The Wexford stages rally is the normal salute to the end of summer every year and the start of the fall into winter once more with a spin to sunny south east for all involved.
This year a number of club members made the trip to sample the very fast and flowing stages and of course the social aspect of what is now the only 2 day non international in the country.
Top escort entrant and Billy Coleman award nominee for 2017 Bailieborough man Gary Kiernan wasn’t there to make up the numbers and was eyeing up the potential to chase down a few World cars to try and take the top spot on the event. Ably guided by Ryan Moore once again Gary put in a masterful performance but was hampered by the weather which would not suit the lively rear end on the escort which was enjoying the day out on shiny tar mixed with wet slime that had accumulated on the road after weeks of sun and a few hours rain to make things difficult for all involved. 3rd overall in the end would be a just reward for the pair and the first escort home mixing it up with a number of 4 wheel drive cars.
One of those 4 wheel drive cars would be the Fiesta S2000 of Stephen McCann and Damien Fleming who were getting back to the stages after a summer off. They would set up camp just outside the podium for the duration of Saturday’s stages with the Fiesta being hampered by a top speed of only 105 mph on the ultra fast Wexford stages this would leave the Oldcastle man the task of making up the time on late braking and spirited driving through the twisty sections on the stages. Mc Cann would pip Kiernan to 3rd at the end of the day and have a tussle with the Kiernan escort for the duration of Sunday morning before being overhauled on the final loop of the event. A solid 4th place finish and valuable miles back in the seat ahead of the Cork 20 was the order of the weekend and a success on that part.
Not such a positive weekend for a number of other club members though. Wesley Patterson and Johnny Baird had an early bath when their escort suffered mechanical troubles that sidelined them after 3 stages. Thomas Wedlock who was navigating once more for John Gordon would suffer a major accident on the Sunday morning injuring the crew when their car collided with a tree. Testament to how strong rally cars are these days that after a 100mph impact into a tree Thomas only suffered a concussion and bang to the arm with John suffering a back injury the pair of boys are on the mend and revving to get back out there again. A good run spoiled at the end of the event too for Kevin Cole and Kaine Treanor as their Pinto escort expired a mile from the end of the final stage.