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Cork Jim Walsh Forestry Rally - 27-28 Jul 19

Posted: July 27, 2019 4:36 AM - 7920 Hits

Rounds 5 & 6 - 2019 Irish Forest Rally Championship

Live Results (Cork Forest 2019) | Results by: harcon.ie / irallyresults.com

Final Instructions / Overview Map

Posted: July 26, 2019 6:11 AM

James on the loose with R5 Hyundai! - R5 Gravel Debut on the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally

Posted: July 25, 2019 5:41 AM

For County Armagh’s James Wilson the opportunities that winning the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Award at the tail-end of last year has brought in 2019 are magnificent! As the first winner of the expanded Coleman Award programme, James’s prize is worth up to a staggering €100,000. Firstly it has aided James and his co-driver Arthur Kierans with running the British Rally Championship campaign in the Peugeot 208 R2. However the formation of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy has allowed further driver development in an R5 machine, firstly in Killarney and now James is really on the loose with a PCRS Hyundai i20 R5!

After an excellent debut in the R5 category with the Hyundai on the Killarney Rally of the Lakes in May, it’s now time to take the four wheel drive weapon to the loose gravel surfaces of the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally this weekend. The two day rally based in Mallow hosts rounds five and six of the Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship, ensuring that there will be tough competition for the young Armagh engineer.

“I cant wait for the weekend!” said James. “I thoroughly enjoyed the Cork forestry event last year, and we had good run in the R2 car, ending up second in the category. The stages are very flowing and superb driver’s stages, so to get behind the wheel of the Hyundai is going to be just awesome. I had a brief run in the Hyundai on a loose surface at a Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy day, and sat in with Tom Cave in a test in Wales, where I really saw what the car can do. We had a test in the car on the gravel today and I was able to get a good few miles clocked up. I really felt at home in it, a lot more confident than when I started in Killarney, and now I really cannot wait for ther rally!”

There is a tough two days ahead for James and Arthur. Saturday features six classic forestry stages with almost 70km of competitive action, including a long 18.5km stage that’s run twice. On Sunday the rally heads back to the Ballyhoura Mountains for eight stages totalling 85km making it a real test for man and machine.

“As in Killarney we need to get the miles in the car and try to make sure that we can get round so that we can get all those miles to help my development. For certain on day one we need to see how we go and there will be a lot to learn. Then hopefully we will see where we are on the second day and push things to show some good pace. As ever it’s hard to plan things in rallying, as anything can happen, but that’s the general idea!”

The development programme in the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy is also going to take the Sport Ireland supported driver to Germany and to Hyundai Motorsport’s head-quarters. “We are going to meet up with Hyundai Customer Racing Manager Andrew Johns and get a tour of the factory, to see the on-going development of the R5 car and some of the WRC stuff too. It’s another exciting adventure and all looking towards the future.”

After the Jim Walsh Cork Forest event the British Rally Championship provides James’s home event, the Ulster Rally in August, which this year is based in Newry, so there’s an action packed few weeks ahead for James and the team.

For more information see James Wilson Rallying on Facebook

Rally Programmes

Posted: July 24, 2019 4:34 PM

Outlets for the CFF Group Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, in association with J+M Breen: Distributors, Kanturk are as follows:

    Rally H/Q The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow
    Knights Service Station, Ballydaheen, Mallow
    N20 Plaza, Limerick Road, Mallow
    Londis Doneraile,
    Supermac’s Shop Ballyhea
    Murphy’s Gala, Drumcommer, Killarney Road
    O’Riordan’s Bluepool, Kanturk
    O’Sullivan’s Kildorrery
    Centra Kilworth
    Myers Mitchelstown

All to play for in Cork Championship Double Header

Posted: July 24, 2019 4:31 PM

The two day CFF Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally organised by Cork Motor Club will see the Valvoline championship crews look for a double helping with full points being awarded for each day. It’s make or break for many crews as the season reaches its climax for rounds five and six. Clerk of the Course Paul Casey has laid out a route consisting of 155kms over the two days in north Cork including two trips over a mammoth 18.5km test on the first day. Many of the championship contenders will appear in Cork including series leader Michael Carbin from Monaghan who holds a two point advantage. The Mitsubishi driver has been very consistent all year and has scored strongly on the last three rounds in particular. However he is likely to come under severe pressure to hold that position with Cathan McCourt also entered. The Tyrone driver who lies in second place has won the last two rounds on the Moonraker and Donegal Forestry with some very impressive driving in his Ford Fiesta R5. Joe Hegarty in third place has also show great pace on the last two rounds taking a podium position on each one while the giant killing David Crossen in fourth place has shown remarkable speed in his Ford Escort. Conor McCourt achieved his first forestry podium on the last round and will be looking to build on that performance while last year’s championship runner up Barry McKenna has had a quiet year this time, but performed strongly on this event last year. Barry actually won the rally outright, and took second place championship points on each day of the event last year. Sam Moffett only appeared on the opening round but as a past winner of the Cork forestry event it would be hard to bet against him taking maximum points on both days. Donagh Kelly and Vivian Hamill haven’t been seen in the woods too often in recent times but with both drivers in potent R5 cars they will be well in the mix. Other drivers who are still in with a championship claim are Peter & Niall McCullagh, Stephen Dickson and William Creighton all of whom are capable of a strong result in Cork. Gerard Lucey is a seasoned championship campaigner and will be hoping to do well on his local forestry event while Billy Coleman award winner James Wilson brings the Hyundai i20 R5 to the woods for the first time. Marty McCormack who won the opening round in Carrick on Suir has switched to a Ford Escort for Cork and will challenge David Crossen, Shane McGirr and Michael Conlon in what should be a fascinating battle. Crossen and McGirr as usual will be at the sharp end of things and there is usually very little to separate the pair. John Gordon is another capable of a strong result while David Condell & Gary Kiernan swap tarmac for gravel this weekend and won’t be too far away.

The junior championship (Class 16A) is being led by Derek Mackarel who has been in stunning form this year with a string of top results in his Vauxhall Nova. Jordan Hone returns to the Irish Forestry scene in his Opel Adam while Michael Hamilton and Kyle White are two others who will be looking for a strong result. The Class 16 section of the junior championship is being led by Shane Kenneally who has two firsts and two seconds in class this year to hold a twelve point lead over Kieran Lynch. Lynch took top points on the Moonraker while Brian Brady took top points in Donegal and both drivers will provide a serious threat to Kenneally in Cork. Last year’s J1000 winner Jason Murphy is also in the mix along with Ruairi MacArtain.

The M.O’Brien Plant Hire J1000 Championship has been strongly supported this year to date and Kyle McBride has been the start of the show with three wins from four appearances. He holds a seven point lead over Reece Pollock who won the opening round but hasn’t quite matched McBride’s pace since then. Casey Jay Coleman has been getting quicker with each passing round and will be confident of another strong result. A total of ten cars have entered this category in Cork with Niall Murphy and Ioan Lloyd newcomers to the series in Cork which is going from strength to strength.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: July 24, 2019 7:23 AM

1 BARRY MCKENNA/ANDY HAYES (FORD FIESTA R5) [5]
2 SAM MOFFETT/JAMES FOULTON (FORD FIESTA R5) [5]
3 CATHAN MCCOURT/BARRY MCNULTY (FORD FIESTA R5) [5]
4 VIV HAMILL/MAC KIERANS (FORD FIESTA R5) [5]
5 DONAGH KELLY/CONOR FOLEY (SKODA FABIA R5) [5]
6 MICHAEL CARBIN/CONOR MOHAN (MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 8) [20]
7 DONAL SWEENEY/DEAN O'SULLIVAN (MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 6) [20]
8 JOE HEGARTY/DAVID TURKINTON (MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 9) [20]
9 CONOR MCCOURT/CAOLAN MCKENNA (FORD FIESTA R5) [5]
10 NIALL MCCULLAGH/RYAN MCCLOSKEY (MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 9) [4]
11 GER LUCEY/PADRAIG ODONOVAN (MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 8) [20]
12 PETER MCCULLAGH/BRIAN QUINLAN (MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 9) [4]
14 MARTIN CAIRNS/PADDY MCCRUDDEN (FORD FIESTA WRC) [7]
15 JAMES WILSON/ARTHUR KIERANS (HYUNDAI i20 R5) [5]
16 MARTY MCKENNA/MARTIN BRADY (FORD FIESTA WRC) [7]
17 STEPHEN DICKSON/TOMMY HAYES (MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 9) [4]
18 PAUL MCCANN/PADDY PLUNKETT (FORD FIESTA S2000) [5]
19 MARK MURPHY/ANTHONY O'SULLIVAN (MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 8) [20]
20 ALAN SHINNORS/GEORGE SHINNORS (MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 9) [20]
21 IAN DICKSON/JOHN MCCAFFERTY (MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 9) [4]
22 PAURIC SHERIDAN/SEAN BRUTON (FORD FIESTA) [20]
23 STEPHEN CULLEN/SEAMUS O'GRADY (TOYOTA COROLLA) [20]
24 JOE STANLEY/PAUL DOWLING (VW POLO) [20]
25 PATRICIA DENNING/JOE DOWNEY (MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 9) [20]
26 JENNA MCCANN/JOHN MCCABE (MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 7) [15]
27 RICHIE DALTON/JOE O BRIEN (SUBARU IMPREZA) [15]
28 GEMMA KERLEY/JALNA BRESLIN (SUBARU IMPREZA) [20]
29 MICKEY WALSH/BRIAN ROWAN (SUBARU IMPREZA) [20]
30 JOHN WALSH/TOM SHEEDY (FORD RS COSWORTH) [15]

201 SHANE MCGIRR/LIAM MCINTYRE (TOYOTA STARLET) [13]
202 DAVID CROSSEN/AILEEN KELLY (FORD ESCORT MkII) [13]
203 MARTIN MCCORMACK/BARNEY MITCHELL (FORD ESCORT MkII) [13]
204 MICKEY CONLON/MARTIN BYRNE (FORD ESCORT MkII) [14]
205 JOHN GORDAN/THOMAS WEDLOCK (FORD ESCORT MkII) [13]
206 DAVID CONDELL/PAUL KELLY (FORD ESCORT MkII) [14]
207 GARY KIERNAN/DARREN O'BRIEN (FORD ESCORT MkII) [14]
208 DEREK MACKERAL/MUIREANN HAYES (VAUHAULL NOVA) [16A]
209 WILILIAM CREIGHTON/LIAM REGAN (PEUGEOT 208) [2]
210 JORDAN HONE/PAUL HONE (OPEL ADAM R2) [16A]
211 RUAIRI MAGUIRE/GRACE O BRIEN (VAUHAULL CORSA) [11F]
212 KYLE WHYTE/SEAN TOPPING (PEUGEOT 208) [16A]
213 BRIAN BRADY/GARY MCNAMEE (HONDA CIVIC) [16]
214 SHANE KEANNEALLY/JER CONNORS (HONDA CIVIC) [16]
215 KIERAN LYNCH/ADAM POWER (HONDA CIVIC) [16]
216 JAMES LUCEY/NUIRIS SCANNELL (MAZDA RX8) [13]
217 MICHAEL HAMILTON/STEPHEN JOYCE (FORD FIESTA R2) [16A]
218 MIKE GARAHY/IARLA MCCARTHY (FORD ESCORT MkII) [10]
219 PAUL MCMAHON/PADRAIG DEASY (HONDA CIVIC) [11F]
220 SEAN MCCONNELL/DWAYNE QUIGLEY (HONDA CIVIC) [11F]
221 CIARAN MCCULLAGH/BERNARD MCSWEENEY (HONDA CIVIC) [11F]
222 ADRIAN BEATTIE/DECLAN RYAN (FORD FIESTA R2) [11F]
223 GARETH DEAZLEY/TONY MCGOVERN (HONDA CIVIC) [16]
224 RUAIRI MAC ARTAIN/DAVID CRILLY (HONDA CIVIC) [16]
225 GARY KELLEHER/EOGHAN MCCARTHY (OPEL CORSA) [10]
226 JAMES DUNPHY/KIERAN CARROLL (TOYOTA COROLLA) [11R]
227 SEAN BENSKIN/EUGENE CRONIN (FORD ESCORT) [12]
228 CONOR KELLY/TBA (OPEL CORSA) [11F]
229 BARRY MAHON/ULTAN MCGOWAN (HONDA CIVIC) [11F]
230 BRIAN LITTLE/KEVIN DUGGAN (FORD ESCORT G3) [12]
231 RICHARD O'SHEA/TBA (FORD ESCORT) [10]
232 JASON MURPHY/JONATHAN GORHAM (HONDA CIVIC) [16]
233 ANTHONY CULLINANE/ROBERT O'BRIEN (CIVIC HONDA) [11F]
234 ED MULDOON/MARK BYRNE (SUZUKI SWIFT) [11F]
235 GRAHAM KELLY/BARRY TACT (CITREON C2 R2) [2]
236 BRIAN DOHERTY/TARA DUGGAN (FORD FIESTA R2) [2]
237 PIERCE DOHENY SNR/EILISH DUNNE (OPEL CORSA) [10]
238 JAMIE FLAHERTY/DANIEL HANRATTY (FORD FIESTA R2) [2]
239 LEE BRACKEN/FRANCIS KELLY (HONDA CIVIC) [9]
240 AARON MCEVOY/EVAN MCEVOY (FORD ESCORT G3) [12]
241 PAUL O' CONNOR/HEATHER SWITZER (HONDA CIVIC) [11F]
242 CHRISTY BUTLER/ANN HUTCHINSON (HONDA CIVIC) [11F]
243 DAVID ,MCAULEY/ANDREW MOORE (HONDA CIVIC) [1]
244 JOE CULLEN/TBA (PEUGEOT 206) [2]
245 DERRY LONG/AARON BROWNE (HONDA CIVIC) [16]

301 KYLE MCBRIDE/KIERAN MCBRIDE (TOYOTA AYGO) [21]
302 REECE POLLOCK/JOHN BURKE (NISSIAN MICRA) [21]
303 CASEY JAY COLEMAN/JAMES FOGARTY (NISSAN MICRA) [21]
304 MACCUS MCELWEE/JOHN HENDERSON (SKODA CITIGO) [21]
305 JOSEPH KELLY/DERMOT MCCAFFERTY (TOYOTA AYGO) [21]
306 AARON WHELAN/TBA (TBA) [21]
307 IOAN LIOYD/DAVID ROBERTS (CHEVROLET SPARK) [21]
308 NIALL MURPHY/NOEL MURPHY (PEUGEOT 107) [21]
309 ELLA CONWAY/AIDAN GANNON (PEUGEOT 107) [21]
310 MOSSIE COSTELLO/JAMES O'BRIEN (NISSAN MICRA) [21]

Only Days to Go To Cork Forestry

Posted: July 23, 2019 8:41 AM

As the days flick quickly by, the countdown is really moving up through the gears as final preparations are made to what is expected to be a bumper weekend of Motorsport in Mallow this Saturday & Sunday. The whole town is expected to come alive to the crackle of highly tuned race machines as the annual Crafted Fitted Furniture sponsored Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally brings with an exciting format, big names and fantastic action.

Running over fourteen closed special stages, and clocking over 150km of high speed tests through the woodlands, mountains and windfarms of North Cork, the Cork Motor Club, and especially event Clerk of the Course Paul Casey, have put together a route and an overall event that is certain to be regarded as the finest loose surface Rally event in Ireland.

A double round of the hotly contested Irish Forest Rally Championship, the rally has grown on the success of last years event, one that heralded the return of the very popular two-day format, and become even better for 2019. Each and every competitor that crosses the start line is guaranteed to have an absolute blast over the mix of fast and flowing gravel stages.

The team from Cork Motor Club have been working frantically over the past few weeks to get the roads in the best shape possible, with countless hours given up voluntarily to help filling potholes, clearing ditches and setting up the stages. A lot of this work goes unnoticed over the course of an event, but its without this help that the event simply wouldn’t succeed in its aim of being the best it can be, a core principle of all Cork Motor Club events.

While the preparation work to get the stages ready is a key feature, it pales in significance compared to the importance of people giving up their time during the Rally to come out and Marshal on the stages. This was something that was at the forefront of a lot of decisions made by COC Paul Casey, himself a very active Marshal on events all over Ireland, when organising stages

“Having strong Marshal numbers is vital. Without them, the event simply doesn’t run. Those that give their time are the beating heart of the rally. I’ve made a firm commitment to make the Marshalling experience as easy as possible on the CFF Cork Forest. Our meeting times (available on the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally page on Facebook) are as close to the time of the first competing car as we can make them, to avoid people needlessly standing around or having to get on the road at silly early hours. Every person that volunteers will get a lunch pack, as well as a 2-course meal in a choice of local hotels, making it easier for people depending on their travel routes”

Entries have been strong right from the start, with a huge amount of interest and buzz building both in talking to people within the rally world, dealing with the countless local businesses that support the rally or in the social media world. The entry list, due to be published later in the week, is choc full of rallying’s best, but a number of names in all categories just jump off the page.

The biggest news has been that Donagh Kelly is, after a gap of eight years, making a return to the woods. A great friend of CMC, forged over his unprecedented five-in-a-row streak of winning the club’s West Cork International Rally, Donagh was on board from very early on to take on the Cork Forest challenge. Driving his Skoda Fabia R5, the Donegal native has been getting some test mileage in already in preparation for what is expected to be a massive duel at the front.

Right there in the mix are sure to Michael Carbin (Mitsibushi Evo) & Cathan McCourt (Ford Fiesta R5), the pair sitting first and second respectively in the Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship. McCourt has been in flying form of late, with back to back wins on the Moonraker & Donegal Forest rallies coming into Cork. Another one to watch in the 4WD section will be James Wilson. The Armagh youngster was awarded the Billy Coleman Award in 2018 as the Motorsport Ireland Outstanding Young Rally Driver, and this debut on Gravel in all-wheel-drive machinery, a Hyundai i20 R5, is a part of his prize fund.

Another youngster to watch out for, and one who really made people stand up and take notice on last years Cork Forest, is Jordan Hone in his Opel Adam R2. The Front Wheel Drive machine was incredible to watch last year, and it came home an incredible second place in the 2WD category. The man who took the win, as well as the prestigious MK2 Master title behind the wheel of the venerable Ford Escort was Shane McGirr, and he returns as well this year to try and defend his crown.

Fresh off an outstanding victory last weekend on the Imokilly Mini-Stages, Gary Kiernan is among a gaggle of MK2 Escorts that will be hunting down Hone & McGirr. For the natural talent and speed on tarmac that Kiernan has, he will be up against a string of experienced ‘Gravel Men’ who have countless event starts under their belts. David Crossan, Micky Conlon, John Gordon & David Condell all go well, so expect to see them featuring at the top of the time sheets.

But, if we were to single out the guys to really watch out for, there is a real trio who take star billing. Our leading two drivers in 2018 are back once more to have an almighty duel, with Sam Moffett keen to avenge the twelve second defeat he suffered at the hands of Barry McKenna, both behind the wheel once more this year of Ford Fiesta R5’s. The one the fans will want to be in place for though will be Marty McCormack. A regular competitor in the forest in 4WD machinery, Marty returns to Cork this year with his BDA-engine Historic spec Ford Escort MK2. The screaming machine caused quite a stir on its last visit in 2013 and is sure to have people talking and enjoying all over again in 2019.

The future of the sport of Rallying is in safe hands when we look at two of the championships that will use Cork Forestry as a counting round. The Motorsport Ireland Junior Series is a mixed surface series that pits Junior Drivers (Under 26) against one another over the course of the season on both Tarmac and Gravel. A strong list of Championship hopefuls have thrown their names in the hat, with Shane Kenneally, Brian Brady, Jason Murphy, Ruairi MacArtain & Gareth Deazley all competing in Honda Civics. The other support championship, the M. O’Brien Junior 1000 Championship (Drivers aged 15-19) also has a very strong entry.

The crews leave the Annabella complex in Mallow on Saturday morning to begin the event, with two Service Halts planned during the day at the Quartertown Business Park on the edge of town. Sunday’s Service will take place at Mallow Autograss in the heart of the Ballyhoura mountains. These Service halts are a perfect opportunity to see the stars and the cars up close, and really get an idea of the Rallying Buzz.

Stage Guide

Saturday:

    SS1+4 Mount Hillary
    Sponsored By: Eamonn Tarrant & Son Skoda Banteer & Value Tech Kanturk
    Description: A short opener to get cars and crews warmed up on paper, but a technical and fast stage in reality. Caught out a few drivers last year. The fast-uphill section at the start soon transitions into a technical descent with plenty of opportunities to be brave and make up time.

    SS2+6 Bweeng
    Sponsored By: Irish Roll Forming Ltd Donoghmore & Mallow Motor Factors

    Description: A real high-speed rollercoaster, Bweeng saw some real high-speed action in 2018 and is a drivers favourite. A short tarmac section in the middle links two stretches of fast and flowing traditional forest rally sections.

    SS3+5 Boggeragh Drive
    Sponsored By: Mallow Chamber & O'Leary Crash Repairs Mallow
    Description: At a monstrous 18.5km in length, Boggeragh Drive is over 40% longer than any other stage in the Irish Forest Championship. Passing through large sections of Wind Farm road, the stage is incredibly quick in places, with the top cars being pushed right to the limit.
Sunday
    SS7+9 Coolfree
    Sponsored By: Exact Signs Kildorrery
    Description: The return to the Ballyhoura’s, after a break of five years, and a classic Jim Walsh Cork stage is a fitting welcome. Looping around the Mountain that gives the stage its name, this is a short and sweet blast to start a second, long, day of rallying.

    SS8+10 Kilworth
    Sponsored By: The Hibernian Hotel Mallow
    Description: Running alongside the Army barracks, this is definitely the most technical and demanding stages for the drivers, with a seeming never ending string of corners, most of them quick, where time can be easily found if brave.

    SS11+13 Glenanaar
    Sponsored By: Custom Engineering Blackpool
    Description: If the New Zealander’s boast of having some of the best fast and flowing Gravel roads in the world, I don’t think they’ve seen Glenanaar! The undulating landscape of the Ballyhouras and the sequence of new roads built as part of the Windfarm projects have made for some incredible driving terrain.

    SS12+14 Streamhill
    Sponsored By: Joe Shinnors Motors Bruff & MTI Ltd Non-Destructive Testing Services Cork
    Description: Always end with the best you’ve got. Streamhill is destined to be remembered as an absolute classic Rally Stage. Fast, smooth, full commitment and more, the mix of Windfarm and forestry roads combine seamlessly into one of the finest stretches of Gravel stage seen in quite a while!
Service
Sponsored By: R+R tyres Ballincollig

Future Is Bright for Rallying’s Youngest Stars

Posted: July 23, 2019 8:40 AM

As the excitement hits fever pitch on Saturday morning, and as a full field of competitors sits giddy at the prospect of taking on the thrilling challenge of the two-day Crafted Fitted Furniture sponsored Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, the honour of leading the cars away and being the first to hit the stages lies with some of Ireland’s youngest Rally competitors, with the Junior 1000 Championship crews getting the ultimate opportunity to showcase their burgeoning talents to a large audience of spectators, TV Crews and rally followers.

Supported by passionate sponsors M. O’Brien Plant Hire and Willow Hire, the J1000 series has flourished since its inception, with the third season of the competition now attracting up to twelve entries per event, many of these being driven at high speed on controlled Rally Stages by drivers still too young to even apply for a Provisional Road License!

The J1000 formula was designed in the UK as a means to bring ever younger drivers into the rallying world, and to help encourage natural talent from an earlier age. The Irish Forest Rally Championship, under the guidance of Championship Co-Ordinator Ray Fitzpatrick, saw a massive opportunity to introduce the competitive structure to Irish shores in 2017, and their foresight has proved fruitful with an ever-growing interest in the series.

Open to drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 and conforming to a reasonably strict set of car regulations, designed to both reduce costs and encourage competition, no other rally championship in Ireland has a younger competitor base. Tyres, like a lot of the mechanical parts, are also strictly controlled, with a single control tyre being supplied by Ears Motorsport in Mallow, again another generous supporter of the championship.

For many of the drivers, the J1000 series marks the beginning of their Stage Rally careers. As such, a huge helping hand is extended by the Rallying Community, with plenty of help and guidance along the way. Key to this, and the biggest mentor of all, is the Navigator. While usually a busy role at the best of times inside a car, the Co-Driver in a J1000 car is vital. For the youngest drivers who do not hold a Driving License, the Navigator handles the non-competitive sections of the event that will see the cars on the Public road, such as between stages & on the way to Service Halts. As well as logistical support, Navi’s provide a helping hand in understanding stage timing, technical support and guidance on the various rules of the sport. Each navigator, as a means of offering maximum help, must be reasonably experienced and have completed several events beforehand.

Meeting and talking to any of the J1000 crews during a Rally event, the buzz and excitement of being able to launch a fully-fledged Rally Car down a fast and flowing Forest Rally Stage is contagious. The pressure of competition and early shyness is soo often replaced with a beaming smile come Service or at the end of the rally. With two full days and 150km of high-speed action in front of crews in Cork, its no wonder that these youngsters are looking forward frantically to getting to the start of Stage One on Saturday Morning.

With back to back Champion Jason Murphy (Galway) now having progressed to a bigger class in 2019, the door is open for a new driver to take the honours this year. So far this season, after four tricky events that have seen crews take on every condition imaginable from sunshine to heavy rain, and a complete Snow Blizzard, the way is being led by Donegal’s Kyle McBride, who holds a slender lead of Peter Beaton from Scotland. The Scot is no stranger to the Cork Forest Rally, having tasted success last year on the event, so he will love to make the title race interesting. Another driver eager to use Stage Knowledge in Cork is local Aaron Whelan (Mallow), keen to improve on the speed shown in 2018.

For many of the crews, the true aspiration is to progress to the higher echelons of the sport, and consistently the J1000 formula has been an incredible launch pad for some of the brightest talent that Rallying has to offer. Jon Armstrong, from Northern Ireland, began in J1000 in a Nissan Micra, and within six years was competing in the World Rally Championship at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R5, as well as becoming the 2018 WRC E-Sports World Champion.

Keen not to rest on their laurels, the Irish Forest Rally Championship organisers are keen to keep pushing the J1000 model ever further, with big plans in place for 2020. Chief among them is the proposed movement of age limits, with the Championship becoming available to drivers between 14-18 years of age should it be agreed by Motorsport Ireland. Technical regulations in car design will also be altered slightly to fall in line directly with the latest regulations of similar UK series, allowing further competitive opportunities to both Irish and British crews going forward, which is a massive opportunity.

With a healthy field of entries and a varied range of cars, the Junior 1000’s are a fine spectacle, and well worth catching out on the stages. What is for certain though is that you very well will be watching the future stars of Rallying!

Entries Now Open for Spectacular Cork Forest Rally

Posted: July 3, 2019 4:36 AM

As the calendar ticks over into July, it means only one thing, that the 2019 Crafted Fitted Furniture Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally is only a matter of weeks away. Racing into Mallow on the weekend of July 27th & 28th, the event is once more set to rightly assume its place as the finest loose surface event in Ireland, with an incredible treat in store for an expected bumper entry.

Supported once more by a host of local businesses, the Cork Forest Rally brings a key economic boost for Mallow and the wider region year on year. Many of the event partners have remained on board for quite a number of years, and this backing is a huge encouragement to the organising team. Cork Motor Club are really delighted to welcome J&M Breen Distributors onboard once more as an associate sponsor of the event. The Kanturk based firm are a leading supplier of goods to the motor trade including Lubricants and Towbars, and they are no strangers to the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally as they have regularly supported the event as stage sponsors down the years. Crafted Fitted Furniture, the Mallow based Furniture group, remain as Title Sponsor for a fifth successive event!

The organisers of the Cork Forestry have always put the competitor first when it comes to planning routes, and 2019 is certainly no different. Very few events nationally can compete with the compact and centralised hub of locations used, all within a tight radius of Mallow. Rally HQ is once again based in the Hibernian Hotel, with scrutiny taking place at Ears Motorsport in the Quatrertown Business Park. Pairc Ferme for the whole weekend, as well as documentation and briefing, will take place in the Cork County Council Annabella complex.

The two-day format, that made a very welcome return in 2018, is retained, with both individual day counting as a separate round of the 2019 Valvoline Forest Rally Championship. The route that COC Paul Casey has laid on totals 150km of competitive stage mileage, over fourteen action packed stages.

Saturday, July 27th, will see the first crews, the Junior 1000 machines driven by some of the youngest crews in Irish Rallying, leave Mallow at 10.00, with six stages lying ahead to the West of Mallow. Of these, a real test is certain to be a pair of blasts over the fearsome Boggeragh Drive stage, this year stretched to a massive 18.5 KM, becoming the longest Gravel stage used anywhere in the 2019 Irish Forest Championship by quite a distance. It is through the continued assistance of the Boggeragh Windfarm company that we can bring stages like this to our crews, so we are thankful for their support of the event!

Sunday morning comes around quickly for the bumper field, expected to be over one hundred competing cars, with the first crew on the road at 07.30, heading to an early morning Service halt at Mallow Autograss, and their fantastic facility in the heart of the Ballyhoura mountains. Fuelled up and ready to go, eight high-speed tests await as the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally returns to familiar territory after a break of a number of years. The 80km route sees a mix of traditional Forest Lanes, as well as sweeping expanses of modern Wind Farm roads. The Sunday route will see cars run through the newly commissioned Castlepook & Knocknatallig Wind Farm complexes. Again, Cork Motor Club are delighted at the support received from ESB Renewables and Brookfield Renewables to allow the event to pass through these incredible locations.

As with every forest rally, a huge thanks must be made to Coillte, without whom the event would most certainly not happen. Both CMC, and event COC Paul Casey, have forged a strong relationship with Coillte, who are always incredibly generous with their support of the Cork Forest Rally.

With the competitor firmly in mind, the 2019 CFF Jim Walsh Cork Forest is once more set to be the best value two-day rally event anywhere in Ireland, and when coupled with the short liaison distances and compact schedule, this is without doubt the perfect opportunity for perhaps a Gravel Novice to come and give The Woods a go! Main Field Entry has been set at €975, discounted to €950 for entries received before the July 17th early closing date, with the Junior 1000 fee set at €650, again discounted to €625 before the early date.

The event regs are now available on the club website, with plenty of further event information and build up on the ‘Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally’ page on Facebook.

Countdown Begins to CFF Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally

Posted: June 20, 2019 3:52 PM

The countdown is well and truly on to what is sure to be one of the absolute highlights of the Irish Motorsport Calendar, the 2019 Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, a two-day high-octane spectacle running out of Mallow on July 27Th & 28Th. After the successful return of the multi-day format in 2018, this year’s event is aiming to push the bar even higher and create what is surely going to be one of the most memorable Rally Events in the country.

Following the success of 2018, a large number of key supporters of the event have come on board once again, testament to the high standing that the Cork Forest Rally is held in, and the vital impact it plays in bring a large economic impact to the region. The rally will be based out of the Hibernian Hotel in Mallow, while the overnight halt and Parc Ferme will be located in the Cork County Council Annabella complex.

For a fifth straight year, the main event sponsor is Crafted Fitted Furniture, a local Mallow based firm who have grown into an industry leader nationwide in the supply and design of bespoke Furniture and Kitchens. Starting in 1993, the firm is a real success story, with the current operation employing 20 people across both their Showrooms and Workshop. The relationship between CFF Group and Cork Motor Club is one built strongly over the past four year of cooperation, with the rally showcasing the Crafted Fitted Furniture brand globally through both Irish and International TV coverage the event receives, and this relationship is key to a combined success far into the future.

The Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally has always been incredibly competitor friendly, and 2019 is certainly no different. Clerk of the Course Paul Casey has put together a fast, flowing and exciting route for spectators, utilising a number of two-stage loops with regular service intervals throughout both days, with Saturday’s taking place in Mallow and Sunday’s in the Mallow Autograss facility.

Saturday will see competitors tackling six classic Forest stages with approximately 70km of competitive action to look forward to. The highlight here is certain to be a properly challenging 18.5km stage that will be run twice.

Sunday is a real throwback, as after an absence of four years, the Cork Forest Rally will blast back into the Ballyhoura Mountains. Eight tests await the crews, and a stage mileage of 85km split over stages measuring at minimum 8km meaning this is without doubt the best Forestry event that Ireland has to offer!

For all the most up to date information, don’t forget to check out www.corkmotorclub.com or the Jim Walsh Cork Forrest page on Facebook. Event Regulations & Entry Forms will be available shortly through these channels!

Preliminary Details

Posted: June 20, 2019 3:04 PM

July 27th/28th 2019
Mallow, Co. Cork
70km Stages on Saturday (Including 18.5km stage twice!!)
85km Stages on Sunday
After 4 Years, returning to the Ballyhouras!

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