This weekend will see the 2014 Hotel Kilmore Cavan Stages Rally in association with Wilton Waste recycling and Jackson’s Autoparc take place in the lanes around North East County Cavan. The club which this year celebrates 50 years in existence have a challenging and entertaining course set out for the competitors of the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship.
The event is once again based out of the Hotel Kilmore will feature stages in the Bunnoe, Kill, and Shankill Cross areas with service once again being held in the car park of Liberty Insurance on the Dublin road. The festivities will begin on the Saturday evening with the cars being subject to mechanical scrutiny and safety checks, this is a prime opportunity for the public to get a closer look at these fantastic machines and to meet some of the drivers too. Scrutiny will be held in the car park behind the Hotel Kilmore from 3pm on Saturday afternoon.
The action will start Sunday morning as the cars will leave the Hotel Kilmore after 10:30 am to tackle the first of 9 stages that will be held during the day. The rally will once again boast a big field of entrants who have travelled from far and wide to the region bring a big tourism boost to the area and to the local economy in the Cavan town and North East region of the County.
Clerk of the Course Stephen Kellett, who is now looking at running his 2nd Cavan Stages Rally was quick to point out how much the rally depends on the support and good will of the locals and residents on the route
“We cannot run these events without the good will of the residents who allow us the close roads for the day. I cannot thank them enough. We have chosen a route that will be a challenge to drivers, yet at the same time keeping local disruption to a minimum. I am looking forward to welcoming the border championship contenders back to Cavan once again and promise them, and our regular drivers, the traditional County Cavan Motor Club welcome.”
The event will see a number of top competitors travel to Cavan including Armagh ace Darren Gass, Darren who was the 2012 Tarmac Rally Champion and has competed in the British Rally Championship for a number of years. Darren hopes to hire a Subaru World Rally car for the event as he prepares for an assault on the Donegal International Rally in 4 weeks’ time. Another man who wants to keep himself match fit ahead of Donegal is Oldcastle man Stephen McCann, Stephen who is competing in a Mitsubishi Lancer this year currently lies 2nd in group n in the championship after the first 3 rounds. Another man looking to keep his group n championships alive in Donegal with a warm up this weekend is Josh Moffett. Josh who was a nominee for the Billy Coleman award for best young Irish rally driver is competing in another Mitsubishi this year and currently leads the Border Championship also. The current Billy Coleman award winner Stephen Wright will bring his new state of the art Peugeot 208 R2 to the event as he looks to get more miles under his belt, Stephen who normally competes in Belgium will be a welcome and exciting addition to the entry.
A number of local crews will be in action for the crowds to get behind, Rodney Wilton will have his immaculate escort back to defend his 2 wheel drive crown from last year but he won’t have it all his own way as a number of other Cavan drivers will be after him.
Russell Woods in his Escort will be out to try and win the new Paddy Kiernan Memorial Trophy this year for the quickest class 13 car, the award was set up to celebrate the Bailieborough man who was a great servant to the club and a credit to Irish motorsport. A man who was cruelly taken from us far too early but not before he wowed the crowds with his driving style and successes. Chris Armstrong will have his CA Event Hire escort in fine form will be trying to also win the award, but none more so than Paddy’s brother Gary Kiernan who along with Niall Tierney are the reigning Border champions after the sealed the win in Donegal last year after a long tough and emotional year.
The event will also see the return of Darren O’Brien in his sensational Civic, the Mountain Lodge man who has been quiet of late on the scene had a mad dash effort to get the car rebuilt in time for the event. In class 9 for 1400 cc cars is where the real battle will lie with a number of local based crews including Gene Mc Donald and Kevin Reilly, Aaron Duffy and Thomas Wedlock, Seamus and Noel Cooke and Brendan O’Reilly and Damien Mc Cabe. In the juniors it will be a tough battle also between Gary Mc Namee and Adam Faulkner both in Honda Civics.
As always there will be a major volunteer effort in place to run the event with up to 300 people lending their time over the past few months to ensure the Rally runs according to plan and the strict guidelines issued by the FIA are adhered to. As ever safety will be the most important element to the weekend and we would ask all spectators to obey the marshals at all times and to respect the resident’s wishes. There will be members of an Garda Siochanna in the areas on the day along with members of the traffic corps, please obey the rules of the roads and KEEP THE RACE IN ITS PLACE.