Exciting weekend for rally enthusiasts

On Sunday next the cars will be flagged off from the start ramp at 10.01am to fight it out over 120 competitive stage kilometres split into 8 Special Stages circling the town of Roscommon, with a centralised service area after every stage in Roscommon Racecourse. Stages one and seven run in the Oran area and they are sure to sort the men from the boys. Oran will test both the driver’s bottle and the navigator’s ability to keep up! Stages two and four, known as Derryhippo, wind their way just North of Creggs through some awesome scenery sure to be a future classic.  Stages three and five run through the mountainous region of Mount Mary. This stage is sure to test the drivers’ handling skills as the tight and twisty stage could easily catch them out.  Stages six and eight run through Kilclash. This is one of the fastest stages on the event and is sure to be the drivers’ favourite. The winning car will arrive back at the finish ramp at Casey’s Centra Roscommon at approximately 6.15pm.  Full details on stage locations, starting times and competitor entry list will be included in the official colour programme which will be available at Casey’s Centra and The Abbey Hotel from Friday evening. This year’s Clerk of the Course, Eoin Longworth, has chosen the four very challenging stages circling the town of Roscommon to test every element of the driver’s skill. Eoin was been involved with the Midlands Motoring club for more years than he cares to remember and is a very accomplished navigator winning various accolades at a local and national level.  Mr. Longworth competes in navigation trials as well as retrospective rallies. Eoin has been COC for auto tests, autocrosses, night navigation trials as well as various rallies. Eoin, from Ballinahown near Athlone, is ably assisted by his Deputy Clerk of the Course Sean Henehan from Athlone and his Assistant Clerk of the Course Barry Molloy from Roscommon. Mr. Longworth also has a very experienced committee behind him bringing together members from counties Roscommon, Westmeath, Leitrim and Longford, which goes to show the vast catchment area of Midland Motor Club. Eoin and his team have spent the last 8 months busily preparing for the long awaited event and to ensure that everything runs smoothly over the course of the weekend. To ensure a safe and successful running of the event, Midland Motor Club will require the assistance of over 150 marshals during the rally weekend. Chief Marshal, and local man, Kevin Lunt has enrolled the help of marshals from Midland Motor Club, Connacht Motor Club, Mayo & District Motor Club, Birr & District Auto Club, Cavan Motor Club, ALMC, Westmeath & District Motor Club, Cork Motor Club and Limerick Motor Club. Because the event carries extra safety procedures this year the club requires a larger number of marshals than ever before. Kevin still requires marshals so anyone willing to marshal on the day can contact him on 087 2519266. From Friday to Monday 4th-7th April, the duties to be undertaken will include stage setup, spectator control and stage clean up. Midland Motor Club boasts Athlone Rally Rescue and the Motorsport Safety Team as club members. Athlone Rally Rescue will be present over the whole weekend to ensure competitor safety at all times while the Motorsport Safety Team will ensure spectator safety throughout the weekend. The Roscommon Moto Stages rally is a huge sporting occasion and it contributes significantly to the local economy. Along with the 340 competitors and their service crews there will be a massive influx of enthusiastic rally followers all requiring accommodation in the Roscommon area. This, coupled with the extra revenue generated from extra spending in the area, means that Roscommon and surrounding areas will benefit to the tune of over €450,000.