This Saturday sees the forests around Enniskillen come alive to the sound of rally cars. The Trailer Parts and Spares Lakeland Stages roars into town. Cars are due to leave service, located at the former Grosvenor Barracks site, on Coleshill Road at 10.30am. The crews make their way to the forest stages of Lough Navar, Big Dog and Ballintempo before returning to service at approximately 12.50pm. Crews will leave service to complete a second loop of the stages at 1.30pm. This year sees the finish ramp move to the Three Ways Inn on the Sligo Road just outside Enniskillen. The top crews are expected on the ramp at approximately 3.45pm
The entry list reads like a who’s who of Irish Forestry Rallying. Sam Moffett partnered by James Fulton in their Fiesta WRC lead the crews away as they look to complete a hat trick of victories in the Fermanagh Forests. Sam is having a fantastic 2017, he has already been crowned Triton Showers Irish National Rally Champion, only needs to roll over the start ramp in Cork to clinch the Clonakilty Blackpudding Tarmac Championship. Sam is hoping a good result this weekend will set him up to take the Vavoline Irish Forestry Championship; this would enable him to score a unique treble in Irish Rallying. No driver has every claimed all three titles never mind doing all in the one year.
Behind Sam, drivers such as Josh Moffett, Derek McGarrity, Jonny Greer and Adrian Hethrington are only a small selection of drivers who will believe they can stop Sam making it a hat trick of wins. Our local lads Jon Armstrong and Jonny Leonard will also be trying to claim a step on the podium. Jon Armstrong is on a high as just two weeks ago he was setting incredible times in WRC Germany. Jonny Leonard is also coming to this weekend on the back of a strong second place finish on the last round of the Irish Forestry Championship. Some other local crews who hope to be in the battle for class victories include Shane McGirr from Fivemiletown, Belleek man Damien McGauran, Ballinmallard father and son Raymond and Marc Johnston and Irvinestown’s own Brian Tolan are just some of the names who make up the 100+ starters.
Spectators are welcome to come and meet with the crews in service or at the finish ramp. If attending the stages is vital you pay attention to marshals and officials who are there for your safety. A free Rally Programme will be available at The Enniskillen Hotel, the service area and the Three Way Inn from Thursday evening.