Jack’s the lad at Roscommon Moto Stages Rally

Competitors and Spectators alike encountered 4 seasons in one day at the Roscommon Moto Stages Rally recently. The crews recce’d the stages on the Saturday in glorious sunshine but everyone was very wary of the impending forecast that was being predicted. With ground frost promised and wet and cold conditions promised for the Sunday, tyre choice was on every driver’s lips come Sunday morning. Even as the crews exited parc feirme on their way out to service before the first stage on Sunday morning no one was quite certain as to what way the weather was going to pan out. As it turns out the weather never did anymore than threaten to cause havoc with the stages. Most of the drivers opted for intermediates throughout the day playing it safe. And because ground temperatures barely rose above a few degrees this was a wise decision.       Last year’s winner Kevin Lynch was first car on the road but unfortunately he suffered one mechanical failure after another and had to retire at the end of stage 2 handing the lead to Carrick-on-Shannon’s Sean Gallagher, much to the delight of the local fans. Unfortunately his lead was shortlived as Sean suffered a string of mishaps resulting in him retiring from the event as well.    Next up to take the lead was Mullingar’s Jack Sleator. Jack took a commanding lead in his Subaru Impreza WRC upon the exit of his 2 closest rivals but was pushed to the very end by an afternoon charge from Sean Mc Ardle in his Toyota Corolla WRC. Mark and Michael Courtney brought their Toyota Celica home in third. In fourth place was Paul Kiely in his Evo 9 with Adrian Quinn in a similar machine finishing in 5th.    First Midland Motor Club members home were Boyle’s Colin Flanagan and Ollie O’Grady in their Ford Escort Cosworth, finishing in 12th place overall. First home in the modified class was James Cassidy in his Ford Escort with Roscommon’s Gerry Casey nipping at his heels and taking class 13 honours in the process. Gerry had Midland Motor Club’s Chairman Vincent Collins calling the notes.    Kilteevan’s Anthony Dolan and Sean Kelly came home a very impressive 21st overall and 5th in class in their Corolla with Class 3 honours going to Packie and Colin Duffy. Strokestown’s Marc Mc Dermott and Damien Flanagan brought their Civic home second in class just ahead of Tommie Rafferty and Cathriona Costello in their Ford Escort who also finished second in class just 11 seconds ahead of Sam Johnston and Cyril Rollins. Longford’s Mick Quinn and Declan O’Toole finished second in class 2.    Historic honours went to Loughrea’s Martin and Linda Ward in their Opel Manta with Midland Motor Club’s Niall Keane finishing second in his Hillman Avenger. Richard Whelan and Patrick Crotty won the Junior class in their Honda Civic.   All competitors expressed their delight at getting across the finish line of the Roscommon Moto Stages Rally as it was a challenging one, to say the least, testing both man and machine. Clerk of the Course, Eoin Longworth, would like to express his sincere gratitude to all who helped out on the day