2012 Opening Round Report - FOUR Way Tie After Willie Loughman

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South East Stages Rally Championship




The Willie Loughman Memorial Forestry Rally, promoted by the Carrick-on-Suir Motor club, was the opening round of the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship. The rally started with a 25 Km. stage that used most of the roads in Gurteen. It was tough and demanding, mentally, physically and mechanically. Half way through the stage some crews wondered if it would ever end, others just revelled in the test and conditions. Ireland’s current rallying star, Craig Breen and Wales Gareth Roberts were using the event to keep sharp for the forthcoming WRC Rally of Portugal, and set a time that displayed their talent and professionalism. They have registered for the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship but an exciting deal to compete on extra IRC events may prohibit them from contesting some of the remaining rounds.

Two further stages in Portlaw followed, which were new to many crews, and were a bit green and slippery, (the stages not the crews!!) demanded respect in their own right. A repeat of the stages at night led to some crews suffering from exhaustion and frustration. One competitor on the second run in Gurteen was quite pleased with his progress until he saw the lights of the next crews in the mirrors, thought he was being caught, upped his pace from competitive to exciting, not realising that the lights were on a parallel road well behind him....

The 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship was well supported on this first round with 34 crews registering for the championship. All 6 classes have registered competitors, this should bode well for the remaining events and the championship.

As the TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship is class based, class winning competitors may share the championship lead until about the third round. But the bonus points may alter this position in favour of crews who are not class winners but have doubled their points using the bonus system. As it happened, four crews were class winners with this event their declared bonus round.

Sharing the lead on 30 points in the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship are:

Class 2. Paschal O’Shea / Robbie Hennessey, Ford Escort MK2.

Class 3. Adrian McElhinnery / Shane Buckley, Peugeot.

Class 4. Ray Benskin (jnr) / Nicky Hegarty, Ford Escort MK2.

Class 5. Shay Power / John Rafter, Ford Escort MK2. (Reigning Champions )

Class 2

  1. Pierce Doheny/Damian Lawlor        Opel Corsa                      24 points.
  2. Dario Tempesta/Ger Brett                Nova                                20 points.

Class 3

  1. Andrew Fanning/Derek Gibbs         Ford Puma                      12 points.

Class 4

  1. John Murphy/Niall Fitzpatrick           Ford Escort                     12 points.

Class 5

  1. Mickey McGillen/Aaron Johnson      Ford Escort                     24 points.
  2. Ed Colton/Claire O’Mahony               Peugeot 306                    10 points.

Class 6

  1. Garry Jennings/AN Other                Subaru Impreza               24 points.
  2. Craig Breen/Garath Roberts            Ford Fiesta R2                 15 points.
  3. Gemma Kerley/Lynn Martin              Subaru Impreza               14 points.
  4. Vincent McAree/J. P. McAree          Mitsubishi Evo 9               10 points.
  5. Niall Henry/John Rowan                  Subaru Impreza                  9 points.
  6. Ger Connors/Owen O’Neill              Subaru Impreza                  8 points.


  1.  Ian Downey/Sean Barron               Opel Corsa                       15 points.
  2. Dean Rafter/Mark Kirwan                Honda Civic                      12 points.

(Note) Crews scoring less than 2 points ie. Non finishers are omitted from this report)

The Munster Moonraker is the second round and is also a forestry event. It will use the fast sweeping roads situated in Co. Waterford in the hinterland of Lismore, Dungarvan and the Vee.

The remaining rounds of the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship are:

The Munster Moonraker.  Lismore. Sunday 15 April.                                    Forest rally.

The Carlow Stages Rally. Tullow, Sunday 13 May.                                       Tarmac rally

The Ravens Rock Stages Rally, Kilkenny, Sunday 24 June.                          Tarmac rally.

The Sean Conlon Memorial Forestry Rally. Mitchelstown.  Sun. 08 July.     Forestry rally.

The Stonethrowers Stages Rally, Clonmel, Sunday 12 August.                    Tarmac rally.

The Dick Bailey, Wexford Stages Rally, Wexford, Sat.8, Sun 9, Sept.        Tarmac rally.

2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship Registrar:

Ann Fitzgerald, The Cross, Mooncoin, Via Waterford. ‘Phone / fax. 051 895238.

Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Press officer: Joe O’Brien, Carrick Beag, Carrick-on-Suir. 086 3154442