Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally 2017 Final Report
Sam Moffett & Darragh Kelly in a Fiesta WRC were convincing winners of the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, the fourth round of the Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship. At the end of the Mallow based event they had 51.4 seconds to spare over Jonny Leonard / Arthur Kierans in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9. A storming drive from David Crossen / Damien Fleming (Ford Escort) saw them win the 2WD category and take a superb third place overall seven seconds behind Leonard. Jason & Matthew Murphy took the category and championship win in the Junior 1000 Trophy in their Peugeot 107.
Clerk of the Course Paul Casey had lain out a six stage rally using the classic Mount Hilary and Bweeng tests, and at 16km the longest stage of the event, Boggeragh which was used for the first time last year and proved popular with competitors. Moffett was quickest over the opening pair of stages to lead by 30 seconds heading into the first service. Adrian Hetherington & Gary Nolan were second quickest on the opening test just three seconds behind, but a broken gear linkage bracket side-lined them at the start of Stage 2. Enda McCormack & Colin Fitzgerald were second overall in a Subaru Impreza heading to service while Crossen was sensational as he showed his 2WD rivals a clean pair of heels to hold third place. The showery conditions were helping to keep the dust levels down and 63 of the 65 starters were still running at this point.
The third stage at Boggeragh saw Moffett pick up a puncture early on the stage and he continued on driving on a flat for almost 11km which saw his lead reduced to just 11 seconds over Crossen. Gerard Lucey in third place was just under three seconds further back in third place and was having a great battle with Jonny Leonard and Jordan Hone who was fastest on that long stage. Cathan McCourt slid off the road and into retirement while Dermot Kelly was another to retire on this loop. Moffett put the hammer down on the fourth stage at Mount Hilary and his lead was back up to 20 seconds heading into service with Crossen in second and Lucey in third place.
The final pair of stages saw Moffett extend his lead out to a winning margin of 51.4 seconds from Leonard who turned up the pace to overhaul Crossen for the runner up spot. Crossen had the consolation of winning the 2WD category while Jordan Hone took fourth overall from Gerard Lucey with Enda McCormack completing the top six places. Jason Murphy was the winner of the J1000 category from Aoife Gahan and Jason Gorham. 49 cars finished from 65 starters.
Copyright free photos courtesy of Ger Leahy.
Regards, Kevin O’Driscoll.
What the competitors on the
2017 Jim Walsh Forest Rally said:
Sam Moffett – “It was a great event with fantastic stages, the long stage was brilliant, despite puncturing there the first run over”.
Jonny Leonard – “The stages were very good, fast and flowing, a different character to the stages at home. We knew we had to bring points home so we didn’t take any risks and are happy with second place”.
David Crossen – “The stages were fantastic, held up really well throughout the day. We had a big push on stages 5 and 6 but couldn’t keep Jonny Leonard behind us”.
Jason Murphy – “I really enjoyed the event, particularly the long stage Boggeragh where we had a good run both times”.
This year’s Rally is Round 4 of the Valvoline National Forest Rally Championship and is expected to attract a bumper entry due to the continued popularity of this fantastic championship. Speaking with Clerk of the Course Paul Casey recently, Paul advised that there is huge interest in this year’s event from all over Ireland. All available accommodation in Mallow and its surrounding regions has been fully booked out for several weeks now and entries are coming in strong.
Paul spoke of the tremendous support he has been receiving from the event sponsor Crafted Fitted Furniture & Joinery. “We are delighted to be working with the CFF&J team this again year. A huge amount of voluntary work and preparation goes into an event of this type and it simply would not be possible without the support of Paul O’Connor and his team at CFF&J”. Paul also went on to announce the list of stage sponsors who have come on board to support the event this year, all of whom the club is extremely grateful to.
Mallow Motor Factors, Mallow Chamber, Greenhall Motors Opel, Eamonn Tarrant & Sons Skoda, J&M Breen Distributors Kanturk, Frank Crowley Motors Dromcummer and The Roundabout Inn Mallow.
A new addition to the event for 2017 is also being announced by the organising team. With the support of Dairygold Co-Operative Society, this years’ service area will be located in the Dairygold car parks on Park Road (adjacent to the Co-Op stores) bringing the action right to the edge of Mallow town. This fantastic new development means that the Rally HQ, Parc Ferme and Service Area are all located within 300m of one another making the event both competitor and spectator friendly. It is also envisaged that the new location of the service area will bring an added economic benefit to the businesses of Mallow town.
Cork County Council and EARS Motorsport also return as supporters of the event, allowing the use of their premises for Scrutiny and Parc Ferme on the Saturday afternoon. CMC would like to express their gratitude once more to both the Council and EARS Motorsport.
The rally launch takes place on Tuesday July 18th at 8pm in the Roundabout Inn Mallow and all are welcome to attend. There will be a display of rally cars as well as some light refreshments provided on the night. We hope to see you all there.
The Crafted Fitted Furniture & Joinery, Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally 2017. Press Release 2
Regulations for the 2017 Crafted Fitted Furniture & Joinery, Jim Walsh, Cork Forest Rally are now available to download at www.corkmotorclub.com. Round 4 of the Valvoline Forest Rally Championship takes place on Sunday July 30th.
This year’s event features six super smooth gravel stages which total 65km in length, all based around rally HQ which is the Roundabout Inn Mallow. A very compact route has been prepared by Clerk of the Course, Paul Casey and his team with, low road mileage and service after every two stages. The schedule for this year’s event will see first car way from Parc Ferme at 09:30am on Sunday morning and first car back to Parc Ferme on Sunday afternoon at 16:20, making it a very convenient finish time for those travelling long distances.
Interest in this year’s event is already high, with gravel crews from all across the island looking forward to getting going in the North Cork forests after the long summer break. Competitors are reminded of the early entry incentive scheme which is in place, with a €25 discount to all competitors who send their paid up entries in by Thursday July 20th.
Further information on the event will be released over the coming weeks so please keep up to date with the build up by visiting our Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally facebook page or our club website www.corkmotorclub.com.
The Crafted Fitted Furniture & Joinery, Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally 2017. - Press Release 1.
Sunday July 30th sees the return of The Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, one of Ireland’s premier Forest Rally events. The event is once again a counting round of the Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship. The Rally is also the stage for what has now become one of the most coveted prizes in Irish Modified rallying, The Mark 2 Master Cup.
Cork Motor Club is delighted to announce the return of Mallow based firm, Crafted Fitted Furniture and Joinery as the main event sponsor for 2017. This is the 3nd year running that CFF&J have partnered up with Cork Motor Club to help create an event that attracts competitors and spectators from the four corners of the country and beyond. CFF&J are one of Irelands leading suppliers of Fitted Furniture and Joinery products and are a real North Cork success story.
The 2017 event also sees Paul Casey return as Clerk of the Course after a 5 year break. Speaking with Paul recently it was revealed that the event will once again be based from CFF&J’s hometown of Mallow with the event headquarters located at The Roundabout Inn. Paul has been busy working with his team over the last number of weeks, getting the details finalized on the 2017 event. Paul revealed that the club received extremely positive feedback from all competitors following the 2016 event due to the quality of the stages and the compact route used. As a result the 2017 event will follow a very similar format.
The event will once again consist of 6 super smooth special stages based in the Boggeragh Mountains, running a 3x2 format. Two of the morning stages are variations of old Cork Forestry classics and the third test will be a new version of the magnificent 16km Boggeragh Drive stage. This 16km gravel masterpiece made its Cork Forestry debut in 2016 and immediately gained a place as a firm favorite with the competitors. This year’s version will certainly not disappoint, with a little bit of everything stretched out over the 16km. The running of this stage has once again been made possible due to close co-operation with Coillte, Co County Council and The Boggeragh Windfarm.
Total stage distance for the rally is approximately 70km, with a total road distance of approximately 130km. Service will be conducted after every 2 stages. The Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally has always prided itself on being a competitor friendly event. This year’s event will be even more competitor focused with Rally HQ, Parc Ferme and Service all located within walking distance of each other. First car away from the start ramp is 09:30 and first car back to Parc Ferme is 16:00 making it a very compact days rallying.
Further information on associate & stage sponsors will be revealed over the coming weeks along with all the developments and build up to what promises to be another very special event. For updates check out www.corkmotorclub.com or The Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally facebook page. Regulations will be available once approved by MI so watch this space for more updates. Competitors looking for further information can contact the COC Paul Casey on 086 8050710.
2017 Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally
Organising of the 2017 Jim Wash Cork Forest Rally is already well underway. This years event takes place on Sunday July 30th and will be round 4 of the Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship. The event will once again be based out of Mallow with some classic, super smooth Cork Forest stages on offer again this year. We will keeping you updated over the coming months so watch this space.
Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Championship Round Four Post Event Report by Andrew Bushe
Round four of the 2016 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship, the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, run by the Cork Motor Club saw Desi Henry and Liam Moynihan, in the 1600cc turbo-charged Skoda Fabia R5 take a convincing win in dry and dusty conditions, on what was hailed as another super event by the 67 starters.
For County Antrim’s Desi Henry, the event got off to a perfect start opening out over nine seconds of a lead on stage one, from championship leader Michael Carbin who made a fine start in his Evo 4. Stage two was the long Mount Hilary test, and now the pattern began to emerge as former MK2 master Adrian Hetherington was to illustrate that he has adapted to the vageries of the four wheel drive Toyota Corolla WRC. He climbed into a second place, twelve seconds behind the flying Henry. Adrian would hold that position until the final special stage, when he picked up a puncture, driving on it for nine kilometres and surrendering the position to Patrick O’Brien in his Evo 9. Last year’s Valvoline Junior Champion had been suffering from a soft brake pedal, not ideal braking down from the high speed flat-out sections, but the Tyrone driver was delighted and much relieved to score this finish. Twenty seconds behind Hetherington, and claiming fourth was former champion Mick O’Brien after a promising showing in the Fiesta WRC.
As Desi Henry climbed further ahead, others fell by the wayside. At service Tipperary’s Pat O’Connell retired his Evo 9 from eighth place, and Omagh’s Mark Donnelly retired his S9 Impreza from fourth. Cathan McCourt who once again had started strongly in his Evo dropped from fifth to fifteenth on stage three, but was set to retire with mechanical issues on stage six. The other Mark Donnelly was scheduled to drive Super 2000 Fiesta, but elected to run a class twenty Evo 9, and it was a good choice as he ended up fifth, just two seconds in front of Michael Carbin. Michael still maintains his overall Valvoline series points lead, from Macroom’s Ger Lucey who put his Evo 8 into eighth after a late charge up the leader-board.
The Valvoline two-wheel drive race proved an epic one! Shane McGirr had Toyota power back into his red Toyota Starlet was fastest on stage one, but the Fivemiletown driver slid off on stage two, going into a hedge and re-joining the stage with the help of a strong marshal! County Down’s David Crossen now with Vauxhall power in his MK2 Escort held off McGirr’s advances, the gap just over three seconds starting the final stage. However McGirr and co-driver Marty McGarrity launched a grand attack on the Duhallow test, taking five seconds off Crossen to snatch victory. “I am delighted with ninth overall and first 2WD in Cork Forest Rally. Fantastic stages such a credit to the club and all the organising team. It's not often in Ireland we have an issue with dust but makes a pleasant change from the wind and rain” said Shane. Micky Conlon was third in another MK2 Escort despite a misfire and David Condell in his 2.4 example was fourth despite nursing a damaged drive-shaft on one stage. Seamus O’Connell was fourth after stage three, but retired at service due to an aggravated back injury, whilst Paul Fitzgerald’s fine run in his 1600cc Escort ended when the timing belt failed on his engine on the final test. John Gordon who had led the two wheel drive point’s race into this round popped a tyre off a rim on stage three, dropping him well down the order, but still finished first in class twelve.
Winner of the rallytrader.ie/ Kumho tyres Junior category, collecting two tyres from Ears Motorsport Ireland was Stephen Dickson with co-driver Tommy Hayes in the R2 Fiesta. Sperrin’s Junior winner Adam Bustard had led in his R2T Fiesta, until a light roll on stage five put the Castlederg driver over and out, whilst Derek Mackarel retired his Nova once again, with mechanical failure. Shane Kenneally in his MK2 Escort led the Valvoline registered Junior’s into the final stage, but a spirited effort by Stephen Dickson saw him clinch the prize by just nine seconds.
Other important class winners included Ruari Maguire in his Vauxhall Corsa, Paul McCann in his Escort Cosworth, and Ed Muldoon taking Group N, from Stephen Cullen and Conor McCourt third. The Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally winners Desi Henry and Liam Moynihan however were delighted. “We had a great run” said Desi. “No real problems and we really enjoyed the stages.” Next up for the Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship is the Lakeland Stages in Enniskillen this Saturday, September 3.
Points after round four: 1st Michael Carbin 67; 2nd Gerard Lucey 57; 3rd Adrian Hetherington 50; 4th Desi Henry 43; 5th Patrick O'Brien 42.