Monaghan natives, Niall Maguire and Sam Moffett, will both be looking to make a big impact at Sunday’s Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally after differing starts to their seasons.
Maguire is sitting second in the Dunlop National Rally Championship at the moment just two points off leader Thomas Fitzmaurice. The Subaru S11 WRC driver has been in excellent form so far this season. Two third place finishes in Kerry and Birr along with a victory at the Mayo Stages Rally has put him well in contention for the National Rally crown.
This weekend he will look to continue that form in front of his home crowd and while the rally is not part of the national championship, he will be expected to win as one of only three drivers competing in world rally cars. The rally will most likely be decided by one of those three with Donagh Kelly in a S11 Subaru and Seamus Leonard in a S9 Subaru ready to challenge Maguire.
Sam Moffett on the other hand has had a slow start to 2012. Named the Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year in 2011, Moffett has not clicked into gear yet this season. The young driver had a good start at the Birr Stages rally registering ten points but they are the only ten points he has to date and will hope to impress on his home roads.
The Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally takes place across nine stages on Sunday with the first car leaving the hotel at 9.30am. More information on the event can be found on www.monaghanmotorclub.net