Midland Single Stage 2000 announced

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of club member and former rally winner Tom Mc Nally's Percy French Hotel in Strokestown, Midland Motor Club is delighted to announce the organisation of the Midland 4WD Single Stage Rally to be held on Easter ...

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of club member and former rally winner Tom Mc Nally's Percy French Hotel in Strokestown, Midland Motor Club is delighted to announce the organisation of the Midland 4WD Single Stage Rally to be held on Easter Sunday, 23/4/00. Under the supervision of the Clerk of the Course, Rooskey born, Noel Mc Grath, the rally team are back in full action.

A ten mile challenging route has attracted over 200 competitors from the entire twenty six counties. Unfortunately, the club is only allowed to run 130 competition cars on the day, so the organisers promise to have the best of the best in this local event.

Local crews who will be running on the day include Sean Gallagher from Carrick on Shannon with his outstanding Rally Car. We will also see the winning Subaru of Michael Shaw, the Longford Skoda dealer along with Johnny Kelly, the K&M Peugeot man.

The top field will be made up of many of the Dunlop National Rally Championship contenders where the Midland Crew of Rory O'Connor and Francis Kenny are in the fore. The following drivers are also hoping to be in the top ten of the event - Niall Maguire, Davy Armstrong, Joe Mc Gurk, George Tracy, Thomas Graham, and cavan born Patrick Elliot in his super Mitsubishi Evo 6 state of the art car.

The event will also see the ex Austin Mc Hale Toyota Celica which is now in the hands of Summerhill man Tim Mc Nulty challenge for the number one slot on Sunday evening. Tim who now has the Celica under the colours of Pierce Construction and who will be visiting one of his Longford sponsors Mc Nally's Toyota garage over the weekend is looking forward to the event and promises to provide all the action in the Pierce Construction machine.

Other entries have been received from the local Milkman, Sean Cahill who is currently shopping for an upgrade. John Shaw will also show the Longford and Roscommon fans that he can still beat the big boys with his Group N Astra. Damien Finneran from Athleage will show that he too can drive four wheel drive in his new Subaru Impreza. Paddy Gogan of Spar, Edgeworthstown will be challenging the 1600 class with his impressive Sunbeam along side Barry Molloy (Roscommon) who is taking the Navigators seat for this bank holiday event. Much credit is due to the commitment of the rally team which includes the names of Noel Mc Grath, Michael Harper, Eamonn Keegan, Angela Bumster, Eamonn Reilly and the talented driver, Brendan Kelly who will forfit a potential class win to help in his local event. The event has been reported in the national media as an event for competitors ran by competitors.

Noel Mc Grath reported earlier that he would not be able to run the event without the great support that he has received from both the residents along the route and the local financial support received from not only the Percy French Hotel, but from people such as Michael Shaw Skoda, K & M Peugeot, Kenequip Engingeering, Midland Lift Trucks, Noel Mc Carrick (Peugeot), Westward Engineering, and of course the trophy supplier in Ballymahon who has been so good to all the Midland events, Midland Trophies.

Longford driver, Frank Kane of Longford Motors who will sponsor the club awards has also entered the event in his Mazda sponsor Nova. Frank who came second in his class in the National Championship 1998, is looking forward to his return at this local event.

Gerry Kelly, the Roscommon carpenter is working as a safety car on the day and appeals for full co-operation from spectators. Gerry who is joined by Shotblast Engineeirng's Tommy Donlon are the two safety cars who will run ahead of the main field to ensure that the event is setup in accordance with the rules of Motorsport Ireland.

In what is expected to be one of the most competitive events ran in the area in years, we see club members Noel Mc Carrick and Tom Holton bring their respective cars a Subaru Impreza and a Ford Escort Maxi out to compete and fly the Midland Motor Club banner once again at prizegiving. The club is delighted with the high quality entry within the local crews. Over thirty local men and women will fly the Midland flag on the Easter weekend with two club lady drivers - Sheena O'Brien formerly of Strokestown and Ann Mc Quaid of Roscommon out to beat the Ford Ka of the Uno champion Carlow's Denise Ryan daughter of North Roscommon's Des Ryan who now runs the International Haulage firm in Carlow.

The advise of the author is to plan your Easter weekend well, stay in the Midland's where the trills and atmosphere will be second to none. First car to leave the Percy French Hotel on Sunday 23/4/00 will start at 10:30 and return after 6 o'clock. A packed day of action is promised and it is right on your doorstep.

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Series Other rally