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All Star Line-Up For Baltinglass Rally

The Garda Síochána Motor Club will host in the region of one hundred competing crews on Sunday for its Germaine's Hotel Mini Stages Rally, based in Baltinglass.   The GSMC event traditionally featured on the motorsport calendar later in the year, but its new slot in June sees it perfectly placed to be utilised as a pre-Donegal International Rally warm-up, as is evident from the numbers of crews appearing on both entry lists, and among the front runners on Sunday will be some of the top drivers from the Modifed clases, from Ireland, north and south, and further afield.    The number one seeds for the Baltinglass Rally are Kevin Eves and Chris Melly, who will also tackle the Donegal International later this month in their Toyota Corolla GT Coupé.  Eves is a former winner of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship Modified category, and a National Rally two-wheel drive champion.

Next into the opening stage will be Mark Alcorn and James McNulty, in a Ford Escort RS.  Like Eves, Alcorn is making the trip across the country from his Donegal base to Baltinglass, ahead of an appearance on his home international. He was winner of Class 14, for the largest-engined Modifieds, on the Wexford Rally last September.   Late entrants, Declan Gallagher and John McCarthy, will display number 117 on the doors of their Toyota Starlet, but will run third on the road.  Gallagher, 'The Milkman', is a twice former Tarmac Modified champion, and was a Class 14 winner on the Fastnet Rally and the Donegal Harvest Mini Stages towards the end of the 2023 season.  Jason Black and Karl Egan, also in a Starlet, will run at No. 5.  Black has already claimed class wins on the Circuit of Ireland and the Tour of the Sperrins so far in 2024

Arguably the most intriguing addition to the entry list comes from former British Rally Champion and multiple Scottish champion, David Bogie, who will be among those making the trip to Wicklow as a Shakedown for Donegal.  He won the forestry-based Speyside Stages Rally in a Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 at the end of April, but will of course be in his Ford Escort RS for his forays onto Irish tarmac this month.  His co-driver, John Rowan, guided Callum Devine to victory on the Circuit of Munster last Sunday.  

The entry list also includes a number of other crews who are capable of challenging for overall victory honours, and the GSMC Rally promises to be a closely fought and very competitive event.  

The event forms the fifth of nine rounds of the 2023 - 2024 Hugo Loonam Motors Midlands East Rally Championship, in which there is currently a tie for the lead, with two crews, Gavin Shiel/Ken Blanche from Carlow (Class 1) and Michael Ormond/Paddy King from Clonmel (Class 3), on a total of 61 points.  Daire Gleeson (Class 11R) holds second in the Driver standings, on 58 points, followed by Tomas O’Rourke (Class 4) on 56.5. There are three points between Tomas Scallan and Anthony Smith, who currently hold second and third positions in the Co-Driver standings.

The Germaine's Hotel GSMC Mini Stages Rally route features two stages (ran three times) in the Kiltegan and Glen areas, featuring both fast flowing sections and mountainous undulations, with the Service Area based in Crookstown.  The first stage is due to get underway at 10:01am.

Garda Síochána Motor Club Germaine's Hotel Mini Stages Rally 2024

Top Ten Seeds

1: Kevin Eves/Chris Melly, Toyota Corolla GT Coupé

2: Mark Alcorn/James McNulty, Ford Escort RS

117: Declan Gallagher/John McCarthy, Toyota Starlet

5: Jason Black/Karl Egan, Toyota Starlet

6: David Bogie/John Rowan, Ford Escort RS

7: Damian Toner/Michael Coady, Ford Escort RS  

8: Jonathan Pringle/Pierce O'Callaghan, Ford Escort RS

9: David Condell/Maebh Griffin, Ford Escort RS

10: Marty Toner/Ben Teggert, Proton 2.5 Millington

11: Rodney Wilton/Conor McMahon, Ford Escort RS

Garda Síochána Motor Club Germaine's Hotel Mini Stages Rally 2024


Saturday 8 June,

Reconaissance 08:30 - 16:00

Scrutiny,  CVRT Centre, Baltinglass, 14:00 - 19:30

Sunday 9 June

(First Car Due)

Start Control, Scoil Chonglais, Parkmore, 09:00

Service, Crookstown

Stage 1: Rustyduff, 10:01

Stage 2: Kiltegan, 10:45

Service In, Crookstown, 11:26

Service Out, 12:21

Stage 3: Rustyduff, 12:53

Stage 4: Kiltegan, 13:37

Service In, Crookstown, 14:18

Service Out, 15:08

Stage 5: Rustyduff, 15:40

Stage 6: Kiltegan, 16:24

Rally Finish: Scoil Chonglais, Parkmore, 16:53

Ceremonial Finish: Germaine's Hotel, 17:07

External Credits:

GSMC Media Office


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