Rally: The 1st round of the Jap Cars Midland East Rally championship got underway last weekend with the Birr Stages Rally with its headquarters in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. Midland Motor Club members were well represented with over 14 crews competing. Top Midlands crew home were Chris Kelly and Shay McKenna from Killoe, Longford who finished 43rd overall and 1st in class 10, one of the most competitive classes in rallying. Other local crews to do well in Nenagh were Seanie Kelly and Ivor Trimble from Roscommon in their Nova who finished 2nd in class and 47th overall which is a great result for this pairing who are going from strength to strength. Seanie said afterwards he was looking forward to a good battle between himself and Chris Kelly in the Midland East championship for class 10, with both drivers in Vauxhall Novas. Vincent Collins from Roscommon was navigating for Gerry Casey in their Escort and set a blistering pace to finish 36th overall, one of their highest placing to date. Mick Hagan from Drumlish with Liam Higgins navigating had a good result finishing 46th overall. Marc McDermott and Damien Flanagan from Strokestown, despite having mechanical problems, finished 5th in class and 57th overall in their Civic. Pat and Stephen Faughnan from Drumlish were out in their Escort – they had a good run and finished a creditable 67th overall. Kevin Lunt and Adrian Grealy from Roscommon were out in a Corolla and not their familiar Escort – they put in good times during the day and were delighted to finish the event and are looking forward to the Abbey Hotel Stages rally. In the Junior event Alan Gibbons from Strokestown with Ger Brennan navigating were leading the class early in the rally but slipped back to finish 3rd overall which is a great achievement for his first stage rally event. He was delighted with the result and is looking forward to the next round of the championship, the Moto Stages rally in Roscommon on 6th April. Another pairing to do well in the Junior rally were Longford’s Brian Halligan from Moydow and Shane Dalton from Ballinalee who finished 5th overall in class in their Civic. Next club meeting will be held on 10th March in the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon at 9 pm.