MIJRS Round 4 Preview: Cavan Stages Rally

Keelan Grogan leads MIJRS crews away at this weekends Cavan Stages Rally. Pic by Cian Donnellan.

Hot on the heels of the recent Sean Conlon Memorial Tipperary Forest Rally, the Motorsport Ireland Junior Rally Series makes the swap to Tarmac once more as the series heads to the Cavan Stages Rally, the fourth round of the 2023 series.

Ireland’s National Mix-Surface Rally Series, the MIJRS is quickly becoming a vital step in the development of a host of upcoming and exciting Irish rallying talent and already this season its clear just how close and enthralling the battles are set to be for the 2023 crown with now that we’ve seen the opening rounds on both Gravel and Tar.

Designed for future stars under the age of 25, the Rally4/R2 class is the spearhead of the Championship, and the winners here are competing for some incredibly prizes that are designed specifically with their development in the sport at the core. Not only will the winner receive a Training & Coaching program to the value of €15,000 through the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, but they will also receive a nomination for the Billy Coleman Award. 2nd and 3rd place in the Class will also receive support packages.

With the Championship standings calculated on a bases of ‘Best 2 Gravel Scores’ plus ‘Best 2 Tarmac Scores’ plus ‘Best Other Score’, many have taken the opportunity to try and build a score early as we play out part two of an exciting back-to-back fortnight with the Cavan Stages Rally on May 28th following the recent loose-surface battle in Tipperary.

In the Rally4/R2 Class, the pack is led away by Keelan Grogan in a Peugeot 208 Rally4 who will be aiming to replicate the success on the opening Tarmac Round when he claimed maximum points from the Mildands Stages Rally on Round 2. Ryan McHugh is seeded next as he continues to progress in the Rally4 Ford Fiesta having stepped up from J1600 class this year, while Cian Caldwell has scored strongly on both surfaces so far this year and Cavan is yet another opportunity to build a large points tally.

Conor Wilson will be buoyed by a fantastic points haul in Tipperary where he finished second in the class, and will have plenty of battles ahead over the testing 107km route with the likes of Shane Quinn, Joseph Kelly & Matthew Boyle making their second appearance of the year on Tarmac, while Dan Nash will aim to rectify his MIJRS season following a disappointing retirement on Round 3. Jack Brennan is the sole entrant in the Rally5 class once more as he continues his development in the Motorsport Ireland liveried Renault Clio.

Having been absent on the last Gravel round, the J1600 competitors have returned again for the Cavan Stages with a pair of registered competitors competing led away by Jack McKenna, who currently holds a points advantage after an impressive display in the Midlands, but Seamus Browne will be aiming to improve his fortunes after retiring on his only appearance so far this year. The J1000 class will not be present in Cavan, they make their swap to Tarmac for the Wexford Sprint on June 11th which is an exclusive event in their calendar.

The action kicks off on Sunday morning with the first stage going live at 10:09, and for any competitor under the age of 25 wishing to compete in the series further information on the MIJRRS series can be found under the Events & Championships section of the Motorsport Ireland website.

Cian Donnellan


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