rally will continue to be staged in Antrim for the subsequent 2019 and 2020 events.

Easter Stages Return for 2018

In their own words, the UAC announced today that the Easter Stages will run in 2018. Press realease follows:

The Ulster Automobile Club are delighted to announce preliminary plans for our Easter Stages Rally on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th April 2018.

The new look exciting two-day closed road rally will cover some of the classic stages in County Antrim and will be a counting round of the 2018 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

The Rally will consist of two events with some entrants competing over two days and others on the Saturday only. We are keen to encourage entries for both events which will be of National status.

Regulations and further details will be released during the next two months.

RPM Launches ‘A MAGNIFICENT SEVEN’ DVD

Thursday nights haven’t quite been the same for rally enthusiast’s in Ireland since RPM departed our TV’s screens a couple of year’s ago, but somewhere deep in the County Down countryside, the RPM production crew have been not been sitting idly by. Instead, RPM’ s Plum Tyndall has put together a brilliant new three volume DVD box set featuring seven of the fastest and exciting Irish drivers not already featured in the RPM “Tarmac Titan” series.

Alan (Plum) Tyndall, who is the Producer and Presenter of ‘A Magnificent Seven’ told us “Our magnificent seven dipped in and out of our sport for various reasons, financial, business, and even perhaps a lack of ambition, but they are all truly great drivers who deserve to be remembered. This production compliments our Tarmac Titan Series which has already covered the rally careers of Billy Coleman, Jimmy McRae, Bertie Fisher, Frank Meagher, Austin MacHale, Kenny McKinstry, Andrew Nesbitt and Eugene Donnelly.”

The featured Drivers are: JOHN LYONS – the Belfast bank official who could have gone professional; JAMES CULLEN – the Donegal driver who fought to win and beat financial burdens; STEPHEN FINLAY – who shone on the stages but shied from publicity; JAMES LECKEY – Down’s sensational short-stay racer; IAN GREER – The quiet and quick Hillsborough driver; LIAM O’CALLAGHAN – Cork’s determined stage star who came from a rallying family; KEVIN LYNCH – the County Derry novice, a winner from the outset.

THREE VOLUMES or a BOX SET
These epic DVDs can be purchased online in three separate volumes or as a box set.

Vol. I John Lyons & James Cullen £16.99 + P&P
Vol. II Steven Finlay, James Leckey & Ian Greer £16.99 + P&P
Vol. III Liam O’Callaghan & Kevin Lynch £16.99 + P&P

A Magnificent Seven Box Set (all 3 volumes) £40.00 + P&P

Available at www.rpm-motorsport.com. from the 29th. September 2017

Clare Stages 2017 – Sample Video & Stage Speed Traces.

The Clare Stages Rally 2017. Clare MC have put together a fine combination stages for the 2017 event. A good mixture of surfaces and roads, from fast and flowing to narrow and technical, it will, without doubt, challenge all the crews in the right way. Below is a short sample video along with our usual stage data samples.




Notes & DVD are now available. Telephone either (ROI) 048 9084411 or (NI) 028 90844111 or order online at RallyNews.net – Click Here

 

Sunset Rally Cancelled-Storm Damage too Severe.

After the devastating storms that swept across the North West of Ireland on Tuesday 22nd August, Magherafelt and District Motor Club issued the following statement regarding the cancellation of this Friday night’s Sunset Stages.

“RAINFALL DROWNS SUNSET!

As many of you will be aware parts of the North of Ireland were badly affected by torrential rain last night (23rd). This evening, upon inspection of our Stages for the Sunset Rally, due to the devastation caused, we are left with no choice but to cancel the event. This decision was not taken lightly, however, the Stages are impassable. We apologise unreservedly to our sponsors and competitors, and we thank everyone who was involved in the months of preparation for this event, and all those who volunteered their services on the night. We had great interest and support for the Sunset and our entry list was growing by the day; so we are extremely disappointed that we have had to take this decision.
Yours in rallying,
Magherafelt and District Motor Club.