As the Four Seasons Hotel Border Rally Championship reached mid-way point at the Cavan Stages rally, Mac McKenna has emerged as the sole leader in the overall points classification. Having displayed superb form to date, the popular Monaghan driver...
As the Four Seasons Hotel Border Rally Championship reached mid-way point at the Cavan Stages rally, Mac McKenna has emerged as the sole leader in the overall points classification. Having displayed superb form to date, the popular Monaghan driver on 29 points (from 3 rounds) is now the firm favourite to lift the Derryveagh Crystal Perpetual Trophy. John Loughran who sits alongside McKenna in the modified Peugeot 205 GTi, tops the Navigator's category.
While McKenna and Loughran head up the Border trail from Class 11A after a fine fourth in Cavan, Donegal crew of Paul Gallagher and Karl Reid (Toyota Corolla) are not far behind, just one point in arrears in fact, after another Class 10 win from 14th place.
With four rounds out of six to count, three other crews have their sights firmly set on putting up a strong challenge to the top two at the next event in Newry. Rally veteran, Mickey McArdle (Castleblaney) with Gerard McMonagle have now chalked up 26 points after another strong finish to 12th overall in Cavan and along with it the all-important Class 12 win. Mickey, who started his motorsport career in Kart racing, counts himself lucky to make it to the ramp after his BMW M3 lost its sump-guard on a yump!
Also on 26 points are Danny McBride and Jonathan Gallagher from Convoy, Donegal, who added 7 points to their tally after taking another victory in Class 1 from 53rd position in a Suzuki Swift.
Waiting in the wings is Mayoman, James McGreal, one point further back. With Crossmolina teenager Killian Duffy reading the notes, they had to nurse their Nissan Sunny GTi-R home after losing over 10 minutes trying to put the car back on the road after a trip into the scenery. The incident happened during the first loop of 9 Special Stages held around Killashandra and Butlers Bridge. Proving that 'you can in a Nissan' the Class 14B win was their just reward for their efforts.
In with an outside chance for glory in the Border Series is Patsy Meehan from Donegal in the Class 7 Seat Ibiza. Patsy had his regular navigator Kenny Bustard back in action in Cavan and the 7 points gained from 3rd in class was enough to accumulate 22 points overall.
Defending Four Seasons Border Champions David Armstrong and Herbie Blackburn are now putting in a strong challenge to retain the prestigious title after securing their second Class 13 win in a row at Monaghan and Cavan, having missed the opening round in Mayo last March. However, it was not all plain sailing in Cavan as their Escort Cosworth suffered terrible engine maladies throughout. The Newry pairing are now on 19 points and look forward to the next round on home soil to add to that figure. Who knows what permutations the Mourne Rally will throw up.
<pre> Class Leaders after Round 3 - Cavan
Class / Driver / Address / Points / Navigator / Points
1.. D. McBride (Convoy) 26 Points / J. Gallagher 26 points 2.. S. Darcy (Bruckless) 11 Points / T. Bustard 11 Points 3.. R. Kennedy (Nuttscorner) 9 Points / P. Docherty 9 Points 4.. P. Elliot (Cavan) 17 Points / M. Cahill 17 Points 5.. P. Cleary (Kiltimagh) 14 Points / B. Cleary 14 Points N. McDaid (Letterkenny) 14 Points /=20 6.. D. McCauley (Derry) 19 Points / A. Gould 18 Points / C. Curley 18 Points 7.. P. Meehan (Mountcharles) 22 Points / B. Sharkey 19 Points 8.. P. Harris (Convoy) 10 Points / E. O'Donnell 10 Points T. McNulty (Summerhill) 10 Points / J. Nagle 10 Points 9.. T. McCreesh (Newry) 20 Points / R. Munnis 20 points 10.. P. Gallagher (Letterkenny) 28 Points / K. Reid 28 points 11.. G. Smyth (Coothill) 17 Points / S. Moffett 12 Points 12.. M. McArdle (Castleblaney) 26 Points / G. McMonagle 26 Points 13. D. Armstrong (Newry) 19 Points / H. Blackburn 19 Points 11A. M. McKenna (Emyvale) 29 Points / J. Loughran 29 Points 14B. J. McGreal (Foxford) 25 Points / J. Egan (16 Points)
Forthcoming Rounds of the Four Seasons Hotel (Monaghan) Border Rally Championship
June 24th - Rally of the Mournes
July 9th - Sligo Stages Rally
October 14th - Donegal Harvest Rally