Omagh Bushwhacker Forestry Rally - (Sat) 27 Sep 14

Posted: September 27, 2014 8:14 AM - 7975 Hits

Round 6 - 2014 Irish Forest Rally Championship
Reserve Round - 2014 Northern Ireland Rally Championship

Live Results: RallyScore.Net
SS1 09:34

Valvoline National Forest Rally Championship Preview

Posted: September 24, 2014 7:56 PM

Round five of the 2014 Valvoline National Forest Rally Championship takes place in Omagh this Saturday September 27th. The championship returns to co. Tyrone for the annual “Omagh Grand Prix” which is also a counting round of the Northern Championship. Organized by Omagh Motor Club the rally is renowned for its’ short snappy but very fast and technical stages. Despite the small stage mileage (just 33 competitive miles) over 11 stages (6 locations) this is event always sees epic battles for supremacy throughout the field.

CoC Ronnie McAleer and his team have everything in place for what should be a spectacular day through the Lough Bradon, Carrigaholten, Slievedoo and Killeter Forests. Scrutiny and Documentation take place at the Old Nestle Factory on the Derry Road, Omagh on Friday evening. The event starts from the Car Park at rally HQ the Silver Birch Hotel, Omagh with first car away at 09:01 Saturday morning. There are two service halts at Aikens Caravan Yard near Castlederg. The first after stage two at 10:17 and the final service after stage seven at 13:30. Both man and machine need to survive a challenging 5 stage loop between the service halts and survive the final four stages unscathed to make the finish ramp at rally HQ. The first competing cars are due back at the Silver Birch Hotel at 16:45 for a champagne reception.

Championship leaders Josh Moffett/ Jason McKenna (Evo 9) were unlucky not to win the recent Lakelands rally. The Monaghan crew will be even more determined to score their maiden win here. Owen Murphy/ James O’Brien (Evo 9) led after the opening stage last year but retired with transmission failure on stage two. The Cork pair have unfinished business to in Omagh. Pat O’Connell/ Mark Wiley (Evo 9) make the long trip from Cashel and on current form will be a serious front runner. O’Connell was fourth here in 2013 and is well on the pace this year.

Desi Nenry/ Liam Moynihan finally have their Evo 9 sorted and have high hopes to revive their championship. Niall Henry/ John Rowan (Evo 9) are a very consistent crew and should score well this weekend. The Subaru’s of Martin Cairns and Enda McNulty will be a fly in the Evo ointment. Cairns is on home soil and tends to be untouchable here. McNulty is always a hard charger and even more so now armed with a sequential gearbox. A dark horse could be Liam Regan, his unusual 4WD 206 tends to be ultra-competitive on these stages. Marty McKenna (Impreza WRC) is hoping for a better run following his retirement in Cork. The “Valvoline” contenders have the additional challenge to mix it with the Northern Championship regulars with the likes of Derek McGarrity, Donagh Kelly, James Gillen, Frank Kelly and Adrian Hetherington all set to wheel out for the “Whacker” as they affectionately call it.

There’s a strong Valvoline 2WD line up with Shane McGirr/ Jackie Elliott back in action with their Starlet’s engine rebuilt. The Escorts of Micky Conlon and David Crossen hope to make amends following their retirements in Cork. Damien McGauran (Corolla) currently leads class 5A and should be in the hunt. Alan Actheson missed Cork and looks set for a good haul of point s as it appears his class 4 opponents have opted to miss this round. Conor McCarthy/ Dan O’Donovan (Civic) and Shane Kenneally/ Jer Connors (Mk2) travel from West Cork and West Waterford respectively in their quest for the Valvoline Junior title. County Cork rivals Tim/ DJ Howard (Nova) and Tom Murphy/ Colin Moynihan (Mk2) are after class two points. Murphy has won the previous two rounds but the Howard’s have been to Omagh last year and could hold the edge.

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