McGarrity Wins Dogleap Cliffhanger
The rally-long battle between Derek McGarrity in his S14 Subaru and Joe McGonigle in the R5 Skoda Fabia was settled on the very last stage. The gap had never been more than a couple of seconds as the pair swapped fastest times all day. Going into the final stage, McGonigle had a two second deficit to make up. He again took fastest time but failed to take the win by just one second. Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont were some thirty five seconds back in third place in the McGeehan Motorsport Mini WRC. The other Mini of last years winners Alan McGeehan and Arthur Kierans suffered an engine problem while holding third place after SS4, leading to their retirement.
In the Junior 1000 Rally Challenge, Sam Adams and Andrew Busche, who have already sewn up the 2017 Championship, took a comfortable win with Jordan Frazier second.
DOGLEAP RALLY 5th AUGUST 2017
Maiden City Motor Club has just released the Seeded Entry list for the MJM Dogleap Rally, due to take place on Saturday 5th August at Shackleton, Ballykelly.
Entry list contains both the 2017 Dogleap and NI Championship Junior Challenge Rallies.
Clerk of the Course, Michael Irving, said, "due to some late entries, reseeding will be looked at on Saturday morning."
Winners of the 2016 MJM Group Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally - Alan McGeehan and Arthur Cairns
A top class field is expected for the MJM Group Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally, with the 2016 winners, Alan McGeehan and Arthur Cairns, returning to defend their title in the McGeehan Motorsport Mini WRC.
The Shackelton complex at Ballykelly will host the rally, which will once again be sponsored by the MJM Group. Changes introduced to the route for the Maiden City Motor Club Turkey Run Rally proved to be very popular with competitor and spectator alike, so these have been carried through to the Dogleap Rally. Clerk of the Course, Michael Irving commented “By staying away from the runways and concentrating on the access roads, there is more of a challenge for the drivers. That makes the competition much closer and is a better spectacle for the spectators as well. We are expecting a great days rallying”.
Joe McGonigle, the 2015 winner, will bring out his Skoda Fabia R5 and will face stiff competition from the Fiesta R5’s of Martin Cairns and former NI Champion Conor McCloskey, as well as from multiple champion Derek McGarrity in a Subaru WRC. The Mk 11 Escorts battle between Camillus Bradley and Alister Cochrane should also be close.
The rally is also a round of the NI Junior Rally Championship provides the opportunity for the young stars of the future to gain experience in their own hotly contested category.
The MJM Group Dogleap Rally takes place on Saturday August 5th at Shackelton Ballykelly. Action gets under way at 10am with the first of six stages. Special spectator areas will be provided at the best viewing points and there is ample free parking.
KELLY WINS LARK IN THE PARK
Donagh Kelly and Conor Foley took an convincing win on the Eakin Isuzu Lark In The Park Rally. Their Focus WRC was ideally suited to the fast Cliffords stage and despite the damp conditions Kelly immediately took an eighteen second lead over Joe McGonigle and Ciaran Geaney in the Skoda Fabia R5. Kevin Gallagher and Gerard Callaghan in a Darrian T90 were a further seven seconds back. The order remained the same on the second and third running Cliffords with the lead being stretched to thirty nine seconds.
Joe McGonigle was fastest on all three of the Park stages but was unable to make a dent in the overall lead.
1st. Donagh Kelly / Conor Foley Focus WRC 26:04
2nd Joe McGonigle / Ciaran Geaney Skoda Fabia R5 26:51
3rd Kevin Gallagher / Gerard Callaghan Darrian T90 GTR 27:19
Eakin Isuzu & Brian James Trailers, Lark in the Park 2017
Date: - Saturday 22nd April 2017
- Second recce period for the 2017 Lark in the Park - Friday 21st April
- There will be 2 passes
- Time - from 12 noon to 5:30pm
- Sign-on - An Grianan Hotel, Burt.
- SEE FINAL INSTRUCTION 1, 2 & 3 on New Event Downloads page
Eakin Isuzu/Brian James Trailers Lark in the Park 2017 - Received Entry List - Friday 7th April!
The 2017 Eakin Isuzu/Brian James Trailers Lark in the Park has just published the unseeded Entry list for the rally to be held in 2 weeks.
Maiden City woud like to thank all the competitors who have sent their entry to take part in thie event.
Seeding is currently under way. Outcome by week-end!
Lark in the Park 2017 - Sponsor for Park!
Maiden City MC can announce a new sponsor for the 2017 Lark in the Park.
Eakin Brothers, authorised dealers for Isuzu and Brian James Trailers, have become the title sponsor for the 2017 Lark in the Park rally, to be held on Saturday 22nd April.
Tho official launch will be held shortly.
Lark in the Park 2017 - Regulations now available!
Lark in the Park will take place on Saturday 22nd April 2017.
Regulations are now available, with news of the event details being publicised later this week.
We hope everyone will enjoy this event, mixing a top class road stage with the spectacle of the St. Columbs Park, highlighting motorsport in the Maiden City.
McGeehan Snatches Turkey Run Victory
Driving a WRC Mini, Derek McGeehan and Martin McNicholl secured the top spot on the podium for the MJM Group Turkey Run Rally.
Derek McGarrity in a WRC Fiesta took set fastest time on the first of the six special stages and was still in the lead after stage two, before suffering a driveshaft failure which brought his day to an end, Joe McGonigle held the lead through stages three and four in his newly acquired Skoda Fabia R5 but was just 0.5 seconds ahead of Derek McGeehan going into the final stage, McGeehan blitzed the last stage to take the victory by 1.2 seconds. In third spot was the other Mini of Alan McGeehan who won last time out at Shackelton on the Dogleap Rally. Richard Tannahil, out for the first time in the Citroen DS3 R5, finished fourth ahead of the WRC Fiesta of Martin Cairns. John Bradley in an Escort took the top two wheel drive award in sixth place. Marty Gallager in his R2 Peugeot finished seventh with Johnny Morrow eighth. In ninth place was motorcycle ace Michael Dunlop while Rodney White in a Sunbeam finished out the top ten.
New Clerk of the Course for the 2016 Turkey Run, Michael Irving, has closed the entry list as the number of entries has now exceeded the maximum, as the event has reached its maximum entry of 90 cars. The COC thanks competitors who have said they will not be competing, and allowed and reserve list to move to 10+. We appeal to any competitor on the Seeded Entry list, who does not expect to start, e-mail the Secretary to withdraw now.
The Main Field SEEDED ENTRY LIST is now available(Updated Tuesday 27th).
The Junior Entry List is also available.
Competitors on the reserve list will be contacted.
Final instruction 1 and Final Instruction 2 are available here.
Final Entry closing date will be Monday 19th December. With entries apporaching the maximum allowed as per regulations, the COC appeals to competitors, to have your entry in by Monday 19th, to allow time to get the seeding completed and the course set up in the Shackleton base
over the Christmas holiday.
NEWSFLASH - MJM Turkey Run Rally
It has just been announced that Maiden
City MC will be running the 2016 Turkey Run
Single-Venue Rally on Friday 30th December 2016 at the extensive
Shackelton Airfield in Ballykelly, Co Derry. This will also be counting round for the Junior 1000 Challenge Rally, for the 2017 championship.
We are happy to announce these details now, with the cancellation of the 2015 event.
Once again, site owners MJM will act as title sponsor for the event, after Christmas, with a double helping of festive cheer. Firstly, the main event will cater for all drivers and co-drivers on the day, competing over six special stages on the demanding track of the former RAF base. Added to this is the first round of the NI Junior Challenge for the 2017 season, a hughly popular event for the up and coming drivers of the future.
Secretary of the Meeting, Stephen McCay gave brief details of the event, and said that there had been a fresh approach to the event with some changes to the route and layout of the course. Stephen said, "There is a new COC for the event, who will be working with other Senior Officials to put some new ideas in place for this time of the year with the short days and potential icy weather. We will give more details shortly, but Entries are now open. Entry forms and regulations can now be downloaded from the website, www.maidencitymotorclub.com."
Mark King, Trevor Ferguson and Norman Ferguson put on a great show for everyone at the autotest as part of the Legenderry Motor Show. The level of skill and car control was truly amazing. There was a great turn-out of club members and great display of rally cars - plus Stanley's new toy ....
A big thank you to everyone who helped make the day as success and we look forward to welcoming the new prospective club members who expressed an interest on the day.
Nevin Wins Eagles Rock Hillclimb
Jaye Nevin in a Lotus Reynard took the overall win in the Eagles Rock Hillclimb, setting a scorching time of 68.98 seconds on the final timed run. Andy Hawthorne was just 0.27 seconds back in 2nd place in the Vauxhall Lotus Reynard. The final podium place was taken by Ian Lankashire in his Subaru Impreza before the Subaru suffered a major "off" on the 3rd timed run in the hands of his brother Mark.
1st - Jaye Nevin Lotus Reynard 68.98 seconds
2nd - Andy Hawthorne Vauxhall Lotus Reynard 69.25
3rd - Ian Lankashire Subaru Impreza 69.40
Eagles Rock Hillclimb
After many years of absence, the time is almost here for the return of the MCMC to the hillclimb scene with the Eagles Rock event which takes place near Binevenagh on Saturday August 27th. The hillclimb is a round of the Millers Oils N.Ireland Hillclimb Championship and already there is a strong entry from the usual championship contenders.
CoC, Declan McCay commented " MCMC has had a long tradition of running the Benbradagh Hillclimb and now we have the opportunity to run the Eagles Rock hillclimb with the support of the Coleraine Motor Club. It is a hill which is popular with the competitors and we see already that the change of date to the end of August has secured an increased entry. It will be great to see a real mixture of everything from single-seaters, specials, and vintage cars all competing in their respective classes."
Action gets under way after driver's briefing at 10am with the first of the two practice runs starting at 10:30am, followed by three timed runs.
McGeehan wins the MJM Group Dogleap Rally
Alan McGeehan and Niall Magee took first place in the Maiden City Motor Club?s MJM Group Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally, following fierce competition throughout the day. A total of 80 crews took to the stages, including 4 Juniors competing in the Junior 1000 Rally Championship.
Right away the battle of the 2015 Dogleap Rally was resumed between Joe McGonigle, the 2015 winner, in the Skoda S2000 and Alan McGeehan in his Mini WRC. McGonigle took the first stage by a margin of just 0.1 seconds while McGeehan took stage 2 by 0.5 seconds and then pulled out a small lead by being 2.9 seconds faster on stage 3. These two were in a class of their own, with Alan Carmichael some 24 seconds further back in 3rd place in another of the McGeehan Motorsport WRC Minis. McGonigle?s fastest times on stages 4 and 6 were not enough to catch McGeehan, who came home a worthy winner after coming close in previous years. Unfortunately for McGonigle, an earlier uncharacteristic error by his co-driver resulted in a time penalty. The crew continued on appeal but this penalty dropped them out of contention. Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont were promoted to second place and Dungiven crew Seamus O?Connell and Sean Magee in their Escort MkII completed the podium places, as well as finishing 1st two wheel drive.
There was another titanic battle between two of the best young prospects in Irish rallying, Callum Devine form Park and Marty Gallagher from Letterkenny, in Class 5. Gallagher, in a Peugeot 208 was being co-driven by John Pat Cunning representing the sponsor , the MJM Group. They were in front for stages 1 and 2 but lost some time on stage 3. Callum Devine, with Keith Moriarty calling the notes in the Opel Adam, took the class lead and held it to the end, finishing an incredible 4th overall. Gallagher was a mere 9 seconds back and finished 6ht overall.
The rally was also a round of the Junior 1000 Rally Challenge. Peter Bennett and Andrew Bushe took the win in their Skoda, 10 seconds ahead of Josh McErlean and Tommy McErlean in a Peugeot.
Dogleap Latest ....
With an entry just shy of 90, the MJM Group Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally is set to be one of the best ever. The field has quality as well as quantity and we can look forward to fierce competition right throughout the classes. All eyes will be on the battle for overall honours between the 2015 winner, Joe McGonigle, and Alan McGeehan who led last year up until the final stage. Both men have vowed to be on the top step of the podium come Saturday afternoon. Add in Alan Carmichael in the Mini, Martin Cairns in a Fiesta WRC, Sligo Stages winner Paddy McVeigh and Richard Hogg in Subarus, Paurig Duffy in the R5 Fiesta, former NI Champions Conor McCloskey and George Robinson and anything can happen.
There will be another good R2 battle between the two young hotshots, Marty Gallagher in the Peugeot 208 and Callum Devine in the Opel Adam. Thirteen time IoM TT winner, Michael Dunlop, returns to challenge Seamus O.Connell, John Bonner and Brendan McDaid for top Mk II honours.
CoC, Danny Gormley, has said " I am delighted with the entry and everything is set for a great days rallying. I would urge rally fans to come along and make it a family day out. Shackelton is ideally suited to providing easy and safe viewing. Safety is paramount so I would ask everyone to obey the marshals who are there to ensure your safety."
There will be a total of six stages and the first car is away at 10.15.
Dogleap Press Launch
The press launch for the MJM Group Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally took on Wednesday July 27th at the Roe Valley Arts and Culture Centre on Main Street Limavady. As always, there was be a great selection of rally cars on display and drivers available for interviews. We were pleased to have the Deputy Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Councillor James McCorkill, as well as two of our stage sponsors, Campsie Karting and the Precision Gear Company. Thanks to everyone who helped make it a great night.
Dogleap Rally Update ....
With just under two week to go, the MJM Group Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally is shaping up to be a cracker. Entries have been coming in thick and fast and there are some familiar names in the line-up already. The battle we all enjoyed last year looks set to be repeated. In 2015, Alan McGeehan, in the McGeehan Motorsport WRC Mini, maintained a slender lead right up until the last stage, while Joe McGonigle and Derek McGarrity continued to put him under pressure. McGeehan had a nightmare last stage and Joe McGonigle had a real flyer in the S2000 Skoda. The result was a dead heat with McGonigle taking the win on tie-break. Both men are determined to take the win this time around.
CoC, Danny Gormley has said " Everything is looking really good for the rally. Entries are not closed yet but I am pleased to say that already we have a good mix of WRC, S2000 and clubman cars, not to forget the Juniors who have a round of their Championship. We are well on track to put on a good show on behalf of our new sponsor, the MJM Group."
Eagle's Rock Hillclimb Saturday 27th August 2016 Regulations
Maiden City MotorClub are pleased to announce the return of the Eagles Rock Hillclimb on Saturday 27th August.
Secretary of the Hillclimb meeting, Stephen McCay, just announced today thet Regulations are now open, and full details are available on the Regulations and Enrty Forms.
Stephen said, "Maiden City MC are running this famous Hillclimb for the Coleraine and District MC for 2016, and the event has moved from the usual July date to one that we hope suits everyone at the end of August, Saturday 27th."
More details to follow.
MJM Group 2016 Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally Regulations
MaidenCity MC have just released their 2016 MJM Group Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally Regulations for both the Dogleap main rally and the ANICC Championship Junior Challenge event.
Veteran COC for the events is Danny Gormley, who released the regulations today to competitors.
The Shackleton based event, give competitors a clear window of opportunity on 6th August to prepare for the impending main International Rally, the Ulster Rally.
Competitors will have an opportunity to have a full test of their cars on the smooth and predictable 5 mile stage offered at the fabulous Shackelton site.
Competitors must look at our Enrty Fee which competitive and value for money, £150Stg until 18th July, and £180Stg until closing date of 25th July.
The event will take place on Saturday 6th August 2016.
More details to follow.
MJM Group is new Title Sponsor for the Dogleap Rally.
Today the Maiden City Motor Club has announced that the MJM Group is to be the new title sponsor for the Dogleap Rally.
The rally, which will take place at the Shackelton Complex at Ballykelly on August 6th, 2016, will be known as the MJM Group Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally. MCMC Chairman, Gerry O'Doherty, commented " Maiden City Motor Club is delighted that the MJM Group, which is a leading international specialist in refurbishment and interior fit-out services for the marine, commercial and private sectors, has come on board to support the rally."
"The MJM Group has recently completed the purchase of the Shackelton site and there are plans to bring new businesses and new jobs to the area. It is all the more pleasing, therefore, that they are also going out of their way to support community activities and to help raise funds for local charities."
Naoimh Mcconville of the MJM Group said they were delighted to continue to support the MCMC Dogleap Rally which has been held on the Shackelton site for the last five years.
?MJM Group is one of the largest fit-out specialists in the world and the acquisition of Shackleton will bring real private sector growth and jobs to the area. We fully intend to be part of the whole community and it is a pleasure to continue to support the tremendous work of the Maiden City Motor Club on the site."
"The Dogleap Rally has provided a real boost to tourism in the area and we are delighted to support Gerry O'Doherty and his team who work so hard to bring quality events in Motor Rallying to the region while raising money for many worthy charities.?
The rally will again make use of the roads within the Shackelton complex and will consist of six stages totalling just short of forty stage miles. Supplementary Regulations will be released and Entries will open shortly.
Declan McCay, Joe McGonigle 2015 winner, Brian McConville Chairman of MJM Group and Gerry O'Doherty
MCMC May Club Meeting
Please note that the May club meeting will be on TUESDAY May 10th. A number of club officials will need to attend the ANICC Dates meeting on Monday 9th.
Usual arrangements - 8.00pm at the White Horse.
McGonigle Wins Lark In The Park
Joe McGonigle and Cieran Geaney took a convincing win in the LITP. The Skoda S2000 pair set the fastest time on all six stages. The initial challenge from Frank Wray diminished after the Strabane driver suffered a mishap on the first visit to the Park on SS3 and caused significant damage to the front of the Subaru. The Mark II of Adrian Hetherington took second place overall, 16 seconds back while John Bonner and Leo Jordon, also in an Escort, finished in 3rd place.
Lark In The Park Latest Update - Thursday 21st April.....
Competitors taking part in the 2016 Lark in the Park, here is the next Final Instruction regarding scrutiny and sign-on for Saturday morning.
Lark in the Park 2016 Seeded Entry List is available below.
The Recce for the Drung stage took place on Sunday 17th April.
Details of the recce sign-on and instructions were included in the document below.
We thank all the Competitors for their entry, and advise that all entered will be starting.
Press Launch Lark In The Park 2016
New Nominated Charity
New for this year?s event, is their nominated charity, Children in Crossfire. Their Events Fundraiser, Eileen Warren, spoke briefly at the launch of the 2016 event, and said Children in Crossfire was delighted that the Maiden City Motor Club and its Lark in the Park had nade this possible this year. She thanked Club Chairman, Gerry O?Doherty for the chance to highlight this local and global charity, and wished Clerk of the Course Danny Gormley a safe and enjoyable rally on Saturday 23rd April.
Waterside Traffic Arrangements
For Spectators who will be attending St. Columb?s Park, there will be strict ?no-parking? enforced on Limavady Road and Browning Drive all day. No rally parking will be permitted in St. Columb?s Park. As the action begins close to 1:30pm, special car parking arrangements have been made at Wilton Park and Oakgrove Primary School. Public travelling are asked to use these facilities, and support the local community groups or use the city side car parks and access the rally via the Peace Bridge.
For an enjoyable afternoon, please obey the Marshal?s or Steward?s instructions to assist in the running of this event.
Lark In The Park - GO! for 2016
Regulations and Entry Form available to download:
Not long to go now till the 2016 Lark In The Park. This year sees a welcome return to St. Columb's Park as well as a brand new stage in Donegal. CoC Danny Gormley has commented " The team has been extremely busy over the past weeks and all their hard work is very much appreciated. There is considerable effort in complying with all the new and much needed safety advice and requirements coming from the MSA. I am very pleased with the plans that are being put in place and hope for a safe and enjoyable rally. There is a brand new stage in Donegal which will be run three times and all indications are that it will be a big hit with the competitors. Including the 3 Park stages, we will be just short of 30 stage miles. My thanks to those who have gotten their entries in early and I would urge those who are planning to enter to go ahead and get their entries in as soon as possible"
2015 winners Donagh Kelly and Conor Foley
SAFETY - SAFETY - SAFETY - SAFETY - SAFETY
Safety in rallying is paramount and the future of the sport depends on it. It is particularly important that the general public, spectators and officials/marshals remain safe as well as the competitors. To this end, well though-out arrangements are put in place to minimise the possibility of injury but they will only be effective if everyone takes heed of them. So, spectators, please obey the marshals. Marshals please do not put yourself in danger.
The following message fro Ari Vatanen can give us all some valuable guidance:
?Maybe rallying can never be completely safe for the competitor but for spectators there are some simple personal safeguards which you can follow so that you are not putting yourself at risk. I ask you, for your own sakes, please think where you watch from, do not take risks to get the best view or the best photo. Listen to the marshals and never argue with them. Follow paths that have been made for you and don?t please wander about in the stage and try and get out of the way just as a car is coming. I know you love our sport, and our sport would be nothing without you, but do not put yourself and our sport at risk. Use your common sense!?
Ari Vatanen, 1981 World Rally Champion
Lark in the Park Stages Rally 2016
The 2016 Lark In The Park Stages Rally has just taken one step closer with the announcement of the Regulations for this year's event.
There is the welcome return of the St. Columb's Park Stages for the event, the traditional home of the Lark in the Park, with some extra mileage being provided by a stage in the Donegal region, kindly provided by Donegal Motor Club and Motorsport Ireland.
The Park was unavailable in 2015, due to major refurbishment, but Derry City and Strabane District Council have kindly made the space available again for 2016.
The event will take place on Saturday 23rd April 2016.
Club Nite at TOC
A big Thankyou to Seamus and Tommy O'Connell who welcomed the MCMC to their premises to view their collection of rally cars. A big turnout of club members were treated to a great evenings craic and got to see and hear about some of the best fast Fords in the country.
Congratulations to Michael Irving and Ricki Nutt for coming 1st and 2nd respectively in the ANICC Marshals Awards for 2015. There is no motorsport without marshals so a massive vote of thanks is due to all those stalwarts who turn out in all weathers to make sure events run safely. To come out top of the pile requires even more dedication and commitment.
Photo by kind permission of Sperrin Photography
February MCMC Club Nite ...
Great news - it has just been confirmed that the next club outing will be to see the extensive collection of competition and other cars belonging to Seamus O'Connell in Dungiven.
URGENT - NEWS FLASH
It is with regret that Maiden City Motor Club has had to cancel the 2015 Turkey Run Rally, scheduled for Tuesday 29th December at Aghadowey.
Clerk of the Course, Ian Connolly, give details of the decision late on Monday 21st December, after a series of meetings with Senior Officials from the Maiden City Club.
The difficult decision was taken, following discussions about the number of paid entries received, which fell well short of the number required to sustain the event. With the Christmas holiday about to take place, we needed to have our hired equipment and services in place, but unusually, the full, committed entries were not there to allow us to go forward and have everything in place.
We had to make commitments, as do all organisers. The regulations clearly stated the closing date today, 21st December, and we thank those competitors who sent their entry form and payment in due time.
However some competitors did not do this, and unfortunately, we have all paid the price.
Recently a few Clubs have been left in this predicament, today it is our turn.
A few popular rallies run by high profile clubs, have been cancelled in similar fashion this year.
Entries will be returned by the Secretary of the Meeting, Stephen McCay.
Marshals, MSA Officials and Services due to attend the event will be informed forthwith.
11.00pm, Monday 21st December 2015
Turkey Run Entries
With just over 24 hours to go till entries close for the Turkey Run, CoC Ian Connolly has appealed for anyone still planning to enter to get there skates on and get it done. " I am delighted that there has been a last minute surge in entries and we are getting much closer to the numbers required to make the event financially viable. I would appeal to those still planning to enter, to help us out to get their entry in as soon as possible. The last thing we want to do is have to cancel. The Turkey Run has been a feature on the MCMC calendar for many years and we really want to run. However, there is a limit to the financial hit that the club can take. It is common practice for people to put entries in well after the closing date but on this occasion it carries the risk that there might not be a rally and that would be a great shame. So, please, if you are planning to enter, help us out and get the entries in asap."
The entries to date represent a good spread across the classes, with a particularly strong WRC entry, including a very good turnout from McGeehan Motorsport and McKinstry Motorsport. The layout of the stages has a good mix of fast and twisty and everything is set for a great days craic. Just the thing to blow away the Christmas cobwebs for competitor and spectator alike.
Entry Form and Regulations for the Turkey Run are available to download.
Turkey Run Update ...
With entries now coming in, CoC Ian Connolly has taken the opportunity to remind intending competitors to go ahead and put their entry in as soon as possible. Ian said " Myself and my team have been getting lots of enquiries and we understand the sense of disappointment in some quarters that the Turkey Run is not at Shackelton this year. Shackelton is simply not available this time but we are very hopeful that we will be back there soon. We have been a bit spoiled there over the past few years. However, the former home of the Turkey Run was always Aghadowey and we know we can put on a very good rally there. "
"Because of the change of venue and the awkward timing over Christmas, I want to remind competitors that it is imperative they get their entries in before the closing date, and preferable sooner. We all know that there is a bit of a culture of putting entries in even after the closing date but unfortunately that is not going to be possible this time. Because of significant financial commitments that have to be made by December 21st, the rally can only proceed if sufficient paid entries are received at that time. The last thing I want to do is make things difficult for the competitors so I am appealing for their cooperation."
"Already we have a former N.I Rally Champion making a welcome return, a MCMC Club Champion debuting a new car and a number of WRC's in the line-up."
Breaking News ......
Change of Venue For Turkey Run.
With preparations already at an advanced stage, some surprise news from OFMDFM has resulted in a major change of plan. It will not be possible to use Shackelton for the December 29th date due to matters relating to the sale of the site. Consequently, a new venue is required.
CoC, Ian Connolly, said " Even at such short notice, we really did not want to cancel the Turkey Run. Competitors look forward to getting a run out over Christmas and in recent years we have had great entries and a good spectator turn-out. The only real option was to look for another venue and the good news is that we have secured Aghadowey for the event. This has been the home of the Turkey Run in years gone bye and has had a lot of refurbishment in recent years. I am looking forward to once again puting on a very successful and enjoyable rally."
There will be a total of 15 stage miles spread over six stages.
Regulations and Entry Form will soon be available for download
In line with the MCMC policy of supporting local charities, donations have been made to St. Johns Ambulance and Roe Valley Friends of Marie Curie. Club Treasurer, Danny Gormley, made the presentations and commented "On behalf of the Maiden City Motor Club, I am delighted to be able to provide some financial assistance to St. Johns Ambulance. They deliver an excellent service at all our events and it is easy to forget they are a charity that is largely staffed by volunteers. Similarly, the fund raising activities of the Roe Valley Friends of Marie Curie are crucial to the vital services provided by the Marie Curie nurses and home support personnel. These are both very worthy charities and it is great to be able to help them."
MCMC AGM - December 14th ....
The AGM will take place on Monday December 14th at 8.00pm in the White Horse Hotel Campsie.
Notification for the Club AGM and the Agenda may be downloaded along with a Committee Nomination form below.
Could the recipients of 2014 awards who have not yet returned the trophies please make arrangements to return them to the Club Secretary.
MCMC Club Nite - McGeehan Motorsport
A big thank you to Derek McGeehan for hosting the MCMC visit to the McGeehan Motorsport rally workshop. The great turnout of Club Members meant that Derek answered questions for nearly two hours. This was a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes of one of the best rally businesses in the country as well as getting the perspective on modern day rallying from a top driver. From Minis to Mk 1 BDA's, the high standards of preparation were plain for all to see.
Autotest at The Legenderry Motor Show
On Sunday September 27th, MCMC put on a Demo Autotest at Ebrington as part of the Legenderry Motor Show. The large crowd was entertained by three of the top autotesters from the N.I. Championship regulars. In addition, the MCMC Club stand featured a very tasty line-up of competition cars. A big thank you to all who helped make the day a resounding success, especially those who brought their cars along for the Club display.
Return of the Hillclimb
Its official - after a gap of several years, MCMC will again run a hillclimb. The big change is the venue - the Eagles Rock at Binevanagh. This hill has traditionally been used successfully by the Coleraine Motor Club but their event has suffered from low entries in recent years. MCMC have agreed to take it on and change the date from mid July to end August at the request of the hillclimb fraternity. It is expected that there will be a healthy entry on that bank holiday weekend. The hillclimb will retain its full NI Championship status. Declan McCay said " It is really great to be asked to take on this event and get back into the hillclimb scene. While we all have great memories of our previous events at Benbradagh, it makes sense to use the Eagles Rock road which has recently been resurfaced. We are particularly pleased to have the full support of the Coleraine Motor Club in this new venture".
MCMC 2016 Dates Confirmed.
Following the final ANNICC Dates Meeting, all of the requested dates for the MCMC 2016 events have now been confirmed.
Lark In the Park Border Hopper Rally - April 23rd
Dogleap Rally / Junior 1000 Challenge - August 6th
Eagles Rock Hillclimb - August 27th
Autotest Demo - September 25th
Turkey Run Rally - December 30th
McGonigle wins Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally in dramatic finish
Joe McGonigle and Ciaran Geaney pulled off a dramatic win on the final stage of the Dogleap Rally. In mixed and sometimes very wet weather conditions throughout the day, the battle raged between Alan McGeehan / Niall Magee in the Mini WRC and Derek McGarrity / Nigel Magee in a rare Imprez N4.
McGeehan took fastest time on Stage 1 and managed to maintain a slender lead over McGarrity through Stage 5. McGonigle in the Skoda S2000 had slipped further back following a mistake but steadily closed in on the leaders. On the final stage, McGeehan had a spin and dropped 20 seconds while McGonigle had a flyer and ended up in a tie for first with McGarrity. The tie was decided on greatest number of fastest times - 2 for McGarrity and 3 for McGonigle.
The Junior 1000 Rally Challenge was won by Daniel Harper and Andrew Bushe with Michael McGarrity and Shauna Topping in second place.
Dogleap Rally - Saturday 1st August - FRIDAY UPDATE
Entries have now closed for the 2015 Dogleap Rally Stages Rally and the JUNIOR 1000 Challenge.
Secretary Ian Connolly reported there was a final rush of entries late Wednesday and a number of withdrawn entries at the Wednesday deadline.
Ian said, "Seeding has been done tonight and the list has been posted on the website along with Final Instruction 1 and a Map of the Service Area. Please follow the guidance of the Marshals."
Dogleap Rally - Saturday 1st August
With just over a week to go, final preparations are well under way for the 2015 Dogleap Rally. CoC Declan McCay has commented "I am very pleased with the new stage layout especially now that I can see it in place. I am sure everyone will enjoy the challenge. Once again it looks like we will have a strong entry, including a very strong Junior 1000 field. Also, it is great to see motorcycle maesto Michael Dunlop back again after such a strong showing last year. He should give some of the MkII regulars a run for their money".
More MARSHALS are needed to enable the safe running of the rally. Anyone who can help should CONTACT
Gerald Hunter on 00353869401064 or
Michael Hunter on 07845510279
Maiden City Motor Club have announced the Regulations and Entry Form are now available to download. Full details are provided on the regulations. The Dogleap Junior 1000 Challenge is once again a round of the NI Junior Championship.
Please note - the July MCMC Club meeting will be on Wednesday July 15th at the White Horse Hotel Campsie.
Dogleap Latest .....
MARSHALS - MARSHALS - MARSHALS - MARSHALS - MARSHALS - MARSHALS
No rally can run without the requisite number of marshals and it tends to be the same people who go out week after week to support motor clubs all over the country, in the hope that the favour will be returned when it comes to running the home event. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get enough marshals to comply with every aspect of the Safety Plan. If there is a shortage of even a single marshal then the stage can not run as planned, probably having to be shortened.
In addition to the more normal marshals' incentives, some very good friends of the Maiden City Motor Club have once again donated prizes for a marshals' draw. Campsie Karting have put up a voucher to the value of £100. This can be used for karting, paintballing and a whole range of other activities.
Derek McGeehan of McGeehan Motorsport has provided the opportunity of one very luck marshal to attend a full blown test session. For a true rally enthusiast this is absolutely priceless, providing a behind the scenes look at what goes on at a test session for some of the best rally cars in the country. Derek said "As a competitor myself, I am very aware of the sacrifice made by marshals standing out in all weathers (remember the Dogleap last year) and for long days. I am delighted to be able to give something back and hopefully provide an experience which will make someone very happy."
Dogleap News .....
Work is well under way on laying out the new stages for the 2015 Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally which will once again take place at the Shackelton complex at Ballykelly. CoC, Declan McCay said "I am getting quite excited at the prospect of running stages which will still have the best bits of the stages we have run in the past as well as introducing some new roads to keep things interesting. Let's just hope we have better weather this time around."
Photo by Philpics.net
The final approvals have just come through for Shackelton so it is all systems go for the Dogleap Rally on Saturday August 1st.
The CoC for the rally will be Declan McCay and he has announced that there will be a few changes this time around.
"I am delighted that once again MCMC has secured the use of the Shackelton Ballykelly complex for the Dogleap rally. The OFMDFM have asked us to use an alternative location for rally administration and Service Area and this turns out that the facilities are even better than what we have used up to now. It also means that we can make some changes to the stages and spice things up a bit. We will run six stages totalling in excess of thirty stage miles and once again the emphasis will be on providing a safe and enjoyable rally and good value for money. I am very happy that the rally will also be a round of the Junior 1000 Rally Challenge, as Shackelton provides an ideal proving ground for the younger drivers to test their skills in an off-road environment"
July MCMC Club Meeting
Please note that the July Club Meeting will be on WEDNESDAY July 15th.
The normal Monday night slot falls on a bank holiday
MCMC May Clubnite
Victory for Kelly and Foley in Border Hopper
The times show that Donagh Kelly and Conor Foley in their Focus WRC had a narrow three second victory over Frank Wray and Joe McNulty in the Lark In The Park Border Hopper Rally. The reality was a bit different, as Kelly broke the bogey time on all three passes through the Cliffords stage. Derek Mc Geehan and Arthur Kierans brought the Mini WRC home in third place, a further 5 seconds back.
Lark In The Park Border Hopper Rally UPDATE
SEEDED Entry List for LITP.
Official Recce for those who missed Saturday 18th, will take place on Friday 24th April.
Sign-on from 2.00pm to 3.45pm.
Sign-on will take place at An Grainan Hotel, Burt.
FINAL INSTRUCTION 1 - contains information on Recce.
FINAL INSTRUCTION 2 gives more detail about assisting with Service Park area.
Official Programme available locally at the following outlets:-
Rafferty Top Oil Services, Muff
Callaghans Topaz, Burt,
Callaghans Maxol, Burt
Maxol Garage, Muff
Topaz Garage, Burnfoot,
Dry Arch Complex, Letterkenny
The Service Park has available but limited space. Please assist us to accommodate all competitors by limiting one service barge per competitor.
A trailer park will be available at Dolan's yard/Deerpark, please see THIS MAP for Service Park and Trailer Park.
Lark In The Park Border Hopper Rally
Regulations and entry form available to download below:
CoC, Declan McCay has given an update on the LITP Border Hopper Rally. "With just two week to go now, I am very pleased with the progress to date. After a slow start, the entries are now coming in thick and fast. It seem that quite a number of competitors are using our rally as a shakedown for Monaghan. We have a great selection of WRC cars as well as a healthy interest from clubmen. Preparations are going well and everyone is really looking forward to a great day's rallying".
Chief Marshal, Jude O'Neill, has appealed for additional marshals. Jude said " it is more important than ever that all locations are adequately manned by experienced marshals. I am hoping for a good turnout of marshals from neighbouring clubs. Anyone able to help can contact me on 07871459840"
MCMC Club Meeting - Monday April 13th
The upcoming MCMC meeting will be a joint meeting with Donegal Motor Club, in recognition of the support from DMC to allow MCMC to run the An Grainan stage on the LITP Border Hopper Rally. Club Chairman, Gerry O'Doherty, said "There has always been great cooperation between Maiden City and Donegal motor clubs. Indeed, over the years, personnel from each club have been crucial to the successful running of each others events. Once again we are looking forward to getting out on the Grainan stage for what will hopefully be a momentous day's rallying".
The joint club meeting will take place on Monday April 13th at the An Grainan Hotel, Burt.
MCMC will meet at 8.00pm to conduct some radio training and the joint meeting with Donegal will start at 8.30pm. Main subject will be an update on the Lark In The Park Border Hopper Rally.
Lark in the Park Border Hopper Rally
CoC, Declan McCay has announced that for 2015 the Lark In The Park rally will be known as the Lark In The Park Border Hopper Rally. Declan said "There could be some confusion as to the location of the rally as LITP has become synonymous with St. Columb's Park in the heart of Derry/Londonderry. Since the park is unfortunately not available to us this year, we want the name to better reflect where the action will take place. We are delighted to be able to use the An Grainan stage again this year and the rally base and Service Area will be North of the border, hence the Border Hopper name".
The rally base and service area are located at Nixon's Corner. This is near Killea on the old Letterkenny Road just a couple of miles outside Derry.
Wed 18th March 2015.
Maiden City MC will run a special Stage Rally on the date of the Lark in the Park, which has been shelved for a year due to full refurbishment of the St. Columb's Park stage. On 25th April, the Club will run the An Grianan Stage, with special permission from Donegal Motor Club and Motorsport Ireland.
The An Grianan Stage will be run 3 times, each stage approximately 10 miles in length. Club Chairman and Event Director, Gerry O'Doherty announced details today, following weeks negotiation between the Maiden City Club, Donegal Motor Club, Motorsport Ireland and the Motor Sports Association in London. Gerry said,"We are pleased to have been able to get this event under way, using the DMC An Grainan stage, which has been extended considerably in length from last year. Everyone was disappointed about losing St. Columb's Park, and Derry City Council were at the fore in trying to accommodate us at a different date, but the NI Motorsport calendar is busy and there was not an alternative date. We are pleased to have got this stage again from Donegal and MI."
Clerk of the Course for the event has been announced as Declan McCay.
DCAL ASSISTANCE FOR SAFETY EQUIPMENT
It has been confirmed by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) that Maiden City Motor Club is to receive financial assistance for the purchase of safety equipment to help sustain Lark In The Park, the Dogleap, and the Turkey Run Rallies, going forward. The assistance is to be provided under DCAL's North West Social and Economic Development Programme and will enable MCMC to upgrade its radios and to complete the switch to using cones to mark the route for the rallies at Shackelton.
Speaking at the press announcement, Club Secretary, Declan McCay, thanked DCAL's north west representative, Joanna McConway, for the Department's funding. Declan said " Being able to upgrade to a reliable and effective communication system will greatly enhance safety at all our events. In addition, we now look forward to being able to move away completely from the use of tyres to mark out rally stages".
Once again, MCMC is delighted to be able to give something back to the community through fund raising as a result of the Turkey Run Rally 2014. At a presentation ceremony held in the Drummond Hotel Ballykelly, cheques have been presented to Rachel Bruce from the Foyle Hospice, to Tina McCloskey of the Ballykelly Community and Youth Association and to Anne Marie O'Hagan from Cancer Research UK.
Club Visit to VSM
Many thanks to Paul Flanagan of Vehicle Services Motorsport for hosting the MCMC Club Nite at his workshop at Campsie. Everyone was treated to a fantastic tour of Donagh Kelly's WRC Focus, with explanations of all the main mechanicals and electronic systems. Add in the Metro 6R4 and an Evo and you get a totally unique and enjoyable look behind the scenes of modern day rallying.
MCMC Club- Nite
Instead of the normal monthly Club Meeting on Monday March 9th, there will be a Club Nite guaranteed to spark the interest of all rally fans. Paul Flanagan, of Vehicle Services Motorsport (VSM), has kindly agreed for an MCMC Club visit to their premises at Campsie. This will be a chance to learn a bit about what has to happen to get a top flight car prepared between rallies. This will be a unique behind-the-scenes look at a professional preparation outfit and an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the top rally cars in the country.
Proceedings kick off at 8.00PM at VSM , Unit 3, O'Neill Court, Campsie Industrial Estate ( opposite the Parcelforce Depot).
All club members and prospective club members welcome.
Congratulations to Gerard Mullan and Michael Irving who were recently honoured by awards at the ANNICC Awards ceremony at the Armagh City Hotel. This is the biggest night for motorsport in Northern Ireland and it fitting that Gerard and Michael have been recognised for their achievement in 2014.
Gerard won Class 4 in the NI Rally Championship with his very good friend Ryan Bradley.
Michael's award was in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Marshalling, having marshalled at over fifty events throughout the year - real dedication indeed.
Victory for Kelly and Flanagan on Turkey Run
Donagh Kelly and Kieran Flanagan took their Focus WRC to overall honours in the MCMC Turkey Run Rally, by 19 seconds from last year's winner Derek McGeehan. Gary Jennings, making his first visit to Shackelton, was a further 22 seconds back in 3rd place.
Josh and Thomas McErlean won the Junior Challenge in their Peogeot 107, 9 seconds ahead of Philip White and Martin McGarrity with Peter Barnett and Mac Kierans a further 5 seconds back in 3rd place.
Turkey Run Final Instructions 2
Fear not, because of the artic temperatures expected overnight and the possibility of ice, arrangements have been made to have the stages gritted. So it is all systems go ....
Further details for scrutiny are also provided in Final Instructions 2, now available to download.
Turkey Run Final Entry List ...
What a cracking entry list !!!!!
Final entries for the Maiden City Motor Club's Turkey Run are sitting in the mid 90's. Not only that, but there is quality right throughout the classes. CoC, Declan McCay, commented "I am delighted with the response and I am sure that we will put on a great rally not only for the competitors but also for the spectators. I would urge all rally enthusiasts to come out and join us on Monday. It will be quite a show".
The Final Entry List is available now to download.
******* HAPPY CHRISTMAS *******
The Chairman and Committee of the Maiden City Motor Club would like to wish all our Club Members, friends of the Club, Competitors, Sponsors and Advertisers a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Looking forward to another great year of motorsport.
See you all at the Turkey Run.
Turkey Run Update ....
Final Seeded Entry List and Final Instructions 1 now available to download.
Keep an eye on this website in case of further updates.
Any requests for reseeding will be handled on the morning of the rally.
COC Declan McCay, has expressed his thanks to all the hard-working club members who have completed the stage set-up for the Turkey Run. "I am delighted to see that we are practically ready to run so now people can enjoy their Christmas and get back all fresh for Monday 29th. The entry is excellent and it looks like we could have a re-run of the 2013 battle for overall honours in the Turkey Run, now that Donagh Kelly has joined the fray along with Derek and Alan McGeehan all in WRC cars.. However, looking at who else is in there, I certainly would not rule out an upset, considering the strength of the entry".
From the entries already received, it would seem that the 2013 Turkey Run battle for overall honours between the McGeehans is likely to be repeated again this year. Derek McGeehan and Arthur Cairns return in the WRC Mini while Alan McGeehan and Niall Magee will have their Corrola WRC. It will also be interesting to see how Joe McGonigle will go in the ex Sebastian Ogier Fabia S2000. It is shaping up for a great day's rallying, with lots of interest right throughout all the classes.
Anyone who has still not put in their entry is asked to do so ASAP.
The Interim entry list now available to download.
Entries for the final MCMC rally of the year are flooding in. COC Declan McCay has commented "I am delighted with the way entries are going, quality as well as quantity. The Turkey Run has always proved to be very popular, particularly for the past couple of years at Shackelton and I am really looking forward to another great day. The team have already been out setting up the stages. As always, we try to take account of competitor feedback and once again we have managed to incorporate a number of improvements. I would ask those who are planning to take part to get their entries in as soon as possible to minimise the impact on Christmas for club officials and helpers."
The Final Instructions and Entry List will only be available to download from the website, so as not to be impacted by any postal difficulties over the holiday period.
Maiden City Motor Club were delighted to welcome the Mayor of Derry, Councilor Brenda Stevenson, to the AGM to present the awards for the past year. Club Officers reflected on year which was very successful for the club but which was also blighted by the tragedies which occurred in N. Ireland rallying. A specially commissioned painting was presented to Gerard Mullan by Ian Connolly and son Adam in recognition of the success he had with the late Ryan Bradley in winning Class 4 of the N. Ireland Championship.
The 2014 award winners - Gerard Mullan, Elizabeth Devine, Graham Hendeson, Michael Irvine, Liam Carton, Joe Gallagher, Danny Gormley, Michael Gormley and Donna Carlin, with Club President Elkin Robinson, Chairman Gerry O'Doherty and Secretary Declan McCay.
With entries for the Maiden City Motor Club Turkey Run Rally open for just a few days, already there has been strong interest from competitors wishing to have a run out over Christmas. COC, Declan McCay, is encouraged by the early activity. " The Turkey Run has proven to be very popular in the last couple of years and this year again we are expecting a very strong entry. The format seem to suit very well and we plan to run six all tarmac stages with nearly forty stage miles. Recognising that there is always the potential for bad weather at this time of year, the stages have been optimised to eliminate any areas which could get very mucky. I would urge people to get their entries in early to help ease the burden on the organising team over the Christmas period."
Turkey Run Rally
Maiden City MC have just announced the running of the 2014 Turkey Run Multi-Venue Rally on Monday 29th December 2014 at the extensive Shackelton Airfield in Ballykelly, Co Derry.
Once again, rally competitors and fans can enjoy the last rally of 2014 on the NI rally calendar, after Christmas, with a double helping of festive cheer. Firstly, the main event will cater for all drivers and co-drivers on the day, competing over six special stages on the demanding track of the former RAF base.
Added to this is the last round of the NI Junior Challenge, which makes a surprise return for the final round of the 2014 Championship, after some rounds were cancelled during the year.
The Maiden City team, lead by veteran Declan McCay, pulled out all the stops to make this happen for the Junior drivers at short notice, with the help of the MSA who gave permission for the event to happen. Championship Co-ordinator, Andrew Bushe, put an appeal to the NI governing body, ANICC, and after some deliberation, the local governing body of motorsport gave their approval. Andrew said, "I am happy for this final round to go ahead as Declan and the Maiden City chaps worked very hard to make this a reality for the Junior drivers". Declan McCay said that the Maiden City Club were equally pleased to provide a tried and tested course in Shackelton for the young up-coming drivers in a controlled environment, to develop their motorsport skills.
Entries and now open. Entry forms and regulations can now be downloaded.
Maiden City Motor Club AGM 2014
The Annual General Meeting will take place on Monday 8th December in the White Horse Hotel, Campsie, at 8pm.
Agenda (download here) and Committee Nomination Forms (download here) for the upcoming AGM are now available for download.
Anyone wishing to stand for the MCMC Committee should complete and return by 5pm on Friday 5th December, to;-
Brian McDaid & Associates,
35 Clarendon Street,
All existing and prospective club members are encouraged to come along and have your input as to how the club can progress for the upcoming year. In addition, there will be a Prizegiving and awards ceremony.
Following the AGM, there will be a social gathering of family and friends of the Maiden City Motor Club, Neighbouring Motor Clubs and invited guests. Light refreshments will be provided.
Come along and enjoy the "craic"..
November Club Meeting
Please note that the November Club meeting will take place on TUESDAY November 11th. The meeting has had to be moved from the Monday to enable club personnel to participate in ANICC AGM.
Dogleap Raises Funds for Foyle Hospice
Once again, the RiverRidge Recycling Dogleap Rally has managed to raise funds on behalf of the Foyle Hospice, this despite the atrocious weather conditions on the day, which undoubtedly affected the spectator numbers. Representatives of MCMC and title sponsor RiverRidge Recycling have presented a cheque for £1500 to Ciaran McGinley, Head of Fundraising for the Foyle Hospice, at a ceremony at Ebrington Square. Clerk of the Course for the rally, Ian Connolly, commented "It is always great to be able to support a worthy cause and the Foyle Hospice does some magnificent work. I understand a big proportion of their income comes from fundraising and Maiden City Motor Club is delighted to help in any way possible".
The whole squad .....
MCMC at Legenderry Car Show
Thanks to all who turned out to man the stand at the Legenderry Car Show in Ebrington. Particular thanks to those who brought their very top class rally cars to wow the public. A considerable number of new members were signed up on the day and we hope to see them at the next club meeting. Well done you members .....
McGarrity Wins RiverRidge Recycling Dogleap Rally.
Derek McGarrity and James McKee took a convincing win in the RiverRidge Recycling Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally. They took the lead right from the start in their Mini WRC and set fastest time on five out of the six stages. Alan McGeehan and Niall Magee maintained a strong second place throughout and took the remaining stage victory to bring their Corolla home in second place, some 37 seconds behind. Third place went to Dominic McNeill and Tommy Speers in the Mitsubishi Evo.
Sensation of the day was motorcycle ace Michael Dunlop, who quickly adapted to the very difficult conditions to finish up in joint 8th spot overall and winner of Class 8.
Final Instructions and Seeded Entry List available for download.
Note: The Seeded Entry List has been updated as of Thursday July 31st @ 10.00pm. Some entries added which will be reseeded on the day of the rally - competitors can submit reseeding request at Sign On.
Breaking News .....
11 Times TT Winner MICHAEL DUNLOP on Entry List for RiverRidge Recycling Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally
After taking the victory and posting a stunning near 134mph lap in this years TT Michael Dunlop is to swap 2 Wheels for 4 as he heads up a star-studded entry for the Maiden City Motor Clubs Dog Leap Stages at Shelkelton Barracks in Ballykelly. On Saturday 2nd August.
The idea of Dunlop taking part in rallying was first suggested at a charity dinner in Belfast last year, where Dunlop chatted with Irish champion and 2012 Donegal International winner Gary Jennings.
Jennings explained - "It started off as a bit of banter, but Michael fancied the idea and now it happened in the Donegal International Rally in June . He had no experience of rallying, but he is a very competitive guy and judging by the way he rides a motorbike he has the skills and appreciation of speed to do well. He was a big hit with rally fans as he brought the Ford Escort home in a creditable 17th Overall in the National Rally for the Friday over night Halt. On the Saturday he had settled in well and was climbing the field but unfortunately mechanical problems seen him retire on the Saturday afternoon when he was just outside the top 10".
Dunlop has been bitten by the rally bug and fans of Bike racing and rallying are in for a real treat and Michael drives the Ford Escort of Donegal rally driver Brian Brogan.
Den motorsport will look after the 2.5 Millington Escort on Saturday 2nd August. However Barry Den, MD of Den Motorsport, will have the task of navigating Dunlop around the 6 mile stage.
Speaking last night Barry Den said "At first I did not give the car and Michael much hope of seeing the end of the Friday stages in Donegal. I knew he had the speed so the long straights were not an issue, but the tight twisty roads in Donegal could have raised difficulties. For a man that can control two wheels at high speed the extra two wheel could have been a problem ,,,, but he is a natural and his times surprised everyone including Michael himself.
So when an offer of The Dry Arch and Sister Sarah Complex sponsored car of Brian Brogan came up, I was delighted to accept the offer to navigate with Michael on Saturday in the Dogleap Stages. This will be an event that will suit Michael - long straights and plenty of speed".
Dunlop himself said " I am delighted to be back in an Escort and I am looking forward to the stages. However, I am not so sure I like the idea of having to cycle for 6 miles on a push bike at 7.00am to recce the stages - maybe I can take a motorbike".
RiverRidge Recycling Dogleap Rally Officially Launched
The RiverRidge Recycling Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally has been officially launched. In addition to representatives of title sponsor RiverRidge Recycling, the Maiden City Motor Club were pleased to welcome Alderman Alan Robinson, Mayor of Limavady and Counciller Gary Middelton, Deputy Mayor of Derry/Londonderry. The nominated charities once again are The Foyle Hospice and Ballykelly Community Association.
COC Ian Connolly expressed his appreciation for the the continuing support of Limavady Borough Council and Derry City Council for the three rallies held by Maiden City Motor Club each year. Ian also commented " It is particularly pleasing that RiverRidge Recycling are once again the main sponsor for the third year running. RiverRidge's ethos is very much about assisting the local community and providing practical support for local events. The fact that Eamon Doherty is a full blown rally fanatic and competitor is such a bonus for us. RiverRidge has been a major factor in building up the rally to the success that it is today".
Strong Entry for RiverRidge Recycling Dogleap Rally
As the closing date for entries approaches, COC Ian Connolly had disclosed that there is already a very strong line-up for for the RiverRidge Recycling Dogleap Tarmac Stages Rally. "I am delighted with the entries received to date and there is somewhat of a late flurry as always happens. Anyone still wanting an outing needs to get their skates on. Last year's winner, Kieran Graffin, is returning and I expect he will have to fight hard to retain his title. I am looking forward to the battle between him and Derek McGarrity in the ex Danny Sordo Mini WRC. In fact, I am particularly pleased at the quality entry throughout the whole field."
The press launch takes place at the Arts Centre, Main Street Limavady on Wednesday July 23rd. There will be quite a line-up of top class rally cars to view up close and a special DVD of highlights form previous Shackelton rallies. In all, it is a night not to be missed. Everyone welcome. Proceedings get under way at 7.30pm sharp.
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