Just got this of the club web site..................
At the wheel for the Lakeland Stages
This weekend sees the return of the Fisher Engineering Lakeland Stages rally to the Fermanagh forests. The highlight of Enniskillen Motor Club‘s calendar. The event is highly regarded by all the championship regulars, its varying stages are a hit with everyone. The event which has our own world rally champion Niall McShea as it previous victor for the past two years, Niall is back to defend that crown and will be behind the wheel of an all singing all dancing WRC Subaru Impreza. This season has unfortunately been quite for Niall but it is looking increasingly likely Niall will fulfil his dream of a WRC drive on the championship before the year is out.
Taking up the number two spot is reigning Northern and Southern Irish forestry champions Kevin Lynch and Francis Regan, the Dungiven man had a fraught time on last years event, however they will rectify the situation this time around. Kevin through his highly successful KPL Utilities company has brought us as close to the WRC as is possible with his latest customer spec S9 Impreza, an awesome piece of machinery by any standard and in turn a truly great driver.
Glenn Allen and Damien Connolly are without a shadow of a doubt one of the most spectacular crews in Ireland, they narrowly missed out on this years Southern Championship, however they still have an epic battle on their hands for the Northern Ireland championship. They have kept the fans on their toes waiting with baited breath for a flashing glimpse of the magic; their flamboyancy is second to none.
Eugene Donnelly and Paul Kiely are the stars of this seasons international Tarmac Championship fresh from their win on the Ulster rally last weekend, the duo will be sure to head the time sheets at some point over this weekend, despite a time away from the gravel it wont take them long reacclimatising themselves with the change of surface. Having narrowly been pipped in Lurgan Eugene will have a score to sort this weekend.
Raymond Johnston and Richard Bell have been right up there on the past two attempts at the Lakeland and it could be a case of third time lucky the Ballinamallard man is an exceptional talent, a talent which has carried him to victory before on many occasions. Quiet and unassuming Raymond is happy to let his driving do the talking.
Craig and Roger Bennett are no strangers to the forefront of the action when it comes to the Northern Ireland championship. The pairs recent sixth place overall on the Jim Clark rally in Scotland proved to all, the pace the boys have. The boys will be eager to prove the result was no flash in the pan and you can be sure a top three result is true to form for the boys and will be waiting in the wings should any of the top two or three falter.
Neil McCance and Sean Ferris have been on the Northern Ireland rally scene for quite a few years and their meteoric rise to the four wheel drive camp has proved extremely successful, also the time spent also in the Evo challenge has stood well for Neil. The group N race in the Lakeland could prove to be equally exciting as the WRC battle.
John McLaughlin and Davy McElroy are one of the leading lights on the Group scene in both the Northern and Southern forestry championships, despite a relative youth John has shown speed and maturity well beyond his 22Years of age.
Sean Devine has contested many rallies over the past few seasons and despite being quite new to the rallying game each of those events triumph came in one form or another and be it the group N car or his WRC the same will to win is provided.
Kevin O‘Kane and Martin Hanna are regular contenders on the Southern Forestry championship and have been known to have put the cat among the pigeons on many an occasion taking overall hours on a few occasions the boys will be in the hunt for a top result this weekend also.
Beyond the leading competitors many more interesting battles will be taking place down the list also. Some of the Locals to be looking out for include Conor Kelly, Eamon Mimnagh, Paul Barrett, Brendan Campbell and Trevor Elliott.
Many other locals are making the annual trip who include Paul McShea, Malachy Donnelly, Gary Mills, Shane McGirr, Nigel McCutcheon and Aidan Curran to name but a few.
With the action in the Derrygonnelly area and central service in Garrison the fans are sure to be entertained. First car will be flagged away from the Ashberry Hotel at 10a.m.
Should be a good rally