McWilliam Park Hotel Mayo Stages Rally


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Sunday, March 14th 2010

Mayo & District Motorsport Club is delighted to officially launch the 2010 McWilliam Park Hotel Mayo Stages Rally.

The rally, which takes place on the week-end of March 13-14, 2010, is one of the biggest annual sporting events to take place in the region, attracting thousands of visitors every year.

Headline features of the McWilliam Park Hotel Mayo Stages Rally 2010

· Rally moves to new location, Claremorris, with new rally headquarters and title sponsor in the McWilliam Park Hotel. New subsidiary sponsors are Supermacs Ballindine and Claremorris, and Costcutters Ballindine.

· New organising team in place to run 2010 Mayo Stages Rally.

· Round 2 of the Dunlop National Rally Championship and Round 1 of the HASS Border Rally Championship.

· Three brand new stages, each repeated three times with a total stage distance of 133 km.

· For the first time, a ceremonial start will take place on the Saturday evening in Claremorris town centre.

· Road Safety Authority bringing its Interactive Shuttle to Claremorris for the rally week-end.

· The Gerry Ronan Transport Group A Challenge – a unique competition-within-a-competition for some of the most popular rally cars from the 1990s.

· An opportunity to win a prize to co-drive leading World Rally Championship driver Mads Ostberg on the Mayo Stages Rally.

All Change For 2010 Mayo Stages Rally

After a number of very successful years when the rally was based in Castlebar, it is all change for 2010, with the event moving to a new location in Claremorris, a new rally headquarters and brand new rally stages. Mayo & District Motorsport Club is delighted to welcome The McWilliam Park Hotel Claremorris as title sponsor for the 2010 Mayo Stages Rally and thanks General Manager Fergal Ryan and Marketing Manager David Glynn for their support and enthusiasm in welcoming the event to the area. Thanks also to the subsidiary sponsors of the event, Seamus Gallagher of Supermacs Ballindine & Claremorris and Danny and Emily McHugh of Costcutters Ballindine.

New Organising Team

Claremorris businessman Eamonn Walsh is the man at the helm of the 2010 Mayo Stages Rally. Eamonn brings plenty of experience to the role of Clerk of the Course, having organized single stage events in the past. He also competes on rallies on occasions. He is ably supported in his demanding role by well-known rally co-driver Killian Duffy who swaps his helmet for the role of Assistant Clerk of the Course on this occasion. Of course to run a major rally such as the Mayo Stages requires a virtual army of helpers, and Eamonn and Killian have put together an experienced team to ensure a successful event.

Participating Round in Two Major Rally Championships

Once again, the Mayo Stages Rally is a counting round of two of Ireland’s most popular rally championships. The Dunlop National Rally Championship is a ten round series covering the length and breadth of the country. Winners of the Mayo Stages Rally 2009, Patrick Elliott and Paul Goodman went on to claim the Dunlop title last year, and are expected to return to defend their title in 2010.

The HASS Border Rally Championship is a six round series that is especially popular with clubman competitors due to its class based structure. As a result, all competitors, regardless of what car they drive, have an equal chance to compete for the overall title. Winners of the HASS Border Rally Championship in 2009 were Thomas Carolan and Declan Smith from Meath.

A Full Days Action Over Nine Testing Stages

Competitors on the 2010 McWilliam Park Hotel Mayo Stages Rally are certain to be tested to the limit thanks to three very demanding stages, each run three times. Action gets underway at 9am on Sunday March 14th with the leading cars scheduled to return to rally headquarters by 5 pm that evening. Service, which is sponsored by Brendan Mellett of Claremorris Credit Union will be located adjacent to the McWilliam Park Hotel.

Þ Stages 1, 4 and 7 ‘Woodstock’. Sponsored by Karl & Darren McHugh of P. McHugh & Sons Builders Ballindine, this opening stage is located in the Ballindine / Irishtown area, and is a distance of 17.45 km.

Þ Stages 2, 5 and 8 – ‘Logboy’. This is the shortest stage of the rally at 8.45 km. It is located in the Bekan / Brickens area. Sponsor of the stage is Tadhg Buckley of EPS Ballyhaunis.

Þ Stages 3, 6 and 9 – ‘The Five Crossroads’. Sponsored by Paul Hunt of Hillside Service Station Claremorris this 18.5 km test in the Barranacarroll area will mean competitors cannot relax until they see the final flying finish.

Ceremonial Start

In association with the Claremorris Chamber of Commerce and the Welcome Home Committee, Mayo & District Motorsport Club is, for the first time ever, holding a ceremonial start on the Saturday evening of the rally week-end. Taking place in the Square in Claremorris town centre and sponsored by Derek and Mervyn Dean of EMP Furniture Manufacturers, Williamstown, the top twenty competitors as well as leading local crews and selected others will pass through the official start ramp to be interviewed by rally commentating legend Dougie Hughes. With live music and other attractions including a rally car simulator ride, this is a great opportunity for the general public to get to see rally cars close up, and savour the atmosphere of the event. The ceremonial start will commence with live music from 8pm with the first cars due to arrive at 8.40pm.

RSA Brings Its Shuttle To The Mayo Stages Rally

In association with Fleet Transport Magazine, Mayo & District Motorsport Club welcomes the Road Safety Authority’s Road Safety Interactive Shuttle to Claremorris during the town’s hosting of the Mayo Stages Rally. Ensuring that everyone returns home safely after the rally week-end is a top priority for Mayo & District Motorsport Club. For a number of years now the club has been to the forefront in organizing safety initiatives, actively working with Mayo County Council and other safety organizations to promote road safety over the rally week-end. In this respect the club is delighted to welcome the RSA to the Mayo Stages Rally.

The RSA Shuttle will be located at the McWilliam Park Hotel over the rally week-end. The impressive facility offers state-of-the-art simulators and multi-media experiences, and plays an integral part in the RSA’s role in increasing road safety awareness. The Shuttle will be open to the public over the week-end as well as providing special interactive sessions to local school-children.

In addition, Fleet Transport Magazine is commissioning a number of Road Safety Message Boards that will be displayed at prominent locations in the areas where the rally is taking place.

The Gerry Ronan Transport Group A Challenge – Bringing ‘Real’ Rally Cars Back To The Stages

For many competitors and spectators, the Group A rally cars of the late eighties and nineties were a high point in the history of rallying, combining the ideal balance of sound, spectacle and performance. Now thanks to local businessman and competitor Gerry Ronan, the Mayo Stages Rally is offering the opportunity to relive those glory days with a special competition for Group A cars homologated between 1987 and 1997. Already interest in the Challenge is booming with many competitors promising to dust down machines with famous rallying pedigrees for the Mayo Stages. It promises to be a great spectacle on rally week-end.

The Mads Ostberg Experience – A Unique Opportunity To Co-Drive A World Rally Star

In what is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, Mayo & District Motorsport Club is offering one lucky individual the opportunity to experience the 2010 Mayo Stages Rally from the passenger seat of a Ford Escort driven by one of the best rally drivers in the world! Mads Ostberg from Norway is a leading competitor on the World Rally Championship, most recently finishing in 8th place on Rally Sweden, the opening round of the 2010 season. In a real coup for Mayo & District Motorsport Club, the Norwegian is swapping his Subaru World Rally Car for a Ford Escort Mark 2, and will drive the Mayo Stages Rally as course car. Alongside him will be the lucky person that gets their name selected from a draw that takes place on March 4th. Tickets cost just €10 each with proceeds raised being donated to charity. No previous competition experience is necessary; the only stipulation is that you must be over 16 years of age to enter. A limited number of tickets are still available and can be obtained from Killian Duffy – contact 087 635 5088.

About the Mayo Stages Rally

The Mayo Stages Rally is one of the biggest sporting events to take place in the region every year, and brings significant revenue into the area. Apart from the 260 actual competitors who all bring at least three or four service crew with them as well as friends and family, in addition many thousands of spectators, estimated at least in the tens of thousands will visit Mayo over the week-end. With all these people requiring accommodation as well as food and drink it has been calculated that the Mayo Stages Rally is worth in excess of two million Euro to the local economy.

About Mayo & District Motorsport Club

Mayo & District Motorsport Club, formerly known as Ballina Motor Club, has been in existence since 1976. Affiliated to the national motorsport organisation Motorsport Ireland, the club promotes official motorsport activity in Mayo. Drawing members from all over the county as well as neighbouring regions, Mayo & District Motorsport Club organizes a number of sporting events every year including the Mayo Stages Rally and Loose Surface Autocross events. The club meets on the first Wednesday of every month, new members are always welcome.

For further information contact:

Mayo Stages Rally PRO: Sean Hassett. Tel 087 6921089. E-mail:

Mayo & District Motorsport Club PRO: Cathal Doyle. Tel 087 6114462. Email: