Dougie Hughes Memorial Rally, 2019

Clare Stages Rally 2019 Preliminary Details

This year’s Clare Stages Rally will be taking place on Sunday September 15th 2019. Once again based for the third year in Clare’s County town of Ennis, which has recently been awarded the title of ‘friendliest town in Ireland’, with Rally HQ in the very popular Hotel Woodstock. Club Chairman and Crusheen native, Gerry O’Brien, is stepping up to the role as COC for the third year in a row. Clare Motor Club and it’s directors would like to offer a very special thank you to Charlie McEnery of Charlie McEnery Motor Services in Ennis for his very generous sponsorship for the past two years.

This year we are delighted to announce that M. Fitzgibbon Contractors Ltd., who were associate sponsor for the last two years, have stepped up as main sponsor for this year’s rally.

The Committee and Directors are also delighted to welcome EMC Autos on board as an associate sponsor for this year’s event. Both business proprietors Michael Fitzgibbon and Eoghain McMahon are very active members and competitors in the Club.

We are also pleased to announce that Hotel Woodstock, who are coming on board for a third year as associate sponsor, have won best Ascend Hotel in Europe at the recent Choice Hotel awards in Amsterdam. Congratulations to Management and Staff of the Hotel on this well deserved award.

In January 2018 Clare Motor Club and Irish Motorsport lost an icon of Motorsport in the late great Dougie Hughes. Dougie was a member of Clare Motor Club for many years and while he was a sales rep on the roads of Ireland, he would always plan his trip to this side of the country to attend club meetings. Dougie, for many years, represented the Clare Motor Club at CAC meetings in Dawson Street. We hope Dougie will never be forgotten and that his legacy in Irish Motorsport will always live on through the generations to come. Following discussion with fellow directors, Gerry O’Brien spoke with Dougie’s family, with the intention of the Club doing something in his memory and with kind permission from Dougie’s family, the Club have renamed the Clare Stages Rally to Dougie Hughes Memorial Clare Stages Rally.

The Dougie Hughes Memorial Clare Stages Rally will consist of 3 top quality stages repeated 3 times covering almost 120kms of smooth, good quality surface, with centralised servicing in the Ennis Mart Complex, after stages 3 and 6. The Mart Complex also hosts Scrutiny, Parc Ferme and Trailer Park, meaning little or no movement for the competitors once they arrive in town.
The Club are once again hoping to offer one of the biggest competitor incentives in the Country and British Isles, for this year’s rally. Please follow the Clare Stages Rally Facebook page for more details.

The Top Part Rally Committee have this year given a great incentive to those registering for The Top Part West Coast Rally Championship. There are bonus points for groups of events within the series, being a new addition for 2019. Three valuable bonus points were on offer for round 2, which was Circuit of Kerry, for competitors who signed on in Birr. This will also apply to the other groupings, Limerick and Connacht and Galway and Clare. In addition, two starter points are on offer on non Triton rounds for 2019, Kerry and Clare. 
The Dougie Hughes Memorial Clare Stages Rally also marks the third year of the beautiful crafted Colin McRae perpetual cup, which goes to the fastest overall modified 2wd car of the day. In 2017 this most sought after cup was won by Kerry’s Mike Quinn and last year Chris Armstrong put his name on the cup. Who will see their name engraved on the cup in 2019?