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Jim Walsh Cork Forestry Rally - 24 Aug 14

Posted: October 3, 2017 9:48 AM - 11595 Hits

2014 DJD Transport Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally - Sunday August 24th.
Round 5 - 2014 Irish Forest Rally Championship

Murphy/ O’Brien Homeground Hat-trick

Posted: October 3, 2017 9:48 AM

The Jim Walsh Memorial Cork Forest Rally based in the Ballyhoura Forest complex on the Cork/ Limerick border took place on Sunday August 24th. The event was the fourth round of the 2014 Valvoline National Forest Rally Championship and is widely regarded as one of the finest gravel rallies in the country. Hosted by Cork Motor Club there was 8 challenging stages (4 repeated) with centralized service at the Charleville Show Grounds nearby offering a very compact competitor friendly format with service after every two stages.

A cool overcast morning dawned as competitors assembled for the safety briefing at Greenhall Motors early on Sunday. There was a formidable entry with 62 starters including a mix of regulars, new comers and club members. The array of machinery was stunning from the very latest spec Mini WRC, Corolla WRC’s, Subaru’s and various Evo’s along with the best of high powered 2WD Escorts, Toyota’s, Civic’s and Peugeot’s. Rain fell as competitors set out for stage one but spirits were not hampered knowing the quality of the terrain in the Ballyhoura Forests. After a 3-month layoff the “Valvoline” competitors were eager to let loose in the woods.

Owen Murphy/ James O’Brien (Evo 9) set the pace on the opening 10.5km stage in “Ballinaboula” 2.6 secs clear of top seeds Josh Moffett/ Jason McKenna (Evo 9). Derek McGeehan/ Darragh Mullen held third a further 2.5 secs back in the Mini WRC. Andrew Purcell/ John Rafter (Evo 6) held 4th, Pat O’Connell/ Mark Wiley (Evo 9) 5th and Brendan Cumiskey/ Ronan O’Kane (Impreza WRC) held 6th with only 11 secs separating the top six. Adrian Hetherington/ Gary Nolan (Mk2) led the 2WD contingent while Frank Kelly/ Sean Hayde (Mk2) dropped 3 mins due to fuel starvation. Shane McGirr/ Jackie Elliott (Starlet) were the first major retirement due to a blown engine while Marty McKenna/ Damien Fleming (Impreza WRC) had to withdraw due to damaged steering.

Rain persisted and there was fog on stage 2 “New Fields” (11.5km). Murphy/ O’Brien continued to set the pace to hold a 6.9 sec lead at first service. Moffett/ McKenna held 2nd with McGeehan a mere 0.1 sec adrift showing good pace on his first visit to the Cork Forests. Andrew Purcell held fourth and Pat O’Connell 5th having set second fastest time on stage two only 0.6 secs off leader Murphy. The 2WD category lost two front-runners as Micky Conlon/ Ciaran McPhilips (Mk2) suffered a broken bell-housing and David Crossen/ Andrew Bushe (mk2) crashed out. Hetherington/ Nolan maintained the 2WD lead, from the Keane brother’s Donal/ Diramuid (Mk2). Donal flew home from Brisbane for this event not having competed since 2011. Frank Kelly was on a charge having sorted the fuel issue.

Stage times were almost identical on the repeat of Ballinaboula where Owen Murphy continued to set the pace and extend his lead to 9.3 secs. Josh Moffett held second while Pat O’Connell climbed to third. McGeehan slipped to fourth after hitting a rock and Purcell fifth. Conor McCarthy/ Dan O’Donovan (Civic) led the Junior class by 1 minute as their nearest opponents Alan Moran/ Trevor O’Connell (206) rolled. Derek Mackeral/ Peter Deery (Nova) lost 5 mins with electrical trouble elevating Shane Kenneally/ Jer Connors (mk2) into second with David Beamish/ Muireann Hayes (Nova) holding third.

Desi Henry/ Liam Moynihan (Evo 9) set FTD on ss4 (New Fields) with McGeehan only 0.4 secs in arrears. Leader’s Murphy/ O’Brien were a further 3.5 secs adrift, their lead now trimmed to 7.8 secs at the halfway point. McGeehan jumped to second by virtue of his increased pace on ss4. Josh Moffett slipped to 3rd, only 1.9 secs back. Pat O’Connell fell to fourth after losing some time with intercom failure. Brendan Cumiskey held 5th, Desi Henry 6th, Niall Henry/ John Rowan (Evo 9)7th, Hetherington 8th and leading 2WD, John Reid/ Edna Shiels (Corolla WRC) 9th and Michael Carbin/ Stephen Thornton (Evo 4) completed the top ten.

Owen Murphy maintained his lead on the afternoon stages scorching through ss5 (Streamhill). Pat O’Connell trailed by just 0.8 secs with Josh Moffett a further 6 secs back following a small excursion on the first junction. John Reid (Corolla WRC) rolled out. Andrew Purcell retired with brake problems and Junior leader Conor McCarthy was out due to a broken driveshaft. Pat O’Connell and Owen Murphy were credited with Josh Moffett’s time for ss6 (Coolfree) because of a timing issue. Coolfree claimed the Escorts of Donal Keane and Alan Commins, both slipped off the road sustained little damage but their rally was over. Murphy held a 15 sec advantage at service before the final loop. Pat O’Connell was up to 2nd, Moffett 3rd, McGeehan 4th, Desi Henry 5th, Cumiskey 6th and Hetherington 7th with a strong 2WD lead.

The sun came out for the closing stages, but the fog was slow to lift off the mountains. Josh Moffett set his first FTD of the day on ss7 (Streamhill), O’Connell trailed by 2.7 secs while leader Murphy appeared to back off as he was a further 3.2 secs down. Desi Henry damaged the transmission on the startline, limped through the stage but did not finish. The scene was set for an epic showdown with less than 12 secs between the top three (Murphy, Moffett & O’Connell) going into final stage (Coolfree). The Junior battle was down to the wire as well, less than 11 secs dividing Shane Kenneally/ Jer Connors (Mk2) and David Beamish/ Muireann Hayes (Nova).

Pat O’Connell and Owen Murphy tied on the final stage elevating O’Connell/ Wiley to second overall, their best result this year. However there can only be one winner and the day belonged to the Cork pairing of Owen Murphy/ James O’Brien who led from start to finish completing a hat trick of victories in the “Valvoline” championship. Josh Moffett/ Jason McKenna lost 10 secs on Coolfree demoting them to 3rd. However the Monaghan crew maintain the championship lead as the series heads to the Northern rounds. Derek McGeehan/ Darragh Mullen (Mini) claimed 4th and Brendan Cumiskey/ Ronan O’Kane (Impreza WRC) took 5th.

Adrian Hetherington/ Gary Nolan had a red letter day; 6th overall, Best 2WD and winner of the Mk2 “Master of the Woods” award. Niall Henry/ John Rowan (Evo 9) were 7th and took the Gp N spoils. Monaghan’s Michael Carbin/ Stephen Thornton (Evo 4) survived brake failure and a slight excursion to finish 8th. Lucey Brother’s Ger/ James were 9th while Martin Donnelly/Brian Doherty (Corolla WRC) completed the top ten on their first venture into the Cork forests. Dungarvan’s Shane Kenneally/ Jer Connors (Mk2) won the Junior class ahead of Cork’s David Beamish Muireann Hayes (Nova). Clones pair Derek Mackarel/ Peter Deery finished 3rd Junior on their first stage rally.

Plenty of the silverware went to local crews/ club members with Johnny Kenneally/ Grace O’Brien (Mk2) winning class 1, Tom Murphy/ Connor Collins (Mk2) class 2, Paul Fitzgerald/ Pierce Doheny (Mk2) class 3 and Mike O’Sullivan/ Carol O’Keeffe (Mk2) class 4. The esteemed Ger Fahy Memorial “Spirit of the Rally” award went to David Crossen/ Andrew Bushe who crashed heavily on stage 2 and embodied the spirit of rallying as they marshalled for the reminder of the event before the long journey home to Co. Down.


Posted: October 3, 2017 9:17 AM

1 Owen Murphy/James O'Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 44m 52s,
2 Pat O'Connell/Mark Wiley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 45m 04s,
3 Josh Moffett/Jason McKenna (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 45m 11s,
4 Derek McGeehan/Darragh Mullen (Mini WRC) 45m  18s,
5 Brendan Cumiskey/Ronan O'Kane (Subaru Impreza WRC S8) 46m 41s,
6 Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Ford Escort MkII) 46m 44s,
7 Niall Henry/John Rowan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 47m 06s,
8 Mickey Carbin/Stephen Thornton (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4) 47m 31s,
9 Gerard Lucey/James Lucey (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) 47m 40s,
10 Martin Donnelly/Brian Doherty (Toyota Corolla WRC) 49m 14s.

Class Winners
Class 1 (1400cc): Johnny Kenneally/ Grace O’Brien (Escort).
Class 2 (1600 8v): Tom Murphy/ Connor Collins (Escort).
Class 3 (1600 16v): Paul Fitzgerald/ Pierce Doheny (Escort).
Class 4 (2000 8v): Mike O’Sullivan/ Carol O’Keeffe (Escort).
Class 5A (2000 16v): Damien/ Thomas McGauran (Corolla).
Class 5B (2100): Adrian Hetherington/ Gary Nolan (Escort).
Class 6 (Gp A): Brecan McBreen/ Breen McNamee (Impreza).
Class 7 (WRC's): Martin Donnelly/ Brian Doherty (Corolla).
Class 8 (Gp N): Niall Henry/ John Rowan (Evo 9).
Class 9 (Junior's): Shane Kenneally/ Jer Connors (Mk2).
Class 20 (4WD): Derek McGeehen/ Darragh Mullen (Mini).

Leaders After
SS1-8 Owen Murphy/James O'Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)

Stage Winners
SS1 Owen Murphy/James O'Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
SS2 Owen Murphy/James O'Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
SS3 Owen Murphy/James O'Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
SS4 Desi Henry / Liam Moynihan (Mitsubshi Lancer Evo 9)
SS5 Owen Murphy/James O'Brien (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
SS6 Josh Moffett/Jason McKenna (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N)
SS7 Josh Moffett/Jason McKenna (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N)
SS8 Pat O'Connell/Mark Wiley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)

Final Instructions 2

Posted: August 23, 2014 8:57 AM

Final Instructions 1

Posted: August 21, 2014 8:39 AM

Seeded Entry List

Posted: August 20, 2014 8:46 AM

1 Josh Moffett/Jason McKenna (Mitsubshi Lancer Evo 9) [8]
2 Owen Murphy/James O'Brien (Mitsubshi Lancer Evo 9) [20]
3 Pat O'Connell/Mark Wiley (Mitsubshi Lancer Evo 9) [20]
4 Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (Mitsubshi Lancer Evo 9) [20]
5 Martin Carins/TBA (Subaru Impreza WRC) [7]
6 Brendan Cumiskey/Ronan Kane (Mitsubshi Lancer Evo 9) [20]
7 John Reid/Enda Shiels (Toyota Corolla) [7]
8 Derek McGeehan/Darragh Mullen (Mini WRC) [7]
9 Peter McCullagh/Tommy Cuddihy (Mitsubshi Lancer Evo 9) [8]
10 Marty McKenna/Damien Fleming (Subaru WRC) [7]
11 Gerard Lucey/James Lucey (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) [20]
12 Michael Carbin/Stephen Thornton (Mitsubshi Lancer Evo 4) [20]
14 Niall Henry/John Rowan (Mitsubshi Lancer Evo 9) [20]
15 Martin Donnelly/Brian Doherty (Toyota Corolla WRC) [7]
16 Sara Williams/TBA (Subaru Impreza N123B) [8]
17 Mark Murphy/Alistair Wyllie (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) [20]
18 Ian Chadwick/Keith Horgan (Subaru Impreza WRX) [20]
19 Patsy Keenan/TBA (Mitsubshi Lancer Evo 9) [8]
20 Ed Colton/Claire O'Mahony (Mitsubshi Lancer Evo 6) [20]
21 Brecan McBreen/Breen McNamee (Subaru Impreza WRX) [6]
22 John Corrigan/Tony Dineen (Subaru Impreza WRX) [20]
23 Alan O'Riordan/TBA (Subaru Impreza WRX) [20]
24 Sean O'Donovan/Sinead O'Donovan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) [20]
25 Andrew Purcell/John Rafter (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [20]

201 Frank Kelly/Sean O'Hade (Ford Escort Mk2) [5A]
202 Shane McGirr/Jackie Elliott (Toyota Starlet) [5A]
203 Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips (Ford Escort Mk2) [5A]
204 David Crossen/Andrew Bushe (Ford Escort Mk2) [5A]
205 Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Ford Escort Mk2) [5A]
206 Ollie Williams/Brian Quinlan (Ford Escort Mk2) [5B]
207 Paul Fitzgerald/Pierce Doheny Jnr (Ford Escort Mk2) [3]
208 Jimmy Deane/Barry Meade (Ford Escort Mk2) [3]
209 Damien McGauran/Thomas McGauran (Toyota Corolla) [5A]
210 Donal Keane/Diarmuid Keane (Ford Escort Mk2) [5A]
211 Mick O'Sullivan/Carol O'Keeffe (Ford Escort Mk2) [4]
212 Alan Tracey/Brian O'Keeffe (Toyota Corolla) [3]
214 Douglas Stewart/Kevin Purcell (Peugeot 206) [3]
215 Conor McCarthy/Dan O'Donovan (Honda Civic) [9]
216 Sean W Benskin/Joe Fitzgibbon (Ford Escort Mk2) [4]
217 Alan Commins/James Commins (Ford Escort Mk2) [4]
218 Diarmuid Lynch/John Falvey (Ford Escort Mk2) [4]
219 Ray Benskin Snr/Keith McCarthy (Ford Escort Mk2) [4]
220 Mike Garahy/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [2]
221 John O'Conor/Johnny Curran (Honda Civic) [3]
222 Shane Kenneally/Jer Connors (Ford Escort Mk2) [9]
223 Alan Moran/Trevor O'Connell (Peugeot 206) [9]
224 David Beamish/Muireann Hayes (OPEL Corsa) [9]
225 Noel Wade/Eamon Tuohy (Ford Escort) [3]
226 Adrian Beattie/William Kelly (Honda Civic) [3]
227 Ian McCarthy/Vincent Goggin (Honda Civic) [3]
228 Johnny Keanneally/Grace O'Brien (Ford Escort Mk2) [1]
229 Colm O'Mahony/Ken Carmody (Ford Ka) [1]
230 Tim Howard/DJ Howard (Opel Corsa) [2]
231 Francis Kelly/Charlotte Egan (Vauxhall NOVA) [2]
232 Joe Stanley/Paul Dowling (Peugeot 205) [2]
234 Sean Moylan/Conor Flynn (Peugeot 205) [3]
235 Damien Driver/James Driver (Opel Corsa) [3]
236 Jamie O'Flaherty/Daniel Hanratty (Peugeot 205) [2]
237 Edward Walsh/Seamus Lynch (Subaru Impreza) [3]
238 Christy Butler/Dave Walsh (Honda Civic) [3]
239 Reserved In memory of Timothy Cathcart (RIP)
240 Michael Feeney/Alan Lane (Honda Integra) [3]
241 Henry Jennings/TBA (Opel Corsa) [1]
242 Derek Mackarel/Peter Deery (Vauxhall Nova) [9]
243 Colin Nelligan/TBA (Suzuki Swift) [9]
244 Tom Herbert/Mike Vaughan (Honda Civic) [3]

Time and Distance Schedule

Posted: August 20, 2014 8:45 AM

Valvoline National Forest Rally Championship Preview

Posted: August 19, 2014 12:23 PM

The fourth round of the 2014 Valvoline National Forest Rally Championship takes place in the vast Ballyhoura Forest complex on the Cork/ Limerick border this Sunday August 24th. The Championship resumes following a 3 month lay-off since the Wicklow Forest Rally last May. Hosted by Cork Motor Club this event has a huge reputation for its’ smooth fast flowing stages all within the Ballyhoura Forests. The exceptional stages make the rally the crown jewel of forest rallies and very much a “Gravel Grand Prix”.

Named in honor of Jim Walsh – a club member affectionately known as “Fr Jim” a man who worked very hard behind the scenes on this and many other club events. Jim lost his fight for life due to kidney failure just as results on the 2006 Cork Forest Rally were declared final. Widely regarded as the holy grail of forest rallies competitors pull all the stops out to get their name on the prestigious “Jim Walsh Perpetual Cup”.

The Club has very strong links to the “Valvoline” series with many club members contesting this year’s championship. Interestingly several club members have tasted success in the championship since its’ inception back in 1990. The club has produced 5 champion drivers and 10 navigators along with many class winners. It’s only fitting that the National Navigators’ title is dedicated to the late Ger Fahy. Ger was a club member from Buttevant who clerked this rally in 2005, regularly competed and or helped on events throughout the country. Ger was a hardcore clubman and is sadly missed following his untimely death in 2007. The “Spirit of the Rally” award is also dedicated to Ger. The Club has also been very active on the championship committee with members holding the roles of Chairman, Secretary, Registrar and PRO over the years. One could possibly say that this is the “Spiritual Home” of the Championship.

Last years’ format proved very popular with competitors so this year is quiet similar with only a slight variation to the stages. CoC Sean Daly and his team have everything in place for what should be a spectacular day through the vast Ballyhoura Forests. Scrutiny and Documentation take place at Greenhall Motor’s Opel Dealership in Buttevant on Saturday evening. Following Scrutiny all rally cars will be placed in a secure overnight parc ferme opposite scrutiny. The safety briefing takes place at 08:00 Sunday morning at Greenhall Motors before the first competing cars leave parc ferme at 08:30.

There is a brief service at Charleville Show Grounds before the opening 10.5km stage in “Ballinaboula” followed by the 11.5km “New Fields”. The first loop offers a bit of everything so drivers will need to be wide awake as timing is to the tenth of a second. The first car is due at service (centralised in Charleville Show Grounds all day) at 10:30 before a repeat of Ballinaboula and New Fields. Following the lunchtime service competitors embark upon the awesome “Streamhill” 10km stage. This is a very fast flowing gravel stage and rarely will Irish forest competitors spend as much time in top gear. “Coolfree” is next up, while relatively short only 7.5km it can be deceptive with various surface changes and junctions tightened with bales. After the final service there’s a repeat of Streamhill and Coolfree with competitors due at the finish ramp outside rally HQ “Corbett Court Restaurant” Ballyhea (only 200yards from Service) at 17:00.

Championship leaders Josh Moffett/ Jason McKenna (Evo 9) have been very consistent to date but need to go one better in Cork to consolidate their position. Owen Murphy/ James O’Brien (Evo 9) bid for a hat trick having won the last two rounds. The Cork pair are on home soil and have tasted success here in 2012. Pat O’Connell/ Mark Wiley (Evo 9) won here in 2011 and have shown good speed this year but have been jinxed with a lack of reliability. Desi Henry/ Liam Moynihan (Evo 9) want to make amends following their retirement in Wicklow. Other Lancer pilots capable of a strong result include; Peter McCullagh, Niall Henry and Michael Carbin. While Lancer’s currently top the Championship standings the WRC’s of John Reid, Martin Cairns, Brendan Cumiskey, Derek McGeehan, Marty McKenna and Martin Donnelly should be right in the mix for outright victory.

The 2WD contingent will thrill the crowds with their high revs screaming through the woods in spectacular sideways fashion. There’s an extra incentive with the “MK2 Master of the Woods” award. Frank Kelly was the inaugural winner last year and returns to defend his title. Micky Conlon, Ollie Williams, Adrian Hetherington and David Crossen are just a sample of those bidding for the coveted mk2 laurels. Dare we forget the Toyota’s; current 2WD Champion Shane McGirr has the potential to blow the MK2’s away with his rapid 2.0 Starlet. Damien McGauran is right on the pace this year with his 2.0 Corolla. Allen Treacy currently leads class 3 with his 1600 Corolla however the rapid local Escorts of Paul Fitzgerald and Jimmy Deane are likely to fight tooth and nail for the class win on home ground.

Conor McCarthy has enjoyed 100% success so far winning each round in the Juniors but it just got interesting. Mayo’s Alan Moran (206) showed good pace in Wicklow. Shane Kenneally (mk2) is more competitive each day as is David Beamish (Nova) add in Derek Mackeral (Nova) and this could be the battle to watch.

The Seeded Entry List is due to be published Wednesday 20th August.

Entries Remain Open

Posted: August 15, 2014 11:29 AM

Regulations available at:

Marshal Meeting Points

Posted: August 12, 2014 9:04 PM

SS1&3: Cost Cutter/Great Gas Ballyhea @ 07:45. Stage Commander Cathal Mansell.
SS2&4: Roche’s Londis Doneraile @ 08:20. Stage Commander Martin Godfrey.
SS5&7: Roche’s Londis Doneraile @12:00. Stage Commander Colin Fitzgerald.
SS6&8: O’Sullivan’s Topaz Kildorrery @ 12:30. Stage Commander Tom Dunne.

Chief Marshal contact details: 0851145433 / +353851145433

Mini’s and Millingtons………….

Posted: August 12, 2014 9:01 PM

The stages are set, the plans are finalised and the countdown is on to the best forest rally of 2014, The DJD Transport, Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally. Round 4 of the Motorsport Ireland, Valvoline Forest Rally Championship sees the country’s top gravel crews descend upon the north Cork Towns of Buttevant and Ballyhea for what has long been regarded as Ireland’s premier Forest Rally.

Clerk of the Course, Sean Daly has organised a superb event which kicks off on Saturday August 23rd in Buttevant where the crews and cars will be put through mechanical and documentation scrutiny at Greenhall Motors. On Sunday August 24th the crews will take on 8 magnificent gravel stages totalling 80km, all located within the famous Ballyhoura Forest complex. Service for the event will be located at The Charleville AgriculturalShowgrounds Ballyhea, giving the spectators a chance to get up close with the cars and drivers.

The Cork Motor Club is delighted to announce that a fabulous entry has already been received for the event with more coming daily. The line up across the classes features the cream of gravel specialists.

At the front it really is anyone’s call. Previous winners of the event include Owen Murphy, Pat O’Connell and John Reid, all of whom are confirmed. They are joined by Monaghan hotshot Josh Moffett who has proved to be Mr. Consistent to date in this year’s Valvoline Championship. A huge talking point for the event has to be the entry of Draperstown’s Derek McGeehan in the works specification Mini WRC, a first for the southern forests. Derek and the Mini have proved to be hugely competitive on gravel in the Northern Ireland Championship and will be right up there battling for top honours in Cork. Portglenone’s Desi Henry returns to Cork eager to reinvigorate his championship bid after a non finish in Wicklow.
Waterford’s Andrew Purcell enters in his older but still very potent Mitsubishi Evo 6. Two further dark horses have to be Niall Henry and Peter McCullagh in their respective Mitsubishi Evo 9s. Both of these drivers posted hugely impressive times on last year’s event. Martin Cairns and Brendan Cumiskey enter in a pair of Subaru Impreza WRCs to add to the already fabulous line up.

Overseas crews include Welch native Sara Williams and Martin Donnelly who makes the long trip from the USA. Sara brings her Subaru Impreza back to Cork after being awed by the Ballyhouras in 2013 and will certainly be one to watch out for as she proved her speed on last year’s event. Martin brings his fabulous McGeehan Motorsport prepared Corolla WRC into the woods for some sideways action.

In the 2wd category, excitement is really building. All the “Top Guns” of gravel are coming to Cork. Last year’s 2wd winner and reining “MK2 Master” Frank Kelly makes the trip from Tyrone to defend the title in his now infamous “Baby Blue”. The competition from the chasing pack is set to be fierce however. Previous Cork 2wd winners and fellow Tyrone men, Shane McGirr and Adrian Hetherington will be eager to put a fly in the Kelly ointment. McGirr’s form to date in the 2.0 Toyota Starlet has been superb and Hetherington always goes at maximum attack in Cork with his 2.5 Mk2 Escort. Kelly is really going to have to be at the top of his game in the Ballyhouras if he hopes to retain the coveted 2wd crown. Vivian Hamill, another Tyrone native, brings his stunning 2.5 MK2 Escort to Cork as does Monaghan’s Mickey Conlon with his beautiful 2.0 example. Seamus O’Connell and Ian Millar line out in a pair of BDA powered Escorts, both of whom are set to scream their way through the Ballyhouras. Wicklow 2wd winner David Crossen makes his Cork debut in his ultra-competitive Escort and should prove to be a real contender for the 2wd honors. Local aces include Ballyhea’s very own Paul Fitzgerald and Mallow man Jimmy Dean who are set to restore the old rivalry and go head to head in their respective class 3 Escorts.

The EARS.ie “Mark 2 Master” award has generated huge interest among the MK2 fraternity again this year. With a free entry to the 2015 event on offer to the winner, the rivalry is building every day. Expect to see further top additions to the already impressive line up over the coming days along with the inevitable predictions and odds on the title.

Programs for the event go on sale from Wednesday August 20th and will be available from the following outlets.

    Costcutter Ballyhea
    Roche’s Londis Doneraile
    O’Sullivan’s Kildorrery
    Amber Service Station Charleville
    Doherty’s Centra Buttevant
    Keary’s filling Station Mallow
    The Roundabout Inn Mallow
    Programs will also be available from Greenhall Motors on Saturday August 23rd only and the service area; Charleville Agricultural Show Grounds on Sunday August 24th.

The DJD Transport Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally 2014 is launched

Posted: August 4, 2014 12:23 PM

Sean Daly Clerk of the Course with Title Sponsor Leonard Downey of DJD Transport

The media launch of the DJD Transport Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally 2014 proved as usual to be one of the great social nights of the year for the Cork Motor Club.

The launch took place on Thursday July 24th at The Corbett Court Ballyhea at 8:00pm, there was a selection of cars which included the car that won the last two rounds of the Valvoline Forest Rally Championship the Hankook Mitsubishi of CMC Member Owen Murphy also on display were three fine examples of the legendary MK2 Escort Rally car owned by CMC members Jimmy Deane, Paul Fitzgerald and Johnny Kenneally .

After the promotional photos were taken outside it was in for food and lots of talk about the rally.

Clerk of the Course for the event Sean Daly said that the very enthusiastic team that put the event together this year were pulling out all the stops to make this event live up to its reputation as the competitors favourite forest rally in Ireland.

Sean thanked his team for the huge amount of work that has been put in so far and we are ready he said, there is huge interest in the event already and crews from both the UK and Northern Ireland as well as all the Valvoline Championship regulars are going to compete in Cork. Sean also thanked his sponsors without whom the event would not run. He also spoke of the economic value of the event to the area. He said last year the EARS.ie MK2 Master was a feature added to the event and it proved hugely popular with a titanic battle between Frank Kelly and Marty McCormack.

Sean said we are sticking to the format that works 8 stages all in the Ballyhoura Forest complex with as little road mileage as possible Rally HQ will be Corbett Court ; he then called on Leonard Downey of DJD Transport title sponsor to say a few words.

Leonard said DJD Transport are delighted to be associated with this event he thanked the committee for their hard work and wished everyone a safe and enjoyable rally.

Sean said our associate sponsors are also a very important part of this event and I would like to thank each and every one of them, Corbett Court, Exact Signs , Greenhall Motors ,E Tarrant & Sons Ltd Skoda , Roundabout Inn Mallow, R & R Tyres, Mallow Brakes , Mallow Motorfactors , Dunne Motorsport Engineering, Deane’s Garage Mallow.

Sunday, August 24th is the date to remember all the regulars from the championship are going to be there and the EARS.ie MK2 Master is expected to bring a few surprises to the forests of north Cork so watch this space.

Regulations for the event are now available to download - see below.

Promotional Video

Posted: August 4, 2014 12:05 PM

Rally Launch - (Thu) 24 Jul 14

Posted: July 21, 2014 1:47 PM

The Rally launch takes place on Thursday July 24th at The Corbett Court Ballyhea at 8:00pm. There will be a display of rally cars, some video footage, finger food and good old fashioned banter on the night. It is an evening that has proved to be one of the best social evenings on the Cork Motor Club calendar in recent times and COC Sean Daly would like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to attend. We look forward to seeing the faces, both new and old on the night.

Regulations Now Available. Details of Rally Launch Night.

Posted: July 21, 2014 1:45 PM

Preparations are at an advanced stage for The 2014 DJD Transport Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally. The event takes place on Sunday August 24th with it’s Headquarters based at The Corbett Court Ballyhea. Round 4 of the Motorsport Ireland, Valvoline National Forest Rally Championship heads for the spectacular Ballyhoura Mountains once more. The Ballyhea based event is largely regarded as the jewel in the crown of the Forest Rally Championship and the one that all competitors look forward to year after year.

The long wait is almost over, with just over 5 weeks to go, Clerk of the Course Sean Daly and his team have been busy ensuring all aspects of the organisation are in place and look forward to welcoming crews and spectators from across Ireland and the UK to North Cork on August 24th.

The event will once again see it’s 8 stages all located within the Ballyhoura Forest Complex. Down through the years, Cork Forest Rally has gained an enviable reputation within gravel rallying circles due to the quality of our stages excellent organisation and the famous North Cork welcome. This reputation has attracted crews year after year. Cork Motor Club is very proud of this achievement and goes to great lengths to ensure it is maintained.

This year will prove no different with 80km of competitive stages selected the team are already busy out and about making the minor repairs to the famous roads and ensuring that North Cork puts its best foot forward in August.

Interest in the event is already very strong. All the Valvoline Championship regulars are committed to the event. This year’s championship has proved to be extremely competitive to date with some spectacular battles sure to come in Cork. The event has moved a week later this year and it appears to be falling very favourably for Northern Ireland Championship crews. Multiple enquires have been received from top Northern crews who are looking to use Cork Forest Rally as a test session to ready their cars for their own upcoming gravel events. Interest from the UK is also very strong with the feedback from previous year’s events attracting more and crews from across the Irish Sea each year.

The EARS.ie MK2 Master was a feature added to the event in 2013 which is also proving to be a valuable asset and attracting crews who are eager to get in on this year’s action. The title was lifted by Tyrone’s Frank Kelly in 2013 after what is widely regarded as one of the battles of the year between Frank and Martin McCormack in their rapid Escorts. As a result of this epic battle, several enquires have been received this year from top MK2 Escort crews who traditionally compete on tarmac. Some of the names have raised a considerable smile on the faces of the organising team and should raise a few goose bumps for the spectators in 5 weeks’ time….. Watch this space.

The Rally launch takes place on Thursday July 24th at The Corbett Court Ballyhea at 8:00pm. There will be a display of rally cars, some video footage, finger food and good old fashioned banter on the night. It is an evening that has proved to be one of the best social evenings on the Cork Motor Club calendar in recent times and COC Sean Daly would like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to attend. We look forward to seeing the faces, both new and old on the night.

Regulations for the event are now available to download from

Press Release 1 - Preliminary Details

Posted: May 22, 2014 8:23 PM

At the announcement of the Title sponsor for the Denis J Downey Transport Ltd Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally 2014.
Leonard Downey. MD DJD, Sean Daly (Clerk of the Course) and Jimmy Deane.

Cork Motor Club is pleased to announce preliminary details of the 2014 DJD Transport, Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally.

The DJD Transport, Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally takes place on Sunday, August 24th. Following on from the success of last year’s event, Ballyclough man Sean Daly has taken the hot seat for another term as COC in 2014. Sean recently announced that Denis J Downey Transport are also to return as title sponsor for the 2014 event which has been hugely welcomed by the club. The Donoughmore Transport and Logistics firm have proved to be a very loyal supporter of what is largely regarded as Irelands finest gravel rally and CMC are delighted to continue this partnership, hopefully long into the future.

The event hosts Round 4 of the Valvoline National Forest Rally Championship. Following on from the tremendous feedback received from last year event, the rally will once again pivot around the famous Ballyhoura Forest Complex, with 8 of the finest gravel stages totalling approximately 80km of competitive driving. Road mileage is even lower than last year’s event and will total approximately 130km. Rally HQ once again is The Corbett Court Ballyhea and service will be based from the nearby Charleville Agricultural Showgounds.

Speaking to COC Sean Daly recently;
“I am delighted to be on board for another term as COC of this great event. The feedback that we received after last year’s event was amazing and because of this we are following a very similar format for this year. The stages will once again be located all within the Ballyhoura complex however we have made some subtle changes to the route to make it more enjoyable, and reduce the road mileage even further. The event will once again use a 4x2 format with service after every two stages which proved to be popular with crews last year”.

Sean’s team have already been busy out and about on the stages and have received tremendous support from Coillte in both selecting and facilitating the 2014 route. CMC would like to thank Coillte for their support to date and look forward to working together in the future.

Interest in the event is already strong with a number of overseas crews expressing their intention to compete. The “MK2 Master” also makes a return this year, with the EARS.ie cup up for grabs for the first Ford Escort MK2 home on Sunday August 24th. Some of the top MK2 crews in the country have already conformed their intention to compete for the cup which provided much of the drama on last year’s event, who will ever forget the Kelly/McCormack battle last year….hopefully we will have “more of the same please” this year.

Event / Club Website

Posted: May 22, 2014 8:21 PM

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