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Munster Moonraker Forestry Rally - 12 Apr 09

Posted: April 16, 2009 5:39 PM - 16350 Hits

Round 3 - 2009 National Forestry Championship
Round 3 - 2009 National Junior Rally Championship

  • Trevor Harding/Andrew Purcell win again.

Photo: Ger Leahy


Posted: May 12, 2009 8:08 PM

Lismore in County Waterford was the base for Round 3 of the Petro Systems Irish Forestry Championship with 65 crews driving through the start ramp at the Lismore House Hotel. Eight stages faced the crews which was organised by Munster Car Club with the famous forestry stage the Vee being the opening stage of the day. Peter McCullagh and co driver Alan Dolan were making a welcome return to this years championship in a Mitsubishi Evo 9 and made their presents felt straight from the off, stopping the clocks with a time of 6.44 on the opening stage. The Kildare crew were 2 seconds faster than currant championship leaders and number 1 seeds of the rally Trevor J Harding/Andrew Purcell who brought their Subaru Impreza 555 to the stage finish a further 11 seconds ahead of the Mitsubishi Evo 9 crew of Pat O’Connell and Mark Wiley with James Murphy/Anthony Nestor setting the same time as O’Connell in their Ford Escort WRC to lie joint third. Frank Kelly and co driver Liam Brennan were 4th fastest a further seconds behind in a Ford Escort Mk11. The Toyota Corolla WRC crew of John Reid/Enda were 5th fastest with a time of 6.59.

It the battle for 2 wheel drive honours Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan had opened up a lead of 11 seconds from the similar Ford Escort of Brian Lawlor/Peter Kavanagh, with the Toyota Starlet of Shane McGirr/Anthony Concannon a further 5 seconds behind in third.

Stage 2 Scart Mountain saw Harding attack Peter McCullough’s lead taking 3 seconds back through the stage with a time of 6.32 and move in to a 1 second lead. James Murphy set third fastest time through the stage to moved up to 3rd overall with the Toyota Corolla WRC of John Reid also moving up a place to 4th. Pat O’Connell dropped to 5th overall whilst Frank Kelly lay in 6th place and held onto the lead of the 2 wheel drive battle from Shane McGirr who had now moved into 2nd ahead of Brian Lawlor as all the competing crews headed for their 1st service halt of the day.

The crews left service for the first run over stage 3 Bohadoon and once again Peter McCullagh threw down the challenge to Trevor J Harding setting a time 2 seconds quicker and move back into the overall lead. James Murphy still held 3rd place but his position was being challenged by John Reid who took a second back from Murphy. Martin Cairns who had Martin Brady on the notes started to find their pace setting joint 3rd fastest time through the stage with Pat O’Connell. James Murphy/Anthony Murphy were the only other competing crew to break the 3 minute barrier with a time of 2.59. Frank Kelly still held on to the lead of top 2 wheel drive with a time of 3.07 just 1 second faster than Brian Lawlor with Connor Kelly and co driver Pierce Dohney’s Ford Escort matching the time of Lawlor. Shane McGirr dropped 2 seconds to Lawlor but still held on to his 2nd place position.

Stage 4 Coolatour was the final stage before the afternoon service halt and once again the very close fought contest at the top of the leader board showed the sheer speed and commitment of the competing crews. Both Trevor J Harding and Peter McCullagh set equal fastest time stopping the finish clock on a time of 6.00. Mark Murphy/Carol O’Keeffe were 2nd fastest in their older model Subaru Impreza with James Murphy setting 3rd fastest time in his Escort WRC. As the crews may their way to service the leader board showed Peter McCullagh hold a slender 1 second lead from Trevor J Harding who in turn had opened up a lead of 31 seconds from James Murphy in 3rd place with John Reid a further 14 seconds adrift in 4th place. Pat O’Connell rounded off the top 5 in his ex Gabriel Martin Mitsubishi Evo 9.

Frank Kelly had opened up a lead of 41 seconds of his nearest 2 wheel drive rivals Shane McGirr/Anthony Concannon with Brian Lawlor/Peter Cavanagh still holding 3rd place from the strong challenge of Connor Kelly/Pierce Dohney.

Stage 5 was a repeat of the Vee and it was Harding who once again regained the lead his Subaru Impreza 555 3 seconds faster through the stage than the Escort WRC of James Murphy with Peter McCullagh 3rd fastest a further 1 second behind. John Reid set 4th fastest with a time of 6.46 while Pat O’Connell 5th fastest with a time of 6.47. A blockage on stage 6 saw all competing crew get a stage interruption time of 7. 30 and as the crews went to the final service halt of the day the leader board showed Trevor J Harding/Andrew Purcell hold a slender lead of 3 seconds from Peter McCullagh/Alan Dolan. James Murphy/Anthony Nestor remained in 3rd place with the time difference to 4th place overall John Reid/Enda Shields now standing at 17 seconds. Pat O’Connell still remained in 5th place with Martin Cairns/Martin Brady in 6th overall.

Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan lost over four and a half minutes through stage 5 with mechanical woes which left Brian Lawlor/Peter Kavanagh take the lead of the 2 wheel drive from Shane McGirr/Anthony Concannon who lost time with a puncture.

With only a repeat through stages 3 and 4 remaining the and with less than a minute separating the top 5 crews the honour of winning the Moonraker forest rally was still all to play for. Once again Peter McCullagh/Alan Dolan showed true skill and were fastest on a time of 2.49 which was 3 seconds faster than Trevor J Harding/Andrew Purcell. Once again they McCullagh had pulled out all the stops and it was now all level at the top of the leader board with just 1 stage remaining. Pat O’Connell/Mark Wiley set 3rd fastest time of 2.55 whilst James Murphy, John Reid and Martin Cairns set equal fourth fastest a further 1 second behind O’Connell’s Mitsubishi. Frank Kelly was 5th fastest and also quickest 2 wheel drive through the stage. As the crews made their way to the final stage and the rally was far from over. Harding’s Subaru stopped the clocks with a time of 5.52 but unfortunately for Peter McCullagh and co driver Alan Dolan their chance of victory slipped away when they rolled their Mitsubishi Evo 9 halfway through the stage. Luckily for the crew it was a light roll and they were able to continue but dropped 41 seconds to finish runner up to Harding and Purcell. James Murphy/Anthony Murphy brought their Ford Escort WRC to the finish ramp in 3rd overall after holding off the late challenge of the Toyota Corolla WRC crew of John Reid/Enda Shields. Tipperary’s Pat O’Connell and co driver Mark Wiley finished 5th overall in a Mitsubishi Evo 9 and winners of Group N.

It was a case of two in a row for Dublin’s Brian Lawlor and Peter Kavanagh who secured the top 2 wheel drive award and 10th overall after having won the award on round 2 of the championship. Shan McGirr and co driver Anthony Concannon finished 12th overall in their Toyota Starlet and runners up to Lawlor and Kavanagh with the similar Toyota Starlet of Michael Cuddihy/Richard Coady finishing 17th overall and 3rd two wheel drive.

Class Winners.
Class 1 Emmet Cronin/Mark Bowens,
Class 2 Micheal Nevin/Alan Higgins,
Class 3 Shane McGirr/Anthony Concannon,
Class 4 Ray Benskin Snr/Keith McCarty,
Class 5 Brian Lawlor/Peter Kavanagh,
Class 6 Mark Murphy/Carol O’Keeffe,
Class 7 John Reid/Enda Shiels,
Class 8 Pat O’Connell/Mark Wiley,
Class 9 Vincent McAree/Jp McAree

In Car

Posted: April 16, 2009 5:39 PM


Posted: April 14, 2009 9:58 PM

Full Results

Posted: April 14, 2009 9:57 PM

1 Trevor Harding/Andrew Purcell (Subaru Impreza 555) 45m 06s,
2 Peter McCullagh/Alan Dolan (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 45m 47s,
3 James Murphy/Anthony Nestor (Ford Escort WRC) 46m 05s,
4 John Reid/Enda Shields (Toyota Corolla WRC) 46m 17s,
5 Pat O’Connell/Mark Wiley (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 46m 24s,
6 Martin Cairns/Martin Brady (Subaru Impreza WRC) 46m 49s,
7 Mark Sheahan/Jonathan McGrath (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 47m 27s,
8 Hans Matthia/Tom McGuire (Mit. Lancer Evo 7 Gp N) 47m 31s,
9 James Coleman/Michael Haley (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 47m 50s,
10 Brian Lawlor/Peter Kavanagh (Ford Escort Mk II) 48m 10s.

Junior Class:
1 Vincent McAree/J P McAree (Peugeot 206) 50m 41s,
2 Jonathan Cunningham/Patrick Cunningham (Civic) 51m 10s,
3 Ian Downey/Brian Daniels (Corsa) 56m 09s.

Event Preview

Posted: April 10, 2009 10:05 PM

Current Petro Systems National Forestry Championship leaders Trevor J Harding/Andrew Purcell are the top seeds for this weekends Moonraker Forestry Rally, round 3 of the Petro Systems sponsored championship. The championship leading crew will be hoping for a second win in a row in the championship to move closer to securing the championship crown in their Subaru Impreza 555. At number 2 are Pat O’Connell/Mark Wiley who are Harding’s closest rivals in the overall rankings and will be hoping to debut the ex Gabriel Martin Mitsubishi Evo 8 and are well capable of securing their maiden forestry win. At number 3 are forestry regulars James Murphy/Anthony Nestor. The Limerick pairing nearly had victory on round 2 in their grasp until mechanical problems forced them to retire. At number 4 is Mitchlestown’s Stephen McGrath. McGrath has been in outstanding form in this year’s championship in his older model Mitsubishi Evo 6 to currently lie 3rd overall. Kerry’s Sean Duggan will fill in for Stephen’s regular co driver Kevin Joyce this weekend.

Mark Sheehan/Jonathan McGrath are at number 5 and will be one of the front runners in their Mitsubishi Evo 9. Last years championship runner up John Reid and 2008 championship winning co driver Enda Shiels are seeded at 6 in their Toyota Corolla world rally car and will be hoping for a trouble free rally and secure a podium place. At 7 is another of the top Group N crews Jeremy Drislane and co driver Liam McLaughlin (Mitsubishi Evo 6) followed by Peter McCullagh/Alan Dolan at number 8. The Kildare crew are making a welcome return to the woods in their Mitsubishi Evo 9 and will be sure to up with the leading crews on the time sheets. The first of the two wheel drive competitors Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan are at number 9 in their powerful Ford Escort MK11. The crew were top 2 wheel drive winners on the opening round this year and will once again be in the hunt for the award in Lismore. Rounding off the top 10 are the Derry/Laois pairing of John McLaughlin and co driver Ray Fitzpatrick in a Mitsubishi Evo 9. Just outside the top 10 at number 11 are round 2 winners of the top 2 wheel drive award winners Brian Lawlor/Peter Kavanagh (Ford Escort MK11). The Dublin crew are always a favourite with rally spectators with their sheer speed and sideways action and will be out once again to secure another top 2 wheel drive award.

Some of the rest of the top forestry crews just outside the top 10 are James Coleman/Michael Hally (Evo 9), Shay Power/John Rafter (Escort Mk11), Gerard Lucey/James Lucey (Toyota Celica), Moss Fitzgerald/Peter Murphy (Toyota Twincam), Pat Price/Stephen Price (Subaru N12b), Micheal Nevin/TBA (Escort MK11) and Alan Cummins/Paul Collins. Patsy Keenan will be making the long trip from America once again and will be co driven by Barry McNulty and will be one of the contenders in Group N in a Mitsubishi Evo 9 along with John Reddington/Sean Quinn (Mitsubishi Evo 8) from London.

The opening stage the Vee will be followed by Scart Mountain before the crews head for a 20 minute service. The crews will than move on to stage 3 Bohadoon followed by stage 4 Coolatour before once again returning to service. A repeat of stage 1 & 2 will be ran in the afternoon before one last service halt. The crews will than repeat stages 3 & 4 before heading back to the finish ramp at approx 17.55 where a champagne reception will await the winners.

Entries are still been taken and the Entry Secretary can be contacted @ +353 86 6629314 / 086 6629314

Event Headquarters - Lismore House Hotel Tel 058 54304
Format – 4 stages repeated twice totalling approx 74 kilometres
Scrutiny – Hornibrooks Toyota Garage Lismore – 16.00 – 20.30
Parc Ferme – Lismore Community Centre Car Park
Documentation Scrutiny – Lismore House Hotel - 16.30 – 21.00
Trailer Park – Lismore Ind Est.
Divers Briefing – Main Bar Lismore House Hotel Sunday @ 07.45 sharp
Start – 08.45
Finish – 17.55

Marked A3 Maps available to purchase at Documentation Scrutiny.

Entry List & Final Instructions

Posted: April 7, 2009 12:11 PM

Posted: March 25, 2009 3:07 PM

Regulations and Entry Form (Links Fixed)

Posted: March 11, 2009 4:16 PM

Event Website / Details

Posted: January 1, 2009 12:01 AM

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