Four Seasons Border Rally Championship 2002 After taking a year out due to foot & mouth, the 2002 Four Seasons Border Rally Championship got off to an impressive start with over 200 competitors registering at the Opening Round in Mayo. Judging...
Four Seasons Border Rally Championship 2002
After taking a year out due to foot & mouth, the 2002 Four Seasons Border Rally Championship got off to an impressive start with over 200 competitors registering at the Opening Round in Mayo.
Judging by the serious nature of competition witnessed at the Mayo Stages Rally, the six Round Series sponsored by the Four Seasons Hotel & Leisure Club, Monaghan is set for its most successful year yet, with no less than 12 crews recording maximum (10) points at the Castlebar based event. It looks like reigning Champion, James McGreal, is going to have a fight on his hands to retain the Derryveagh Crystal Perpetual Trophy.
Former National Rally Champion, Niall McGuire set the early pace in this season's Series having won the Mayo Stages Rally in the ex-Andrew Nesbitt Subaru Impreza WRC. The Monaghan based haulage operator with Paul McLoughlin on board has the hard charging Glen Allen and Shane O'Neill (Escort WRC) just one point in arrears in Class 8.
In the Group N Class 4, Dubliner George Tracey with Elva Roe (Subaru Impreza) have a two point advantage over Derek Jobb (Tyrone) with Crossmolina's Killian Duffy navigating the Mitsubishi EVO.
Regular Border Series campaigner Norman Armstrong (Newtownhamilton) with Ciaran Kelly (Escort) lead the two-wheel drive Class 13, one point ahead of Mac McKenna and John Loughran (Monaghan) in a modified Peugeot 205.
Charlie Beatty's Toyota Corolla, co-driven by Frank Conville kept ahead of Peter Rogers/Byron Davidson to take the lead in Class 11.
In Class 1, Donegal's John and Brendan McElhinney scored the maximum 10 points in a Suzuki Swift with Aishling Dooris (Enniskillen) partnered by Wendy Blackledge second in a similar car.
Two Donegal crews battle it out in Class 2 as John Hegarty/Patrick McGlynn and Shane Orr/James Gallagher have just one point separating them going into the next round in Monaghan.
Roger Kennedy, Class 3 winner in 2000, heads up the points table again in his Peugeot 306 with Martin Carey calling the notes. Crossmolina brothers Declan and Ronan Moore (Escort RS2000) are two points adrift.
Another Class winner in 2000, Paul Cleary (Kiltimagh) began his new campaign in a newly acquired ex-Works Nissan Micra and kept off the challenge of Andrew Heekin (Boyle), also driving a Micra, to take the 10 points from the Mayo Rally. Brian Cleary and Barry McGill called the notes.
2001 Billy Coleman Award winner, Stuart Darcy had a successful run in a Ford Puma to take the Class 6 maximum points. Co-driven by Trevor Bustard, the Letterkenny man plans an assault on the new Puma Championship in the U.K.
Class 9 has one of the highest number of entries in this year's Series. Donal McGettigan with Gareth O'Doherty tops the table in a Vauxhall Nova. Foxford's Donal Molloy and John Gallagher (Vauxhall Nova) aim to keep them honest throughout the season, as they are currently in second place.
Brothers Anthony and Stephen O'Brien changed from Peugeot to Ford prior to the Mayo event and it paid dividends. Taking 10 points home in Class 10 to Tubbercurry was a good days work.
In the chase for the Brian McGrath Memorial Trophy (sponsored by Derryveagh Crystal) dedicated to Class 12, a category win in Mayo meant that Trevor Lancashire (Escort) takes the lead. Former Night Navigation Champion Noel Hall (Monaghan) proved just as effective in daylight in showing Trevor around. Terence McHugh (Donegal) in the ex-Paul Parkes MK2 Escort is second in that Class, for the present at least.
Davy Armstrong, the 1999 Border Champion, had a great run around the scenic Mayo Stages. Third overall secured 10 points for the Newtownhamilton driver with regular co-driver Herbie Blackburn alongside. Sean Gallagher/Liam Costello who won this Class (15) in Mayo in the ex-John Gilleece Escort Cosworth have 9 points on the board.
Rally debutants Peter Kelly and John Higgins from Kiltimagh had an impressive Class 16 win in their Toyota Corolla keeping fellow Mayo & District Motorsport Club members Kevin Neary and Derek McCarthy (Opel Corsa) trailing by just one point.
The Four Seasons Border Championship moves to Monaghan for Round 2 on April 21st.
2002 Four Seasons Hotel (Monaghan) Border Rally Championship
Round 2 - Monaghan Stages Rally - April 21st
Round 3 - Cavan Stages Rally - May 26th
Round 4 - Mourne Stages Rally - June 15th
Round 5 - Sligo Stages Rally - July 14th
Round 6 - Donegal Harvest Rally - October 19th