The excitement is starting to build as we approach the weekend of July 4th & 5th and the annual ALMC Stages Rally. This year ALMC Motor Club returns, after a very successfully move last summer, to Trim, Co. Meath and we are delighted to announce that again the Cusack Hotel Groups’ Castle Arch Hotel will be the Rally Headquarters. Trim proved an ideal base last year with stages available to the team that are of an exceptional, challenging standard and all 3 stages, run 3 times, are in close proximity to the town. This year is already shaping up to be even more promising event from all perspectives, feedback from competitors last year was that they welcomed the reduced road sections, competitive stages and of course enjoyed the hospitality and facilities of historic Trim. Expected strong attractions for competitors again in 2015 is that the road section mileage is low, facilities in the town and surrounds cater well for visiting crews, spectators, service needs as well as parc ferme & scrutiny requirements. To top it all off Trim Castle provides a beautiful back drop to the planned ceremonial start on Saturday 4th July at 8pm.
A very strong entry of the top UK and Irish crews and 120 km’s of challenging stages will no doubt ensure that all aspiring winners will have no choice but to battle from start to finish to
be in with a chance of taking home the ALMC Stages Rally honours. Last year boasted a very strong entry of many of the top UK and Irish crews. Hugh Hunter, with Andy Marchbank on the notes, were to come out top in the overall battle but the event wasn’t without drama. Fermanagh’s Gary Jennings fought out an early lead in the event but retired mid-way with engine concerns. Tyrone man Frank Kelly, renowned all over Europe for his aerial mastery, took the 2WD honours in his Mark II escort and 6th overall. Steve Simpson was in strong contention for the overall win but changing weather conditions and an unforgiving bale chicane were enough to shorten his day. A similar fate befell MK II ace Adrian Hetherington also retiring. Damian Cole put in a blistering performance towards the end of the the event to take 2nd place honours just ahead of the the former national forest champion, Mick O’Brien. John Stone was 4th and was delighted to break his run of bad luck at ALMC.
Also with Trim Castle imposing itself on the busy river Boyne settlement, and as the backdrop to the ceremonial start, it might even be fitting that this now annual battle will commence at the location of the infamous Battle of York in the blockbuster movie “BraveHeart”.
ALMC Motor Club is comprised of members from Dublin, Meath and Louth and the enthusiasm and work rate of the rally team is unquestionable and the organisers are really excited about the stages they have picked for this year. Clerk of the Course, John Carroll, noting, that he is “delighted again to see so many international, national and in particular local entries have been received with over a month to the rally itself. Last year was a great success and we all are really looking forward to an even bigger event this year, particularly as the ALMC Stages Rally will be a round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship in 2016″.
Duleek based Brian Byrne, ALMC Chief Marshal, noted that “a great draw to the ALMC Stages Rally for volunteer marshals and spectators is the sheer quality of the cars and crews in action. In particular it’s a real meeting of UK WRC teams, who are registered in the REIS MSA Championship, with top WRC crews from this island. Where else would you see these teams go toe-to-toe like this. it’s a great rivalry that is building year after year. Motorsport is exciting to watch but please always obey the marshals and put safety first at all times at events.”
Current point’s leader in the REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, Simon Mauger will be coming to keep up the championship pressure on point’s front runners and nearest rivals Damien Cole, David Hardie and Alex Laffey. Entries are still arriving from the UK, national and many local crews and club members so we can expect to see some great battles between contenders for class and championship honours on the day with what is already promising to be a really entertaining mix of top rally machinery.
Entries are still very welcome by the club, for entries visit the club website, www.almc.ie or rally site www.almcstagesrally.com where you will find the entry form or on results.shannonsportsit.ie for an online entry, our sites will continue to be updated with all the latest information on the rally and details required by competitors. Also the club Facebook page (ALMC Motor Club) and Twitter (@almcmotorclub) will carry regular updates and rally news. Rally programmes will be available in shops in the Trim area and around the County on Wednesday July 1st, at Rally H.Q and also in the service area in the town. Seeding of entries will take place on Wednesday night before the rally and will be published shortly thereafter.
This year’s Rally is supported by many local businesses, including www.smartpart.ie, one of Meath’s main suppliers of car parts, based in Trim, as well as the Rally main accommodation provider and Sponsor, the Cusack Group of Hotels, including, of course Rally HQ, the Castle Arch Hotel.
ALMC Motor Club and the Cusack Hotel Group look forward to welcoming competitors and spectators alike to the historic town of Trim, Co. Meath.