Clanree Hotel Donegal Motor Club Closed Mini Stages Rally

100+ Entries for Mini Rally.

Once again the emphasis is on the quality of the Ireland’s largest motor club with its Mini Stages format rally, based in the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny.

As one of the early events in the MotorSport Ireland calendar, with an emphasis on a ‘keep it simple’ approach for the Donegal Club, the new Clerk of the Course, Karl Reid and his hard working team, have once again put in place another ‘gem; of an event, with a well-supported entry list.

The top 20 was released today, after Friday’s closing date, and it looks like it will not disappoint. Crews are using the event to do an early test session for the new 2016 season, with names such as McPhillips, Fisher, Henry, and local drivers Doherty, McGonigle, Brogan, Kelly, Gallagher, Tourish  all within the top 10 of the entry list.

In at number 1 is Alistair Fisher, with the experienced Gordon Noble, driving a new Fiesta R5+. This entry along with a similar class entry Skoda by Desi Henry, will prove interesting in terms of a  shake-down for bigger things to come, in the Irish Tarmac Championship.

Clerk of the Course, Karl Reid, said, “On behalf of the organising team, it gives me great pleasure to welcome everyone including competitors, volunteers and spectators to Donegal Motor Club’s Clanree Hotel Closed Mini Stages Rally which will take place on Saturday 30th January. The rally will be round two of the 2016 Donegal Commercial Vehicles Club Championship.

We are over the moon about the entry received over the past few weeks and although we were concerned about the event so close to Christmas, we are so pleased to have this level of interest, which now stands at over 100 cars. Our local entry has not let us down, and with some added spice of the very new R5+ class, this will be ‘icing on the cake’ and a real treat for the spectators who will come to watch this rally. The route is compact and close to Letterkenny. With the recce this weekend, on Sunday 24th January, we are in the final stages of preparation.”

Speaking about the entry, Mr. Reid said, “I had some interesting calls from teams wanting to enter some of the new homologated ‘R+’ cars. These are recent additions, so recent that there was a special meeting called by Motorsport Ireland to determine if they could run in our event. They got the OK and I believe that will set a standard for the remainder of the motorsport calendar for this year. As you can see our top 20 entries looks like this….”

TOP 20 ENTRY LIST

No

Driver

Navigator

Address

Car

Class

1

Alastair Fisher

Gordon Noble

Co. Tyrone

Fiesta R5+

20

2

Martin Doherty

Damien McCauley

Ballybofey

Evo 9

4

3

Frank Wray

TBA

Strabane

Subaru Impreza

15

4

Gary McPhillips

Paul Sheridan

Monaghan

Escort

14

5

Desi Henry

Liam Moynihan

Portglenone

Skoda R5+

20

6

Joseph McGonigle

Ciaran Geaney

Muff

Skoda Fabia

5

7

Brendan Cumiskey

Ronan O’Kane

Monaghan

Fiesta

20

8

Wesley Patterson

Johnny Baird

Lisburn

Escort

14

9

Brian Brogan

Damian McGettigan

Letterkenny

Escort

14

10

Johnathon Pringle

TBA

Cavan

Escort

14

11

Chris Armstrong

Chris Melly

Cavan

Escort

13

12

Manus Kelly

Vincent Collins

Glenswilly

Escort

12

14

Damian Toner

Denver Rafferty

Armagh

Escort

14

15

Damian Gallagher

Brendan McElhinney

Letterkenny

Escort

14

16

Damien Tourish

Domhnall Mc Eleaney

Ballybofey

Escort

13

17

David Condell

Eugene McGrath

Carlow

Escort

14

18

Camillus Bradley

Crawford Henderson

Draperstown

Escort

14

19

Aidan Wray

TBA

Strabane

Evo10

4

20

Pat Kirk

John Mc Elhinney

Strabane

Evo 9

14

Karl give an outline of the timetable of the event as follows:-

Timetable

Sunday 24th January

09.45 – 16.00

Recce

Friday 29th January

15.00 – 20.00

Mechanical Scrutineering at

Donegal Commercial Vehicles, Drumkeen

Friday 29th January

15.30 – 2030

Documentation Scrutiny at Rally HQ

Saturday 30th January

08.30

Competitors Safety Briefing at Rally HQ

Saturday 30th January

10.00

Rally Start from Rally HQ

Saturday 30th January

16.30

Rally Finish at Rally HQ -Parc Ferme

Mr Reid gave the outline of the route used for the rally and then went on to make some thanks. “The event will have a format consisting of 6 special stages, in a format of 2 stages run 3 times, over a distance of approximately 90 kms, with centralised servicing in Letterkenny. Details of this will be available in the Rally Programme.

We are very pleased to have the Clanree Hotel as the title sponsor for the event. Their support is very much appreciated. The management and staff of the hotel have been tremendous in their assistance with the event to date, and I’m sure this will continue in the build-up, during and after it as well! Equally, the support of all our other sponsors is also greatly appreciated. In return for their assistance, I would ask you all to, where possible, support our sponsors. Without their input it would simply not be possible to run this sporting event.

IN particular, I wish to thank all the residents along the rally route for their co-operation. I hope that they all have a safe and enjoyable day and we will strive to keep the inconvenience to a minimum. I would ask that all competitors, when traversing the stage, respect the residents – particular during your reconnaissance as the roads are open to the public who are going about their daily business. Please drive with care with the speed limit specified. I would also ask you to collect all litter and dispose of it appropriately. It is also highly important that spectators respect the residents and their private property along the stages. Please respect the notices and co-operate with the volunteer marshals on this matter.

I would also like to acknowledge the co-operation and assistance of both Donegal County Council and the local Garda Síochána in the planning and running of this event. Thank you!

Donegal Motor Club Ltd could not run this event without the support of the many volunteers, some of whom will travel from neighbouring motor clubs to work on the event in various roles. I would like to extend a very warm ‘Thank You!’ to each and every one of you – the assistance is recognised. You are all the ‘UNSUNG HEROS’ of the event.

Safety is as always our key priority during this event. In relation to this a comprehensive Safety Plan has been compiled and approved by our governing body, Motorsport Ireland. I would appeal to all spectators to co-operate fully with the officials who are there for everybody’s safety. Equally I would ask competitors to obey all of the safety measures which are their responsibility.

On the weekend, I would like to wish everybody involved a safe and very enjoyable Clanree Hotel Closed Mini Stages Rally 2016.”

Further information about the event, please consult our Rally guide 1, along with other event information is available on the Donegal Motor Club website address, www.donegalmotorclub.com .

Information about Recce times, Signing on, Scrutiny times etc, are all available at the website.

Bookings for the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny may be made directly through the Hotel, telephone:-+353 (0) 74 912 4369 or e-mail:-info@clanreehotel.com.

Cranlee Hotel Presentation_19Jan16_3

Press Briefing at Clanree Hotel Letterkenny.

L-R: Karl Reid, Clerk of the Course, Brian Brogan, Chairman Donegal Motor Club, Caroline Robinson, Restaurant/Duty Manager, Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny, Leonard Wilson, Deputy Clerk of the Course.

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