Bushwhacker Rally - 24 Sep 11

Posted: September 27, 2011 10:23 AM - 15227 Hits

Omagh Motorclub McKelvey Bushwhacker Rally 2011
Round 8 - 2011 Northern Ireland Rally Challenge
Round 5 - 2011 Irish Forest Rally Championship
Round 6 - 2011 Ford Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland

Back On Track, Jonny Leonard/Jackie Elliott Rally Report

Posted: September 27, 2011 10:23 AM

Jonny Leonard and Jackie Elliott finally put an end to a long run of bad luck at the Mckelvey Bushwacker Stages Rally.

Leonard took the lead in class one from the outset, followed closely by Decky Leonard in his similar Fiesta, with only one second separating pair after the opening stage. However, Jonny and Jackie stepped up the pace to gain some more valuable seconds over the following 4 tests and arrived in first service with a 10 second lead.

The next loop consisted of two short tests before arriving back in the Castlederg service halt for the second time; Jonny continued to dominate and was able to stretch his lead on this loop by a further 5 seconds.

Now in the lead by 15 seconds Leonard decided to pick a steady pace and consolidate his position as 4 tough tests lay ahead of him and the finish ramp.

The plan was to pay off as the Hankook shod fiesta posted three fastest times over the remaining stages to arrive home a clear 22 seconds ahead in class one and second FST.

Speaking after the event, Jonny said:
“I am so glad to be at the finish of this event, I have had a really trying year and some horrible luck along the way. We put in a lot of effort and long nights leading up to this rally and thankfully it has all paid off. The car never missed a beat and I am sure this will boost my confidence for the rest of the season.”

Murphy/O'Brien in the Hankook Mitsubishi are the 2011 Valvoline Irish Forest Champions.

Posted: September 26, 2011 1:03 PM

Owen Murphy and co-driver James O'Brien in their Hankook Mitsubishi Evo 9 won the 2011 Valvoline Forest Rally Championship in Saturday's Bushwhacker Rally, based in Omagh. Murphy from Ballincollig and O'Brien from Kanturk are the first all Cork crew to win the forestry series. John Mc Carthy from Carrigtwohill was champion in 2006 when he was co driven by Wexfords MJ Morrissey.

Murphy and O'Brien drove all day with an eye on the championship however on stage one they were right on the pace. Moving on to stage two and there were intercom problems and some valuable time was lost. This was sorted but Owen was keeping a close eye on his fellow competitors in the Valvoline series.

Stage 3 was a wakeup call to take it handy when exiting a chicane he clipped a rock this put out the tracking and the camber and dropped him two places but little time was lost , then on stage 4 Owen got caught behind a WRC car stuck in a chicane it seemed like we were there for ever we went one way he blocked us we went the other way he was still in the way finally we got through maybe 20 seconds or more lost but it was a stressful few seconds .

After that Owen decided to take it easy and bring it home which he did in fine style 10th overall and 4th in the Valvoline series.

Owen is a Former National Karting champion, a Billy Coleman award winner and the 2006 National GpN Forest Rally Champion. To date this is his biggest achievement he led the championship from the word go with a win, round 2 saw him win again , on round 3 a stone broke the fan and punctured the rad leading to retirement while leading at his ease then he started to drive for the championship with a 2nd in Cork but Maximum points and with the result in Omagh he now has the series won with one round remaining. Owen said the stages were very different to the ones down south the stages today were short but very fast and gravelly one would need to do a few events to get the proper feel for them in order to drive flat out.

Owen said at the finish it has not sank in yet what a great year so many people to thank firstly my friend and co -driver James o Brien who steered me along all year there is no doubt he is one of the best in the country, To Hankook Ireland for putting their faith in me and to TTEC for a super car all year, thanks to my service crew my family my parents my girlfriend Ciara and everyone who helped in any way to make this a great year. Thanks to my associate sponsors and all my friends too many to mention but never forgotten.

Murphy/O’Brien lift Valvoline Forest Championship

Posted: September 26, 2011 1:00 PM

Owen Murphy and codriver James O’Brien won the 2011 Valvoline Forest Rally Championship in today’s Bushwhacker Rally, based in Omagh. Murphy from Ballincollig and O’Brien from Kanturk are the first all Cork crew to win the forestry series. John Mc Carthy from Midleton was champion in 2006 when he was codriven by Wexfords MJ Morrissey.

Murphy and O’Brien drove a sensible rally in their Hankook Mitsubishi Evo 9 to finish 4th of the Valvoline contenders in the 11 stages in Co.Tyrone. A pragmatic approach was essential particularly after their main opponent for the series Liam Ryan rolled out of the event on stage5. Murphy is a former national karting champion and he won Gp N in the forest championship in 2004.

In the 2011 Valvoline series, Murphy won the first two events in Mitchelstown and Carrick. He retired with overheating issues in round three in the Moonraker and he drove with his head in Cork to finish second but he grabbed the maximum points on offer. Today’s rally was perfectly judged, his points total is now 79, and none of the pursuing pack can accumulate more than 78. A worthy champion, he used speed in the early season and intelligence in the later races to secure his first national rally title.

The Bushwhacker was won by Conor Mc Clusky ahead of Donagh Kelly and Ken Mc Kinstry. The Valvoline finishers are as follows: Enda Mc Nulty, Vincent Mc Aree, Frank Kelly, Owen Murphy, Ger Lucey, Aidan Caldwell, Mark Murphy and Derek Butler.

The Valvoline retirements included Liam Ryan, Shane Mc Girr, Jer Connors, Liam Kelleher, Douglas Stewart, Ian Cochrane, Stephen Wright, Patsy Keenan, Ed Colton and Colin Britton.

The sixth and final round of the 2011 Valvoline Forest Rally Championship is the Down rally on Saturday October 22nd.

McCloskey/O'Regan Win Bushwhacker Rally...

Posted: September 26, 2011 12:58 PM

Former Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Rally Champion, Connor McCloskey, made a successful return to the series by winning round 8, the McKelvey Bushwhacker Rally in Omagh last weekend.

Navigated by Francis Regan, McCloskey led the event from start to finish in his Subaru Impreza WRC. Fastest on the opening stage by eight seconds, they went on to win the event by 31 seconds from leading Sunoco Fuels Group N contenders, Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan.

Newly crowned 2011 champion Kenny McKinstry secured third in his Impreza. Navigated by Kenny Hull, he had been embroiled in a battle with 2010 Champions Stuart Biggerstaff, from Dromara, and Anthony Nestor when Biggerstaff’s gearbox cried ‘enough’.

Last year’s Bushwhacker winner Martin Cairns sealed fourth alongside navigator Andrew Purcell, while Enda McNulty and Paul Sheridan completed the top five. Frank Kelly and Liam Brennan topped the two-wheel-drive category and finished eighth overall, while Banbridge lass, Emma McKinstry, claimed top spot in the NI Ladies Championship.


Posted: September 26, 2011 12:12 PM

Full Results

Posted: September 26, 2011 12:02 PM

McKinstry Heads Stunning Bushwhacker Entry...

Posted: September 23, 2011 8:28 PM

Kenny McKinstry, the newly crowned 2011 Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Rally Champion, heads the entry list in his Impreza WRC for this Saturday’s McKelvey Bushwhacker Rally.

Navigated by Kenny Hull, McKinstry will head the 104 strong field off the start line for what is a joint round of the Hankook series and the Valvoline Irish Forestry Championship.

With seven World Rally Car crews seeded inside the top 10, Omagh Motor Club has attracted one of the strongest fields seen in the series this year. McKinstry will have his work cut out to secure another Bushwhacker victory, as a number of former champions are set to join the fray.

Derek McGarrity and James McKee, the 2009 series winners, start at number two in their Impreza WRC, with Martin Cairns and Andrew Purcell seeded third in their Impreza. Cairns will be in the hunt for his second consecutive Bushwhacker win.

Donagh Kelly and Kevin Flanagan are first of the Sunoco Fuels Production category crews. It was Kelly who gave McKinstry a run for his money at round seven’s Lakeland Stages, and could be one to keep an eye on at the Bushwhacker.

Connor McCloskey is another former champion. Seeded at number five with Francis Regan calling the pace notes, McCloskey will be looking to get back into the groove on gravel, and is more than capable of joining the fight for victory.

James Gillen and Jason Harron finished second overall last year, losing out on victory by eight seconds. They start at number six this year, ahead of World Rally Car newcomers, Vivian and Paul Hamill.

Irish Forestry Championship front runners Owen Murphy and James O’Brien are at number eight in their Group N Evo 9, ahead of Ian Cochrane and Ray Fitzpatrick. 2010 N.I. Champions, Stuart Biggerstaff and Anthony Nestor, completed a very strong top 10 with their Impreza WRC.

Competitors will face a total of 11 stages on Saturday. Crews will leave the Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh, at approximately 9.30am before starting stage one shortly after 10am.

Service, which will be based in Aiken’s Caravan Centre, Castlederg, will start at 12.30pm and 2.40pm, while the winners will be crowned shortly after 5.30pm at the Silverbirch Hotel.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: September 21, 2011 4:49 PM

1 Kenny McKinstry/Kenny Hull (Subaru Impreza WRC) [9]
2 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC) [9]
3 Martin Cairns/Andrew Purcell (Subaru Impreza WRC) [9]
4 Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) [2]
5 Conor McCLoskey/Francis Regan (Subaru Impreza WRC) [9]
6 James Gillen/Jason Harron (Subaru Impreza WRC) [9]
7 Vivan Hamill/Paul Hamil (Toyota Corolla WRC) [9]
8 Owen Murphy/James O'Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) [1]
9 Ian Cochrane/Ray Fitzpatrick (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) [1]
10 Stuart Biggerstaff/Anthony Nester (Subaru Impreza WRC) [9]
11 Colin Britton/Arther Kierans (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) [2]
12 Liam Ryan/Aidan Bourke (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) [1]
14 Vincent McAree/JP McAree (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) [1]
15 Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Ford Escort MKII) [7]
16 Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Ford Escort MKII) [7]
17 Shane McGirr/Niall Connelly (Toyota Starlet RWD) [7]
18 Aidan Caldwell/Mark Vaughan (Ford Escort G3) [7]
19 Enda McNulty/Paul Sheridan (Subaru Impreza WRX) [9]
20 John Cairns/James Cairns (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 6) [2]
21 Paul Britton/Martin McGarrity (Subaru Impreza N12B) [2]
22 Brendan Cumiskey/T.B.C (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) [2]
23 Stephen Wright/Susanne Wright (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 6) [9]
24 Ray Brammer/T.B.C (Subaru Impreza WRC) [9]
25 Drew Stewart/Steven Park (Ford Escort MkII) [7]
26 Seamus O'Connell/Andrew Grennan (Mitsubishi Lancer Escort MKII) [7]
27 Gareth Sayers/Gareth Gilchrist (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 6) [9]
28 Gerard Lucey/James Lucey (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 8) [2]
29 Jer Connors/T.B.C (Subaru Impreza) [2]
30 Kieran Graffin/Tommy Speers (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO) [9]
31 PJ Gillespie/Grainne O'Kane (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO) [2]
32 Mark Murphy/Carol O'Keefe (Subaru Impreza WRX) [9]
33 Derek Jobb/T.B.C (Subaru Impreza) [9]
34 Trevor Ferguson/David McElroy (Subaru Impreza) [2]
35 Robert McKelvey/Aaron Johnston (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9) [1]
36 Michael Conlon/T.B.C (Escort MkII) [7]
37 Stephen Dickson/TBC (V Corsa) [5]
38 Ian Millar/Ronan O'Neill (Escort MkII) [5]
39 Conor Kelly/David Vance (Nissan Sunny) [5]
40 Paul Fitzgearld/Stephen Quin (Escort MKII) [5]
41 Ciaran Mahon/Mickey Courtney (Escort MKII) [5]
42 Alan Atcheson/Dean Henderson (Escort MKII) [6]
43 Ronan Campbell/Paul Corey (Escort MKII) [6]
44 Dermott O'Hagan/Pierce Doheny (V.Corsa) [3]
45 Brendan Campbell/T.B.C (Escort MkII) [7]
46 Gary Owens/TBC (Escort MKII) [7]
47 Derek Butler/Diarmuid O'Shea (Honda Civic) [5]
48 Anthony Cairns/ (Subaru) [2]
49 Patsy Keenan/Peter Ward (EVO 9) [1]
50 David Kerr/Brendan Grainger (Peugoet 205) [4]
51 Mervyn Wilson/Ricky Gamble (Escort MKII) [4]
52 Eugene Devine/Paul Vaughan (Escort MKII) [7]
53 Robert Erwin/T.B.C (Toyota Corolla) [5]
54 Raymond Doyle/Mark Nugent (Escort G3) [5]
55 Paddy McVeigh/Stephen O'Hanlon (Escort MKII) [5]
56 William Vance/Tom Vance (Escort MKII) [7]
57 Amy Cox/Emmett Sherry (Escort G3) [6]
58 Fergal McDonald/T.B.C (Escort MKII) [6]
59 Trevor Elliott/Daniel Monaghan (Escort MKII) [6]
60 Thomas O'Connell/Sean Magee (Escort MKII) [11]
61 Bryan Jardine/Lloyd Cochrane (Escort MkII) [6]
62 Glen Irwin/Rodney Wilson (V.Nova) [3]
63 Leroy Mills/Robert Fyffe (V Corsa) [3]
64 Ben Hardy/David Radcliffe (Escort MkII) [4]
65 Ashely Donald/Ryan McCloskey (Escort MkII) [4]
66 Andrew Bustard/David Young (V Corsa) [4]
67 Liam Kelleher/James Duggan (Escort MKII) [4]
68 Ciaran McCullagh/T.B.C (V.Nova) [4]
69 Peter Jennings/Grace O'Brien (Peugeot 205) [4]
70 Jonny Leonard/Jack Elliott (Ford Fiesta) [1]
71 Stephen Baxter/T.B.C (Ford Fiesta) [5]
72 Dara Leonard/Denver Rafferty (Ford Fiesta) [1]
73 Michael McCarroll/Connor O'Loan (Ford Fiesta) [1]
74 Nigel Simpson/Austin Grimes (Peugoet 106) [5]
75 Ed Colton/Claire O'Mahony (Peugoet 306 Gti) [7]
76 Douglas Stewart/Billy Ryan (Peugeot 206) [5]
77 William Hamilton/T.B.C (EVO 9) [2]
78 Brendan Cunningham/Jason Gillispie (Subaru) [9]
79 Billy Vance/Derek Torrens (Subaru Impreza) [2]
80 Daniel Meenagh/Chris Rafferty (Sub Impreza) [2]
81 Ashely Rutledge/William Rutledge (Honda Civic) [5]
82 Aaron Mawhinny/Robert Beare (Escort MKII) [4]
83 Damien McAleer/Shane McCarney (Toyota Corolla) [1]
84 Declan Campbell/Declan McGarrity (Escort MKII) [6]
85 John McClean/Patrick McBride (Escort G3) [5]
86 John Taggart/Damien McDermott (Escort MKII) [7]
87 Scott Winslow/Patrick Gillian (V.Nova) [3]
88 Aaron Cunningham/Ryan O'Connor (Escort MKII) [6]
89 Malcachy Loughran/Tony Kelly (Escort MKII) [6]
90 Tony McKenna/T.B.C (Escort G3) [6]
91 Ben Gormley/Darren McGuinness (Subaru Impreza) [2]
92 Damien McGuaran/Thomas McGauran (Toyota Corolla) [7]
93 Garreth Jones/Michaela Bristow (V Corsa) [3]
94 Garath Mimnagh/John Jhonston (V.Nova) [3]
95 Simon Hemphill/Ciaran McMenamin (Suzuki Swift) [3]
96 Mark Thompson/Mark Carson (Toyota Corolla) [1]
97 Samuel Crawford/Collen Barker (V.Nova) [3]
98 Brian Little/Jonathan Dinsmore (Escort G3) [4]
99 Joe McMenamin/Martin Gallogley (Opel Manta) [6]

Valvoline Forest Rally Championship Buswhacker Preview - Murphy/O'Brien near the end game

Posted: September 19, 2011 9:21 PM

The Valvoline Forest Rally Championship heads north to Omagh’s Bushwhacker rally this Saturday for round five of the 2011 championship. With four rounds of a six rally series completed, the championship in on the home straight. And a very exciting finale is in prospect.

Mitsubishi Evo drivers have dominated the championship since the start and Liam Ryan heads the points table with 72 points just eight points ahead of Owen Murphy. Murphy however has the considerable advantage of having better quality scores when it comes to dropping points. In this six round championship, it is the four best results that are counted and Murphy has three maximum scores. Another maximum score in Omagh will see Murphy claim his first rally championship. Even if Murphy finishes ahead of Ryan, he lifts the title.

With five points covering third place to sixth, there will be no shortage of competition for the last position on the podium. Heading the quartet is Vincent Mc Aree who was a strong contender for the overall award until his retirement on the last round, he has 55 points one point ahead of Ger Lucey. The former autocross champion is much more competitive since he changed his Celica for the Evo. Paul Fitzgerald is the leading Escort driver with 51 points and he also leads the 2WD class, a point ahead of rapidly improving Stephen Wright, also Evo mounted.

In the 2WD class Fitzgerald has a commanding lead of 76 points, 19 ahead of Shane Mc Girr (Starlet). Third and fourth are claimed by junior drivers Douglas Stewart (206) and Derek Butler (Civic) on 56 and 49 respectively. Frank Kelly (Escort) is fifth with 42 points thanks to two maximum scores in this class, and if he wins the 2WD section on Saturday and on the final round, he is the champion. If Kelly does not win this class on Saturday, the title fight between Fitzgerald and Mc Girr could go to the last round in Down.

The Junior category is another very significant class, where the top two finishers are eligible for the prestigious Billy Coleman award with a prize fund of circa fifty thousand euro. The current Billy Coleman champion is Robert Barrable, who is starring at home and abroad in his Skoda Fabia S2000.After 4 rounds in the 2011 championship, Douglas Stewart leads with 42 points, six ahead of Derek Butler. Stewart has three maximum scores against one for Butler. With another maximum score Stewart is junior forestry champion for 2011. Like the Valvoline overall award and the 2WD it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

The Buswhacker is based in Omagh with the rally HQ at the Silverbirch hotel. It starts at 9.30am Saturday September 24th with a total route of 195km. There will be 11 special stages with a total distance of 60km, with service at Aikens caravan Centre in Castlederg. The rally is also round eight of the Northern Ireland Rally Challenge and round six of the Ford Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland.

Bushwhacker Rally Entry Closing Date Approaches

Posted: September 13, 2011 3:55 PM

Competitors are reminded that the Closing Date for Entries for the McKelvey Bushwhacker Rally is Monday 19th September.

Anyone who has not already sent an entry is urged to assist the organisers by contacting the Entries Secretary to ensure they secure a place on the entry list.
Email: baza76@hotmail.com

Entries Received

Posted: September 6, 2011 4:48 PM

Available at:

Early Entries Draw

Posted: August 17, 2011 6:53 PM

Get your entries in before 12/09/11, start the event and be entered in a draw for a complete set of DMACK tyres.
This generous incentive has been offered by DMACK Tyres, and Montgomery Motorsport.
Draw will take place at the event prizegiving.


Posted: August 17, 2011 6:51 PM

Louise Hannan (COC) and Robert McKelvey (Sponsor)

Omagh Motor Club would like to announce that the regs and entry form for the Bushwhacker 2011 Rally are now available.

The event is a counting round of the MSA Hankook Northern Ireland Rally Championship, Valvoline Forest Championship 2011 and Fiesta Sporting Trophy 2011.

Again a top quality event is offered at the continued excellent value price of £300.

The entries Secretary can be contacted by email: baza76@hotmail.com

Chief Marshals are contactable on 07851238876 / +447851238876 ONLY BETWEEN 7.00pm and 9.30pm

Rally Headquarters is the Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh

Event Sponsor; www.mckelveygroup.co.uk

Regulations / Entry Form

Posted: August 17, 2011 6:46 PM

Counting Round of the 2011 Irish Forest Rally Championship

Posted: August 15, 2011 8:18 PM

Following the postponement of Donegal MC's Forestry Rally scheduled for July 23, it has been decided that the Omagh MC Bushwhacker Rally on September 24 will replace it as a counting round of the MI Valvoline National Forestry Rally Championship

Event Website / Details

Posted: January 2, 1990 3:04 PM

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