Triton Shower Motorsport Ireland National Rally Championship action resumes in Cavan
The rally takes place this Sunday, May 28th.
After nearly a two-month break the Motorsport Ireland Triton Showers National Rally Championship resumes in Cavan on Sunday. County Cavan Motor Club host the third round of the series and there is strength in depth across all categories. Clerk of the course Stephen Kellet marks his ninth time at the helm, this is the first Cavan Stages Rally in four years after being interrupted by the pandemic, but the County Cavan Motor Club member has taken charge of all eight previous editions of the rally.
“A huge thanks to the residents along the route, our local sponsors and programme advertisers, this event would not be possible without them,” he said.
Leading the 150-car field away from Hotel Kilmore on Sunday morning is current points leaders Callum Devine and Noel O’Sullivan. They won the opening round of the Triton Showers-backed series, the Midland Moto Rally in March and were second in O’Sullivan’s home event, the Circuit of Kerry in April. The Volkswagen Polo Rally 2 crew arrive in Cavan on the crest of a wave. Since the Circuit of Kerry, they have won two International Rallies – The Circuit of Ireland and the Rally of the Lakes. Despite this run of good form, this is their first appearance in Cavan.
“My first time there and surprised to be one on the road but the number won’t matter at the end of the day,” said Devine. “We are after a nice break, it gave us time to get at the car, but looking forward to it, I am hearing the stages are quite good.”
Staring at two is defending Triton Showers National Rally Champions Josh Moffett and Keith Moriarty in their Hyundai i20 Rally. Moffett won in Kerry and this relatively local rally offer him the chance to get one over on Devine.
“It will be a big race; Josh knows these national championship events. Ware looking forward to it, get a good recce on Saturday. We have never been down to Cavan and Josh might know the lay of the land, but it will be a tight battle.”
Third seeds Desi Henry and Paddy Robinson cannot be underestimated either. The Citroen C3 Rally 2 crew are making their first Triton appearance of the season after spending the earlier part of the year competing in either Irish Tarmac Rally Championship or Northern Ireland Rally Championship events. They finished third on Saturday’s Tour of the Sperrin’s so will be match fit come Sunday morning. Cathan McCourt starts at four, but he has yet to nominate a car or a co-driver. Like Henry, this is his first Triton appearance of the year too. Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy, past winners in Cavan are using the nine-sage event as a shakedown for next month’s Donegal International Rally, which, incidentally, is sponsored by local company Wilson Recycling. They will drive their right-hand drive Ford Fiesta R5 on Sunday, the same car they drove to victory on Saturday’s Tour of the Sperrin’s. Wicklow’s Daniel Barry and his co-driver Andy Hayes are one of the top Triton contenders this season. The ever-improving Skoda Fabia R5 driver finished eighth in Longford and fourth in Kerry and his first Triton podium is not too far away.
Former Triton champion Declan Boyle’s run of bad luck came to an end on last month’s Rally of the Lakes, and he will be hoping to bring some of that with him to Cavan. He will have Welshman Patrick Walsh in the co-driver’s seat in their Volkswagen Polo R5. Gareth MacHale and Brian Murphy compete in a right-hand-drive version of the Polo. Monaghan’s Stephen Wright and his Kerry co-driver Ger Conway make their second Triton appearance of the season after skipping the Circuit of Kerry.
The Modified Masters
The top local driver is Gary Kiernan who has swapped his usual Ford Escort Mk2 for a newly acquired Ford Fiesta R5 and he will have World Rally Championship co-driver James Fulton on the notes. Donegal’s Mark Alcorn and his co-driver Denver is the top seed in the modified rally and have already one victory – in the Midlands Moto – to their names. They are followed by a host of very quick Escort crews including Daniel McKenna/Andrew Grennan, Dessie Keenan/Jason McKenna. and Chris Armstrong/ Darren Curran. There is a fleet of fast Toyota on the entry list too, one driven by the returning Declan ‘The Milkman’ Gallagher and another by Richard Moffett and Darragh Kelly.
Local driver Stephen McCann is making a name for himself in the Motorsport Ireland Forestry Rally Championship, but he is a proven winner on tarmac too in his Ford Fiesta R5.
Steve Wood from Wales is the leading overseas driver in his Ford Fiesta WRC.