After the devastating storms that swept across the North West of Ireland on Tuesday 22nd August, Magherafelt and District Motor Club issued the following statement regarding the cancellation of this Friday night’s Sunset Stages.
“RAINFALL DROWNS SUNSET!
As many of you will be aware parts of the North of Ireland were badly affected by torrential rain last night (23rd). This evening, upon inspection of our Stages for the Sunset Rally, due to the devastation caused, we are left with no choice but to cancel the event. This decision was not taken lightly, however, the Stages are impassable. We apologise unreservedly to our sponsors and competitors, and we thank everyone who was involved in the months of preparation for this event, and all those who volunteered their services on the night. We had great interest and support for the Sunset and our entry list was growing by the day; so we are extremely disappointed that we have had to take this decision.
Yours in rallying,
Magherafelt and District Motor Club.
2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship-Round Four
Sam Moffett and Darragh Kelly in their Ford Fiesta WRC took victory on the Cork Motor Club’s Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, round four of the 2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship. The Monaghan driver, who’s day was largely drama free. “It’s been a good days rallying, great fast flowing sections here as always. We had a drama on stage three when I hit a large rock and had to drive eleven kilometres with a front wheel puncture, but aside from that we had no problems” said Sam who is now one of the title favourites having already clinched the Irish National tarmac series this year.
Moffatt was fastest on stage one, with Adrian Hetherington and Gary Nolan second in their Corolla WRC, but the Tyrone driver was in trouble with a broken gear linkage on the road section to stage two and he was out. As the crews headed for the first Mallow service after two stages, Sam Moffett led from David Crossen and Damien Fleming in their MK2 Escort. The Evo’s of Ger Lucey and Jonny Leonard were starting a day long battle in fourth and fifth overall, with Niall McCullagh and Darren McKelvey joint sixth, despite a crank sensor problem in the McKelvey car. Cathan McCourt led Group N initally, but slid off and burst the intercooler on stage three, whilst class rival Jordan Hone actually took the fastest time in that third test, to move up to fourth overall.
After the second loop, Sam Moffett’s lead was down to twenty seconds following that puncture, and second place was now held by the MK2 Escort of David Crossen who was loving the stages. “We had a big push through those two. On the third one, we were just a couple of seconds behind Jordan, and we were second fastest on stage four eight seconds back from Sam, which we are happy with. We need to make sure and get it home now though” expressed the County Down charger. Jordan Hone’s Group N lead was now sixteen seconds over seventh placed Niall McCullagh.
In the two wheel race, David Crossen’s advantage was thirty-eight seconds over John Gordon in his four door MK2. John had Aileen Kelly deputising in the co-drivers seat and was holding an excellent eighth place overall despite a small gearbox leak. Mickey Conlon was fourteen seconds further back, feeling he wasn’t quite on the pace, the car feeling a little loose. At the finish, it was a ninth place and 2nd two wheel drive for John giving him a €200 entry voucher for next year’s Jim Walsh event, and €100 for tenth placed Mickey Conlon who was seventeen seconds behind. Owen McMackin was fourth home in his MK2 and Damian McGauran fifth in the unique BMW 320.
At the front of the field, Sam Moffett extended his winning margin to fifty-one seconds over second placed Jonny Leonard and Arthur Kierans who sorted their problems out in the Evo 6 to leap into that position, a fine result for the Enniskillen driver. In third and less than a minute behind the leader was David Crossen whose remarkable run also earned him a free entry to next year’s event for bringing the first MK2 home, winning the 2017 Mark 2 Master of the Woods Prize. Fourth and first in Group N was a just reward for Jordan Hone with his father Paul as ever in the hot-seat. The ever smiling Ger Lucey was a credible fifth in his Evo 8 and continues to lead the championship going into the final 2 rounds. Enda McCormack’s trip over from the US was rewarded with sixth and less than 20 seconds behind him was Niall McCullagh in seventh, debuting the newly aquired Evo 9 and 2nd in Group N, just ahead of Darren McKelvey. The Top 2 Wheel Drive Award went to John Gordon & Aileen Kelly as David Crossen’s top 3 finish means he forfeits class awards.
The Valvoline Junior Section (Class 16), again provided a nail-biting battle. Just nineteen seconds separated the top three with John O’Sullivan taking victory in his R2 Fiesta. After four tests, John was just 0.3 of a second ahead of Shane Kenneally’s Honda, the Fiesta’s lack of wing mirrors evidence of chicane incidents for O’Sullivan who adjusted his suspension before a final loop charge. Shane Kenneally was happy with second just over three seconds back, after an overshoot on stage three and the loss of the flat-shift gear change during the day. In third was an on form Johnnie Mulholland in another R2 Fiesta, whilst Derek Mackeral was happy to bring the Nova home to finish fourth. Stephen Dickson who led the class in the series ended up fifth and just didn’t have a great day, with steering arm issues amongst the worries.
The M. O’Brien Plant Hire Junior 1000 class for 16-18-year-olds entered its final round and Jason Murphy took the inaugural championship title with another victory in his Peugeot 107, winning him a prize drive in an R2 car on a 2018 Irish Forest round. “It’s brilliant to get that,” said Jason. “Today I started off very cautiously on stage one then speeded up. The stages were mighty and what an experience it’s been thanks to my co-driver Matthew and everyone in the team and the championship. ”Making her Junior 1000 debut eighteen-year-old Aoife Gahan in her Chevrolet Spark took second place, her co-driver Liam Brennan complimenting her for some “fearless” driving at times. Another newcomer Jason Gorham took third place with his Peugeot 107 as interest continues to build for 2018.
Other class winners included: Seamus Heaney (Class 1 – Honda Civic), Cal McCarthy (Class 2 – Citroen C2 R2), Andrew Burke (Class 3 – Citroen DS3 R3), Ruairi Maguire (Class 9 – Vauxhall Corsa), Mike Garahy (Class 10 – MK2 Escort), Stuart McClean (Class 11f – Vauxhall Nova), Ruairi McCaffrey (Class 12 – MK2 Escort), John Reid (Class 15 – Corolla WRC).
2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship-Round 4 Results
1st Sam Moffett/ Darragh Kelly – Ford Fiesta WRC – 36m 47.2s
2nd Jonny Leonard/Arthur Kierans – Mitsubishi Evo 6 – +0:51.4s
3rd David Crossen/Damien Fleming – Ford Escort Mk2 – +0:59.3s
4th Jordan Hone / Paul Hone – Mitsubishi Evo 9 – +1m23.9s
5th Gerard Lucey/JJ Cremin – Mitsubishi Evo 8 – +1m27.8s
6th Enda McCormack/Colin Fitzgerald – Subaru Impreza WRC – +1m28.0s
7th Niall McCullagh/Ryan McCloskey – Mitsubishi Evo 9 – +1m45.5s
8th Darren McKelvey/Aaron Johnston – Mitsubishi Evo 9 – +1m47.1s
9th John Gordon/Aileen Kelly – Ford Escort Mk2 – +1m59.3s
10thMichael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips – Ford Escort Mk2 – +2m17.2s
2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship- Points After Round 4
1st Ger Lucey 61
2nd Sam Moffett 59
3rd David Crossen 58
4th Jonny Leonard 49
5th Enda McCormack 47
6th Mickey Conlon 45
7th Josh Moffett 42
8th Marty McCormack 38
9th Desi Henry 36
10th Adrian Hetherington 35
=Ian Graham 35
Championship sponsors include – Valvoline, Andrew Fanning Motor Factors, M. O’Brien Plant Hire, Suirway Group Forklifts & Farm Machinery, Jelf Motorsport Insurance, Exact Signs & Graphics, Pottinger Machinery, Ears Motorsport / Kumho Tyres, Colton Pump & Heating Services, Coillte, Concept Fire Services Ltd, Gordon Automotive Services, Barron Pix & SVS Incar Cameras.
Official Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship press release issued by Andrew Bushe
F: Andrew Bushe Promotions t-@andrew_bushe.
The Jim Walsh Cork Forestry Rally is nearly upon us. The event is now the fourth round of the popular Valvoline backed Irish Forestry Championship. The Cork Forestry is a mainstay of the Championship and remains a very a popular event with competitors due to the good stages and Cork Motor Club Organisation. The event will feature some old mileage, some new mileage and some familiar roads in a very good route comprising of 3 stages done twice. Below is a short sample video along with our usual stage data samples.
Notes & DVD are now available. Telephone either (ROI) 048 9084411 or (NI) 028 90844111 or order online at RallyNews.net – Click Here
Rathfriland Motor Club confirm cancellation of the 2017 Down Rally…
It is with regret that Rathfriland Motor Club Ltd announce that the Down Rally, which was due to take place on 14 October 2017 in forests in the Down area, has had to be cancelled. This event was to have been a round of the ANICC McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship and the Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship.
In mid May 2017 the Club were suddenly advised that Tollymore and Castlewellan Forests, which formed the backbone of the rally in terms of stage mileage, were no longer available for Motorsport, even though these Forests have been used in previous Down Rallies.
Despite best efforts, the Club have been unable to identify suitable alternative Forests in the area to allow us to run a stage event to Championship requirements.
Imokilly Mini Stage 2017 – Below we have included a full safety video of the Shakedown stage, allowing any competitor the chance to have a good look at the stage in advance of the shakedown on Saturday the 22nd July, just ahead of the full rally on Sunday the 23rd. Also included below is our stage data for the full rally and the latest seeded top 20 entries.
Imokilly Mini Stage – Top 20 Seeded Entries
1 Jonathan Pringle/James Fulton (Ford Escort MkII) 
2 Garry Kiernan/Ryan Moore (Ford Escort MkII) 
3 Colin Byrne/Stephen Quinn (Ford Escort MkII) 
4 Enda O Brien/John Bulter (Ford Escort MkII) 
5 Trevor Mulligan/Sean Hayde (Ford Escort MkII) 
6 Daniel Cronin/Shane Buckley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) 
7 Barry Meade/Eamonn Hayes (Ford Escort MkII) 
8 Pat O Connell/Derek Gibbs (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 
9 George Condell/Paul Twomey (Toyota Starlet) 
10 Ed O Callaghan/Keith McCarthy (Ford Escort MkII) 
11 David Guest/Paddy Robinson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 
12 Vincent Mc Sweeney/Micheal Kearney (Honda Civic) 
14 Mark Dolphin/Coln Ftizgerald (Ford Escort MkII) 
15 Tom Flaherty/Martin Flynn (Ford Escort MkII) 
16 Mike Quinn/Tony Healy (Ford Escort MkII) 
17 Kevin Kelleher/William Walsh (Ford Escort MkII) 
19 John Lynch/Thomas Lynch (Darrian T90) 
20 Richard Whelan/James Whelan (BMW) 
The directors of Tipperary Motor Club and myself as Coc regret to announce that we have made a decision to cancel the Stonethrowers rally. This was not a easy decision , but going on entries for rally’s in the last few weeks it would not be financially viable to run the event.
We would like thank our sponsors for their support in the past and the competitors we have done our event in previous years and hope to continue with there support in 2018 .
Next weekend’s FAAC Simply Automatic / Sligo Park Hotel Sligo Stages Rally will once again provide a real challenge to the crews. Historically, Sligo was the host town for Rally Ireland in 2007 and to mark the 10th anniversary, the club a decided to revisit some the roads used for the challenging WRC round. Below is a short sample video along with our usual stage data samples.
Notes & DVD now available. Telephone either (ROI) 048 9084411 or (NI) 028 90844111 or order online at RallyNews.net – Click Here
MOFFETT’S HIGH FIVE ON RAVEN’S ROCK RALLY – Report courtesy of Triton Showers – proud sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship.
With victory in the Dooley’s Hotel Raven’s Rock Rally, round five of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship, Monaghan’s Sam Moffett (Fiesta WRC), who was co-driven by Cork’s Karl Atkinson, is just one event away from outright victory in the Triton Showers National Rally Championship following his fifth straight win of the campaign.
They finished 18.1 seconds ahead of the similar Fiesta WRC of defending champions Clonmel’s Roy White and his Cork co-driver James O’Brien.
Citroen’s World Rally star, Waterford’s Craig Breen and co-driver Patrick Croke in a Mk. 2 Ford Escort were two minutes and 37.3 seconds further behind in third.
On the opening stage near Portlaw, Moffett opened up a four second lead over the defending Triton champion, Roy White with former triple national champion Niall Maguire seven seconds further adrift in third.
Citroen WRT driver Craig Breen was fourth overall – three seconds behind Maguire – as he set the pace in the two-wheel drive category. Brendan Cumiskey (Skoda Fabia R5) and late entry Frank Kelly (Escort) completed the top six.
In Group N, David Guest, eighth in general classification led the similar Mitsubishi of Shane Maguire by three seconds followed by Neil Tohill (Mitsubishi) and Paul Barrett (Subaru).
Moffett was also quickest through the second stage but broke the rear driveshaft following a heavy landing over a jump on the third stage and lost time and the lead.
Reigning Triton champion Roy White arrived at the Waterford service park with an 11.8 second advantage. The Clonmel driver was untroubled and remarked that his driving was of a much better standard than on the previous Triton rounds. Moffett in second had intercom issues on the entire loop as co-driver Karl Atkinson had to shout so as his notes could be heard.
Meanwhile, Breen, who was enjoying a blast through the county Waterford countryside slotted his 2.5 Millington engined Escort into third – 39.8 seconds behind Moffett and five ahead of Niall Maguire.
Maguire had an overshot on the second stage and found stage three slippery and greasy. Brendan Cumiskey (Skoda Fabia R5), who overshot on S.S. 3, was next followed by the Escorts of Enda O’Brien and Frank Kelly, both untroubled.
Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi) led Group N and was eighth overall, his rival David Guest, also in a Mitsubishi, was 3.9 seconds behind, Guest had a moment on S.S. 2 where he also had an overshoot that dented his confidence for the third stage. John McQuaid (Escort) completed the top ten. Elsewhere, Cormac Phelan (Honda Civic) slid off the road on the second stage.
Out on the second loop Niall Maguire retired his Subaru WRC from fourth place with a broken driveshaft. Meanwhile and with three fastest stage times Moffett was back in front at the final service where he led White by 7.8 seconds. “I’m doing what I have to do,” commented the rally leader. The front of White’s Fiesta WRC bore the impact of a high-speed 360-degree spin on S.S. 6, luckily, the damage was just cosmetic – a broken front grill and spoiler. Breen continued to entertain as he retained third – a minute and 31.4 seconds behind. Cumiskey changed the brake pads in his Skoda Fabia and was more satisfied as he occupied fourth from O’Brien and Kelly.
Maguire in seventh held sway in Group N – 20.8 seconds ahead of Guest, who damaged the front left wing on a square right S.S. 5, he reckoned that he had chosen a tyre compound that was too soft.
Mick McQuaid (Escort) was trouble free in eighth followed by Guest and Class 11R leader Richard Harney (Escort). Class 11F pacesetter Jason Ryan (Honda Civic) was eleventh.
Out on the final loop, Moffett with another trio of fastest times and victory in the Power Stage sealed his fifth win and only needs a maximum of twelve points from his next round to clinch the title. White took second and Breen was third.
The top six was unchanged. Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi) won Group N and also netted the Triton Showers Drive of the Day award, he finished 11.6 seconds ahead of showroom rival David Guest. Declan Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC) was a non-starter.
Meanwhile, the Junior category was won by Carrick on Suir brothers Killian O’Sullivan/Conal O’Sullivan (Honda Civic) they finished 14.2 seconds in front of the similar car of Cork’s Aaron Browne/Daniel Hanratty. Meath’s Brian Brady/Leonard Tuille (Honda Civic) took maximum points to move into the lead of the Triton Junior Championship.
1. S. Moffett/K. Atkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC) 56m. 13.3s.
2. R. White/J. O’Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC) 56m. 31.4s.
3. C. Breen/P. Croke (Ford Escort) 59m. 08.7s.
4. B. Cumiskey/R. O’Kane (Skoda Fabia R5) 59m. 23.8s
5. E. O’Brien/J. Butler (Ford Escort) 59m. 29.3s.
6. F. Kelly/L. Kelly (Ford Escort) 59m. 52.3s.
7. J. McQuaid/T. Treanor (Ford Escort) 1h. 00m. 58.7s.
8. S. Maguire/P. McLaughlin (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 01m. 17.1s.
9. D. Guest/P. Robinson (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 01m. 28.7s.
10. A. Evans/M. Henry (Ford Escort) 1h. 03m. 08.7s.
Provisional Championship Positions after Round 5: 1. S. Moffett 104 points; 2. R. White 77pts; 3. S. Maguire 55pts; =4. D. Kelly & N. Maguire 53pts; 6. D. Guest 44pts; & 7. L. Hastings 39pts.
Triton Showers National Rally Championship.
Alastair Fisher & Gordon Noble responded to their disappointing Rally of the Lakes result in the perfect way by taking maximum points on the Joule Donegal International Rally. A superb drive saw them net second place behind Manus Kelly after an event long battle with great rivals Sam Moffett & Karl Atkinson where there was little more than a handful of seconds between them for most of the rally. Only nine seconds separated the pair overnight but with conditions very wet on the first Fanad stage on Sunday morning, Sam wisely decided to prioritise a good points finish instead of risking everything over the remaining stages.
Josh Moffett moved into third place in the championship as he continued to build confidence after his Monaghan accident and would have been a lot closer to the leading pair only for a puncture on one of the Saturday stages. Robert Barrables championship hopes suffered a damaging blow as he crashed out of the event on the fifth stage at Letterleague on Friday. Aaron MacHale was another to finish in the scenery on Friday as the tremendous pace took its toll. Joe McGonigle went off the road on the opening stage and lost three minutes and spent the rest of the weekend climbing back up the field to 7th only to retire on the final loop with a broken driveshaft. Pauric Duffy had one of his best international results to date finishing in sixth overall and earning ten championship points in the process.
Marty Gallagher & Dean O’Sullivan finished an excellent ninth overall and were the top R2 registered finishers while John Mulholland finished 11th overall in his fabulous gold Skoda Fabia R5. John Coyne led class six in the Tuthill Porsche but wiper failure forced them out on the Sunday as conditions got very tricky. Gavin Kelly finished third in Group N but took maximum points for the category in the championship while William Creighton also gained valuable points in the R2 class. Joe Connolly was another registered competitor who failed to finish what was a very tough and demanding Donegal Rally.
Provisional Championship Top 5 Overall
1 – Sam Moffett 57
2 – Alastair Fisher 49.5
3 – Josh Moffett 37
4 – Joe McGonigle 27
5 – Robert Barrable 26
It was a balmy Friday evening in June when the 2017 Tyrone Stages Rally organised by Cookstown Motor Club was launched at McNulty Motors near Coalisland. McNulty Motors will be main sponsor for the Tyrone Stages Rally at end of July 2017 (Sat 29th) and the event will encompass three new stages to be run on closed public roads in the Stewartstown, Ardboe, Newmills areas.
The event is a qualifying round of the 2017 ANICC MSA McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship and a round of the Road to Wales competition.
The Closed public road stages are all new. They have never been closed for rally use before and are all 100% tarmacadam surfaces. There will be an approx total of 45miles (72 Kms) with 3 stages run 3 times.
They are generally smooth and challenging with good technical sections as can be seen in the sample video below.
The professional TV crews and interviewer filmed the top drivers from the locality including Enda McNulty himself, Adrian Hetherington and Richard Somerville, both stage sponsors, Frank Kelly and Declan Hall, all of whom intend to compete on the event.
Other support for the event comers from Mid Ulster Council, the Body Stop Craigavon and the A29 Garage Services.