2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship-Round Three
The 2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship, entered into it’s third round on Saturday for the Donegal Motor Club’s Forest Rally. Based in Donegal town, the event provided it’s fair share of excitement, as Marty McCormack stormed to victory in his Skoda Fabia R5. At the mid point service, McCormack said “The first stage was incredibly demanding, it was very tricky and so slippy we were very glad to get through it. I settled in better on the second stage and felt much more comfortable on the third, it was very nice. “ as he and co-driver David Moynihan built up the lead and made changes to the car as the day progressed. “It’s been a great day and to get the win is a great bonus, but the amount we have learned about the car in these conditions is invaluable”
Tiger Risk Rally Team’s Marty McCormack & David Moynihan cruise to victory Image by Ruaidhri Nash
In a resounding second overall was the Mitsubishi Evo 6 of Omagh’s Patrick O’Brien and co-driver Stephen O’Brien, who’s consistently fast pace all day brought a great result, despite a lack of recent seat-time for the former Valvoline Junior Champion. Finishing in fourth overall was another Evo, driven by Omagh’s Cathan McCourt, overcoming a stage one puncture to also take the Group N class. In sixth was Cork’s Ger Lucey in his venerable Evo 8. He recovered from a wrong tyre choice to climb up the leader-board, and like in 2016 he once again leads the Valvoline points race. Could this be the year that the clubman trounces the R5’s? With half the season to go it’s an interesting mid-term points table. Enda McCormack was delighted with ninth in his Impreza WRC, despite a costly stall on stage five. Lying an impressive third overall early in the day was young Dungiven driver Jordan Hone. Driving the Rallyhire Group N Lancer Evo 9, his fine drive came to an end as he was stuck in a ditch on stage four after one of the many jumps threw him off line.
No one expected the Valvoline Two Wheel Drive category winner to make the podium in Donegal, but that’s what happened as Comber’s David Crossen brought his Mark 2 Escort
3rd Overall – David Crossan & Damien Fleming – Ford Escort Mark 2 Image by www.barronpix.com
into a fabulous third place overall. With co-driver Damien Fleming on the Patterson Pacenotes, “It was a great event, and we really enjoyed the stages “said David who now leads the two-wheel drive title race. “The first stage was like something from Finland with the big jumps and bumps! We had a problem with a rear link bar during the day and had to replace a rose-joint at service, and had to put in an emergency spare front strut after stage six, but other than that the rally went very smoothly for us.” Former Valvoline 2wd champions, Fermanagh’s Shane McGirr and Castleblayney’s Micky Conlon were left to tussle for second in what was a frenetic race. McGirr’s Starlet picked up a puncture after stage four and one on stage six which cost some valuable time, but also meant that he had no spare wheel to replace the second flat tyre. Such is the camaraderie in the series that Mickey Conlon lent him his spare, as the battle raged into the final test. It was Conlon and co-driver Ciaran McPhilips who took second as McGirr and co-driver Marty McGarrity, who were choked with exhaust fumes coming into the car, dropping to eighth overall, and third placed two wheel drive runners behind were John Gordon and Thomas Wedlock in their ever enthusiastically driven Mark 2 Escort.
The Valvoline Junior Section (Class 16), where the eligible crews are competing for an automatic Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Award nomination at the season’s end, saw Shane Kenneally take the early advantage before his Honda Civic retired with transmission trouble. Donegal driver Marty Gallagher in the 208 R2 was another retirement on stage five when the wheel studs sheared whilst in the lead of the class. Then the lead battle switched to the two Fiesta R2’s of John O’Sullivan and Stephen Dickson, and it was Dickson who once again put in a late charge to take the category after blitzing the final stage.
Image by www.barronpix.com
Other class winners were on the event were: Ruairi Maguire (Vauxhall Corsa)-class 9, Mike Garaghy- (MK2 Escort)-class 10, Stewart McClean (Vauxhall Nova)- class 11F, Damien McAleer (Toyota Corolla)-class 11R, Chris Simms (MK2 Escort)-class 12, Derek Mackeral (Mitsubishi Evo)-class 15.
The M. O’Brien Plant Hire Junior 1000 class for 16-18 year olds, entered its third round in Donegal and once again the Peugeot 107’s of Alex Byrne and Jason Murphy lined up to do battle. It was Jason Murphy’s turn to take victory this time, the Mayo driver coping with clutch issues to take the win from Alex Byrne.
Alex had built up a handsome lead on the first loop, only to run into his own more costly problems incurring over three minutes in road penalties. With a fabulous prize of a drive in an R2 car on a 2018 Irish Forest Rally round, entry vouchers for the top three on each round: €200 euro to first place, €125 euro to 2nd place and €75 euro to third place and Ears Motorsport putting up tyres as prizes the rewards are great for these youngsters.
Once again we would like to give special thanks to all our sponsors – 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.
Now it’s time for a mid-season break in the championship, before coming back to Cork for the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally in July. With a County Cork man leading the driver’s championship interest will be high at the end of July.
2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship-Round 3 Results
1st Marty McCormack / David Moynihan Škoda Fabia R5 28:07.8
2nd Patrick O’Brien / Stephen O Brien Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI +1:11.5
3rd David Crossen / Damien Fleming Ford Escort MkII +1:36.0
4th Cathan McCourt / Brian Hoy Mitsubishi Lancer Evo +1:54.5
5th Mickey Conlon / Ciaran McPhillips Ford Escort MkII +2:03.5
6th Gerard Lucey / JJ Cremin Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII +2:06.7
7th John Gordon / Thomas Wedlock Ford Escort MkII +2:09.1
8th Shane McGirr / Martin McGarrity Toyota Starlet +2:14.5
9th Enda McCormack / Colin Fitzgerald Subaru Impreza S10 +2:31.4
10th Ian Graham / Liam McIntyre Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +2:53.2
2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship-Provisional Points After Round 3 1st Ger Lucey 45
2nd Josh Moffett 42
3rd David Crossen 40
4th Sam Moffett 38
5th Marty McCormack 38
6th Desi Henry 36
7th Adrian Hetherington 34
8th Mickey Conlon 34
9th Enda McCormack 32
10th Jonny Leonard 30
For all the latest updates and more information of the Valvoline Motorsport Ireland Irish National Forest Rally Championship please look us up on Facebook or Twitter and even more details are available on our dedicated website: www.irishforestrally.com
F: Irish Forestry Championship T:@IrlForestchamp. Official Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship press release issued by Andrew Bushe F: Andrew Bushe Promotions t-@andrew_bushe.
With a change of date, the 2017 Scottish Rally has moved from its now traditional June date into a slightly earlier May date mainly to accommodate an ever changing Prestone BRC. In reality, it could actually be a move the really suits the event, an earlier date often means less of a dust problem, though this is as predictable as rolling a dice. Equally unpredictable, is picking a winner from this ultra-competitive championship. Until the rally kicks off in just under two weeks time on Friday 19th May, we will all have to just keep playing the guessing game. For those that are interested, below is a short sample video of one the stages and the predicted speed profiles for the stages.
Notes & DVD available from Wednesday 10th May. Telephone UK (+44) 028 90844111 or order online at RallyNews.net – Click Here
Greer Victorious in Glorious Glens Rally by Andrew Bushe – MSA NI Championship.
Jonny Greer from Carryduff with his Scottish co-driver Kirsty Riddick guided their Citroen DS3 R5 to a resounding victory on the third round of the 2017 MSA ANICC McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship on Saturday. The Glens of Antrim Rally run by the Mid-Antrim Motor Club, was basked in glorious weather for six spectacular stages that featured legendary sections of Glendun and Torr Head, stages which are in the folklore of rallying in Ireland.
JONNY GREER & KIRSTY RIDDICK-1st overall- pic by www.philpics.net
On the first Pollan test, and indeed the second Ronan’s Way test, the top three cars driven by Greer, Derek McGarrity and Alan Carmichael all beat the bogey times. They headed into the third Torr Head test on the same joint total time. It was here however on the terrifying twists of the Antrim coast test that Jonny Greer took over ten seconds off McGarrity in his Fiesta WRC, and over thirty from Alan Carmichael in his Mini WRC. With the bogeys coming into play again on stages four and five, it was all down to the final run over Torr Head. Greer repeated his ten second advantage over seven times Northern Ireland Rally Champion- Derek McGarrity with co-driver Diarmund Falvey to end the rally with a superb twenty one second victory.
Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont were almost a minute back from Greer in third, but nevertheless it was a fine run for the Ballymena pairing. The two wheel drive battle was an intense one, and local ace Declan McNaughton in his MK2 led the early stages and quite remarkablyne also beat the bogey time on srage 2. It all came to nothing as McNaughton crashed out on stage three. Armagh’s Damien Toner in his MK2 moved into fourth overall until the final stage, when he ran into problems, taking a maximum time. That left Draperstown’s Camillus Bradley in his similar MK2 to take fourth and the two wheel drive win, just under four seconds ahead of another local hero Oran Donnelly had was slowed earlier in the day with bent steering on his Escort Mk11. Others drivers to drop out of the two wheel drive race included Stephen Whitford in the DFGM Toyota GT86 with a broken clutch, and championship sponsor Fintan McGrady whose MK2 suffered gearbox problems.
DEREK McGARRITY & DIARMUID FALVEY- 2ND Overall- pic by www.philpics.net
Aidan Wray in his Evo 10 was the comfortable Group N winner in 6th overall after an excellent showing from the Irish National Group N front runner in the Antrim hills. Seventh was a good effort by Bushmills farmer Alastair Cochrane in his MK2, just ahead of the second R5 car home, the Peugeot 208 of former racing driver Richard Tannahill. Portglenone’s Niall Henry took class eight in his Evo 10, nine seconds ahead of class rival Lee Hastings. The Scottish visitor had a fine showing to complete the top ten in his Subaru Impreza.
Just outside the top ten was Belfast’s Kyle White in eleventh, and first in class four with the Peugeot 208 R2. Kyle entered the final test a handful of seconds behind in the class as young Armagh charger Jason Black was flying in his modified Toyota Starlet until he dropped time after running wide on the final stage, eventually collecting thirteenth place behind Michael Carbin’s Mitsubishi Evo 4.
The Historic race was interesting as Philip Wylie beat his brother Drew in their similar class eleven MK2 Escort RS1800’S with Raymond Johnston’s similar class twelve FIA specification machine sandwiched between them. In all it was an event very much enjoyed by the competitors with seventy seven crews finishing the six super stages.
Other class winners were: Michael McCarroll- class 1 (Ford Fiesta), Colm Kearns- class 3 (Ford Escort MK2), Paddy McToal- class 5 (MK2 Escort), Philip Wylie- class 11-Historic (MK2 Escort RS1800), Raymond Johnston- class 12- FIA Historic (MK2 Escort RS1800).
Round four of the McGrady Insurance series will be an exciting closed road event held by the Cookstown Motor Club on the 29th July, which replaces the cancelled Mourne Rally event which was to have run in June.
2017 McGrady Insurance MSA ANICC Northern Ireland Rally Championship-Round Three results
1st Jonathan Greer /Kirsty Riddick Citroën DS3 R5 0:35:37.8
2nd Derek McGarrity/Dairmuid Falvey Ford Fiesta WRC +0:21.5
3rd Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont Mini WRC +0:59.3
4th Camillus Bradley/ Crawford Henderson Ford Escort MK2 +1:33.6
5th Oran Donnelly/Paul Hughes Ford Escort MK2 +1:37.3
6th Aidan Wray/Brian Hoy Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +2:10.9
7th Alastair Cochrane/Patrick McCrudden Ford Escort MK2 +2:16.5
8th Richard Tannahill/Aileen Kelly Peugeot 208 R5 +2:18.6
9th Niall Henry/ Aaron Johnston Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +2:26.2
10th Lee Hastings/Alistair Wyllie Subaru Impreza +2:35.3