Top TROA Points for Fisher in Donegal – Kevin O’Driscoll

Alastair Fisher & Gordon Noble responded to their disappointing Rally of the Lakes result in the perfect way by taking maximum points on the Joule Donegal International Rally. A superb drive saw them net second place behind Manus Kelly after an event long battle with great rivals Sam Moffett & Karl Atkinson where there was little more than a handful of seconds between them for most of the rally.  Only nine seconds separated the pair overnight but with conditions very wet on the first Fanad stage on Sunday morning, Sam wisely decided to prioritise a good points finish instead of risking everything over the remaining stages.

Josh Moffett moved into third place in the championship as he continued to build confidence after his Monaghan accident and would have been a lot closer to the leading pair only for a puncture on one of the Saturday stages. Robert Barrables championship hopes suffered a damaging blow as he crashed out of the event on the fifth stage at Letterleague on Friday. Aaron MacHale was another to finish in the scenery on Friday as the tremendous pace took its toll. Joe McGonigle went off the road on the opening stage and lost three minutes and spent the rest of the weekend climbing back up the field to 7th only to retire on the final loop with a broken driveshaft.  Pauric Duffy had one of his best international results to date finishing in sixth overall and earning ten championship points in the process.

Marty Gallagher & Dean O’Sullivan finished an excellent ninth overall and were the top R2 registered finishers while John Mulholland finished 11th overall in his fabulous gold Skoda Fabia R5. John Coyne led class six in the Tuthill Porsche but wiper failure forced them out on the Sunday as conditions got very tricky. Gavin Kelly finished third in Group N but took maximum points for the category in the championship while William Creighton also gained valuable points in the R2 class. Joe Connolly was another registered competitor who failed to finish what was a very tough and demanding Donegal Rally.

Provisional Championship Top 5 Overall

1 – Sam Moffett                  57
2 – Alastair Fisher              49.5
3 – Josh Moffett                  37
4 – Joe McGonigle            27
5 – Robert Barrable          26


Kevin O’Driscoll


Kevin O’Driscoll

T.R.O.A Press Officer,

Tyrone Stages – Rally Launch and Sample Stage Video

It was a balmy Friday evening in June when the 2017 Tyrone Stages Rally organised by Cookstown Motor Club was launched at McNulty Motors near Coalisland. McNulty Motors will be main sponsor for the Tyrone Stages Rally at end of July 2017 (Sat 29th) and the event will encompass three new stages to be run on closed public roads in the Stewartstown, Ardboe, Newmills areas.
The event is a qualifying round of the 2017 ANICC MSA McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship and a round of the Road to Wales competition.

The Closed public road stages are all new. They have never been closed for rally use before and are all 100% tarmacadam surfaces. There will be an approx total of 45miles (72 Kms) with 3 stages run 3 times.

They are generally smooth and challenging with good technical sections as can be seen in the sample video below.

The professional TV crews and interviewer filmed the top drivers from the locality including Enda McNulty himself, Adrian Hetherington and Richard Somerville, both stage sponsors, Frank Kelly and Declan Hall, all of whom intend to compete on the event.

Other support for the event comers from Mid Ulster Council, the Body Stop Craigavon and the A29 Garage Services.

Regulations and Entry forms can be found at the Motorclub website

Donegal Rally 2017 – Pacenotes Insight.

With the Donegal Rally fast approaching, we thought we would give a quick insight into the Patterson Pacenotes for one of the classic Donegal rally stages. The Atlantic Drive test has been running for many year’s and offers the crews a a hugely demanding challenge over the narrow twisting roads in the north of Donegal, this is offset with stunning views and of course the wild Atlantic lapping close to road in places. We have included a full set of notes for the stage and a full video. The video is recorded when are checking/making the notes so if you listen carefully, you will hear the notes being called initially, and if required, the driver makes some adjustments and that is reflected in the final notes. The roads for the Atlantic drive this year have seen some improvements, and in places, there are some big upgrades to the notes. The video is made using the descriptive notes and it is interesting to see the video working with notes. We have also included both the Numbered notes system and the 6 Fastest system to give an idea. Wether you are a competitor or fan – enjoy one the Donegal Rallies finest stages.

Descripitve Notes

[pdfjs-viewer url=”” viewer_width=350px viewer_height=300px fullscreen=true download=true print=true]

Descriptive Notes for download.

Numbered Notes for download.

6 Fastest Number 1st Notes for download.






Sligo Stages Rally 2017 – Regulations Published

Faac Simply Automatic /Sligo Park Hotel – Sligo Stages Rally 2017

As preparation are well underway for the 2017 Sligo Stages , the next step is publication of regulations which are currently on line for download. Robert Lyttle, COC is confident that his selection of three by three stage loop will have something for everyone. His concerted effort to achieve a good stages to road section ratio has been achieved, leading to a tight loop. Particular consideration has also been focused on safe and non blocking stages conscious of every competitor throughout the complete field getting a full run over every stage.

The rally committee are appealing to the loyalty of competitors to submit entries as early as possible should they be considering competing on Sligo Stages to help with event planning.

It is not the intention of the club to cold call databases of drivers as we feel this to unproductive and puts undue pressure on individuals. No cheque received will be lodged before June 30th .

Being a round of three championships , the Triton National, the Sligo Pallets Border and the Top Part West Coast , should have a wide appeal to the competitor network across the island as a whole.

Reflecting on the tenth anniversary of Irelands first World Championship round ,Robert has decided to include some classic sections of that year when rallying reached its peak in this country. It is hoped that in a year experiencing a degree of strain on entries that the mid summer stages will bring back treasured memories of 2007

Regulations are available for download at and open for receipt of entries.

Marty Maximises in Donegal! – Donegal Forestry Report by Andrew Bushe

Marty Maximises in Donegal!

2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship-Round Three

The 2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship, entered into it’s third round on Saturday for the Donegal Motor Club’s Forest Rally. Based in Donegal town, the event provided it’s fair share of excitement, as Marty McCormack stormed to victory in his Skoda Fabia R5. At the mid point service, McCormack said “The first stage was incredibly demanding, it was very tricky and so slippy we were very glad to get through it. I settled in better on the second stage and felt much more comfortable on the third, it was very nice. “ as he and co-driver David Moynihan built up the lead and made changes to the car as the day progressed. “It’s been a great day and to get the win is a great bonus, but the amount we have learned about the car in these conditions is invaluable”

Tiger Risk Rally Team’s Marty McCormack & David Moynihan cruise to victory
Image by Ruaidhri Nash

In a resounding second overall was the Mitsubishi Evo 6 of Omagh’s Patrick O’Brien and co-driver Stephen O’Brien, who’s consistently fast pace all day brought a great result, despite a lack of recent seat-time for the former Valvoline Junior Champion. Finishing in fourth overall was another Evo, driven by Omagh’s Cathan McCourt, overcoming a stage one puncture to also take the Group N class. In sixth was Cork’s Ger Lucey in his venerable Evo 8. He recovered from a wrong tyre choice to climb up the leader-board, and like in 2016 he once again leads the Valvoline points race. Could this be the year that the clubman trounces the R5’s? With half the season to go it’s an interesting mid-term points table. Enda McCormack was delighted with ninth in his Impreza WRC, despite a costly stall on stage five. Lying an impressive third overall early in the day was young Dungiven driver Jordan Hone. Driving the Rallyhire Group N Lancer Evo 9, his fine drive came to an end as he was stuck in a ditch on stage four after one of the many jumps threw him off line.

No one expected the Valvoline Two Wheel Drive category winner to make the podium in Donegal, but that’s what happened as Comber’s David Crossen brought his Mark 2 Escort

3rd Overall – David Crossan & Damien Fleming – Ford Escort Mark 2
Image by

into a fabulous third place overall. With co-driver Damien Fleming on the Patterson Pacenotes, “It was a great event, and we really enjoyed the stages “said David who now leads the two-wheel drive title race. “The first stage was like something from Finland with the big jumps and bumps! We had a problem with a rear link bar during the day and had to replace a rose-joint at service, and had to put in an emergency spare front strut after stage six, but other than that the rally went very smoothly for us.” Former Valvoline 2wd champions, Fermanagh’s Shane McGirr and Castleblayney’s Micky Conlon were left to tussle for second in what was a frenetic race. McGirr’s Starlet picked up a puncture after stage four and one on stage six which cost some valuable time, but also meant that he had no spare wheel to replace the second flat tyre. Such is the camaraderie in the series that Mickey Conlon lent him his spare, as the battle raged into the final test. It was Conlon and co-driver Ciaran McPhilips who took second as McGirr and co-driver Marty McGarrity, who were choked with exhaust fumes coming into the car, dropping to eighth overall, and third placed two wheel drive runners behind were John Gordon and Thomas Wedlock in their ever enthusiastically driven Mark 2 Escort.

The Valvoline Junior Section (Class 16), where the eligible crews are competing for an automatic Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Award nomination at the season’s end, saw Shane Kenneally take the early advantage before his Honda Civic retired with transmission trouble. Donegal driver Marty Gallagher in the 208 R2 was another retirement on stage five when the wheel studs sheared whilst in the lead of the class. Then the lead battle switched to the two Fiesta R2’s of John O’Sullivan and Stephen Dickson, and it was Dickson who once again put in a late charge to take the category after blitzing the final stage.

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Other class winners were on the event were: Ruairi Maguire (Vauxhall Corsa)-class 9, Mike Garaghy- (MK2 Escort)-class 10, Stewart McClean (Vauxhall Nova)- class 11F, Damien McAleer (Toyota Corolla)-class 11R, Chris Simms (MK2 Escort)-class 12, Derek Mackeral (Mitsubishi Evo)-class 15.

The M. O’Brien Plant Hire Junior 1000 class for 16-18 year olds, entered its third round in Donegal and once again the Peugeot 107’s of Alex Byrne and Jason Murphy lined up to do battle. It was Jason Murphy’s turn to take victory this time, the Mayo driver coping with clutch issues to take the win from Alex Byrne.
Alex had built up a handsome lead on the first loop, only to run into his own more costly problems incurring over three minutes in road penalties. With a fabulous prize of a drive in an R2 car on a 2018 Irish Forest Rally round, entry vouchers for the top three on each round: €200 euro to first place, €125 euro to 2nd place and €75 euro to third place and Ears Motorsport putting up tyres as prizes the rewards are great for these youngsters.

Once again we would like to give special thanks to all our sponsors – Valvoline, Andrew Fanning Motor Factors, M. O’Brien Plant Hire, Suirway Group Forklifts & Farm Machinery, Jelf Motorsport Insurance, Exact Signs & Graphics, Pottinger Machinery, Ears Motorsport / Kumho Tyres, Colton Pump & Heating Services, Coillte, Concept Fire Services Ltd, Gordon Automotive Services, Barron Pix & SVS Incar Cameras.

Now it’s time for a mid-season break in the championship, before coming back to Cork for the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally in July. With a County Cork man leading the driver’s championship interest will be high at the end of July.

2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship-Round 3 Results
1st Marty McCormack / David Moynihan Škoda Fabia R5 28:07.8
2nd Patrick O’Brien / Stephen O Brien Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI +1:11.5
3rd David Crossen / Damien Fleming Ford Escort MkII +1:36.0
4th Cathan McCourt / Brian Hoy Mitsubishi Lancer Evo +1:54.5
5th Mickey Conlon / Ciaran McPhillips Ford Escort MkII +2:03.5
6th Gerard Lucey / JJ Cremin Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII +2:06.7
7th John Gordon / Thomas Wedlock Ford Escort MkII +2:09.1
8th Shane McGirr / Martin McGarrity Toyota Starlet +2:14.5
9th Enda McCormack / Colin Fitzgerald Subaru Impreza S10 +2:31.4
10th Ian Graham / Liam McIntyre Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +2:53.2

2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship-Provisional Points After Round 3
1st Ger Lucey               45
2nd Josh Moffett             42
3rd David Crossen         40
4th Sam Moffett             38
5th Marty McCormack   38
6th Desi Henry                 36
7th Adrian Hetherington 34
8th Mickey Conlon          34
9th Enda McCormack     32
10th Jonny Leonard          30

2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship-Rounds
Round 1 – 12th February- Carrick on Suir Forest Rally
Round 2 – 8th April- Moonraker Forest Rally
Round 3 – 13th May- Donegal Forest Rally
Round 4 – 30th July-Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally
Round 5 – 2nd September-Enniskillen Lakeland Stages Rally
Round 6 – 14th October-Rathfriland MC Down Forest Rally

For all the latest updates and more information of the Valvoline Motorsport Ireland Irish National Forest Rally Championship please look us up on Facebook or Twitter and even more details are available on our dedicated website:

F: Irish Forestry Championship T:@IrlForestchamp. Official Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship press release issued by Andrew Bushe F: Andrew Bushe Promotions t-@andrew_bushe.