Over nine months of planning and preparation will finally come to fruition this weekend, as the members of ALMC Motor Club welcome a fantastic entry of competing Rally cars to the historic town of Trim, County Meath, for their annual Stages Rally. Now an established round of the REIS MSA Asphalt Rallying Championship and the Loughransigns.com Midlands East Rally Championship, once again the challenging stages of Co. Meath await competitors and crews from all over Ireland, the UK, and even the Channel Islands and Germany. The Rally weekend will begin in Trim with a Rally Ceremonial Start beside the Cannon at Trim Castle on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. A selection of the competing cars will attend, and this will be a fantastic opportunity for the general public to meet the drivers and co-drivers who will be taking part, as well as the chance to see the Rally Cars up close! Rally Scrutiny, where the Rally cars are checked fully for Safety and Rules compliance, and the Rally Service Area, are both based in Oaktree Business Park, Trim, with the first competing cars returning for Service after the first loop of Stages on Sunday at 1150 approx.
The Rally sees a return to Ireland for many competitors from the UK, most of who are very familiar with the ALMC event, having competed at the event before. Seeded at No.1 will be Simon Mauger (Metro 4M4), followed on the road by Steve Simpson (Subaru WRC S12), and past winner Damian Cole (Ford Focus WRC), all of whom have vast experience of Irish tarmac stages, and are guaranteed to give it their all to win the Rally, and collect maximum points in the REIS MSA Championship. Finishing off the top six seeded entries are Mark Straker (Darrian T90 GTR), Steve Wood (Subaru Impreza S10), and Alex Laffey (Ford Fiesta R5+).
Three of the top ten seeded entries, and absolutely sure to give the UK visitors a run for their money, are all from Co. Meath. Jack Newman (Ford Escort MK2), Pat Donegan (Ford Escort Mk2), and making a welcome return to his home stages, Trevor Mulligan (Ford Escort MK2), all know what it takes to set fast times on Irish tarmac, and this weekend will certainly give them that opportunity.
Other Meath drivers entered into this year’s ALMC Stages Rally are Peter Wilson (Ford Escort MK2), Mark Nangle (Subaru Impreza), Paul Clarke (Ford Escort Mk2), James Cassidy (Ford Escort MK2), Pa Bellew (Ford Escort MK2), Paul McCann (Ford Escort Cosworth), Martin Tracey (Ford Escort Mk2), Ed Colton (Mitsubishi Evo 6), Danny McCormack (Vauxhall Corsa), John Reid (Ford Escort Mk2), Tom Holton (Honda Civic), Anthony Masterson (Ford Escort RS2000), Brian Ward (Peugeot 206), Brian Brady (Honda Integra), Thomas McCann (Ford Fiesta), Wayne O’Reilly (Ford Escort Mk2), Martin Geraghty (Honda Civic), Dermot Hassett (Chevrolet Kalos), Philip Grall (Opel Corsa) and Aidan Devlin (Suzuki Swift GTI). With many other competing crews from all four provinces of Ireland and parts of the UK, accommodation in the Trim and Navan area has been booked out for months in advance of the Rally. ALMC are also hopeful that the combination of a unique entry, fine weather and a compact loop of three Special Stages will bring large crowds to the event from all over the country, bringing with them a significant boost to the local economy.
Full details of the Rally can be found on the Rally web site at www.almcstagesrally.com, or by following the Club and Rally on Facebook and Twitter.
A full list of Rally Programme outlets can also be found on the web site, with 17 outlets on or near the Rally Route. As always, ALMC would like to remind those attending this year’s Rally that Safety is paramount to the Club. Always –
Obey the Rally Marshals at all times-they are volunteers giving of their time to make
sure the Event runs safely.
Obey the Rules of the Road at all times-drive with consideration for fellow road
Keep the Race in its Place!
Rally and Club Information
The ALMC Stages Rally is a round of the REIS/MSA UK Asphalt Championship (www.asphaltrallying.co.uk) and the Loughransigns.com Midlands East Rally Championship (www.mercrallychampionship.com), and ALMC Motor Club are looking forward to welcoming competitors from all parts of Ireland and the UK, Service crews, supporters as well as Motorsport Ireland officials, Timekeepers and volunteer marshals to Trim and County Meath on Rally weekend. ALMC Motor Club is an affiliated Motorsport Ireland (MI) Club, and fully supports the ongoing initiatives between MI and the Road Safety Authority to make our roads safer,especially for younger road users.
Local Sponsors and Rally Supporters
The ALMC Stages Rally is supported by many different businesses in the local area, including,
The Cusack Hotel Group, with four hotels in the Trim and Navan area, www.cusackhotels.ie
Smartpart, Trim, who are leading suppliers of Car Parts and Accessories in Meath,
Meath Tourism, www.meathtourism.ie
Patrick Kavanagh & Sons, Trim, Car Sales and Service, 046-94312897
O’Neill’s Plumbing and Heating, Tara, 1890-911220, www.ohp.ie
Souhans, Haggard Street, Trim, Exhaust Systems Specialists, www.souhan.ie
Trim Hire, Trim, for all Hire Product requirements, www.trimhireanddiy.ie
Triton Showers Ltd, Maynooth, main distributor on all Triton Showers and Accessories in Ireland, www.tritonshowers.ie
Bird’s Centra, Athboy and Ballivor, www.centra.ie
Dennis Hannon Motors, Trim, 046-9438325
Cusack Homes Property Development, Trim, www.cusackhomes.ie
Farrelly’s Centra, Navan, www.centra.ie
BiddleIt, for Last minute Online Accommodation Search, www.biddleit.com
Brian Jones Stonework, 01-4522969
Dunshaughlin Motor Company, 01-8017777, www.dmc.ie
Apartment Fit Out Solutions, 087-1028048
Autoglym (Leinster Autocare Ltd), Summerhill, 046-9558004, www.autoglym.co.uk
Peterson Limited, Official Distributor of Zippo products, www.peterson.ie
Quinn Painting, 087-9362821
Homeflair, The Gift House of Drogheda, 041-9831859, www.homeflair.ie
Heatgem, Energy Management Solutions, 087-6457887
This year, the nominated Stages Charity for the Rally is the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre, Trim, which helps people living with MS in the North East. We are also extremely appreciative of support from Meath County Council, its staff, local Councillors and the Meath Community Tourism Diaspora Initiative.
Main Image- Jack Newman/Andrew Browne (Ford Escort) Picture: Martin Walsh.