Two Monaghan crews head Border Series.
Co-incidentally, two Monaghan based rally crews jointly lead the 2002 Four Seasons Hotel Border Rally Championship after the Cavan Stages Rally held on May 26th last. Former National Rally Champion, Niall Maguire (Ballinode) and ex-Border Series winner Trevor Lancashire (Drum) both top the Drivers category on 30 points after recording maximum points in the three events held to date. Their respective co-drivers Paul McLoughlin and Noel Hall head the Navigators points table.
Maguire's overall win in Cavan in his ex-Andrew Nesbitt Subaru Impreza WRC follows up his brace of victories in Mayo and Monaghan while Lancashire represents the strong Clubman presence in the Series by scoring the maximum 10 points at each Round in the Escort MKII. And with Maguire not competing in the Mourne Rally, Trevor has set his sights on the Derryveagh Crystal Perpetual Trophy for the Overall Champion and also the Brian McGrath Memorial Trophy dedicated to Class 12.
But it's not as clear cut as that according to Border Series Registrar, John Duffy. "With the best 4 out of 6 rounds to count and with 3 rounds remaining, any competitor with even one maximum Class score of 10 points could still record 40 points in the Championship," said John. "If there are a number of competitors on the maximum score, then the points achieved on the dropped rounds will be used as tie breakers," added John. "The Championship is still wide open, but already some competitors have established themselves in their class."
Rally veteran Roger Kennedy anxiously waits in the wings on 28 points. With Martin Carey calling the notes, Roger, a Class 3 winner in 2000, hopes to go a step higher this year in his Peugeot 306.
With three crews on 27 points after Cavan, the pressure will not only be on Kennedy but also the aforementioned Trevor Lancashire around the classic Cooley Mountains on the Mourne Rally.' Putting' em under pressure' to use words from a famous World Cup tune will be early Border Series leader John McElhinney/Brian McElhinney (Suzuki Swift) from Donegal, Monaghan's Mac McKenna/John Loughran (Peugeot 205) and rally debutantes Peter Kelly/John Higgins (Toyota Corolla) from Kiltimagh. Don't disregard Shane Orr/James Gallagher either, as the Donegal duo slot in at fourth place overall with 24 points in a Class 2 Honda Civic. Ford Ka Championship contender Kenneth Mulvanney from Sligo lies just one point in arrears while dominates Class 5.
In the ultra competitive Group N Showroom Class, Tyrone's Derek Jobb (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO) with Killian Duffy from Crossmolina keep ahead of the posse with 21 points.
After the Mourne Rally, the Four Seasons Hotel Border Rally Championship takes a month's break. Round 5 heads West to the Tom Hunt Motors (Citroen) Sligo Park Hotel Connaught Motor Club Stages Rally on July 14th.
Class 1 J. McElhinney 27 B. McElhinney 27
Class 2 S. Orr 24 J. Gallagher 24
Class 3 R. Kennedy 28 M. Carey 28
Class 4 D. Jobb 21 K.Duffy 21
Class 5 K. Mulvaney 23 B. Cleary 12
Class 6 B. Cumiskey 13 J. McCafferty 11
Class 7 B.McNamee 19 K.Kilcoyne 18
Class 8 N. Maguire 30 P. McLoughlin 30
Class 9 B. Black 19 L. McLoughlin 11
Class 10 R. McDaid 12 S. McClean 12
Class 11 P. Gallagher 19 K. Reid 19
Class 12 T. Lancashire 30 N. Hall 30
Class 13 M. McKenna 27 J. Loughran 27
Class 14 D. Richardson 18 C. McCafferty 16
Class 15 S. Gallagher 20 L. Costello 20
D. Armstrong 20 H. Blackburn 20
Class 16 P. Kelly 27 J. Higgins 27