THE fifth round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship, the Sepam Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally, provided plenty of drama as Darragh O’Riordan (Ford Fiesta WRC) and his Derry co-driver Tony McDaid took the spoils.
They finished 44.4 seconds in front of the Darian T90 of James Stafford and Amy Ryan with third place for Steve Wood and Keith Moriarty (Subaru WRC) and this is enough to promote them into the lead of the Dunlop series.
The top three seeds, Declan Boyle, the defending Dunlop champion along with title protagonist, Hugh Hunter and pre-event series leader Paddy McVeigh all in Subaru WRCs all failed to finish.
A local crew, Stanley Orr and co-driver Brian Cairns have had an outstanding season this year, and currently they are third overall in the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship.
After one outright victory and three second place finishes, in their MK Transport Ford Escort, they lead also their class commandingly, with three rounds still to go.
However their big rival for the overall title Gloucestershire’s David Stokes in his more powerful BDA Escort, and this weekend on the Ulster Rally the County Down crew really need to beat the English driver to keep that underdog title dream alive.
St. Angelo airfield Enniskillen is the base for the Ulster a two-day event over fifteen special stages totalling one hundred and twenty four miles.
After the Ulster challenge, it’s the Rally Isle of Man in September and the finale in the Scottish forests in October for the Colin McRae Forest Stages.
Enniskillen Motor Club is running a very special rally as part of its celebration of 50 years organising motorsport in Fermanagh. The Samdec Security Stages Rally 2014 will take place on Saturday 6th September.
This rally is the only round of the Northern Ireland Rally Championship and this year sees a new-look competitor friendly rally with a special entry fee of just £196.40 as a nod towards 1964, the founding year.
The rally will run through 44 miles of Fermanagh forests south-west of Derrygonnelly over 8 Special Stages run no more than twice.
Cars up to 1650cc will run at the head of the field with the World Rally Cars behind them and Trophy Rally rules will apply; giving a retired crew the chance to re-enter on the second leg of the rally.
The Service Park will be on the outskirts of Enniskillen with the rally finishing at the Enniskillen Hotel, Forthill Street in Enniskillen.
Enniskillen Motor Club has additional support from The Fisher Foundation, Fermanagh District Council as well as Montgomery Motorsport, Diamond Cabs and Mitten Quarries.