Marty McCormack & David Moynihan got their first taste of R5 power last weekend at the Willie Loughman Forestry Rally in Waterford. The event which comprised of 6 stages was the perfect test to get accustomed to their new car before the first round of the British Rally Championship(BRC), the Borders Rally in Scotland on the 18th of March.
The rally started with a short 4km stage and Marty was instantly on the front running pace, taking 3rd fastest time behind fellow BRC rivals Sam & Josh Moffett. Onto the longer 14km stage 2 and Marty was able to stretch the legs of the Tiger Risk Skoda Fabia R5 to claim fastest time overall and move into 2nd place, 5.3 second off the lead heading into 1st service!
Marty commented at service "We had a very steady run through stage 1, as we wanted to get used to the new car, so we were very happy to find ourselves in 3rd place and on the pace at the front! I felt very comfortable in the car on stage 2, the Skoda handles brilliantly and there is so much more power than last years car, to take a stage win was just brilliant! We are going to try a few setup changes here in service to get a good baseline with the car for the year ahead."
Stages 3 & 4 were a repeat of the opening loop and Marty took a steady approach, adapting to the changes made to the car in service, "We tried a few different things on the car on that loop and they seemed to work" a 3rd and 4th fastest times respectively were his reward. He held a commanding 3rd overall heading into the days 2nd service. "We are going to try a few different things here again in setup and see how the car reacts on the long stage" The final 2 stages of the event consisted of 2 runs over the gargantuan 22km stage, a true test of man and machine!
With a fresh set of Kuhmo tyres bolted onto the car Marty & David started the stage, but it became evident that the changes made in service didn't work and they haemorrhaged time to there rivals dropping to 5th overall. "This is the reason for doing the event, we tried something new on the car and it didn't work, but we have gained valuable experience now going forward".
One stage to go and it was a case of damage limitation for the team, as every mile in the new car would be vital to be match fit for the Borders Rally on the 18th of March. Marty racked up another 4th fastest time to cement his 5th place overall, a good start in the new machine.
The team has made a last minute decision too compete in the Snowman Rally on the 18th of February to continue the testing and development ahead of the BRC opener. The Snowman also based in Scotland will allow the team to fine tune the car for the Scottish roads. Following this its onto the Borders Counties Rally, based in Jedburgh and as the entries keep coming in it is shaping up to be a massive battle for the BRC title in 2017!
You can keep up to date with Marty on Twitter @martymccormack and Facebook.com/marty.mccormack1. Marty is competing this season with the support of Tiger Risk Partners, P McCormack and Sons Ltd.
Posted: February 22, 2017 10:02 AM
Posted: February 22, 2017 10:00 AM
John Gordon & Thomas Wedlock (Ford Escort MkII) SS4
Sean Bates & Greg Tennyson (Peugeot 106) SS3
Lukasz Czapnik & Piotr Szadkowski (Subaru Impreza) SS5
Josh Just Takes It! 2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship-Round One
Posted: February 22, 2017 9:56 AM
The 2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship got underway with an exciting opening round on the Carrick on Suir Motor Club's Willie Loughman Memorial Forest Rally. Just 0.6 of a second separated the winner Josh Moffett and Stephen Thornton, from brother Sam Moffett and James Fulton, with Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin making it a R5 Ford Fiesta 1-2-3 a further twenty-one seconds behind.
Six special stages including a punishing twenty-two kilometre forest test (that they will tackle twice) awaited the eager crews who were joined at the last minute by Desi Henry in his R5 Fabia, fresh from the snow halted Cambrian Rally in Wales the previous day. It was however Sam Moffett who came into first service after two tests in the lead, with Marty McCormack in his R5 Fabia in 2nd place and Josh Moffett just behind in 3rd. Keith Cronin was next up on a day of learning with the new R5 Fiesta, whilst Desi Henry in fourth was playing with the set-up of his Skoda, something that he would get right towards the end of the day. By second service Josh was in second place just five seconds behind brother Sam, but the twenty-two kilometre test was to be repeated and on stage five the current Billy Coleman Award winner Josh drove a blinder to take a six second lead, with Sam feeling he'd lost his rhythm in the stage. The Monaghan pair were really at it and Sam responded on the final but shortened eleven kilometre stage, which unfortunately for him wasn't enough and they lost out by just 0.6 of a second!
Former British Rally Champion-Keith Cronin from Bantry was happy with third on his R5 Fiesta debut, whilst reigning Valvoline champion - Desi Henry recovered from a stage five puncture and stormed through the final stage to take fourth from Marty McCormack in his similar R5 Skoda Fabia. Adrian Hetherington celebrated his birthday in style picking up two cakes along the way and sixth place in the Corolla WRC! Tipperary's Pat O'Connell was seventh and first of the Evo's home, well ahead of Jonny Leonard who had some niggling problems during the day including an oil leak and loss of brakes, whilst the ever consistent Ger Lucey was ninth despite a spin on stage four. Martin Cairns in his Fiesta WRC completed a four wheel drive top ten, just ahead of Liam Regan's unique 4x4 Peugeot 206. It wasn't so good for Niall McCullagh who had been ninth in his Impreza WRC retiring after stage four, and Brendan Cumiskey dropped out of the top ten with issues on the long stage. Scottish visitor Shaun Sinclair was another retirement in his S14 WRC Impreza after power steering issues after a heavy landing.
In Group N Jordan Hone had been leading the class after the 2nd stage on his debut in his hired Evo 9, but on stage 3 they had transmission problems which side-lined them, and eventually it was Paul Britton who took the honours in fifteenth overall with his Subaru Impreza. Niall Devine also Subaru equipped was a close second in the category ahead of Conor McCourt who gave up a ski holiday to compete in his Mitsubishi!
The Valvoline two-wheel drive battle started off an epic race, with Comber's David Crossen in the MK2 Escort holding a narrow one second lead over last year's champion Shane McGirr at first service. Shane's challenge was sadly soon over with a broken rear differential on stage three, and John Gordon took up the challenge, moving into a 0.1 second lead after stage four as David Crossen was slowed catching up with a slower car. On the next test John Gordon lost four minutes as he stopped to make a temporary repair to his MK2 Escort, and Mickey Conlon took second, after suffering a time consuming puncture on stage two. A distant third in the two wheel drive race was Damien McGuaran in the BMW 320. It was a great day for David Crossen however, with no mistakes and with co-driver Damien Fleming they took an important early points haul by being top 2WD home.
Derek Mackeral, his Nova now red took the lead initially in the Valvoline Junior section, but he retired on stage four leaving the race between 2016 championship class winner- Stephen Dickson in his R2 Fiesta and Shane Kenneally learning front wheel drive in their new Honda Civic. Another new face coming into the championship this year is Johnnie Mulholland in the Hyundai i20. They worked their way steadily up the leaderboard from 6th to finish 3rd in the juniors section and mentioned that they learned a lot about the car over the course of the rally and are already looking forward to the next round of the series in April. Indeed it was Kenneally who took victory as the Junior's pursue that coveted Billy Coleman Award nomination at the end of the season.
History was made as the new M. O'Brien Plant Hire Junior 1000 class for 16-18 year olds, made it's debut on the Carrick On Suir Forest event. Local lad Alex Byrne, part of the Carrick on Suir Motor Club Youth Academy programme in a Suirway Group backed Peugeot 107 would take the runner up spot, despite a very slight excursion into a ditch on stage four. Jason Murphy in another C-Sport run Junior 1000 car and sponsored by Westyre took the honours in this first J1000 jaunt. 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 it's all to go for, and interest is building as the series heads for its second round in April.
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.
Star Studded Start for 2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship!
Posted: February 9, 2017 7:26 AM
The 2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship gets underway this Sunday for the Carrick on Suir Motor Club's Willie Loughman Memorial Forest Rally. Six special stages in the scenic Suir Valley lie in wait for the eager crews, with a real sting in the tail this year, a twenty-two kilometre forest test, which will be run twice in the afternoon, making a formidable eighty kilometre forest feast!
Another feast for the spectators is a truly mouth-watering entry! Former British Rally Champion-Keith Cronin from Bantry is at number one, and is debuting a new R5 Ford Fiesta, whilst former British Junior Champion-Marty McCormack in his R5 Skoda Fabia is seeded second and is also testing before a British Rally Championship campaign. Behind them is former Valvoline Forest Rally Champion and Billy Coleman Award Winner - Josh Moffett, also in an R5 Fiesta, who completes a very pacey top three. That's far from it however on the four wheel drive front, with another former Irish Forest Rally Champion - Mick O'Brien in his WRC Fiesta, Tyrone's Niall McCullagh in an S14 WRC Subaru Impreza, and yet another former forestry champion Pat O'Connell in his familiar Mitsubishi Evo 9 making up the top six. Seven could be lucky for Adrian Hetherington in his Toyota Corolla WRC, a car he really came to grips with last season, whilst Shaun Sinclair makes the trip from England with his S14 WRC Impreza. Strabane's Martin Cairns is never too far away from the top in his Fiesta WRC, whilst Darren McKelvey completes the top ten in his Evo. Ger Lucey, runner up in the series last year, once again wheels out his Evo 8, and this event is one he usually flies in, whilst the Evo's of Dermot Kelly, Conor McCourt and Jonny Leonard make up the top fifteen, and even outside that there are some potential challengers. It really is a forest feast!
The Valvoline two-wheel drive battle was an intense one last season and reigning champion Shane McGirr with his trusty Toyota Starlet will be the hot favourite once again. The MK2 Escort brigade will be trying to topple the Toyota, as Glens of Antrim 2wd winner- David Crossen, 2015 champion Mickey Conlon, John Gordon- now used to his sixteen valves and David Condell lead the charge. Adding variety is Damien McGuaran with his BMW 320, whilst the Junior category- class sixteen in the series also has a strong starting line up. The ever spectacular Derek Mackeral leads them away in his rebuilt Nova, with 2016 class winner- Stephen Dickson in his R2 Fiesta, James Driver- Peugeot 206, Shane Kenneally - Honda Civic and Johnnie Mulholland - Hyundai i20 amongst those in pursuit of that coveted Billy Coleman Award nomination at the end of the season.
Another all new innovation for 2017 is the introduction of the M. O'Brien Plant Hire Junior 1000 class for 16-18 year olds. As with any new series it will take an event or two to build up and this first round is very much a trial event, with local lad Alex Byrne, part of the Carrick on Suir Motor Club Youth Academy programme in a Suirway Forklift backed Peugeot 107. Jason Murphy in a similar C-Sport run car backed by Westyre, is the second of the brave drivers. 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: Eur200 euro to first place, Eur125 euro to 2nd place and Eur75 euro to third place and Ears Motorsport putting up two sets of tyres as prizes it's all to go for. Added to this every crew that registers for the Junior 1000 Championship will receive a voucher for one set of pace notes and a DVD from each supplier - On The Pacenote and Patterson Pacenotes. During the season the incentives are fantastic for these teenage rally drivers, who could be the next big names in the world of rallying.
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.
Seeded Entry List
Posted: February 7, 2017 3:37 AM
1 Keith Cronin/Mike Galvin (Ford Fiesta R5) 
2 Martin Mccormack/David Moynihan (Skoda Fabia R5) 
3 Josh Moffett/Stephen Thornton (Ford Fiesta R5) 
4 Michael O Brien/Liam Brennan (Ford Fiesta WRC) 
5 Niall Mccullagh/Ryan McCloskey (Subaru Impreza WRC S14) 
6 Pat O Connell/Mark Wiley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 
7 Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Toyota Corolla WRC) 
8 Shaun Sinclair/Jamie Edwards (Subaru Impreza WRC S14) 
9 Martin Cairns/Anthony Nestor (Ford Fiesta WRC) 
10 Darren Mckelvey/Graham Henderson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) 
11 Ger Lucey/JJ Cremin (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) 
12 Dermot Kelly/Greg Shinnors (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 
14 Conor McCourt/Caolan McKenna (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 
15 Jonny Leonard/Niall Burns (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) 
16 Liam Regan/David McElroy (Peugeot 206 Evo 4X4) 
17 John Byrnes/Brian Grant (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) 
18 Enda McCormack/Colin Fitzgearld (Subaru Impreza WRC S10) 
19 Patrick Keenan/Martin Brady (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 
20 Paul Britton/George Tynsley (Subaru Impreza N12B) 
21 Mark Murphy/Aoife Murphy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) 
22 Andrew Fanning/Derek Gibbs (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) 
23 Niall Devine/Damien Duffin (Subaru Impreza) 
24 Stephen Cullen/Seamus O Grady (Toyota Corolla S2000) 
25 Jordan Hone/Paul Hone (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 
26 Ian Graham/Liam Mcintyre (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 
27 Ashley Dickson/Lorcan Moore (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 
28 Ed Twomey/Sean Hassett (Fiat Abarth S2000) 
29 Joesph Hegarty/David Turrington (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) 
30 Damien Hynds/John Magilton (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) 
31 Paul McCann/Paddy Plunkett (Ford Escort RS Cosworth) 
32 Aidan Long/Anthony o Sullivan (Subaru Impreza) 
33 Richie Dalton/Ger Brett (Subaru Impreza ) 
34 John Rafter/Kieran Rafter (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 
35 Lukasz Czapnik/Piotr Szadkowski (Subaru Impreza) 
36 Pauric Sheridan/Sean Bruton (Ford Escort RS Cosworth) 
37 Gemma Kerley/Laura Mulrooney (Subaru Impreza) 
100 Shane Mcgirr/Martin Mcgarritty (Toyota Starlet) 
101 Michael Conlon/Ciaran Mcphillips (Ford Escort MkII) 
102 John Gordan/Thomas Wedlock (Ford Escort) 
103 David Crossen/Damien Fleming (Ford Escort) 
104 David Condell/Michael Coady (Ford Escort MkII) 
105 Damien Mcguaren/Darren Curran (BMW 320) 
106 Derek Mackerel/Muireann Hayes (Vauxhall Nova) 
107 Owen McMackin/TBA (Ford Escort MkII) 
108 Stephen Dickson/Tommy Hayes (Ford Fiesta R2) 
109 Michael Fitzgibbon/Pa Horan (Honda Civic) [11F]
110 Alan Commins/James Commins (Ford Escort MkII) 
111 Sean W Benskin/Joe Fitzgibbon (Ford Escort MkII) 
112 Chris Simms/Mo Downey (Ford Escort MkII) 
114 Paschal O Shea/Robert Hennessy (Ford Escort MkII) 
115 James Driver/Tommy Cuddihy (Peugeout 306) 
116 Shane Kenneally/Jer Connors (Honda Civic) 
117 John Coyne/Christy Farrell (Talbot Sunbeam Lotus) 
118 David Fitzsimons/Tommy Moynihan (Ford Escort G4) 
119 Adrian Beattie/Declan Ryan (Honda Civic) [11F]
120 Graeme Colfer/David Woodcock (Honda Integra) 
121 Sean Brady/Brian Brady (Honda Civic) [11F]
122 Pierce Doheny/Eilish Dunne (Opel Corsa) 
123 Johnnie Mulholland/Jeff Case (Hyundai I20) 
124 Jonathan Dinsmore/Patrick Harding (Peugeout 106) [11F]
125 Jason Dickson/TBA (Ford Fiesta ST) 
126 Sean Mcconnell/Declan Gaffney (Honda Civic) 
127 Seamus Heaney/Michael Culleton (Honda Civic) 
128 Michael Feeney/Gerry Clancy (Honda Integra) [11F]
129 Cormac Smiddy/Ashley McCarthy (Peugeout 106) [11F]
130 Richard O Shea/Steven Mackey (Ford Escort) 
131 Sean Bates/Greg Tennyson (Peugeout 106) 
132 Jason Murphy/Matthew Murphy (Peugeout 107)