Pictured left, Barry McKenna and Leon Jordan on their way to victory on Cork Motor Club's two day CFF Group Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally. (Picture: Kevin O'Driscoll)
McKenna and Jordan win CMC's 2018 CFF Group Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally
Over two gruelling days, contested through Twelve fast & furious stages and full of all manner of bumps, jumps and high-speed sections, it was New York based Barry McKenna and Co-Driver Leon Jordan who showed some scintillating pace to bring his Ford Fiesta R5 home in 1st place in the 2018 CFF Group Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, ahead of one of the strongest Fields ever seen on an Irish Forestry Event.
A double round of the Valvoline Forest Rally Championship, the field of near 90 cars left Mallow on Saturday morning destined for a string of stages to the east of the town. Straight away, it was a trio of Fiesta’s setting the pace at the front, with Andrew Purcell/Mark Wiley & Josh Moffett/Stephen Thornton both hot on McKenna’s heels. The level of competition was obvious on the time sheets, with only 1.7 seconds separating the leading duo of Purcell and McKenna at the overnight halt.In the 2WD section, early leader David Crossen hit trouble, leaving the door open for the Ford Escort of Shane McGirr/Liam McIntyre to take control, although they were challenged all the way. The father-and-son pairing of Jordan Hone, co driven by father Paul, had their Opel Adam R2 sitting 2nd in the 2WD race overnight, but Mickey Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips put the afterburners on over Sundays 6 stages and overtook the Hone’s to grab 2nd. It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Hone’s though, as Jordan’s impressive performance grabbed the Junior Rally victory, ahead of the Peugeot 208’s of James Wilson/Gavin Doherty and Marty Gallagher/Dean O’Sullivan.
There were battles raging all through the field, with many of the Class honours being decided by the tightest of margins. In Class 4, Niall Devine/Kieran McGrath steered their Mitsubishi Evo 9 home with only three seconds to spare from Eoighan Rodgers/PaddyMcCrudden. Things were even tighter again in Class 10, with Tom Murphy/Liam Dennehy having 1.2sec to spare over rival Mike Garahy/Iarla McCarthy in a similar Ford Escort MK2.
One of the most unique battles that we see in the Forest Championship is the M.O’Brien Plant Hire Junior 1000 Championship. Open to some of the youngest competitors in Irish Rallying, the series is a huge stepping stone for the future of the Rallying world. Contesting the complete 12 stages of the rally, it was a dominant start-to-finish victory for Scottish visitors Peter Beaton/Connor Boylan in his Peugeot 107, ahead of a similar Peugeot of Rory Byrne/John Burke and the Chevrolet Spark of Aoife Gahan/Michelle Walsh.
With the stages closer to Mallow on Sunday, it was time for the movers to really do their thing. Purcell, first on the road, blitzed the 1st Loop but hit trouble on the 2nd. Josh Moffett finished Stage 7 with a puncture on the front of the Fiesta but had lost little to any time. One man though played it to perfection. In a display of cool and calm, Barry McKenna clocked down the mileage in a display of ruthless efficiency. Keeping the hard charging Moffett at bay, McKenna rolled back into Mallow to claim his first ever event victory by 12 secs and cemented his place at the top of the Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship standings.
Speaking at the conclusion of the event, Event COC Paul Casey paid huge thanks to the massive volunteer team, sponsors, local supporters and competitors that were all pivotal in making this the finest gravel rally in the country, a true testament to the levels of organisation involved in running something of this scale. Its time to relax and unwind now, but you can be sure that it won’t be long until planning starts again to make the 2019 Jim Walsh Cork Forest even bigger and better!
Full results on irallyresults.com
CORK M C CRAFTED FITTED FURNITURE GROUP JIM WALSH CORK FOREST RALLY AT MALLOW, CO CORK.
(ROUNDS 4 AND 5 OF VALVOLINE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP):
1 Barry McKenna/Leon Jordan (Fiesta R5) 62m 57s,
2 Josh Moffett/Stephen Thornton (Fiesta R5) 63m 09s,
3 Andrew Purcell/Mark Wiley (Fiesta R5) 63m 58s,
4 Cathan McCourt/Barry McNulty (Fiesta R5) 66m 20s,
5 Vivian Hamill/Andrew Grennan (Fiesta R5) 66m 49s,
6 Stephen McCann/Kaine Treanor (Fiesta R5) 66m 53s,
7 Philip Allen/Mark Kane (Hyundai i20 R5) 68m 21s,
8 Niall Devine/Kieran McGrath (Lancer Evo Gp N) 68m 50s,
9 Eoghain Rogers/Paddy McCrudden (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 68m 53s,
10 Shane McGirr/Liam McIntyre (Escort) 69m 45s.
Junior 1000 Class:
1 Peter Beaton/Conor Boylan (Peugeot 107) 94m 21s.
2 Rory Byrne/John Burke (Peugeot 107) 97m 13s,
3 Aoife Gahan/Michelle Walsh (Chevrolet Spark) 98m 00s.
map link on right
With only a handful of days to go
now, it’s all systems go for what is sure to be an absolute highlight of the
Irish Rally calendar, the Two-Day Crafted Fitted Furniture Jim Walsh Cork
Forest Rally! Roaring into Mallow this weekend, nearly 90 high powered cars of
all shapes and sizes will cross the start line faced with two days of some of
the finest Gravel stages this country has to offer. Leading the field away will
be New York based Barry McKenna, the current Valvoline Irish Forest Rally
Championship leader behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R5, in a field chock full
of big names and top machinery. The ever spectacular 2WD field will be led away
by a familiar visitor to some of these stages, David Crossen in his Ford Escort
The buzz around Mallow will be noticeable from early on Friday as crews begin to arrive. For those travelling, please be aware of the various locations: Trailer parks for the event is being housed both at Mallow RFC just on the edge of town and at the Cork County Council Annabella Complex, with Scrutiny taking place in Ears Motorsport 1.8KM away in the heart of Mallow. For spectators, this is a great opportunity to get up close to the cars as they undergo pre-event safety checks. From there, much of the other necessary steps are conveniently located together, with Documentation scrutiny taking place in the Cork County Council offices alongside Pairc Ferme on the Annabella site, adjacent to which is the Mallow Fire Station where Drivers Briefing will take Place on Saturday morning.
The first cars will leave Mallow at 11.31 destined for a challenging loop of 6 stages to the East of Mallow, with service after every two stages in the Mitchelstown Business Park, giving crews much needed time to catch their breath. Overnight Pairc Ferme will see the cars return once more to the Cork County Council complex in Annabella, Mallow. Sunday’s 6 stages, again in a similar format, are much closer to the town, and service will take place within the Dairygold complex in Mallow.
Speaking today, Event COC Paul Casey is delighted with the strength of the entry received, with no less than seven cutting edge R5 cars, and nearly as many WRC cars as well, all fighting to take the rally victory. Paul believes that it’s a testament to the huge effort of all his team within Cork Motor Club that some really exciting drivers have been tempted to travel and experience the jewel of the Irish loose surface season. While the seeded entry list is now published, any late entries are always welcome, and all the details can be found online.An event programme will be available locally from Wednesday, jam packed full of content including the stage maps for the two days. The Outlets where you’ll find these for sale will be announced, as with all the latest info and updates on the event, on the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally page on Facebook as well as at www.corkmotorclub.ie
The 2018 CFF Group Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally
Unseeded List of Entries to date
With just one week remaining Cork Motor Club are delighted to announce that a bumper entry has been received to date for the Crafted Fitted Furniture Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally. Tonight, in association with J+M Breen Distributors we bring you the unseeded entry list – and what a list it is with still seven days to go.
COC Paul Casey is also delighted to announce two new stage sponsors who have come on board in the last week. Custom Engineering Cork and Mitchelstown Tyre Services. CMC would like to welcome these businesses on board to join the fantastic list of sponsors supporting this event.
CMC would like to remind those competitors who have not already entered and who are considering doing so that entries remain open. Seeding is currently underway and will be finalised on Monday evening – July 23rd once the final post is received. Entries will be taken all weekend via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CFF Group JWCFR 2018 Press Release 3: Huge Support for Rally Extravaganza in Mallow
With less than three weeks to go until the crackle and pop of Rally Car’s echo around the town of Mallow, the ground swell of support for what is sure to be a feast of automotive excitement is growing at an incredible pace. For a ninth successive year, the North Cork town will be the base for the Cork Motor Club’s annual Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally on July 28th & 29th. This year, in particular, has all the makings of being a special event with the return to a Two-Day format after a ten year spell as a Single Day event. Mallow welcomed the event with open arms in 2010, and the return year on year since is no accident or coincidence, such is the support received from local business and people alike, while the rally in return brings a huge economic boost to the region.
For a fourth straight year, the main event sponsor is Crafted Fitted Furniture, a local Mallow based firm who have grown into an industry leader nationwide in the supply and design of bespoke Furniture and Kitchens. Starting in 1993, the firm is a real success story, with the current operation employing 20 people across both their Showrooms and Workshop. The relationship between CFF Group and Cork Motor Club is one built strongly over the past four year of cooperation, with the rally showcasing the Crafted Fitted Furniture brand globally through both Irish and International TV coverage the event receives, and this relationship is key to a combined success far into the future.
CMC are also really delighted to welcome J&M Breen Distributors onboard as an associate sponsor of the event. The Kanturk based firm are a leading supplier of goods to the motor trade including Lubricants and Towbars, and they are no strangers to the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally as they have regularly supported the event as stage sponsors down the years.
The support received from local business right across a large spectrum is testament to the quality of the event, as firms can see real benefit in being associated with the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally. The stages themselves, based close to Mitchelstown on Saturday and near Mallow on Sunday, have been undergoing all necessary work to get them in prime shape for the high-speed rally machines come late July, with much of this groundwork being helped by the financial contributions of the Stage Sponsors. The fast, flowing tests this year are sponsored by Mallow Motor Factors, Eamonn Tarrant & Son Skoda Banteer, Irish Roll Forming Ltd, Greenhall Motors Buttevant, Healy Motorsport, R&R Tyres Ballincollig, Exact Signs Kildorrery, our 2018 Rally HQ The Hibernian Hotel Mallow and the Mallow Chamber.
The support needed to run an event of this scale is evidently rather large, but Cork Motor Club are thoroughly delighted with how well the local area has come together to ensure that the 2018 event will be the premier Gravel rally in Ireland yet again. The support of Programme advertising has also been exceptional, which will be reflected in the quality of the publication. The event programme will contain all the relevant information on stages, location, times and competitors and will be available to purchase locally the week before the event.
Alongside those that support the event financially, CMC relies heavily on other businesses for logistical support in the running of the event, and these deserve special thanks. Bringing over 100 crews to a region can have its headaches, but the willingness of these organisations to help out makes sure the event runs smoothly. EARS Motorsport in the heart of Mallow have provided use of their facility for pre-event Scrutiny on Friday and Saturday morning (a perfect opportunity to get up close to the rally machines!), while Cork County Council’s Annabella complex will be used for Parc Ferme. The Sunday service area has been provided by Dairygold, again another great opportunity for the public to see the cars and drivers close up. Lastly, of course, a rally like the Cork Forest requires the use of stages, and a huge thanks to both Boggeragh Wind Farm and Coillte for the use of their roads and lands respectively.
The official launch of the 2018 Crafted Fitted Furniture Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally will take place this Thursday, July 12th, at 7.30pm with a Photo Shoot involving a number of Rally Cars and Drivers in the grounds of Mallow Castle, followed by a formal press launch with refreshments in the Rally HQ, the Hibernian Hotel Mallow. All are welcome. For all the most up to date information, don’t forget to check out www.corkmotorclub.com or the Jim Walsh Cork Forrest page on Facebook. Entries are now open, and all forms can be found on the website.
Following the recent announcement of the return of the popular Two-Day Format, the organisers of the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally are delighted to announce further details for what is certain to once again be Ireland’s premier Gravel rally. The hugely popular event roars in Mallow, Co. Cork on July 28th & 29th, with everything from Scrutiny, Pairc Ferme and Rally HQ, the Hibernian Hotel, within a 2km radius.
First and foremost, on behalf of the organisers we are delighted to continue our fantastic partnership with CFF Group who remain Title Sponsors for a Fourth year. Paul and Diane O’Connor have grown a once local North Cork firm into one of the largest Bespoke Furniture providers in the country, and their premier position within their sector is a perfect match for the event quality to be expected on the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally.
The team from Cork Motor Club have been working hard over the past few weeks to ensure that the stages are in pristine condition, with re-grading completed now on all the route ensuring that conditions are perfect for every crew, from our young J1000 competitors through to front running WRC Cars. The Stage Preparation efforts are a huge investment from Cork Motor Club to ensure that the Jim Walsh Cork Forestry will be Irelands showpiece gravel event yet again!
The stages themselves are split into a 3x2x2 format over both days, with centralised service after each pair of tests. The Twelve stages are a mixture of old and new forest classics, complete with a real blend of traditional, technical but flowing forest roads through to wide open, full on, Wind Farm roads. These stages have each been specially selected by a core of experienced competitors that CMC are delighted to have as a part of the organising team.
The entry fee for what is sure to be a spectacular event has been set at €875 (including all levies) in yet another competitor friendly move from the organisers, with many single day events costing more than six-hundred euro. Scrutiny will take place on Friday evening, but is also available Saturday morning by arrangement with the COC. The first car will leave Pairc Ferme at 11.30am on Saturday, with a 09.00 start on Sunday. Both days will count as scoring rounds of the 2018 Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship.
Speaking to event COC Paul Casey, he has been strong to encourage competitors to get their entry in as soon as possible. “My phone has been buzzing since we made the announcement of the return to the Two-Day Format for the Jim Walsh. I have been receiving a lot of calls from both New and Old Competitors, all very excited to be a part of this great event. I encourage anyone wishing to compete to get an entry in before the closing date as interest is understandably huge and we are expecting a large demand to get on the entry list.”
The Event Regs and Entry Form are now available on www.corkmotorclub.ie, and make sure to keep up to date with all the latest event info on the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally page on Facebook.
It's all systems go as the countdown begins to the Jim Walsh Cork Forestry rally, the country’s premier Gravel rally which roars into to Mallow, Co. Cork on July 28th and 29th. After a break of eleven years, the event returns to its two-day format of old, with both days counting as separate rounds of the 2018 Valvoline Forest Rally Championship.
Cork Motor Club are delighted to announce a number of exciting new details of the 2018 event, as besides the return It's of the two-day format, an all-new Rally HQ will be based in the Hibernian Hotel in the heart of Mallow. The event is expected to be a massive boost to both the town and the region, with a large economic benefit brought by competitors and spectators alike. It is highly recommended to get your accommodation booked quickly as many local hotels are reporting that reservation numbers are growing daily. A Rally Special is available, while stocks last, in the Rally HQ, so please make sure to contact the Hibernian Hotel and mention the Jim Walsh Forest Rally!
The action kicks off late Saturday morning in one of a raft of competitor friendly measures taken by the organisers. Both days consist of six Forest stages chosen by the incredibly experienced team in CMC to provide an exciting challenge to the crews. Competitive distance over the two days is approximately 120km, all within short distance of the centralised Service for both legs. Scrutiny will be available to crews on Saturday morning in a further effort to minimise the cost and time commitment for competitors.
The stages themselves are a real treat, featuring a mix of both tests used in recent years as well as the return of several classics that have not been used in the Jim Walsh Forrest Rally for quite a while. The route has been carefully chosen to provide the best rallying challenge, and the club are delighted to announce that the stages are in superb condition and all set to welcome the competing crews come the end of July.
Speaking today, event COC and Cork Motor Club Chairman Paul Casey was excited with the prospect of two-day Forest Rallying returning, as some of the greatest events he had competed on were ‘The 2-Days’ in the mid 00’s. Paul has a strong team behind him that have already been working hard to get the groundwork done for the event, and preparations truly begin in earnest today to provide competitors with truly the best event possible. The emphasis on making the event more competitor friendly was of vital importance to the organisers, with initiatives like the Saturday Scrutiny, Late Start, Centralised Service and Low Road Mileage all at the forefront of the planning stage of the Event. As the cost of Rallying continues to increase, it’s hoped that measures like these will help encourage competitors to come out for a blast in the Woods.
As a double counting round of the Valvoline Forest Rally Championship, the Jim Walsh is a fantastic opportunity for crews to pick up large amounts of Championship Points. The support of Forestry Chairman Ray Fitzpatrick was invaluable in the return of the two-day format this year. The Forestry Championship is one of the most popular Motorsport series in the country with dedicated TV coverage & a large and successful Social Media presence which is incredibly attractive for competitors and sponsors alike. The addition of a Two-Day Jim Walsh Forest Rally is great boost to the profile of the Championship.
Regulations and Entry Forms will be available shortly from www.corkmotorclub.com.
Keep up to date on all the latest updates on the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally Forest Rally page on Facebook.
For any further information, please contact COC Paul Casey on 0868050710
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.