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Jim Walsh Cork Forestry Rally - (Sat) 15 Aug 09

Posted: August 23, 2009 2:33 PM - 20884 Hits

Round 4 - 2009 National Forestry Championship
Round 9 - 2009 National Junior Rally Championship

  • Michael O'Brien / James O'Brien win Cork Forestry

Posted: August 23, 2009 2:38 PM

More In Car from Jimmy Deane & Barry Meade

Posted: August 23, 2009 2:33 PM

More In Car

Posted: August 17, 2009 8:03 AM

Breen/Roberts Storm to Cork Forestry Junior Win

Posted: August 17, 2009 7:59 AM

Complete domination is the only way to describe Craig Breen’s display as he stormed to victory on the Jim Walsh Cork Forestry Junior Rally on Saturday last. A debut win for the new Fiesta R2 on gravel in Ireland, nine fastest stage times in the junior rally, seventh overall and all this coming only a week after undergoing surgery to remove an inflamed appendix. There was a doubt about his participation in the fourth forestry round of the season but after getting the go ahead from the surgeon who preformed the procedure there was no stopping the young Waterford driver and with a start to finish win he now regains the lead in the championship.

The first half of the season was brought to a close in Co. Meath with ALMC Stages. Three forestry and four tarmac events had been completed in a demanding opening part to the season. Now as the championship field returned to the lose surface for the Jim Walsh Cork Forestry Rally the points table was starting to take shape, Jonathan Cunningham was on thirty points and held a two point advantage over Waterford’s Craig Breen with John Byrnes a further two back. All the major contenders had entered the nine stage event and with approximately 100 Kilometres of stage action a very challenging days rallying lay ahead.

As the competitors made their way out to the first stage from the Commons Inn, Headquarters, Cork city over night rain had cleared away but the first stage still remained very wet. By virtue of the fact that on forestry events the junior crews run at the front of the main field they would get the best of the conditions with the cars entering each test in reverse order to their seeding. Kevin O’Connor was the first of the NJRC registered drivers to tackle the stage setting the opening bench mark at 5:14.8. Vincent McAree from Co. Monaghan in the Peugeot 206 was next with a time of 5:22.3 this started a battle with John Byrnes over the mornings stages. Byrnes lying third in the table blamed himself for just being a bit to cautious and set 5:27.5. Series leader Jonathan Cunningham who fitted filters to the throttle bodies but during the stage a section of the filters were pulled in and this caused a power loss. Cunningham’s time over the stage just outside of the village of Bweeng was 5:20.3. From the start laying down a marker was Breen with the fastest time of 5:03.9. Stage two went the same way as the young Waterford man was showing no ill effects of his stay in hospital as he extended his lead to 19.9 seconds. The surprise however was that with his opening time 5:14.8 Kevin O’Connor in the only rear wheel drive car of the (NJRC) drivers put in a cracking time on stage two of 5:04.5 only 8.1 seconds behind Breen and now held a fine grasp of second place. This was to be the high light of the event for Kevin. On stage three a rerun over the opening test, a stone was dragged up and dislodged the timing belt ending his rally.

The focus for the afternoon moved to the north of Mallow which would take in two runs over the 20Km Streamhill in the Ballyhoura complex. Breen again had the upper hand and was the only junior competitor to break the twelve minute barrier (11:55.2). To illustrate the pace of the R2 there was only eight cars to get under twelve minutes. John Byrnes was the closest in the C2R2 but was amazed at the end of the stage to still drop forty second as he stated “I just drove the wheels off the car. I even had a bit of a moment, the car stepped out of line during a long straight at high speed”. Jonathan Cunningham was still having a power loss problems and this reflected in over a minute’s time loss to Breen. The story was worse for Vincent McAree, during the early part of the stage the engine in the 206 started to loss power and sound strange. “We taught it was fuel starvation at first” the Clontee man said afterwards “I kept an eye on the oil pressure during stage six but the problem persisted and it was only when I got to service that my mechanics told me the engine had dropped a valve”. The only incident over the short stage six was that Cunningham’s bonnet sprung open and he needed to drive through the stage losing more time. In service with three stages remaining Cunningham got the bonnet repaired and at last got his oil pressure problems sorted. Over the last three stages there was a big improvement in his times as the Honda Civic began to purr. Over the rerun of Streamhill, Breen again banged in an astonishing time of 11:33.5 cutting twenty two second off his first run through. On stage eight and the last remaining stage there was no slackening off for Craig as he brought home the new Fiesta R2 with two more stage winning times to bring the curtain down on a commanding performance. At the finish Breen stated that he was delighted to take the win and reclaim the lead in the championship.

With this victory Craig now leap frogs Jonathan Cunningham to take over the lead in the Championship and John Byrnes also had a day to look back on as he closes the gap to the Galway to man to just two points. The top three looking like this Craig Breen (38 points), Jonathan Cunningham (36 points) and John Byrnes (34 points).

The championship again now switches back to tarmac and September looks to be a very interesting month with three events in quick succession.

    • Round 09 The Castle Mini Stages – 6th September
    • Round 10 The Wexford Junior Rally – 13th September
    • Round 11 The Clare Stages Junior Rally – 20th September
After speaking to the drivers after the finish in Cork the remainder of the championship is going to be about strategy as much as performance on the stages. All the competitors viewed the same opinion that with the nature of the points scoring system that it was important to have as many drivers entered in each class to score maximum points.

Posted: August 17, 2009 7:55 AM

Full Results and Times

Posted: August 17, 2009 7:48 AM

1 Michael O’Brien/James O’Brien (Ford Focus WRC) 52m 15s,
2 Pat O’Connell/Mark Wiley (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 52m 54s,
3 John Reid/Enda Shields (Toyota Corolla WRC) 53m 25s,
4 Trevor Harding/Andrew Purcell (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 53m 25s,
5 Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Ford Escort Mk II) 54m 30s,
6 Brian Lawlor/Peter Kavanagh (Ford Escort Mk II) 54m 52s,
7 Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Ford Fiesta R2) 55m 16s,
8 John McGaffin/Alan Russell (Subaru Impreza WRC) 55m 17s,
9 John McLaughlin/Ray Fitzpatrick (Mit. Lancer Evo 8 Gp N) 56m 54s,
10 Shay Power/John Rafter (Ford Escort Mk II) 56m 56s.

Junior Class:
1 Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts,
2 John Byrnes/Kenneth Sheil (Citroen C2R2) 58m 57s,
3 Jonathan Cunningham/Patrick Cunningham (Honda Civic) 59m 30s.

Leader After:
SS1-9 Michael O’Brien/James O’Brien (Ford Focus WRC)

Stage Winners:
SS1-9 Michael O’Brien/James O’Brien (Ford Focus WRC)

Programme Outlets

Posted: August 13, 2009 10:03 PM

List of programme outlets for the Jim Walsh forest rally on club website:

Marshal Meetings Location and Times

Posted: August 12, 2009 1:59 PM

Stage 1 & 3 Meeting at Dans Bar, Bweeng @ 7.15a.m.
Stage Commander: Jonathon Waterman

Stage 2 & 4 Meeting at Tarrants, Banteer @ 7.45a.m.
Stage Commander: John O’Toole

Stage 5 & 7 Meeting at Ballyhea Church @ 11.30 a.m.
Stage Commander: Joseph Shinnors

Stage 6 & 8 Meeting at Kildorrery Petrol Station, Kildorrery @ 12 Noon
Stage Commander: Michael O’Sullivan

Stage 9 Meeting at Shanahans Garage, Killavullen @ 4 p.m.
Stage Commander: Finian Twomey

Back to the Forest for NJRC

Posted: August 12, 2009 1:13 PM

The NJRC heads back to the gravel surface of the forests in Co. Cork for round eight of 2009 season. Craig Breen will lead a sixteen strong junior field with five registered drivers in NJRC taking part. Four of our championship competitors have tasted victory over the first half of the season. Championship leader Jonathan Cunningham took a start to finish win on the Circuit of Munster. Craig Breen opened the season with a bang by winning the first two events both of which were on the loose surface of the Tipperary and Carrick on Suir forestry events and now brings the new fiesta R2 for its debut on gravel in Ireland. Round three belonged to Co. Monaghan’s Vincent McAree as he was the victor on the Moonraker. Kevin O’Connor had an event to remember on the Ravens Rock as he was rewarded for a controlled drive in tricky conditions with his maiden win. John Byrnes has not popped the champagne this season to date but did win class nine in Cork two years ago and now hopes to add his name to the event winners list in 2009.

Championship leader Jonathan Cunningham is looking forward to a return to the forest and hopes the form that has taken him to the top of the table over the tarmac events can continue. His Honda Civic is fully repaired after the damaged it sustained during the ALMC stages and Jonathan also welcomes back his brother Patrick as his usual co driver.

Only two points off the top spot is Craig Breen on twenty eight. After his debut in the Fiesta R2 in Co. Meath Craig has had an eventful few weeks. He returned to Fiesta Sport Trophy action for round four of the 2009 International series in Finland. Craig scored a fantastic result by taking victory and finishing twenty sixth overall. Following his return home from the event he wasn’t feeling to well and was admitted to hospital in Waterford city on Thursday the 6th of August complaining of pains in his lower right abdomen. After being diagnosed with an inflammation of the appendix Craig underwent surgery on Friday last and is now recovering. The R2 that Craig used on the ALMC was in action again last weekend on the Stonethrowers Rally by Matthew Wilson. Matthew was heading for a top 10 place when he crashed out on the last stage; the race is now on for both Craig and the car to be ready for next weekend.

Next on twenty six points is John Byrnes. John has had good results over the last three tarmac events. He moved to the MDR Motorsport backed Citroen C2R2 for his home event (Circuit of Munster) in May but suffered some handling problems, at the Ravens Rock and the ALMC he was a lot happier stating “we needed some time getting to grips with out car setup but now both myself and car are heading in the right direction”. The forestry event will be a new challenge for the Limerick man in the car in the C2. Byrnes partnered by Kenneth Shiel were class 9 winners in 2007 and finished fifth twelve months ago after a troubled day. A broken drive shaft on stage three costing a two minutes and any chance of a top result. But John feels a lot more at home on gravel and will be pushing hard from the start.

Vincent McAree is now standing on fourteen points. His last championship outing was the Cavan stages where he broke the diff on a heavy landing ending hid rally. McAree was out for the junior event in Donegal in a rented C2R2 but with his Peugeot 206 fully repaired and setup for gravel is now looking forward to a good fight next weekend. McAree was the winner on round three the Moonraker Forestry and will be looking to carry this form into next weekend.

Kevin O’Connor the winner of round six in Carrick on Suir hopes to get back to winnings ways after crashing on stage seven of ALMC Stages. His right front wheel sheared off ending his rally but now with the car back in working order Kevin is set for a full attack on the stages around Mallow. Kevin has twelve points and a good result would move him up the table.

Entry List, Time Schedule, Final Instructions 1 and Overview Map available

Posted: August 11, 2009 9:30 PM


Posted: August 10, 2009 4:28 PM

The stage is set for round 4 of the Petro Systems National Forest Rally Championship and there are still entries available for anyone wishing to take part in what has to be one of the best forest rallies in these Islands,
The Cork Motor club promoted Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally takes place on Saturday 15th of August and boasts almost 100 stage kilometres in a long days rallying over some of the smoothest forest roads in the country.

Scrutiny will take place on Friday the 14th of August at O Connell crash repairs in Mayfield Business Park with Parc Ferme in the same area.

Rally HQ is once again the Commons Inn Hotel on the New Mallow Road on the outskirts of Cork City.

First car away is at 8.15 on Saturday morning and is due on stage 1 at 9.01 with an optional service on route. From then on the crews will enjoy a compact route with 9 stages in all with service in the Quartertown Industrial Estate in Mallow after every two stages.

Championship leader Trevor J Harding(EVO 9) will be looking to wrap things up on this event but with Pat O Connell(EVO 9) just 6 points behind he’ll have to fight every step of the way to close the deal here. John Reid/Enda Sheils(Corolla WRC),3rd overall in the championship, will also have something to say about where the siverware goes next weekend.John McGaffin/Alan Russell will also be well on the pace in their Impreza WRC.

Entries in so far will see some very entertaining battles in all the classes.

In class 8 Pat O Connell/Mark Wiley(EVO) hold the lead by just 4 points from 2nd placed Mark Sheahan/Jonathan McGrath(EVO) who will have it all to do to hold off John McLaughlin/Ray Fitzpatrick(EVO) and Stephen McGrath/Kevin Joyce(EVO) who are 3rd and 4th respectively and John Reddington,who travels over from the Uk to take part,will have something to say about the class honours on this event as well.John will have local man Stehen Quinn on the notes.

Other class 8 contenders who will no doubt put it up to the leaders will be Enda McNulty,Patsy Keenan,Christy Carey and Killian Duffy.

In the class 6 battle Gerard Lucey(Celica) has just one point to spare from Mark Murphy(Impreza) at the top while Danny Creedon(impreza),currently in 4th place,will be trying hard to close the gap. Entries From Jeremy Drislane(Evo),Shane Cullen(Escort),James Lehane(Impreza) and Declan Cuddy (Impreza) will ensure any win here will be hard earned.

A brilliant 2 wheel drive battle is in store in class 5 with just 1 point seperating Brian Lawlor/Peter Kavanagh and Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan.The battle in Cork will be made all the more interesting by the presence of Seamus O Connell and Adrian Hetherington.

Class 4 sees at least 2 of the Benskin family going head to head.Arthur Kerins/Andrew Grennan(Escort) will be looking to at least maintain,if not extend,their 4 point lead in the class over John McIlraith who in turn has 3 points to spare over 3rd placed Sean W Benskin/Bobby Nugent(Escort).However,Ray Benskin Jnr/Ollie Kierce will be looking to put on a good class performance in Cork.

Class 3 has leader Michael Cuddihy/Richie Coady(Starlet) doing battle with John Fleming/Donal Mullins(Escort)Alan Dineen/Tony Dineen(Nova)And Jimmy Deane/Barry Meade(Escort) for national championship points while Paul Fitzgerald/Walter Dick(Escort) and Moss Fitzgerald/Peter Murphy(Corolla) will be looking to take the class win in the battle for local honours.

Mike Nevin/Alan Higgins(Escort) will be looking to add to there silverware collection in class 2 but will have the close attention of Tony O Driscoll/Paul Browne(205) and Martin Cullinane/Derek Butler(Escort) who will be fighting for local honours as well.

Class 1 is a battle between David Laddin/Martin O Riordan(Mazda 323),Paul Driver/Fiona Cullen(Swift) and Terry Jackson/Daniel Lackie (Skoda Felicia)

Entries in Class 9 (Juniors) have Vincent& JP MacAree hoping to improve on their 2nd place in Cork as they are just 3 points behind class leader Craig Breen who hopes to do the event in a Fiesta R2,although this has not yet been confirmed.
John Byrne/Kenneth Sheil are bringing their C2 R2 to Cork and currently hold 3rd place in class.
Also entered on class 9 are Ciaran & John O Connor(Civic),Jonathan& Patrick Cunningham(Civic) Stephen McCabe(106 Cup car),Ian Downey/Brian Daniels(Corsa),Anthony Cronin/Joe Fitzgibbon(Corolla) and Paul McMahon/Kieran Brennan(Civic).

Entry forms/Regulations are available to download at www.corkmotorclub.com and entries are still being accepted.
So make sure to get yours in and don’t miss out on the chance to compete on this first class forest event.

Fiesta R2 for Jim Walsh Rally?

Posted: August 7, 2009 2:00 PM

All go for 2009 Jim Walsh Cork Forestry Rally

Posted: August 7, 2009 1:00 PM

The 2009 Jim Walsh Cork Forestry Rally is all go.
Cork Motor Club are currently putting the final preparations in place.

Late Entries will be taken.

Historic / Post Historic Class Added

Posted: July 31, 2009 3:59 PM

Cork Motor Club is still taking entries for the upcoming Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally Saturday 15th August and has every intention of running the rally.

Entries are coming in very slowly and the club ask all those wishing to compete to send entries by next Friday 7th August.

In an effort to boost entries CMC are pleases to announce the introduction of class for Historic Rally Cars.
This class will run first on the road ahead of class 1 and 9.

Regulations and more Info from:

Message to Competitors from the COC

Posted: July 30, 2009 4:06 PM

I am writing to remind you about the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, Saturday August 15th.

At present with just over 2 weeks to go there are only 17 entries received.
Obviously this poses a problem. We have to get entries in and very soon.

The event is in serious danger of not running if we don't increase this number to at least 50 by the closing date, Friday 5th August.

Please Please send in your entries.
The Regs are available at:

John S Quill
Clerk of the Course.

New Version of Streamhill Stage.

Posted: July 16, 2009 2:39 PM

The 20Km Streamhill hill stage on this year's Cork Forestry Rally will feature a new section just after the revised start location.
Run twice, the stage in the Ballyhoura Forestry Complex is one of the longest in Ireland.

The rally will close with a new version of the short but fast flowing Peter's Hill Stage.

Regulations and Details:


Posted: June 25, 2009 1:51 PM

The 2009 Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally is to run under the same format as 2008 which is aimed at making the event more practical and certainly more fun for all involved.

This means that instead of the 2 day format which has been run over the last few years the event will now consist of one LONG days rallying on the Saturday with prizegiving leading on to a nights entertainment of music and dance,and all day Sunday to make the journey home thus making the whole weekend an enjoyable and social occasion,(once the serious business of Rallying on the Saturday is complete of course).

The rally route will consist of approx 100 kms of competitive stages on the traditional North Cork forest stages that have made the Cork Forest Rally one of the most popular in these Islands,there will be approx 230 road kms.There will be a few differences to the way some of the stages were run last year but nothing major.

Once again there will be centralised servicing after every two of the 9 stages with Bweeng and Mt Hilary being tackled twice in the morning loop before heading out to the Ballyhoura complex for the first of two runs over the mighty Streamhill stage which,at 20.7kms, must be the longest forest stage in the championship.

The afternoon loop also includes the 7.7 Kilometre Coolfree stage(x2) with just the 3.76kms of the new Peters Hill stage to take the cars on home to the final control.

First car will leave Parc Ferme at 08.30 on Saturday 15th of August and return to the final control at 19.15,with prizegiving and entertainment starting at no earlier than 9.00pm so that everyone will have time to get on the dancing shoes.

C.O.C.for the event this year is the very experienced John Quill who will have the equally experienced Darren McCarthy as his deputy.

Speaking on the retention of the Long Saturday format John Quill said “We are constantly looking for ways to make our events more competitor friendly and we feel the one long day format running on the Saturday is the way to go. If the rally were in the two day format scrutiny and documentation would be on the Friday anyway so there’s nothing different there.The big difference is the fact that once the days rallying is over everybody will have time to enjoy the prizegiving and entertainment that’s being laid on without having to worry about getting back up the road and into work on Monday morning,so all in all it should lead to a much more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for the weekend.
It also reduces the entry fee from the two day rate without losing too much stage mileage,and in these financially challenging times that can only be a good thing.”

Scrutiny and Parc Ferme will be in Mayfield business park, (same venue as the last couple of years) with Documentation being handled in the Rally HQ,The Commons Inn Hotel on the New Mallow Road on the outskirts of Cork City.

Regulations are with M.I.for approval and will be available to download from the club website shortly.

Prelimerary Details

Posted: May 23, 2009 10:21 AM

HQ: Commons Inn, Mallow Rd, Cork
1 long day format.
9 stages expected, similar format to previous years.
More Details: Tel 087-9299 590 / +353 87-9299 590

Club Website

Posted: January 1, 2009 12:01 AM

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