St Angelo Rally Report

8 May 2018


Rally Fans Bask on Sun-drenched St Angelo



As promised the sun shone down on the rally fans on St Angelo Airfield on Bank Holiday Monday. Hundreds of rally enthusiasts turned up to watch Derek McGeehan and son Mark [on his first time as co-driver] in their Mini WRC win the Erne Skip Hire & Recycling May Day Stages Rally 2018 after staving off a hard-charging Damian Toner/Derrick Jobb in their 2.5 litre MkII Escort. Toner/Jobb were actually leading after Stage 2 by a single second but the superior traction of the 4WD Mini allowed the McGeehans to edge ahead and eventually take the win by just 11.5 seconds. Just a mere 5 seconds back came Alan Smyth/Ken Sproule in a Mitsubishi Evo X.  to the delight of the hundreds of spectators these top three were never more than a handful of seconds apart all day. Finishing fourth on the day was the Evo 9 crew of Patrick O’Brien/Neil McIvor who must be rueing their slow start dropping some 8 seconds on the opening stage to McGeehan and Smyth which they could never quite make up over the 5 stages run such was the pace at the top. Some 109 rally crews started the event and 87 made it to the finish.

Moving on to the Class battles Class 1 was clinched by Martin Collins/Mikaela Woods – Honda Civic whilst Darren and Tanya McGrath from Derrylin claimed third in Class in their immaculate Honda Civic. Fourth and fifth respectively in this Class were local crews: Dermot Brewster/Brian D’Arcy – Astra GSI and James McGovern/ Dolores McGovern – Toyota Twin Cam RWD. Neil McGahey/Alan Crawford came 6th in this Class after a long lay-off.  Popular winner of Class 2 was the stalwart Enniskillen crew of Mark Farmer/Mark Britton in Gerry’s Evo 6 who also came in a very creditable 47th Overall. The Lisbellaw duo of William Graham partnered by first-timer Darragh Sheridan in their agile little Corsa claimed 3rd in Class 3 which was won by Dean Humphrey/Nigel Brennan also in a Corsa. Class 4 winners were Travis Humphrey/Brian Little in a Peugeot 205 GTI with Raymond Elliott and Ben Thompson from Kesh taking second in a Vauxhall Corsa. Young Ben was also a first-time Co-driver on the day. Kinawley crew of Barry Murphy/Kevin McQuaid were 5th in this Class in their Talbot Sunbeam. Class 5 was won convincingly by Kyle White/Sean Topping – Peugeot 208 R2 with Derek Robinson/David Forde 13th in this large class in their ‘left hooker’ Corolla Twin Cam. In Class 6 brothers Hugh and Liam McQuaid finished 3rd in class by a mere 0.1 seconds! Paul McShea/Carrie McShea appeared in a MkII Escort instead of their more usual RWD Honda V6 engined Ford Orion and collected 7th in this hotly contested class. Next Class was 7 and here Brendan Campbell/Conall Mullin took their clean revving MkII Escort to 3rd position with brother Damian and Sean Wray next up only 4.4 seconds behind in their MkII Escort whilst the class winner here was Robert Erwin/Ciaran Carey in a most unusual 2 litre Honda Civic engined MR2: a very rapid machine indeed! Damien Tourish/Rodney Stewart were the winners of Class 8 in another MkII Escort while just 5.8 seconds behind was Brendan McDaid navigated by Enniskillen man Brian Hoy again in a MkII Escort. EMC wish Brian very good luck as he prepares to co-drive for Callum Devine in the WRC on the upcoming Rally Portugal in a Vauxhall Adam R2. Class 9 was the class for WRC, FIA Super 2000, R5, R4, R4T and R2 cars and was won by Patrick O’Brien/Neil McIvor in their Evo 9 as the top three Overall were not then eligible for the class awards. 

Clerk of the Course, Ron Neely and his EMC team followed the successful formula of the past two years and the fast flowing but challenging stages were once again hailed as a great success by competitor and spectator alike. At the prize-giving Neely gave credit to Declan Magee of Erne Skip Hire & Recycling for once again sponsoring the May Day Stages Rally. He went on to thank Alan Cathcart who provided access to the airport for the rally,  the marshals and other officials who acted professionally on the day to help make the event the success it was. He paid tribute to the patience and cooperation of the huge crowd of spectators who turned out to enjoy the spectacle in, for once, brilliant sunshine. 

Posted by PMcCollum on 8/5/2018; Last updated by PMcCollum on 8/5/2018