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Munster CC Moonraker Forestry Rally - 13 Apr 08

Posted: April 18, 2008 9:32 AM - 16165 Hits

Round 4 - 2008 Forestry Championship

  • Ray Breen/ Martin Brady dominate the Moonraker Forestry

Event Report

Posted: April 18, 2008 9:32 AM

The 2008 Hankook National forestry championship has been a year where many newcomers have joined the championship and impressed with their pace and adaptability to the challenges of forestry rallying, but none more so than Ray Breen. The former national tarmac champion has settled well into the forests with two wins under his belt and a healthy championship lead. The championship had reached round 4 and once more this meant the visit to an old classic and the East Cork based Moonraker rally. With a new venue this year the start of the rally moved to Lismore in Co Waterford and to the home of main sponsors The Lismore House Hotel. This beautiful & historic hotel was the starting point for a competitive and exciting race over 8 classic stages in the East Cork forests.

"The Vee" was the tough opener that greeted the crews, a much revered and testing stage that gives the crews a piece of everything from flat out straights to tight and technical corners waiting to claim the unwary.

Number 1 seed was Ray Breen in his Focus Wrc, for this event his son Craig was absent due to his karting commitments in the UK so Ray enlisted a new co driver in Navan's Martin Brady. Number 2 seed Kenny McKinstry was a late entry and thus had no59 on his door. Kenny and co driver Sean Mullaly enjoyed their last round outing in the s8 Subaru so much that they returned in the same car ready for more action. Andrew Purcell was up next but not as expected in his Sentinel Security backed Subaru WRC. Unfortunately for Purcell his engine rebuilt after failure on the last round had sprung a water leak before scrutiny and it was decided not to risk using it. Then started a last minute dash to collect a hire car Mitsubishi Evo 6 from D Jobb Rally Hire and it saw Purcell make the start line with minutes to spare.
Regular runners that followed behind included Denis Cronin, Colin Britton, James Murphy, John Reid and Emma McKinstry.

Stage one was in perfect condition and the sun was shinning. Breen & Brady attacked intending to start strong but found the tight chicanes quite difficult to negotiate and they also felt time slipping away with a very sideways car. So sideways that they almost took the finish board with them as a souvenir, on stopping at the exit of the stage however a front left puncture was discovered and this explained a lot. Yet to their surprise they were fastest and 7 seconds up on McKinstry who also reported struggling to get through the tight chicanes cleanly. Colin Britton was ten seconds back and the first Group N challenger. Purcell was outside the top ten and reported a first junction overshoot and he lamented the lack of a WRC spec handbrake but otherwise was happy with the car and happy to be in the race at all. Pete McCullagh & Alan Dolan held 4th as they gave their new Evo 9 its debut miles and James Murphy & Francis Kenny were 5th in the black Escort.

Stage 2 was a more demanding test with some slippy mucky corners waiting to catch the unwary at the end of long straights. Breen was satisfied that he had found the pace he could maintain and was getting settled with new co driver Brady. This confidence proved itself as Ray once more stormed to fastest time by 19 seconds from a hard charging Pete McCullagh. McKinstry dropped time after running wide into the scrub and then taking it cautious on the next few corners fearing damage to brakes. Denis Cronin took 3rd fastest equal with James Murphy who was having a solid day in his Escort. Jeremy Drislane with reigning champion co driver Tony McHugh on board were next on the time sheets as they set a time just 2 seconds off Cronin & Murphy, but turbo troubles were to hamper them for the remainder of the day and take the edge off their pace.

Service in Cappaquinn was visited before ss3 giving the crews a chance to repair and refresh. Breen held the lead from McKinstry by 24 seconds and McCullagh was just 6 seconds behind Kenny and the GrpN leader by 3 seconds from Britton. Frank Kelly was the top 2wd in 11th o/a and enjoying his day as he got familiar with a new version of gearbox for his MK2 Escort. Emma McKinstry & Kenny Hull in her Hankook Subaru was struggling with an ill handling car and this coupled with 2 spins had her down the order, a small fire in the gearbox was soon to put her out of the rally. In the juniors it was the Moynihan sisters in their EARS Peugeot who held an 18 second lead over Aidan Mulcahy & Des Flynn in their Honda.

SS3 Bohadoon was a short looped stage at just over 4km with some uphill hairpins that were very satisfying to drive if perfected, and in this stage it was normal service resumed for Breen as set he 2:47 and took fastest again by 5 seconds this time from Pete McCullagh & Alan Dolan. McKinstry was 3rd fastest just ahead of Cronin. Purcell, Heaney and Britton all tied on 3:02 so McCullagh increased his GrpN lead. Murphy suffered a broken drive shaft and this was to hamper him for 2 stages until he could limp back to service.

SS4 Coolatour is a classic stage on the Moonraker and it has straights like a motorway and those brave on the brakes can gain valuable seconds on the approach to the tight junctions that appear at eye watering speed. Yet again Breen & Brady stormed onwards to another fastest time by 15 valuable seconds from McKinstry & Mullaly this increased Breen's advantage at the head of the field to 57seconds ahead of McKinstry. McCullagh continued to impress in his new GrpN car and was just 7seconds behind McKinstry.

The Vee was revisited as SS5 and almost predictably now it was Breen fastest and ten seconds faster than his morning effort. McKinstry was second and he improved his time by 5 seconds. Colin Britton set a storming time to equal McKinstry. Denis Cronin & Helen O Sullivan took 3rd one second back in their Hankook Subaru and Pete McCullagh continued strongly James Murphy was now back on song with 4 working driveshafts and he set 5th fastest

On SS6 Breen set fastest again with McKinstry 6 seconds in arrears. Both drivers taking time out of their morning score over the stage. Purcell lost time in this stage with a broken driveshaft, resigning himself to the fact there was only so much speed in the Evo 6 compared to his usual mount the WRC car and admitting that he was settling for what ever points he could gain after the driveshaft problem. Denis Cronin had gotten into his stride and was going into ss6 just 3seconds off Britton in the race for 4th taking 5sec from Britton through this stage he just moved into 4th.

Breen continued to be the fastest on SS7 and SS8 as Kenny McKinstry cruised home his Subaru for second overall having stretched the gap to McCullagh to just under 30 seconds. Breen's control of the event was undoubted, an early puncture being the only blip on an otherwise perfect performance. The new pairing with Martin Brady gelled easily and Breen drove his own rally from the front never headed. This gives him an even stronger advantage in the overall championship and he expects to defend that lead on the next round in Wexford on June 8th. Pete McCullagh put in a star performance with a new car and it being over 6 months since his last competitive outing he could have been excused for being rusty, but if he was it didn't show in the timesheets and he & Alan Dolan drove to a well deserved 3rd o/a.

Denis Cronin took fourth, another commendable result on his debut year on loose surfaces he came out on top of a day long battle with Colin Britton & Arthur Kiearns, they took their Evo to 5th and increased their GrpN lead in the championship. James Murphy & Francis Kenny took 6th which was a happy result for them because James has had more than his share of bad luck with mechanical failures in recent rallies and a strong finish is a good boost for the Limerick man. John Reid & Enda Shields had a steady day all rally, he was consistently in the top group on the time sheets and drove a trouble free rally to gain yet more valuable points. In the Corolla this year John has been a model of consistency and reliability this year and he now is rewarded with holding 2nd o/a in the Hankook championship points table. Andrew Purcell & Mick Courtney took 8th overall in their hired Mitsubishi, it was a hard fought result after their eleventh hour problem for their regular car but they did score points and this can still give hope to their title aspirations.

Frank Kelly & Barry McKenna cantered on to top 2wd Class 5 winner and 11th overall, his job was made easier by the retirement of James Coleman in his Escort but Shane McGirr & Martin McGarrity took their wee starlet to an excellent 13th overall and class one victors and ensured that Frank did not have too much room to relax. The Moynihan sisters dominated the junior leader board all day and reached the finish 27th overall and over a minute and a half ahead of nearest challengers Ian Stanley & Alan Whyte.

In Class two it was once more the domain of Mick Nevin & Des Moran in their Escort Mk2 they remain to be the year long benchmark of this class.

Class 3 was won by almost 3 minute by Mark Dolphin & Brian Hurley in their Escort. Class 4 was another Escort affair with Alan Commins & Damian Coady the victors. Despite the turbo troubles Jeremy Drislane & Tony McHugh won the Grp A class 6 by just under 2 minutes, and class 7 for WRC machinery was won by Dennis Cronin & Helen O Sullivan. With Colin Britton & Arthur Kiearns taking class 8 for GrpN cars.

Moonraker lived up to its classic and respected status in the calendar. It was a day where Breen took control from the first stage and was never headed but that did not make it any less of a race as McKinstry was always close enough to keep Breen on song as any mistake could have changed the result for either driver. The next round is in new territory in Wexford on June 8th so the challenge will be new to all and the competition is bound to be fierce.

In car with Ray Breen & Martin Brady

Posted: April 17, 2008 10:59 AM

Full Results & Stagetimes

Posted: April 14, 2008 9:50 AM

1 Ray Breen/ Martin Brady (Ford Focus WRC) 42m 30s,
2 Kenny McKinstry/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC) 44m 07s,
3 Peter McCullagh/Alan Dolan (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 44m 37s,
4 Denis Cronin/Helen O’Sullivan (Subaru Impreza WRC) 44m 50s,
5 Colin Britton/Arthur Kierans (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 45m 05s,
6 James Murphy/Francis Kenny (Ford Escort WRC) 45m 28s,
7 John Reid/Enda Shields (Toyota Corolla WRC) 45m 41s,
8 Andrew Purcell/Michael Courtney (Mit. Lancer Evo 6 Gp N) 45m 55s,
9 Pat O’Connell/Mark Wiley (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 46m 11s,
10 Frank Kelly/Barry McKenna (Ford Escort 2.0) 46m 13s.

Leaders After: SS1-8 Ray Breen/ Martin Brady (Ford Focus WRC)

Stgae Winners:
SS1-8 Ray Breen/ Martin Brady (Ford Focus WRC)

Late Entry - Kenny McKinstry/Sean Mullally

Posted: April 11, 2008 4:52 PM

Kenny McKinstry/Sean Mullally are a late entry for the Rally


Posted: April 11, 2008 4:52 PM

The 2008 Hankook National forestry championship has provided some of the very exciting Irish Motorsport in the season so far, and the East Cork based Moonraker rally is expected to be no different. With a new venue this year that sees the start of the rally move to Lismore in Co Waterford and to the main sponsors The Lismore House Hotel. This beautiful & historic hotel will be the starting point for a competitive and exciting race over 8 classic stages in the East Cork forests.

Classics such as "The Vee" will form part of the challenge, a much revered and testing stage that gives the crews a piece of everything from flat out straights to tight and technical corners waiting to claim the unwary.

Last years event was a classic as No 1 seed Guy Wilks was making a fleeting visit from his British and World championship programmes to tackle the event in a McKinstry S9 Subaru WRC, backed by www.rallyinsurance.co.uk yet mechanical failure was to sideline this star at an early stage.

The rally unfolded into a titanic battle between Stephen Moore & Tony McHugh in the Focus WRC and Brian McGillin & David Doherty in their Hyundai WRC, going into the last stage McGillin lead by only 1 second after 7 hard fought stages but Moore & McHugh stormed their Focus through the final short stage to take back the one second from McGillin and force the result of the days hard fought rallying to a tie break! The rules say last man fastest gets the win, and this being Moore who was fastest at the death right when it counted meant he was once again crowned the victor ably assisted by his co driver Tony McHugh and their 2005 spec Ford Focus Wrc. It was a close fought day and so so near for Brian McGillin with the Omagh man almost taking his maiden victory in the Hankook series. Sean Devine & Andrew Purcell took an unchallenged 3rd overall with a minute in hand of 4th placed Group N victor Keith Cronin & Anthony O Connell. It was Pete McCullagh and Andrew Lehane who took runner up to Cronin in Grp N and 5th overall, this result proving the early season pace of this crew was right up there when not blighted by mechanical troubles.

However back to 2008 The stages are in good condition and the club is looking forward to the support of competitors old and new. You're your computer pointed to www.hankook.ie This website will be the place to visit for the latest news and points tables as soon as they become available and of course this is also the place to click into for the all best photos from the crews in action on events.

This years victory will undoubtedly be as hard fought, top contenders would surely be Andrew Purcell & Mick Courtney if they can remedy engine woes that forced their retirement on the last round in Limerick, the winner o that event Ray Breen will certainly be keen to take victory once more and retain his championship lead. His son Craig who co-drove him to that victory will be absent from this event due to clashing commitments in his racing in the UK so Ray will have Martin Brady to sit in as a temporary replacement and guide him. Denis Cronin & Helen O Sullivan are another crew who could challenge for victory, the Cork pairing are new to the forestry series but have been gaining pace at an impressive rate.

First car leaves the start ramp at 09:00 and heads to 8 exciting stages with a central service in Cappoquinn.The victor could come from any quarter and none of the front runners are there to make up the numbers on a Sunday drive, the victor will return to the Lismore House just after half past five to claim the spoils so here is to an enjoyable and safe days sport on the Moonraker.

Final Instructions

Posted: April 11, 2008 4:50 PM

On Club Website:

Entry List

Posted: April 9, 2008 8:42 AM

No. Driver/Navigator (Car) [Class]
201 Ian Stanley/Alan Whyte (Honda Civic) [9]
202 Aidan Mulcahy/Des Flynn (Honda Civic) [9]
203 Sarah Moynihan/Amy Moynihan (Peuqeot 206 Cup Car) [9]
204 Nick Hegarty/Allyn Jennings (Corolla Twin Cam) [9]
205 John Paul Ruth/Emmett Sherry (Honda Civic) [9]
206 Ross Forde/Aaron Forde (Suzuki Swift) [9]

101 Colum Browne/L. McGrath (Ford Ka) [1]
102 Ben Donnelly/TBA (TBA) [1]
103 Colman Kirby/Jemina Ottman (Nissan Sunny) [1]
104 Paul Collins/Brian Daniels (Honda Civic) [1]
105 Paul Archer/Jamie McCarthy (Vauxhall Nova) [1]
106 Andrew Fanning/Paddy King (Ford Ka) [1]
107 Shane McGirr/Martin McGarithy (Toyota Starlet RWD) [1]
108 Seamus Cooke/Gerald Hyland (Ford Escort MK2) [1]

1 Ray Breen/Martin Brady (Ford Focus WRC) [7]
2 Andrew Purcell/Mick Courtney (Subaru Impreza WRC) [7]
3 Brian McGillin/David Doherty (Hyundai Accent WRC) [7]
4 Denis Cronin/Helen O'Sullivan (Subaru Impreza WRC) [7]
5 Colin Britton/Authur Kierans (Mitsubishi EVO 9) [8]
6 James Murphy/Francis Kenny (Escort WRC) [7]
7 John Reid/Enda Shields (Corrolla WRC) [7]
8 Emma McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Subaru Impreza WRC ) [7]
9 Seamus Devine/TBA (Subaru Impreza WRC) [7]
10 Sean Heany/Liam McLaughlin (Mitsubishi EVO 9) [8]
11 Frank Kelly/Barry McKenna (Ford Escort MK2) [f]
12 James Coleman/Michael Haley (Ford Escort MK2) [5]
14 Peter McCullagh/Alan Dolan (Mitsubishi EVO ) [8]
15 Brendan Murphy/Pat Condon (Subaru Impreza ) [6]
16 John Reddington/Stephen Quinn (Mitsubishi EVO 8) [8]
17 Jeremy Drislane/Tony McHugh (Mitsubishi EVO ) [6]
18 Connie Smith/Elaine Smith (Sierra Cosworth) [6]
19 Mark Murphy/Carol O'Keeffe (Subaru Impreza ) [6]
20 Patrick Keenan/TBA (Mitsubishi EVO ) [8]
21 Connie Delaney/TBA (Subaru Impreza ) [8]
22 Ollie Williams/Michael Walsh (Ford Escort MK2) [5]
23 Jimmy Devane/TBA (Nissan Sunny) [5]
24 Bob Scanlan/Finian Hannigan (Mitsubishi EVO ) [8]
25 John Hickey/Brian O'Keeffe (Subaru Legacy) [6]
26 John Bagge/TBA (Mitsubishi EVO 6) [6]
27 John Meade/Kevin Kearney (Subaru Impreza ) [6]
28 Stephen Cullen/Oonagh Roche (Subaru Impreza ) [8]
29 Ciaran Mahon/Connor Bruton (Ford Escort MK2) [3]
30 Moss Fitzgerald/Jimmy Devane (Corolla Twin Cam) [3]
31 Paul Fitzgerald/TBA (Ford Escort MK2) [3]
32 Declan Cuddy/Nigel Moran (Subaru Impreza ) [6]
33 Gerard Lucey/James Lucey (Toyata Celica) [6]
34 Alan Commins/Damian Coady (Ford Escort MK2) [4]
35 Ray Benskin Snr./Paedad Walsh (Ford Escort MK2) [4]
36 Eamon Doherty/Eoin Guckian (Ford Escort MK2) [4]
37 Sean W Benskin/Bobby Nugent (Ford Escort MK2) [4]
38 Raymond Benskin Jnr/TBA (Ford Escort MK2) [4]
39 Tom Kenneally/Karl Baumann (Toyota Starlet RWD) [4]
40 Darragh Raftery/TBA (Honda Civic) [3]
41 Michael Nevin/Des Moran (Ford Escort MK2) [2]
42 Mark Dolphin/Brian Hurley (Ford Escort MK2) [3]
43 Marc Butler/TBA (Honda Civic) [3]
44 Clement Lonergan/TBA (Honda Civic) [3]
45 Ger Connors/Owen O'Neill (Opel Astra) [5]
46 Wesley Daly/Patrica Daly (Corolla Twin Cam) [3]
47 Michael Murphy/Pat Cashman (Corolla Twin Cam) [3]
48 Martin Cullinane/Derek Butler (Ford Escort MK2) [2]
49 Emmet Cronin/Joe Fitzgibbon (Ford Escort MK2) [2]
50 Kevin Fowler/Darren Walsh (Vauxhall Nova) [2]
51 James Cooney/TBA (Toyota Starlet RWD) [3]
52 Kieran Flynn/Bernard Sweeney (Peuqeot 206 Cup Car) [3]
53 John Spillane/TBA (Peuqeot 106) [3]
54 Paul McMahon/TBA (Ford Escort MK2) [2]
55 Richard Scanlan/Steven Scallan (Peuqeot 206 Cup Car) [3]

Course Cars
001 Brian O'Mahony/John Higgins (Renaullt Clio S1600) []
002 Allen Treacy/Shane Moriarty (Corolla Twin Cam) []
003 Richie Long/Simon Lacey (Ford Ka) []
004 James Cunningham/Marc Fobes (Corolla Twin Cam) []
005 Ger Fitzgerald/Kieran Crowley (Ford Escort MK2) []

Purcell and Courtney ready to get their championship back on track.

Posted: April 7, 2008 4:25 PM

Waterford driver Andrew Purcell with his Meath co driver Mick Courtney are ready for round 4 of the Irish National Forestry Championship the Moonraker Rally based in Lismore Co Waterford.

Andrew 25 from Ferrybank Waterford is trying to put the last event behind him the Limerick forestry rally, it promised much but was really a major blow to Andrew and Mick in their fight for the championship. Things started bad when the engine started giving problems the Friday night before the rally. There was a lot of phoning and calling people but the best that could be done in the short time available was to get some bits from a road going car. SP Motorsport worked through the night to have the car ready and by Saturday the engine was going again all be it with a lot of standard parts on board.

It was decided to take a very cautious approach to the event and if the team managed second or third that would still keep their championship hopes alive with many rounds still left.

Andrew and Mick tackled the first stage in "Mind It" mode and were right up there with the leader’s times. Stage two brought one of the biggest frights of Andrews rallying to date when he met one of the Junior competitors on the stage there was no where to go and Andrew and Mick hit the back of the other car but were able to continue with some damage to the right front of the car. Stage 3 was cancelled so that would ease the pressure on the car and on stage 4 the lads suffered a puncture doing half the stage on a flat tyre. Imagine their surprise to find after all these problems they were still leading the event by 15 seconds in the Sleator Auto / Kumho Subaru. However it all came to nothing when the engine cried enough.

Andrew said after the event we went down here minding the car but with the amount of standard stuff in the engine it was a hope for the best weekend, we got some shock when we met the Junior car on the stage from a safety point of view that was not good. We kept the revs down and did not push it through the gears, we were on the pace but that all matters little now we have an engine to rebuild, let’s hope all will be ready for the Moonraker we have dropped a lot of points we need a good finish Sunday.

Purcell Motorsport is supported by Sleator Auto, Kumho Tyres (www.ears.ie), Dollymaids Cleaning Services, SP Motorsport , Ardcourt Builders, Extreme45, Sentinel Security Systems, Pat Kerley Windows.

Time and Distance Schedule

Posted: April 7, 2008 4:23 PM

2008 Rally to be based in Lismore / Event Flyer

Posted: February 28, 2008 7:53 AM

Event Flyer

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