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Bushwhacker Rally - (Sat) 28 Sep 13

Posted: January 30, 2014 3:08 PM - 11158 Hits

Round 6 - 2013 Irish Forest Rally Championship
Round 8 – 2013 Northern Ireland Rally Championship

Photo: William Neill

Video Clips

Posted: January 30, 2014 3:08 PM

In Car

Posted: January 30, 2014 3:04 PM

Joseph McGonigle & Ciaran Geaney (Renault Clio R3) SS6

Frank Kelly & Sean Ferris (Ford Escort MkII) SS7

McGarrity/McKee Win Bushwhacker Rally

Posted: January 30, 2014 3:02 PM

The 2013 Carryduff Forklift MSA ANICC Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship made its first foray into the Ulster forests this season, on the Bushwhacker Rally organised by Omagh Motor Club. Following the cancellation of the Lakeland Stages, the competitors were eager to get into the loose surfaced forest stages and over one hundred entries were received, for this ten stage event.

Seeded number one was last year’s winner and Northern Ireland Championship leader Derek McGarrity in a hired S14 Subaru WRC. His big championship rival Derek McGeehan was at number four using a Corolla WRC, and the championship points race was on. With the Bushwhacker also a round of the Irish Forestry series, there was serious competition in store and Cork’s Owen Murphy in his Evo 9 was fastest on the first stage, but retired on the second with mechanical failure. Belfast’s Liam Regan then took over on stage two, flying in his home engineered four wheel drive Peugeot 206, before Cashel’s Pat O’Connell took over on stage three. At this point Derek McGarrity was third having been fastest on the third Glenderg stage, but his main championship rival Derek McGeehan was back in twelfth, such was the pace of this frenetic rally. Jonny Leonard was having a good run in fifth with the Group A Evo 6, whilst Frank Kelly in his MK2 Escort led the two wheel drive race, narrowly from Shane McGirr in his Starlet, but another top challenger Adrian Hetherington put his Escort off on stage two and out of the event.

By the second service after stage five it was McGarrity now in the lead, having re- acquainted himself with his old S14 Impreza, with Liam Regan just five seconds behind in second and Pat O’Connell third. Shane McGirr had moved ahead in the two wheel drive race by just one second. The third loop was a repeat of the opening three stages, and the forestry roads were holding up remarkably well. Derek McGarrity’s lead was a slender eight seconds after eight stages, with his new pursuer, Martin Cairns in an S12 Impreza WRC. On stage six Liam Regan’s turbo pipe blew off and he dropped to ninth, eventually climbing back to eighth at the finish, just ahead of Derek McGeehan, who was back in the venerable Corolla WRC for this event.

The two Lough Braden stages remained before the Omagh finish and Derek McGarrity held on to take his fourth Bushwhacker victory, by just eight seconds from Martin Cairns. Cork’s Michael O’Brien was third, with Pat O’Connell the Group N winner fourth ahead of Enda McNulty’s Group A Subaru. Frank Kelly in sixth took the two wheel honours from Shane McGirr by just one scant second, with these two driver’s setting joint third fastest time on the final stage! Toomebridge’s Kieron Graffin picked up valuable Group N points using his Evo 9, and may have sewn up the Group N title. Another drive of note came from Stanley Orr, who won the Historic category in his MK1 Escort. The Killinchy man was a star in the early 80’s and has recently made a return to rallying.

The next round of the Carryduff Forklift MSA ANICC Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship will be in the forests again for the Down Rally, organised by the Rathriland Motor Club, on Saturday 19th October 2013.

O' Brien lifts Valvoline Trophy in Omagh

Posted: January 30, 2014 2:57 PM

Third place in Saturday's Bushwhacker rally was sufficient for Mick O' Brien (Focus WRC) to win his first Valvoline Motorsport Ireland Forest Rally Championship. The Omagh based Bushwhacker was the sixth and final round of this year's series and O' Brien was in contention for the title along with fellow Corkman Owen Murphy and Philip Morrow from Lisburn. Morrow (Evo9) was the pre-event favourite but he non started the Bushwhacker to concentrate on his plans for Rally GB. Owen Murphy (Evo9) had a great start in the Bushwhacker with fastest time on the first stage, but his rally and championship aspirations evaporated when the rear diff expired on stage 2, a repeat of the problem that also caused his retirement on round two. Murphy who won this series in 2011, is runner up this year(by one point) but he has the consolation of his co-driver James O'Brien claiming the championship for co-drivers.

The Bushwhacker was won by Derek Mc Garrity (Impreza S14) but he is not a registered competitor in this years Valvoline series. Mc Garrity had a victory margin of eight seconds over second placed Martin Cairns (Impreza WRC) who was able to claim a full quota of championship points which elevated the Tyrone man from eighth to third overall. His co-driver Kevin Flanagan also received maximum championship points, and this had a major effect on the destination of the co-drivers championship, as it denied Greg Shinnors (Mick O'Brien's co-driver) a maximum score that would have kept him ahead of James O' Brien's tally. Shinnors can add his runners up prize to the three championship wins in 1999, 2000 and 2003.James O'Brien is also a previous winner, having lifted the trophy in 2011 while partnering Owen Murphy. This championship has been dominated by the very close competition between the drivers, but there was also an intense struggle by the top map readers.

Fourth place in the Bushwhacker was a great result for Pat O' Connell (Evo9), the Tipperary man was also the winner of Group N. Fifth was claimed by Enda Mc Nulty (Impreza) the Tyrone driver ahead of his fellow county men Frank Kelly (Escort Mk2) and Shane Mc Girr (Starlet RWD). Kelly and Mc Girr were engaged in another 2WD brawl, in which Kelly prevailed. Mc Girr had the 2WD section of the championship won on the last round in Cork. Josh Moffet (Evo9) finished tenth overall, and the points accrued enable the young Monaghan driver to clinch fifth overall and win Group N category outright in the Valvoline forestry series.


Posted: January 30, 2014 2:54 PM

McGarrity Wins Bushwhacker But Championship Battle Goes Down To Wire!

Posted: January 30, 2014 2:50 PM

Derek McGarrity secured victory yesterday at the McKelvey Bushwhacker Rally, round eight of the Carryduff Forklift MSA N.I. Stage Rally Championship, but second placed points for Derek McGeehan has ensured that the title battle will go down to the wire at the Down Rally on 19 October!

While McGeehan only managed to finish ninth overall, a little over one minute behind series leader McGarrity, he was the second championship registered competitor to cross the finish line. As a result, he gained second placed points, ensuring that he still has a mathematical chance of lifting the spoils.

However, the odds are very much in McGarrity's favour. For McGeehan to snatch the title at the final round, he must score maximum points and hope that McGarrity fails to finish. Given McGarrity's consistency this year with five victories from five starts, it's an unlikely scenario but anything is possible in rallying.

At the Bushwhacker event, McGarrity and navigator James McKee used an S14 specification Impreza WRC to head home Martin Cairns and Kevin Flanagan by just eight seconds after a day long battle.

It had taken a few stages for McGarrity to settle in and he found himself in fourth overall after stage one. Instead, it was Owen Murphy and James O'Brien who moved into an early lead with their Evo 9 before transmission trouble put them out of the rally on stage two.

Their retirement allowed Liam Regan and Damien Duffin into a brief lead before Pat O'Connell and Andrew Purcell assumed the advantage after stage three. One stage later, Derek McGarrity and James McKee surged to the fore, moving them into a lead that they would never relinquish throughout the remainder of the 10-stage event.

Despite his rivals never being any more than a handful of seconds adrift, McGarrity was perfectly capable of dealing with the pressure. In the end, he claimed four fastest stage times to eventually emerge victorious by eight seconds from the Impreza WRC belonging to Martin Cairns and Kevin Flanagan.

Third for Michael O'Brien and Greg Shinnors in their Ford Focus WRC saw them secure the Irish Forestry title, while Pat O'Connell and Andrew Purcell secured fourth from Enda McNulty and Paul Sheridan.

Behind them the battle for two-wheel-drive honours raged with Frank Kelly and Sean Ferris tussling for the top spot with Shane McGirr and Jackie Elliott. It was an astonishing battle that saw the lead change on a number of occasions throughout the day.

With two stages remaining, Kelly held a one second lead over McGirr. Incredibly, the two crews set exactly the same stage times over both of the final two stages, leaving Kelly victorious in the 2WD category by just one second!

"It was one of the most ferocious battles that I've ever been in," Kelly said afterwards. "Never have I worked so hard for one second!"

Interestingly, Kelly opted not to use the Carryduff Forklift Championship decals on the event so that he would not be eligible to score championship points. It was this decision that has allowed the battle for the overall spoils to go down to the wire. That vital extra point for McGeehan, who finished ninth overall, was all he needed to keep his hopes alive. Otherwise, the title might have already been wrapped up in McGarrity's favour.

The event also claimed a number of retirements including third placed championship contender, Jonny Leonard. He had been holding sixth overall when his Evo 6 left the road on stage six but Leonard is confident of fixing the damage in time for the next event.


Posted: January 30, 2014 2:46 PM

1 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC) 30m 12s,
2 Martin Cairns/Kevin Flanagan (Subaru Impreza WRC) 30m 20s,
3 Michael O’Brien/Greg Shinnors (Ford Focus WRC) 30m 27s,
4 Pat O’Connell/Andrew Purcell (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 30m 51s,
5 Enda McNulty/Paul Sheridan (Subaru Impreza WRX) 30m 59s,
6 Frank Kelly/Sean Ferris (Ford Escort MkII) 31m 05s,
7 Shane McGirr/Jackie Elliott (Toyota Starlet) 31m 06s,
8 Liam Regan/Damien Duffin (Peugeot 206 Evo) 31m 18s,
9 Derek McGeehan/Darragh Mullen (Toyota Corolla WRC) 31m 21s,
10 Josh Moffett/Jason McKenna (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 31m 22s.

Leaders After:
SS1 Owen Murphy/James O’Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 
SS2 Liam Regan/Damien Duffin (Peugeot 206 Evo)
SS3 Pat O’Connell/Andrew Purcell (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N)
SS4-10 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Stage Winners
SS1 Owen Murphy/James O’Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 
SS2 Michael O’Brien/Greg Shinnors (Ford Focus WRC)
SS3 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS4 Martin Cairns/Kevin Flanagan (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS5 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC)
& Martin Cairns/Kevin Flanagan (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS6 Martin Cairns/Kevin Flanagan (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS7 Martin Cairns/Kevin Flanagan (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS8 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS9 Martin Cairns/Kevin Flanagan (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS10 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Seeded Entry List

Posted: September 25, 2013 11:53 AM

Carryduff Forklift MSA N.I. Rally Championship - Top Contenders Ready for Bushwhacker Battle!

Posted: September 24, 2013 3:27 PM

The Carryduff Forklift MSA N.I. Rally Championship returns to action this weekend with the Omagh based McKelvey Bushwhacker Rally hosting the penultimate round of this year’s championship.

Almost 100 entries have been received for the popular forestry event with all of the main championship contenders ready to commence battle over 10 stages.

Championship leader Derek McGarrity has entered in an S10 specification Impreza WRC and having emerged victorious at the Bushwhacker in 2012 (pictured above), he is hot favourite to secure another win this year. If he is successful, that would put him one step closer to another N.I. Championship title. He leads the series by two points from Derek McGeehan but if McGeehan fails to score this weekend, second or higher for McGarrity would put the title beyond reach of his rival.

However, McGeehan has no plans of failing to finish in his Mini WRC. He will be brimming with confidence having won the Ulster National Rally, although the loose gravel roads will provide an entirely different challenge. He finished seventh overall in 2012 but really needs to finish higher this year to keep his title hopes alive.

Jonny Leonard holds third in the title race and still has a mathematical chance of securing the Carryduff Forklift crown. He trails leader McGarrity by 16 points but with 24 points still up for grabs, the 22-year-old Evo 6 pilot is still in with a shout. Now that the series is moving on to gravel, it will be interesting to see how he fares against the opposition.

Other notable entries include the Triton Showers Impreza WRC belonging to Kevin Barrett. Both James Gillen and Martin Cairns are also entered in Impreza World Rally Cars, while Michael O’Brien will tackle the stages in his Focus WRC and Liam Regan is set to bring his interesting four-wheel-drive Peugeot 206 to the event. Desi Henry will also be one to watch having switched to a Group A Evo.

The Group N category is well supported by a host of Mitsubishi Evos and Subaru Imprezas, including Donegal International Rally winner Sam Moffett and his brother Josh, both in Evo 9 rally cars. Kieron Graffin is the current category leader in the N.I. series and he confirmed earlier this week that he will drive an Evo 9 from his KG Motorsport stable.

There is an equally strong entry amongst the two-wheel-drive crews. Frank Kelly was last year’s 2WD winner and he will bid to defend his title. However, Vivian Hamill and Adrian Hetherington, who finished second and third respectively in 2012, will both have ‘Baby Blue’ firmly in their sights. Competitors will leave Omagh’s Silverbirch Hotel shortly after 9am on Saturday morning. After tackling 10 stages, they will return to the hotel where the event winners will be crowned shortly after 5pm.

Valvoline Motorsport Ireland Forest Championship - Three horse race heads down to the wire in Omagh

Posted: September 23, 2013 12:16 PM

Next Saturday's Bushwhacker rally is the sixth and final round of Valvoline Motorsport Ireland Forest Championship and it promises to be a cracker of a finale. This year's Valvoline Championship has been the most exciting and closely fought ever. The margin of victory on each of the first four rounds was less than ten seconds. The series has been dominated by three drivers and any one them can lift the crown on Saturday night. Mick O' Brien (Focus WRC) heads the leaderboard with 115 points with fellow Corkman Owen Murphy (Evo9) second with 97 and Lisburn's Philip Morrow (Evo9) third with 80. While Morrow trails the leader by 35 points, he is the pre-event favourite, thanks to a scoring system that includes dropped scores and a bonus points scheme.

Austin Shinnors Valvoline Championship PRO explains.
"O' Brien's tally comes from finishing all five rounds. He won two rallies, finished second once and third twice. He collected 18 bonus points on round 3.The start of the year was not kind to Owen Murphy, after two rallies he had a third place and a DNF after his name. Since then the 2011 Forest Champion had a win and two second places. And he collected 19 bonus points on round 5. Philip Morrow's has competed four times, with two victories and two runners up spots. If the former Mitsubishi U.K. works driver wins today, he collects 21points for the win and 21 bonus points which adds up to 122.When dropped scores are taken into account neither O'Brien or Murphy can overtake that score. If O'Brien, or Murphy or Martin Cairns-who has an excellent record in Omagh-win today, other scenarios are possible to favour O'Brien or Murphy for the championship. This championship won't be over until the fat lady sings and she will be surrounded by a lot overheating calculators at the finishing line.

IN fourth position is John Reid (Corolla WRC) who can't lift the crown this year but he has the possibility of graduating to the podium. The Dubliner was runner up in this series in 2010 and 2011 and he had a fine result on the last round in Cork where he netted 17 bonus points. Another driver who had a big result in Cork is Shane Mc Girr (Starlet RWD) who put his name the 2WD trophy. Like Reid, McGirr can't win the Valvoline but the podium is not out of reach.

The young Moffett brothers from Monaghan are having a great year. Like Philip Morrow they are in contention for the Group N (Class8) award, and Josh was so competitive in the forestry and tarmac he has been nominated for this year's Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young driver Award for his performances.Sam-who is behind Josh in seventh place in the Valvoline-had a famous win in the Donegal international in June and he is also in the running for the Tarmac Rally Championship.

In the Valvoline classes the following have yet to be decided:Class2, Class4, Class 7, Class 8 and Class 20.Five classes have been claimed by the following drivers: Class 1 Pierce Doheny (Peugeot 106), Class3 Paul Fitzgerald (Escort), Class 5 Shane Mc Girr (Starlet), Class 6 Danny Creedon (Impreza) and Class 9 (Juniors) Dean Raftery (Civic).Raftey dominated the juniors winning that class four times in succession and like Josh Moffett earned himself a nomination for this years Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young driver Award for his performances."

Entries Received

Posted: September 11, 2013 11:56 AM

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Regulations / Details

Posted: September 6, 2013 3:12 PM

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