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West Cork Rally - 20-21 Mar 10

Posted: April 2, 2010 1:54 PM - 38925 Hits

Rounds 1 & 2 - 2010 Honda Cup Ireland
Round 1 - 2010 Southern 4 Rally Championship

  • Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely win West Cork

More In Car

Posted: April 2, 2010 1:52 PM

Brian O'Mahony & John Higgins - Stage 7 (Ring)

Cal McCarthy & Eamon Dullea

Posted: April 2, 2010 1:52 PM

Photo: Rally Mad Photography

Quality Hotels West Cork Rally 2010 Final Report

Posted: March 26, 2010 1:43 PM

The 32nd Quality Hotels West Cork Rally took place this past weekend the 20th & 21st March. A full entry of 151 crews were led away by last years winners Liam McCarthy & Kieran Murphy in their Toyota Corolla WRC. Behind them a number of drivers lined up to take their crown, with the most potent threat coming from Tim McNulty & Paul Kiely in their Subaru Impreza WRC. McNulty was using this as a testing exercise before the Circuit of Ireland at Easter and was the pre event favourite. Also in the hunt were previous winners Michael Barrable & Denis Cronin, while J.J.Fleming, Hugh Hunter and Daragh O'Riordan also in WRCs were also capable of showing well. John Dalton from Wales was back in his 2.5 litre Darrian T90 GTR looking to continue his amazing record of being top modified car on the event every year since 2005.

Day 1
After the overnight rain had cleared, Saturday dawned bright and sunny, with the roads being mainly dry. There were some slippery patches on the first stage at Ballinascarthy, but it was no problem to Tim McNulty who took an early two second lead from Cronin, with last years winner McCarthy just four seconds off the lead in third. First to hit trouble were the number 6 seeds Hugh Hunter & Andy Marchbank who had a puncture and lost almost two minutes. They failed to start stage two due to mechanical problems caused by the flat tyre. Also destined for a short event were Conor Curley who broke a steering arm and Gwyn Thomas who had ECU problems in his Puma. Niall Guinevan also retired his Impreza at the end of the first stage with engine maladies.

Denis Cronin set a blistering time on stage 2, which gave him a 10 second lead from McNulty. McCarthy, Dalton and Kevin Kelleher made up the top five. Kelleher had lost a few seconds on the opening stage as he caught the ailing Focus of Hunter. Daragh O'Riordan was still settling in as he had never driven his new car until the night before but was still setting very good times. Michael Barrable was on his first outing since Wexford 2009 and was a little off the pace and then suffered a puncture losing almost a minute. Scottish visitor Billy McLelland was impressing in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3, despite never having done an Irish tarmac rally before and was in the top 10. Neil Williams who had been one of the favourites for class 13 retired in service after stage 2 when a persistent misfire couldn't be cured. Brian Lawlor was another retirement when his back axle failed.

McNulty took fastest on stage 3 but it wasn't enough to wrest the lead from Cronin while McCarthy dropped back a little but held onto third place. Behind them Dalton held fourth and O'Riordan was fifth. Kevin Kelleher and Brian O'Mahony were both stopped on stage 3 and lost three and four minutes respectively. Kelleher had front differential problems and O'Mahony had problems with a tyre coming off the rim after hitting a rock. A repeat of Clogagh was stage 4 and brought the crews into service at the halfway point of the day. Two front runners who would be going no further though were Liam McCarthy and Michael Barrable. McCarthy was off the road and a timber post got jammed between the arch and the wheel causing a long delay. They made it back to service but too much time was lost and they decided to retire. Barrable was also in bother as a wheel rim split down the middle which lost him a mountain of time and he also decided to withdraw.

The battle at the top resumed on stage 5, the classic Ring test, but by the end of the stage, the fight appeared over. Denis Cronin had driveshaft problems which meant he only had three wheel drive over stages 5 & 6, and a minute was lost to McNulty. Cronin was now under threat from Dalton behind. Dalton set a stunning time to be fastest on Ring, but Cronin managed to get a reasonable time on stage 6 Dunworley which according to Dalton didn't suit his car. Local crew Jason McSweeney and Ruth Guest had a big accident in their Civic towards the end of Dunworley, fortunately without injury to either crew. J.J. Fleming damaged the front of his Impreza when he hit a bank dropping 90 second and costing him a place in the top 5. Billy McLelland lost 7th place overall when he hit a solid West Cork bank at the end of Ring and his rally was over due to a lot of frontal damage.

As the cars tackled the last pair of stages for the day, things had settled down a little at the top end. It was a day of extraordinarily high attrition with only 85 cars making it to parc ferme at the end of day 1. McNulty still led the way by a comfortable margin of just over a minute from Cronin with Dalton just under 50 seconds behind him. Daragh O'Riordan and Sean Flanagan made up the top 5. Washington James was holding a solid sixth place in his Darrian while Bob Fowden and Ed O'Callaghan were also showing well. Drive of the day came from Damien McCarthy seeded at 36 in his 1600cc Honda Civic who had climbed to 9th overall. Ed Murphy led the Historic Rally in his Mk 1 Escort. The Honda Cup saw all six registered drivers that started fail to finish day 1, with the result that nobody has any points going into the second round!

Top 5 at the end of Day 1
1 - Tim McNulty / Paul Kiely Subaru Impreza WRC 1:14:26.6
2 - Denis Cronin / Helen O'Sullivan Subaru Impreza WRC 1:15:28.5
3 - John Dalton / Gwynfor Jones Darrian T90 GTR 1:16:16.6
4 - Daragh O'Riordan / Tony McDaid Subaru Impreza WRC 1:18:29.3
5 - Sean Flanagan / Liam Brennan Subaru Impreza N12B Gp N

Day 2
The second day dawned bright and sunny as the previous day although there had been some heavy rain in the early hours of the morning. This meant that the first pair of stages at Rossmore and Sams Cross were extremely slippery and tricky. McNulty had a slight spin early in the stage but it didn't prevent him from setting another fastest time. Cronin was trying hard but was hindered by a water leak due to engine problems. John Dalton was safe in third place and wasn't attempting to throw it all away by trying to get in a race with the op 2. Washington James had a spin which cost him some time and allowed Bob Fowden to strengthen his hold on his top six placing. Kevin Kelleher had been 14th overnight but was forced to retire when an oil leak developed when the car left parc ferme. J.J. Fleming also retired due to damage caused by his stage 6 excursion on day 1.

Brian O'Mahony was setting decent times to move his way back into the top ten, while Adrian Hetherington was also in the top ten as he recovered from what was a slow first day by his standards. The repeat of the Rossmore / Sams Cross loop saw Cronin and McNulty take one fastest time each. Ed O'Callaghan leading class 13 in 7th place but Thomas Davies was now in the top ten and challenging the Limerick driver hard as his speed increased. Hetherington was off the road on stage 12 and as a result lost 4 minutes between getting back on the road and dealing with the resultant puncture. Despite the rally heading to its final quarter on the Ardfield peninsula, there was no sign of a let up in the pace. Denis Cronin was still having difficulties with his water leak and also had a damaged rear on the car as he spun to scrub off speed at a junction. This gave McNulty a cushion of two minutes and he was looking very comfortable. Differential problems cost Sean Flanagan fifth place as he began to drop down the order, while Bob Fowden only inherited fifth for a short time as a blown turbo put him out on stage 13. Another top ten runner to disappear was Thomas Davies as he hit a chicane bale on Ardfield and the damage was too heavy for him to continue.

The last pair of stages saw no changes to the top five as drivers settled for their positions. Dalton and O'Riordan were safe in their respective 3rd and 4th positions. Dalton won the Bones O'Connor modified trophy for the 4th consecutive time. Differential problems continued to plague Sean Flanagan and saw him finish 13th and 2nd in Gp N which was a disappointment having held a top ten place all through the event until near the end.

Kevin O'Donoghue was a also a late retirement with gearbox problems. Washington James took advantage of the problems around him and finished fifth overall. Ed O'Callaghan took sixth and class 13, while Damien McCarthy took 7th overall and won class 11. Brian O'Mahony recovered well from his early problems to take 8th and win class 6, while Leonard Downey was 9th. John Buttimer took 10th in his Impreza and also won class 15. The Historic Rally was won by Denis and Dan Moynihan after a great battle with Ed Murphy / Johnny Hickey. Jason & James Frahill won the Juniors in their Honda Civic, while the Civic of Jason Ryan & Tadhg O'Sullivan won the Sunday Run. It was a very successful event which was expertly controlled by Clerk of the Course Darren McCarthy. Tim McNultys name goes on the event roll of honour for the first time and he's promised to come back to try and win it again next year!

Honda Cup Ireland - War of attrition!

Posted: March 25, 2010 2:30 PM

The opening round of this year’s Honda Cup Ireland took place over the weekend of 20th 21st March and saw six of the ten registered crews enter for this classic tarmac rally based in Clonakilty, County Cork. In an unusual turn of events, the first day was to decimate the Honda Cup field and, for the first time in the history of the series, not one of the cars made it to the finish.

However, that didn't stop a great battle developing in the early stages – a factor which is destined to see close competition between the Hondas throughout the season. The West Cork Rally featured eight stages on Saturday and a further eight on Sunday, many of which are regarded as some of the best rallying roads in the country.

First to line up at the start of SS1 were Jack Newman and co-driver Tom Murphy in their Super-Production Civic EG6.  However, it was never going to be an easy day for them, as Newman was suffering from flu and accepted that he wasn’t going to be battling for the lead during the weekend. Added to this, he was unhappy with his car’s handling and he would have to wait until the first service halt after two stages to rectify the problem.

This saw Richard Whelan/Colin Fitzgerald in another Super-Production EG6 set the early pace, recording the fastest HCI time on SS1. But their glory was short lived when, on the very next stage, the car threw its alternator belt, which in turn damaged the crankshaft sensor and effectively immobilised the engine, putting them out of the rally.

The opening pair of stages was also unkind to Kieran O’Connell/Gerard Buckley, their Open-Class EP3 Civic’s engine not performing when the V-tec system failed to do what it should. A similar issue was also slowing Gavin Walsh/Ger Keohane’s Super-Production Civic EG6, the problem diagnosed as a faulty temperature sensor and the consequent lack of power meant they could not take advantage of their local knowledge.

For Gary and Niamh Caldwell it was also a frustrating start, their problem being that of the brakes which caused them a few heart-stopping moments trying to slow their Production-Class EP3 Civic down before the corners. First-loop problems also befell John Moran/Dave Cummins who damaged their Super-Production EK4 Civic’s exhaust on a heavy landing only 1.5 miles into the first stage.

With all crews experiencing troubles in some shape or form, it was anyone’s race and an opportunity for someone to make the most of the reduced field.  On a positive note, at the first service halt all drivers reported that they were delighted with the performance of the Pirelli tyres, especially with the grip and wear rates over the abrasive service of the West Cork lanes.

Newman/Murphy improved their pace on the following two stages, the car now handling as it should. But their problems were not over. This time it was the transmission and, without a replacement gearbox, they had no choice but to retire at the second service halt.

O’Connell/Buckley were another crew to retire at Service 2, their car’s engine still not running as Honda intended and, not wanting to risk even more damage, they took the decision to call it a day. The problem was later traced to a faulty fuel pump, the damaged caused by a hard landing on stage one. Similarly, the engine of Walsh/Keohane was running no better and, with the water temperature dangerously high, they too were to make an early exit.

The Caldwell’s rally was also not improving, their lack of brakes perhaps unsurprisingly seeing them enter the service area with the front of their car not looking very Civic-shaped. On inspection, it was clear that they were to be another victim of the day’s events.

Also with a damaged front end, but now the only HCI competitors still in the running, Moran/Cummins bravely headed out for the next loop of stages. But having damaged the alternator pulley in the earlier excursion, the belt removed itself on SS6 and with no power for the car’s electrics they coasted to a halt, bringing round one of the Honda Cup Ireland to a premature conclusion.

“We are obviously disappointed not to get a result, but in this sport you just can’t predict what’s going to happen”, said Series Coordinator Eugene Meegan. “We are now looking forward to round two, when we hope to see all of the competitors from round one back with their cars repaired and even more competitors joining us.”

The second round of the Honda Cup Ireland is the Leighlinbridge-based Carlow Stages Rally, which takes place on 9th May.

The 2010 Honda Cup Ireland is supported by:
Pirelli, Euro M-Sport and Meegan Motorsport.

Round one results

Richard Whelan (Galway)/Colin FitzGerald - Super-Production - SS2: Engine sensor
Jack Newman (Ashbourne)/Tom Murphy - Super-Production - SS4: Transmission
Kieran O’Connell (Port Laoise)/Gerard Buckley- Open Class - SS4: Fuel Pump
Gavin Walsh (Clonakilty)/Ger Keohane - Super-Production - SS4: Temp Sensor
Gary Caldwell (Oldcastle) Niamh Caldwell - Production Class - SS4: Brakes
John Moran (Claregalway)//Dave Cummins - Super-Production - SS6: Alternator    
Did not start
Jason Ryan/Tadgh O’Sullivan - Super-Production
David Guest/Liam Moynihan - Super-Production
JP Logue/Richard Durning - Open Class
Martin Cunningham/TBC - Super-Production

For further information visit:

In Car

Posted: March 24, 2010 1:30 PM

Mclelland/Wyllie Report

Posted: March 24, 2010 12:39 PM

Billy Mclelland's 1st visit to Irish Rallying was a good vital learning curve despite retiring out the rally a quarter of the way through. The pace was mighty and was impressed with the organisation of Darren McArthey and the cork motor club with the rally and will return to the event in 2011.

The week started on the arrival on Tuesday evening and begining testing on Wedensday 17th March (Patrick’s Day). The test was successful with the right set up from the preperation of RCM Motorsport, Billy was able to get used to Irish roads and learn for the up coming Rally. With Recce completed at the end of friday afternoon, Scrutiny completed, it was all systems go for Billy and co-driver Alistair Wyllie.

The day started with 2 stages repeated twice, proving to be slippy with rain from the previous night. Billy's start to the rally was good making good stage times not to far from the competition. by the end of stage 2 Billy was lying 8th overall and leading class 15. with a repeat of the morning stages, Billy improved the times and climbed to 7th overall by the end of stage 4 going into service, Tyre's were working well (Billy Commented) and Kevin Kelleher was hepfull in picking tyre's for Billy and set up. On to the ring and dunworley stages for the afternoon, unfortunatley Billy and Alistair retired on ring going over a greasy section into a Square Right and heading into a bank putting them out of the rally. It was very unfortunate but it was a learning curve for Billy despite his 1st visit to West Cork. The car was badly damaged to put him and Alistair out of the rally but Billy is certain to have the car up and running for the Rally of the Lakes.

Billy would like to say a big thank you To Kevin Kelleher for his help & advice from over the weekend and to his freinds Brian, Patrick, and the rest of the Kelleher crew for there help and our trouble. Also to Donal Dinneen, Neil Pheilan of ace signs for there sponsorship. Also thanks to Patrick O'Mahony for his help on testing and gravel noting. Mick Walsh for lending his radio's and patience. And also Colm, John and Sean Murphy for helping us get back to the service area.

Billy's next event will be in the Killarney for the Rally of the Lakes in may bank holiday for he, his Co-Driver Alistair Wyllie, and Service crew member Ian will be wanting to bounce back after the learning from the West Cork Rally.

Billy would like to say congratulations & thanks to Darren Mcarthey & the hard working team of the cork motor club for there work, commitment, and help on there successful rally that will grow strength to strength and will look forward to return on 2011

More Video Clips

Posted: March 23, 2010 10:24 AM

Full Results

Posted: March 22, 2010 11:37 AM

1 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC) 132m 38s,
2 Denis Cronin/Helen O'Sullivan (Subaru Impreza WRC) 134m 40s,
3 John Dalton/Gwynfor Jones (Darrian T90 GTR) 135m 57s,
4 Daragh O’Riordan/Tony McDaid (Subaru Impreza WRC) 138m 04s,
5 Washington James/Llinos Jones-Davies (Darrian T90) 142m 18s,
6 Ed O’Callaghan/Ger Clancy (Ford Escort Mk II) 142m 34s,
7 Damien McCarthy/Eamon Hayes (Honda Civic) 143m 59s,
8 Brian O’Mahony/John Higgins (Renualt Clio S1600) 144m 01s,
9 Leonard Downey/Mark Murphy (Ford Escort Mk II) 145m 33s,
10 John Buttimer/Declan Buttimer (Subaru Impreza WRX) 146m 19s.

Leaders After:
SS1 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS2-4 Denis Cronin/Helen O'Sullivan (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS5-16 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Stage Winners:
SS1 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS2 Denis Cronin/Helen O'Sullivan (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS3 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS4 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS5 John Dalton/Gwynfor Jones (Darrian T90 GTR)
SS6 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS7 John Dalton/Gwynfor Jones (Darrian T90 GTR)
SS8 Denis Cronin/Helen O'Sullivan (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS9 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS10 Denis Cronin/Helen O'Sullivan (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS11 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS12 Denis Cronin/Helen O'Sullivan (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS13 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS14 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS15 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS16 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Entry List Update:

Posted: March 19, 2010 6:16 AM

Car 12 - Eoin Doyle
Car 21 - John O' Donnell
Car 46 - Peter Hughes
Car 87 - Noel O' Sullivan
Car 134 - Noel McCarthy
Car 142 - Finbarr Hegarty
Car 145 - Jamie O' Flaherty
Car 159 - Johnny Fitzgerald
Car 160 - Jeremy Holland
Car 162 - Stephen Murphy
Car 166 - Eoin Creedon

Reserves in:
Car 153 - Connie Lynch
Car 154 - Stephen Carey
Car 155 - Shaun Quin
Car 156 - Paul Fitzgerald
Car 157 - Emmet Callan
Car 158 - David Calnan
Car 161 - Anthony Madigan

Change of Navigators to:
Car 59 - Brian Daniels
Car 135 - Martin Barry

Todd Falvey has also withdrawn from the historics!

Final Instructions One and Scrutiny Schedule

Posted: March 12, 2010 9:18 AM

Entry List Available

Posted: March 10, 2010 5:32 PM

Quality Hotels West Cork Rally 2009 Press Release 2

Posted: March 9, 2010 11:14 AM

With less than two weeks to go before the Quality Hotels West Cork Rally, Cork Motor Club are delighted to announce that over 160 entries have been received to date for the main rally. Juniors and Historics make up another 35 entries in what promises to be a very exciting event.

Four former winners have entered the event, namely Michael Barrable, Denis Cronin, Liam McCarthy and Bob Fowden. Tim McNulty who ran Barrable so close in 2007 is also entered to shake the car down before the Circuit of Ireland at Easter.
Also WRC mounted are J.J. Fleming and Hugh Hunter who cannot be discounted from the eventual shake-up. Hunter was last in West Cork in 1995 in a Gp N Sapphire Cosworth where he proved to be very quick.

The modified entry is no less competitive, with the likes of John Dalton, Washington James, Des Moore and Neil Williams all likely to be on a serious pace over St.Patricks Weekend.
As usual there are a large variety of makes and models to keep spectators interested. The Honda Cup first round is in Clonakilty and this brings Honda Civics from different parts of the country to do battle. The event is also the first round of the Southern 4 Rally Championship, where defending champion Denis Cronin will be looking to get off to a good start.

The classic Group B cars in the shape of Slowly Sideways will also be back in Clonakilty in 2010 after their successful appearance last year. This brings a sense of nostalgia to the proceedings and provide the rally fan with a glimpse of the top cars from years gone by. The Slowly Sideways cars will be in action on eight of the events sixteen stages over rally weekend.

There will be a ceremonial start in the town of Clonakilty on Friday night 19th March at 7pm. This will involve the top ten cars in the main field as well as the Slowly Sideways cars. The cars will parade through the town which will add to the atmosphere in Clonakilty over the weekend.

The Quality Hotel and Leisure Centre, Clonakilty, has some rooms still available for the West Cork Rally weekend. The hotel,which is the main sponsor for the West Cork Rally, is also the headquarters for the rally weekend.
More Details:

Closing date extended for Quality Hotels West Cork Rally

Posted: March 3, 2010 5:31 PM

As the entry list for the Quality Hotels West Corik Rally is not full yet, it has been decided to extend the closing date until last post Mon 8th March.

More Details:

Sterling rates for Quality Hotels West Cork Rally Entry Fees now available

Posted: February 18, 2010 8:41 PM

Entry fees for the 2010 Quality Hotels West Cork Rally are now available. As well as keeping the entry fees at the lowest in Ireland or the UK, competitors can also pay in Sterling.
The rates are as follows:

Main Field entry fee: €630 - Stg£550

Historic entry fee: €480 - Stg£420

Juniors entry fee: €330 - Stg£290

Regulations and Entry Form on:

Quality Hotels West Cork Rally 2010 Press Release 1

Posted: February 10, 2010 9:56 PM

Regulations for Cork Motor Clubs popular two day event, the Quality Hotels West Cork Rally are now available to download from www.corkmotorclub.com. This will be the 32nd running of the rally and it takes place on the 20th & 21st March next. For the eighth time in succession the rally will be sponsored by the Quality Hotel Clonakilty which will be also be the Rally HQ..

There is a special atmosphere in Clonakilty and its surrounding areas around St.Patricks weekend which is helped by the influx of crews and spectators from all parts of Ireland and Britain. Darren McCarthy will be Clerk of the Course for the second time and hoping to build on what was a very successful event in 2009, when he even managed to get the weather perfect for the weekend.

Cork Motor Club is pleased to announce that the entry fee is held at the 2009 price of €630 which is excellent value for 16 stages and 240km of competition mileage. Road mileage at 170km is again very low this year while service will be centralised as usual near Clonakilty.

As usual the rally is the first round of the Southern 4 Rally Championship, while this year sees the event being the first and second rounds of both the Mitsubishi Evo Challenge and the Honda Cup. The Bones O’Connor Modified Challenge is back for a fourth year in 2010 where many crews will be bidding to take the crown from John Dalton. Dalton won the 2WD category every year since 2005. This challenge incorporates cars from classes 9-15 (details on classes to be found on www.motorsportireland.com) and has been very competitive in its first three years.

There will also be a Historic Rally which will begin on Stage 5 on day one; the cost of entry here is €480 while the Junior Rally will cover the last four stages of the event at a cost of €330. After the success of the scheme in 2008 & 2009, junior competitors are also reminded that if they go marshalling on the Saturday stages then they will get a refund of €100 on their entry fee. Both crew members have to take part to avail of this.

General Manager of the Quality Hotel Clonakilty, David Henry says “We are delighted to be involved as title sponsor of the Quality Hotels West Cork Rally for the eighth time, and great accommodation packages are available for rally weekend”. Information on accommodation may be sourced by contacting the Quality Hotel on 023 8836400, (00 353 23 8836400 from the UK) or logging onto their website at www.qualityclonakiltyhotel.com. For more rally details please log onto

Regulations and Entry Form Available

Posted: February 6, 2010 11:09 PM

Pre Register for Regulations

Posted: January 29, 2010 12:32 PM

Event Website / Details

Posted: January 1, 2010 12:01 AM

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