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Moonraker Forestry Rally - 15 Apr 12

Posted: July 13, 2012 9:21 AM - 10721 Hits

Round 3 - 2012 Irish Forest Rally Championship
Round 2 - 2012 South East Stages Rally Championship

Murphy/O'Brien over the Moon in Munster rally

Posted: July 13, 2012 9:21 AM

Last Sunday’s Moonraker rally was a thriller once again. Counting round three of the Valvoline Forest rally championship and organised by the Munster C.C, the event witnessed reigning champion Owen Murphy and co-driver James O’Brien claim their first rally victory of the year. The Cork crew (Evo9) finished twelve seconds ahead of series leader Garry Jennings. The Fermanaghman was leading until he rolled his Impreza on the fourth stage, but he recovered rapidly to finish runner-up, a mere second ahead Vincent mc Aree who was third. In a titanic struggle, the leaderboard seesawed all day and at the finish of the rally just 21 seconds covered the top five positions. In addition two seconds covered second third and fourth after 65 km of flat out driving. Another iconic rally where every single second counted. With Colin Fitzgerald as COC, the Moonraker was based in Lismore and consisted of eight stages at Knockaun, Lyre Kilcalf, Coolatour and Scart Mountain.

This win is a significant result for Murphy as it gets his title defence into gear. He was second to Jennings after three stages ( seven seconds in arrears) and when the northerner rolled Murphy assumed the lead which he held like a champion to the finish. Jennings will be disappointed with the roll-his first error of the year- which cost him 30 seconds and it demoted him to sixth overall. A big fightback followed with fastest times on three of the last four stages, and Jennings was back in second overall, extending his championship lead to 61 points. Vincent Mc Aree (Evo9) got the final podium position after a good run that included competitive stage times. The Ballinode pilot was a second behind Jennings and a second ahead of Pat O’ Connell. Mc Aree is now fourth in the standings having retired in Donegal in round one.

The closeness of the rally is personified by Pat O’ Connell (Evo9). The Cashelman won this rally and the forest championship in 2010. Last year and he took a sabbatical from the sport. In second place going into the final test last Sunday, he was passed by Jennings and Mc Aree after dropping two seconds he slid down to fourth overall. Colin Britton (Evo9) punched in another very good result in fifth place. The Tyrone man continues in a very solid position, just nine points behind Jennings.

The bottom half of the top ten was claimed by Stephen Wright (Evo) who was fastest on SS4.and lies third in the championship, three points adrift of Britton. Wright was followed home by Ger Lucey (Evo8), John Mc Laughlin (Evo9), Niall Henry (ImprezaN12)and Shay Power (Escort Mk2). Power was best 2WD competitor for the second rally in succession.

Murphy, O’Brien and Hankook conquer the Moon.

Posted: July 13, 2012 9:18 AM

A fine display of flat out and controlled driving gave the reigning Valvoline National Forest Champions Owen Murphy / James O' Brien their first taste of victory in 2012 at last weekends Moonraker Forest Rally. The Hankook shod Evo 9 performed well throughout the event and in the end the team had a comfortable cushion of 12 seconds over the second placed Garry Jennings. The event hosted by Munster Car Club and run out of Lismore in Co Waterford was on a bright sunny day with a cutting east wind.

Owen felt from the start he had something to prove on this event. Whilst leading last year a stone burst the radiator and forced retirement & this year the plan was to make amends for that mechanical failure. The first stage was not an Evo stage as the tight twisty corners were not going to suit the show room GpN car but Owen decided to go hard from the start. Owen slotted into second overall, a mere 3 seconds off the pace.

Stage two and the pace at the front was hot. Owen tied with Jennings and it looked like the battle was on. Stage 3 and the tight twisty stuff was not going well for Owen, down 5 seconds. Stage 4 and the rally was about to change as the leader rolled and was rescued by spectators who pushed the car back on to the four wheels – Jenning lost 36 seconds. Owen was now running in the dust of the Subaru and lost a few seconds with poor visibility.

Owen was now in the lead but a soft tyre choice was made as the safer option, safe it may have been but it cost a lot of time through stages five and six. Owen still had a cushion but there was no time for easing off, now with harder tyres Owen blasted in a fastest time on stage 7 and said that the car was ‘going a dream’ on the Hankook tyres. With a slight cushion of a lead Owen went hard but safe on the last stage to claim an overall victory by 12 seconds.

Commenting after the event Owen said,
“what a day, 21 seconds separating the top five cars, this is a competitive championship with great competitors. A great day here in Lismore and a great rally run by Munster Car Club. I am delighted to have won this event after last year's problems. We kept it tidy all day and tried to steer the middle of the road, James played a blinder there today even though he was dying sick all day he was bang on with the notes once again. Thanks to TTeC Motorsport for a great car my service crew, my parents, family, Ciara and friends you make this possible. The next event is the Cork Forest Rally I have been second 3 times I really want to win this one and I have to or the Championship is over”.

Jennings/McNulty – Over but certainly not out!!

Posted: July 13, 2012 9:14 AM

Garry Jennings partnered by co-driver Barry McNulty travelled to Lismore, Co. Waterford at the weekend to contest Round three of the Irish Forest Rally Championship, the Munster Car Club’s Moonraker Rally. With two maximum points hauls from the previous rounds Garry topped the championship table heading into the event and had only one plan at the forefront of his mind which was to leave the Lismore event in the same position.

“It was never really my intention to challenge for the championship. I took the Subaru to Donegal as it was local and good to support the event where I have my Donegal Bay Fuels business and also home to Stockhouse who have supported me for the last few years. We never thought we would be able to challenge the regular lads as it was 2006 since I last drove on gravel but that’s just what we did and left Donegal with maximum points. The old Subaru GPA car is brilliant fun to drive and the format of the gravel events suits me with no recce and generally a short enough day that I don’t loose much time away from work”

The Munster Motor Club event ran a format of four different locations each visited twice. They were short stages in the morning and the Fermanagh pairing hit the ground running snatching three seconds from the 2011 champion over the opening four km stage and they tied through stage two after Garry misjudged his braking and had an overshoot.

A service in Tallow and it was back to repeat the same loop and the Kumho tyre shod Impreza took the top spot once more through stage three to lead the event overall by seven seconds. Stage four however was where the drama unfolded. Garry explained
“The stage was a repeat of stage two and we had marked the particular corner as very loose through the first passage so I turned in that bit sharper and earlier to compensate for the surface. However the surface had cleaned and the tyre found grip instantly, we touched the bank inside and the car rolled onto its roof. Luckily there were spectators on hand and they put us back on our wheels without delaying the next car. We finished the stage loosing thirty six seconds and dropping from first to fifth overall.”

The problems didn’t end there though, the TTEC prepared Subaru was without a windscreen and there was no spare! By the time the Subaru pairing arrived in the Cappoquin service there was still no solution but luckily with twenty minutes of service time remaining a screen was sourced. It was that of a Citroen DS3 and from the service truck of Desi Henry!! With the screen in place, the now battered Subaru checked out of service on time and the afternoon stages lay ahead. With the time lost, the possibility of a victory was gone but in championships every point counts and Garry wasn’t going to let the opportunity slip

Through stage five and six the Jennings Fuels & Lubricants Impreza went fastest on both occasions to move up to fourth overall and reduce the deficit to Vincent McAree in second to just six seconds.
“The stages were so short and these lads have all competed on the event previously so to find time is very difficult, I think be it through the accident or otherwise the car developed an issue in the transmission and we were suffering on braking and stability but we had to put that issue to one side and get on with the job. There were two stages left and I wanted that 2nd overall position”

Stage seven saw Garry reduce the gap to McAree to just three seconds but there was another issue in that 2010 champion Pat O’ Connell was now on a charge and had moved ahead of McAree and with just one stage remaining, it was a big ask. Jennings in the Millers Oils supported car did not disappoint. He blitzed the stage, with another fastest time taking seven seconds from O’ Connell and four from McAree to clinch 2nd overall by a mere second and the deficit to the eventual winner was cut to just 12 seconds.

That result saw Garry move further clear at the head of the overall championship. The Subaru is back in the TTEC workshops for some well deserved TLC before the next round in Cork.


Posted: July 13, 2012 9:01 AM

1 Owen Murphy/James O’Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 34m 26s,
2 Garry Jennings/Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza 555) 34m 38s,
3 Vincent McAree/J P McAree (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 34m 39s,
4 Pat O’Connell/Mark Wiley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 34m 40s,
5 Colin Britton/Arthur Kierans (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 34m 47s,
6 Stephen Wright/Suzanne Wright (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) 35m 28s,
7 Gerard Lucey/James Lucey (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 Gp N) 35m 39s,
8 John McLaughlin/Emmet Sherry (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 36m 43s,
9 Niall Henry/John Rowan (Subaru Impreza N12 Gp N) 36m 44s,
10 Shay Power/Paul Collins (Ford Escort MkII) 36m 57s.

Leaders After:
SS1-3 Garry Jennings/Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza 555)
SS4-8 Owen Murphy/James O’Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N)

Stage Winners
SS1 Garry Jennings/Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza 555)
SS2 Garry Jennings/Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza 555)
& Owen Murphy/James O’Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N)
SS3 Garry Jennings/Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza 555)
SS4 Owen Murphy/James O’Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N)
SS5 Garry Jennings/Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza 555)
SS6 Garry Jennings/Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza 555)
SS7 Owen Murphy/James O’Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N)
SS8 Garry Jennings/Barry McNulty (Subaru Impreza 555)

4 Way Tie After Opening Round - TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship

Posted: April 13, 2012 10:08 PM

The Willie Loughman Memorial Forestry Rally, promoted by the Carrick-on-Suir Motor club, was the opening round of the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship. The rally started with a 25 Km. stage that used most of the roads in Gurteen. It was tough and demanding, mentally, physically and mechanically. Half way through the stage some crews wondered if it would ever end, others just revelled in the test and conditions. Ireland’s current rallying star, Craig Breen and Wales Gareth Roberts were using the event to keep sharp for the forthcoming WRC Rally of Portugal, and set a time that displayed their talent and professionalism. They have registered for the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship but an exciting deal to compete on extra IRC events may prohibit them from contesting some of the remaining rounds.

Two further stages in Portlaw followed, which were new to many crews, and were a bit green and slippery, (the stages not the crews!!) demanded respect in their own right. A repeat of the stages at night led to some crews suffering from exhaustion and frustration. One competitor on the second run in Gurteen was quite pleased with his progress until he saw the lights of the next crews in the mirrors, thought he was being caught, upped his pace from competitive to exciting, not realising that the lights were on a parallel road well behind him....

The 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship was well supported on this first round with 34 crews registering for the championship. All 6 classes have registered competitors, this should bode well for the remaining events and the championship.

As the TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship is class based, class winning competitors may share the championship lead until about the third round. But the bonus points may alter this position in favour of crews who are not class winners but have doubled their points using the bonus system. As it happened, four crews were class winners with this event their declared bonus round.

Sharing the lead on the 2012 TRITON SHOWERS South East Stages Rally Championship are:

    Class 2, Paschal O’Shea / Robbie Hennessey, Ford Escort MK2.
    Class 3. Adrian McElhinnery / Shane Buckley, Peugeot.
    Class 4. Ray Benskin (jnr) / Nicky Hegarty, Ford Escort MK2.
    Class 5. Shay Power / John Rafter, Ford Escort MK2. (Reigning Champions)
    All of the above have 30 points.

Map For HQ / Scrutiny / Parc Feirme / Trailer Park and Roadbook To Trailer Park

Posted: April 13, 2012 3:49 PM

Available at:

Jennings heads quality entry for Moonraker Rally

Posted: April 13, 2012 3:47 PM

Valvoline Forest rally Championship leader Garry Jennings has drawn top seed for this weekend’s Moonraker Rally. Based in Lismore the Moonraker is counting round three of the 2012 Valvoline Forest rally Championship. Competition will be intense as 2011 champion Owen Murphy starts at two behind Jennings, while the 2010 winner Pat O’Connell is seeded at three. Neither former champion has registered a finish this season, and both of them need a top place by Sunday afternoon. Colin Britton is currently second in the championship and he starts at four. The swift Ian Cochrane is next ahead of the Impreza WRC of Martin Cairns. Monaghan drivers Stephen Wright and Vincent Mc Aree are at seven and eight ahead of Ger Lucey and Peter Mc Cullagh who is making a return to the championship.

The Moonraker is hosted by the Munster MC and the COC Colin Fitzgerald has laid on a challenging 65km course that traverses 8 stages in total. There are four locations in the Tallow/West Waterford area used twice, with centralized servicing.
The Rally is based in Lismore as usual, with the first car leaving the town at 0900 and the winner is expected on the finish ramp at 1645.

Rally Programmes

Posted: April 13, 2012 3:32 PM

Available at:

    Crowleys Filling Station in Youghal
    Discount Fuels in Kinsalebeg
    Kellehers Supervalu in Cappoquin
    Lismore House Hotel in Lismore
    Mace Filling Station in Lismore
    O'Neills Daybreak in Tallow
    Amber Filling Station in Curraglass
    Spar in Rathcormac

Final Instructions 1

Posted: April 11, 2012 9:57 AM

Seeded Entry List

Posted: April 11, 2012 9:47 AM

1 Garry Jennings/TBA (Subaru Impreza 555) [6]
2 Owen Murphy/James O'Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [8]
3 Pat O'Connell/Mark Wylie (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [8]
4 Colin Britton/Arthur Kerrins (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [8]
5 Ian Cochrane/Ray Fitzpatrick (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [8]
6 Martin Cairns /TBA (Subaru Impreza WRC) [7]
7 Stephen Wright/Susanne Wright (Mitubishi Lancer Evo 6) [6]
8 Vincent McAree/JP McAree (Mitusubishi Lancer Evo 9) [8]
9 Gerard Lucey/James Lucey (Mitusubishi Lancer Evo 8) [8]
10 Peter McCullagh/Alan Dolan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 ) [6]
11 Desi Henry/Niall Burns (Citroen DS3 R3T) []
12 John Mc Laughlin/Emmett Sherry (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 ) [8]
14 Niall Henry/John Rowan (Subaru Impreza N12) [8]
15 Sarah Moynihan/Amy Moynihan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 ) []
16 Bob Scanlon/Liam Mc laughlin (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) [8]
17 Ian Chadwick/Steven Quinn (Subaru Impreza WRX) [8]
18 Shay Power/Paul Collins (Ford Escort Mk II) [5]
19 James Coleman/Kaye Shanahaan (Ford Escort Mk II) [5]
20 Mark Murphy/James Dunphy (Subaru Impreza WRX) [6]
21 Mickey Mc Gillan/Aaron Johnston (Ford Escort Mk II) [5]
22 Mickey Conlon/TBA (Ford Escort MkII) []
23 Adrian McElhinny/Paddy McRudden (Peugeot 206) [3]
24 Andrew Fanning/Derek Gibbs (Ford Puma) [3]
25 James Laverty /Francis Regan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 ) [Grp A]
26 Damien McGauran/Thomas McGauran (Toyota Corolla) [5]
27 Alan Cummins/James Cummins (Ford Escort Mk II) [4]
28 Michael O'Connor/Con Mulcary (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo II) [6]
29 Liam Regan/Damien Duffin (Peugeot 206) [6]
30 Sean Benskin/Joe Fitzgibbon (Ford Escort Mk II) [4]
31 Liam Kelleher/TBA (Ford Escort Mk II) [4]
32 Ray Benskin JR/Ollie Kierce (Ford Escort ) [4]
33 Liam Lynch/Kieran Madden (Ford Escort) [3]
34 Gemma Kerley/Lynn Martin (Subaru Impreza) [6]

111 Pierce Doheny/Damian Lawlor (Opel Corsa ) [2]
110 John Rafter /Kieran Rafter (Volkswagon Polo) [1]
109 Tom Murphy/Colin Moynihan (Ford Escort) [2]
108 Stephen Lane/Jill White (Toyota Corolla) [9]
107 Nicky Hegarty/Johnny Keneally (Ford Escort Mk II) [1]
106 Pascal O'Shea/Robert Hennessy (Ford Escort ) [2]
105 Michael Ryan/Kieran Carroll (Honda Civic) [9]
104 Michael Nevin/David Forde (Ford Escort Mk II) [2]
103 Ian Downey/TBA (Opel Corsa ) [9]
102 Dean Raftery/Aileen Kelly (Honda Civic) [9]
101 Daniel Cronin/Brian Duggan (Peugeot 206) [9]

Late Entries will be taken

Time and Distance Schedule

Posted: April 10, 2012 11:32 AM

Available at:

Ulster lock out in Valvoline Standings

Posted: March 31, 2012 10:54 AM

With two rounds of the Valvoline Forest Rally Championship completed there is a very Northern hue to the standings. Northern drivers fill the top six positions and eight of the top ten drivers all hail from the province of Ulster. With four rounds remaining after today’s Munster Moonraker, the next brace of events are in Munster: Cork (May 19) and Mitchelstown (July 8).The series heads North again for the final fling in with Dogleap August 4th and Bushwhacker (Sept 22 nd ).There is plenty excitement is prospect in this popular championship supported by Valvoline for the second year in succession.

Garry Jennings (Fermanagh) heads the leaderboard with maximum points thanks to a win in Donegal and second in Carrick behind the unregistered Craig Breen. Jennings is driving his erstwhile Group A Impreza to great effect and he has a useful six point lead ahead of Colin Britton. Driving an Evo9, Britton (Tyrone) was third in Donegal and fourth in Carrick where he would have finished higher but for a road penalty in service.

Third spot is occupied by Stephen Wright (Monaghan) who was second in Donegal and in a rich vein of form coming to Carrick. An off on the first stage cost of Carrick cost him a total of four minutes and while he drove competitively for the rest of the event, he had to be content in seventh overall in his Evo6.

Niall Henry is fourth overall (and second in Group N) in his Subaru Impreza N12b , the Antrim man a newcomer to the Valvoline series. Henry was eleventh and seventh on the first rounds. Next up is Adrian Mc Elhinney (Donegal) in the Peugeot 206 who also leads the 2WD section of the Valvoline series. (see below),

Sixth is claimed by Vincent Mc Aree who was unfortunate to retire in Donegal with anti-lag problems but he claimed a fine third in Carrick despite a spin on the first stage and oil pressure issues on the fourth. Once again the Monaghan driver was once again very quick in the dark.

Valvoline Championship positions after round 2 :

G.Jennings 42, C.Britton 36, S.Wright 34, N.Henry 27, A.Mc Elhinney 22.V.Mc Aree 20,


While the Northern drivers dominate the overall standings, the 2WD section is dominated by front wheel drive cars with the 206 of Adrian Mc Elhinney in the van. Mc Elhinney was fourth 2WD in Donegal and an amazing 2 nd 2WD in Carrick, and he leads class three thanks to two class wins. Ian Downey is just three points adrift of Mc Elhinney. Downey is driving his Opel Corsa and the Dubliner was 6 th and 3 rd

in 2WD section. Downey is competing in class 9 the junior class, where has a maximum score thanks to two class wins.

Andrew Fanning has a couple of fine results which puts him on the 2WD podium. He drove the Valvoline Ka in Donegal (where he won class one) and he changed to the Valvoline Puma in Carrick finishing third in class.

The oversteering Escort Mk2’s are next up, lead by Frank Kelly in fourth 2WD.Kelly was first 2WD in Donegal, but did not start on Carrick. Shay Power is also on 21 points, he did the opposite to Kelly he won Carrick but did not compete in the North West. Sixth in this class is claimed by Adrian Hethrington who was second to Kelly in Donegal in the V6 Escort but he retired half way through Carrick while using a conventional engine.

2WD A.McElhinney 36, I.Downey 33, A.Fanning 23, F.Kelly21, S.Power 21.A Hethrington 20.

Accommodation Details

Posted: March 12, 2012 12:15 PM

Available on the club website:

Poster / Details

Posted: February 24, 2012 11:03 AM

Club Website

Posted: February 24, 2012 11:01 AM

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