West Cork Rally - 14-15 Mar 20 - POSTPONED

Posted: March 22, 2020 7:20 AM - 12152 Hits

Round 2 - 2020 Tarmac Rally Championship
Round 2 - 2020 British Rally Championship
Counting Rounds - 2020 Southern 4 Rally Championship

West Cork Rally 2020 Entry Fee Refund Information

Posted: March 22, 2020 7:20 AM

"Dear Competitors,

As you are all aware, the organising team of the 2020 Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally made a very tough but appropriate decision to postpone the event on Thursday March 12th. We made this decision to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all concerned against the threat of the Covid 19 virus.

Postponing an event of the scale of The West Cork Rally, less than 24 hours before it commences equates to a huge financial loss for Cork Motor Club. Many tens of thousands of Euros were already committed to the event by our club, most of which is unrecoverable. The directors of Cork Motor Club have considered our situation at length over the last week. We have also considered the wider implications that Covid 19 is likely to have on some competitors’ incomes and livelihoods – which we feel, far outweigh any implications to our club. As a result, we have made the decision to refund all entry fees in full.

Processing of the refunds has commenced this evening. We would ask for your patience while we complete the task of processing over 180 separate transactions. We will complete the refunds as quickly as possible rest assured.

Once again thank you all for supporting The West Cork Rally and we look forward to seeing you all back in Clonakilty when we are all safe and ready to rally once more."

Yours in Motorsport.

Steve Davis
Clerk of the Course

Irish Tarmac Rally Championship supports West Cork Rally postponement

Posted: March 12, 2020 6:46 PM

The West Cork Rally, the second round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, has been suspended following today’s announcement by Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadakar to restrict outdoor gatherings of over 500 people.

Public health is at the forefront of the organisers’ interests with the current outbreak of COVID-19 and the decision to cancel this weekend’s rally was carefully considered by Cork Motor Club.

The West Cork Rally has grown in popularity and success in recent years and the 2020 edition looked set to raise the bar even higher. The St Patrick’s weekend rally has become an integral part of the Irish Tarmac Championship and ITRC organisers will endeavour to support the club in finding an alternative date for the event.

Paddy Flanagan, ITRC manager:
“We acknowledge and support the decision by Cork Motor Club to postpone this weekend’s West Cork Rally. We acknowledge the hard work, long hours and effort it takes to organise a rally. We appreciate that this was not an easy decision to postpone the event and our thoughts go to all involved. We also appreciate the pre-event planning and preparation by the competitors and hope that they understand the reasons behind today’s decision.”

Event Postponed

Posted: March 12, 2020 9:49 AM

"The board of Directors of Cork Motor Club, organisers of the Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally, have after careful consideration made the decision to postpone the event. For the last 10 days, the organising team has sought advice from and complied with all guidelines from the experts in the HSE and Government agencies. Following the announcement earlier today by an Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, that all indoor gatherings of over 100 people and all outdoor gatherings of over 500 people should not proceed, the CMC team have made the assessment that our event must be postponed in order to protect public health.

The West Cork Rally and Cork Motor Club will always put safety and the well-being of the public first and while it is unfortunate that we have had to make this decision at such a late stage, the CMC team believe it the right thing to do.

We wish to express our sincere apologies and thanks to our sponsor, The Clonakilty Park Hotel, all our associated sponsors, the dozens of competitors who have entered the event, those who have already travelled long distances, those who were set to travel, all our volunteers and those who had so many plans in place for what was set to be a fantastic weekend of rallying in West Cork.

To the people of Clonakilty and the local organising team and all our stakeholders we say a sincere thank you for the support that you have given us again this year. We promise we will be back bigger and stronger in the future.

We wish to advise that CMC have already been in discussion with Motorsport Ireland who fully support our decision. We will work with the MI team over the coming weeks in the hope of finding a solution which may see the 2020 Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork rally run on an alternative date in 2020."

Yours in Motorsport,
Steve Davis
Clerk of the Course

EDSL Sport announce new-look squad for West Cork

Posted: March 11, 2020 9:58 AM

Official M-Sport Ford re-sellers EDSL Sport will have a new look to its line-up as it heads to round two of the Junior British Rally Championship, the Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally this weekend (14/15 March).

After a confidence-boosting fifth place on his Junior BRC debut at the opening round in Wales last month, reigning Cadet Cup champion Rupert Flynn returns for the gruelling closed-road event on the west Ireland coast. He will be joined for the first time by Dublin based Eamonn Kelly who makes his BRC debut after a season in the Irish National Rally Championship.

Both drivers will be behind the wheel of one of EDSL Sport’s hire cars - the new generation M-Sport MK8 1.0litre EcoBoost Ford Fiesta R2T. They will be gunning for the chance to scoop a €60,000 prize fund which will go to the Junior BRC champion and will be used towards a 2021 campaign in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship thanks to M-Sport and Pirelli.

The opening round of the series took place on the world-famous forests in North Wales as the Cambrian Rally kicked off proceedings on the gravel. Junior BRC debutante Irishman Brian Brady joined the team for the opener and was instantly on the pace of the front-runners despite his lack of experience in the rapid Ford Fiesta R2T.

Sadly Brady would tip the Fiesta onto its roof during the day and with the damage caused to the car, was not allowed to continue by the event’s technical officials. EDSL Sport honours then were left to Flynn who was also making his Junior BRC debut in Llandudno. Staying out of trouble in the tricky forests, he and co-driver Richard Crozier were able to secure a positive start to their campaign.

Flynn will have his sights set on another positive result on the two-day event across the Irish lanes.

“I'm only aiming for another finish really,” he says,

“I did a single venue a few weeks ago to build my confidence in the new car on tarmac and that went well. I, of course, want to get more competitive with the leader's but I'm being realistic that they have much more experience than me so that’s very much a secondary objective. In West Cork, success would be getting a finish and getting valuable experience on the difficult Irish roads. I'm looking forward to the Ring Stage in particular. It requires a lot of commitment to the notes and it's a very fast stage, it will really test my trust in the notes”.

Eamonn, son of five-time event winner Donagh Kelly, has built experience of the Irish Tar and along with Motorsport Ireland Academy co-driver Conor Mohan is relishing the opportunity to work with EDSL Sport and kick start their Junior BRC programme.

“I’m really looking forward to working with them [EDSL Sport] and getting to grips with the new car,” says Kelly.

“The guys seem to be enthusiastic which is always good and we’re testing during the week so hopefully it goes well and we can learn as much as possible before Saturday morning. The aim is to try and be consistent and build our speed in the new car. The pace is inevitably going to be really fast but we have to try and find a balance that doesn’t see us doing anything silly either. It’s a long weekend and I can’t wait to get going”.

Team Principal Alex Waterman is enthusiastic about the new line up in Ireland.

“Rupert [Flynn] showed he had a very mature head on his shoulders after the Cambrian result and I`m sure he will take that with him to West Cork,” he says.

“He is getting used to the Fiesta and building his pace with every passing mile so he needs to keep doing that in Ireland as its certainly not a very forgiving place. Especially as there are over 200 kilometres of stages so consistency will be key for both drivers. Eammon [Kelly] has more knowledge of what to expect and I`m very excited to have him on the squad. The Junior BRC pace will be very impressive and from a team point of view, we have a dynamic line up this season. It's one of the toughest events on the calendar so a result for both of our drivers will be important for us all”.

EDSL Sport will also field Elliot Payne in Cumbria during the weekend, as the third round of the BTRDA Rally Series takes place at the Malcolm Wilson Rally.

Meirion Evans aims to continue good Irish Tarmac Championship start on the challenging West Cork Rally

Posted: March 10, 2020 4:32 PM

Meirion Evans is aiming to continue his good start to the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship next weekend, when he contests the West Cork Rally (14/15 March) in The Scan Station-backed Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

It will only be the second time that the 24-year old Welshman has contested the event. Last year an early fuel pump problem with his Hyundai i20 R5 forced him to superally, where he went on to set some excellent stage times with a flying and trouble-free run on day two.

Meirion will also benefit from some West Cork winning advice from his father, Melvyn Evans, who won the event in 2002 and 2006, driving a Ford Escort WRC and a Subaru Impreza WRC respectively.

Co-driven by Jonathan Jackson, Meirion gave his new Michelin-shod Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 an impressive debut on the opening round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, finishing fourth on last month’s Galway International Rally. A notoriously wet, slippery and tricky event, Meirion considers that to be one of his best performances of his career so far, which bodes well for next weekend’s event in County Cork.

Meirion Evans said: “The West Cork Rally is one of the rallies I’d like to win the most – not just because it’s such a long and challenging event, but because my father has won it twice. That was back in 2002 and 2006, driving an Escort WRC and Subaru Impreza WRC. He still remembers sections of the route, and his experience and knowledge of the surface and levels of grip in the ever-changing weather conditions are a great help. His advice has certainly speeded up my learning process, particularly in Ireland, there’s no question about that. But of course it’s down to me when I’m behind the steering wheel, and I have to prepare and drive the very best I can in a modern Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, which is obviously completely different to an almost twenty year old World Rally Car!

“I did the West Cork for the first time last year. Unfortunately, we had to superally after our Hyundai i20 R5 stopped with a fuel pump problem early on the first day. After we restarted we set some good stage times, so we’ll head into this year’s event with a lot of optimism – especially coming straight after a good run in Galway in the new car. With the British Rally Championship joining the Irish Tarmac Championship in West Cork, there is a fantastic entry and even getting anywhere near the podium is going to be extremely difficult. We’re going to give it our very best shot, stick to our rally plan and see what happens. Hopefully, we’ll have a good run and bag some more Irish Tarmac points.”

The Cork Motor Club-organised Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally takes place over St Patrick’s weekend, with two long days of competition on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 March. There are 14 stages, totalling 140 miles (225kms), and contain some of Ireland’s most iconic stages, including The Ring, Sam’s Cross and Ardfield. As the event is a round of both the Irish Tarmac and British Rally Championships, over 150 entries have been received, with a large number of R5 spec cars battling for victory.

Marshal Meeting Points

Posted: March 10, 2020 4:29 PM

Clonakility calling for the British Rally Championship

Posted: March 10, 2020 4:25 PM

The British Rally Championship heads across the Irish Sea, as the Clonakility Park Hotel West Cork Rally (13/14 March) hosts the second round of the pulsating series.

Britain’s premier rallying series visited West Cork in the Republic of Ireland for the first-time last season. For the second year running, the BRC championship protagonists are set to do battle over two-days through the legendary Irish lanes. Fourteen speed tests will equate to 135 competitive miles, which will provide the challenge on St Patrick’s weekend. What’s more, the best from the British series will go toe-to-toe with the Irish Tarmac Championship, adding a further spectacle for rally fans lining the competitive route.

On the opening round Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod got their season off to a scintillating start with victory on home soil on the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally in the new Ford Fiesta R5. The Pirelli-supported pairing will be eager to show the versatility of the new car, and Edwards in particular will be seeking revenge after missing out on the West Cork BRC win in 2019 by a mere 4.8 seconds.

The man who beat Edwards to the win last season was Tom Cave in his Hyundai i20 R5. The Welshman had a disappointing home round last time out, damaging a wheel and retiring whilst in the lead of the event. Cave and co-driver Dale Furniss will be desperate to bounce back and take victory in Cork to get their title tilt back on track.

The biggest news in the break between round one and two is the return of Volkswagen back into the BRC, this time with Osian Pryce and co-driver Noel O’Sullivan from Killarney at the helm of a new VW Polo GTI R5. Pryce returned to the series after two years away from the top-flight in spectacular style – taking a podium on his home event. The German machine will be an unknown quantity, but in Pryce’s hands, will be a formidable force as he vies to continue his rostrum run.

WRC star Rhys Yates was another series returnee in his Michelin-supported Ford Fiesta R5. The Englishman notched up the final podium position on the Cambrian and will be seeking more of the same on the Irish tarmac, a surface the Derbyshire ace goes particularly well on. Strengthening the M-Sport-backed drivers assault this year is James Morgan who expertly guided Tom Cave to victory last season, and Yates will be eager to draw on the Welshman’s knowledge this time round.

2019 Billy Coleman Award winner Josh McErlean from Kilrea will be tackling his first BRC event on home soil this weekend in a Hyundai i20 R5. The young Irishman has impressed many this season with Keaton Williams sat alongside, however, the pair suffered heartbreak on the first round when lying in third. The Anglo-Irish crew were forced into retirement after breaking the steering. Ireland’s latest hot property will revel in the return to Tarmac as he pushes for his first four-wheel-drive podium in the BRC.

Malaysian manufacturer Proton made a striking return to the BRC as Ollie Mellors and Ian Windress put the Iriz R5 through its paces on its BRC debut. The English partnership set some respectable times with the new car and eventually finished fourth overall in front of the sister car of James Williams and Dai Roberts. Williams enjoys the sealed-surface and could well spring a surprise in the new car. The Proton ranks will swell to three cars for round two, with multiple British Ladies Champion Nabila Tejpar stepping up into the top class. Tejpar will be joined by the vastly experienced Portuguese co-driver Hugo Magalhaes as the duo push for points on their BRC R5 debut.

Cathan McCourt from Omagh and 2010 BRC co-drivers Champion Barry McNulty from Enniskillen will be vying for their first BRC finish of the season. Another pair who were dogged by retirement on the opening round will look to make amends on the sealed-surface lanes around Clonakility. The Irish crew sealed sixth on the opening round of the Irish Tarmac Championship in Galway earlier this year and will hoping that form can continue this weekend in their Ford Fiesta R5.

Junior BRC battle has been ignited ahead of West Cork

The Junior British Rally Championship in 2020 is open to drivers aged 26 and under in identical Ford Fiesta R2Ts from M-Sport – will all front-wheel-drive machines on Pirelli tyres – creating a highly-competitive level-laying field.

Quickest out of the blocks on the season curtain-raiser was William Creighton (Lisburn) and Liam Regan (Belfast). The pair made a closed season switch from a Peugeot 208 R2 to the turbo-charged Fiesta. Getting to grips slowly on the opening few stages, the championship leaders got into their stride to eventually seal the win by 22.5 seconds. Creighton is the man with the target on his back as a whole host of young stars will be looking to topple the early season pace setter.

David Kelly and Darragh Kelly from Donegal surprised many with their early pace on the Cambrian as they grabbed the final podium spot by 0.7 seconds on the final stage. David will be a dark horse for success this weekend, as will Brian Brady (Meath) and Eamon Creedon (Cork). The Irish pairing suffered a sizeable off on the first round of the season and unable to continue, the crew had to take an early bath. Rest assured they will come back fighting as they gun for a podium to open their points account.

Eamonn Kelly (Dublin), son of 2015 Irish Tarmac Champion Donagh Kelly, will continue the successful Irish rallying dynasty in the BRC this season with Conor Mohan (Monaghan) in the navigator seat. Having missed the opening round, the crew will be keen to spring a surprise and unsettle the JBRC establishment in West Cork.

The British contingent is equally as strong as they travel across the Irish Sea in search of glory. Finlay Retson and Rhys Stoneman opened their account with a fine second on the first test of 2020 and will be battling for the same in Ireland. Eddie Lewis and Dom Adams will have the bit between their teeth after missing out on a podium on the Cambrian. The British team will be seeking revenge in the Irish crews’ backyard this weekend. Rupert Flynn and Richard Crozier finished their first gravel event together with a fine fifth place in Wales and will seeking to climb the leader board on the first asphalt challenge of the year.

Alan Carmichael and Claire Williams are the lone competitors in the Motorsport UK National Rally Championship this weekend in their right-hand-drive Ford Fiesta R5. Northern Ireland driver Carmichael is gathering speed with every stage and will look to trade times with the other R5 frontrunners across the two days.

The Clonakility Park Hotel West Cork Rally (13/14 March) will commence with a Ceremonial Start on the Friday evening in Connolly Street, Clonakilty, with 14 stages and 135 miles awaiting the intrepid crews. The winners will be welcomed, and champagne sprayed at the Ceremonial Finish in the heart of Clonakilty from 16:45 on Sunday afternoon.

Creighton sights West Cork Rally as “crucial” in Junior BRC campaign

Posted: March 10, 2020 4:22 PM

William Creighton believes that this weekend’s Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally will play a “crucial” part in his Junior British Rally Championship campaign as the series heads to Ireland for the second round (14/15 March).

The Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Award nominee enjoyed a dream start to his season, acclimatising perfectly to his new M-Sport Fiesta R2T to win the opening round in Wales last month. However, the 22-year-old from Moira in Co. Down and co-driver Liam Regan will have to call on all their previous asphalt experience to stay ahead of the field on the two-day closed-road event.

After campaigning a Peugeot 208 R2 for the past few years, Creighton would make the switch to the Ford marque in 2020 as the Junior BRC converted to a single-make series with support from M-Sport and Pirelli. Creighton currently leads the race after his Cambrian Rally glory which saw him take the top step of the podium by over 22 seconds from his nearest rivals.

Now, the Championship embarks on the first of four rounds on asphalt and one of the toughest in the calendar, with over 220 kilometres and 14 stages spread over two days on the Irish coast. In a change from the “sprint style” of the opening forest round to one of the longest events of the year, Creighton believes that the West Cork Rally could play a pivotal part in his season.

“There is no doubt that there could be a few surprises this weekend and there are more than enough experienced competitors in the Junior BRC to mean that we simply cannot guarantee a repeat performance of the Cambrian [Rally]” says Creighton.

“The pace will be pretty intense in Cork and a good result will be crucial for the rest of the championship. It could very well be a win or lose event.”

Creighton utilised last weekend’s Mayo Stages Rally to get his first taste of the Fiesta on the Irish lanes. Despite breaking a wheel after an impact with a rock during the event, Creighton feels confident heading into this weekend’s BRC qualifier.

“We had a good run at the Mayo Stages last weekend and used it as a shakedown which was essential as I hadn’t had any experience of the car on the unique Irish Tarmac before that. It offered the chance to find a good base setup, so we have something to work from and hit the ground running in Cork. There will be no room for error that’s for sure so we will need to draw on all our previous experience to ensure a good result for our championship”.

The West Cork Rally starts on Saturday morning with eight stages and 100 kilometres before an early evening finish and overnight halt. The remainder of the event is played out over Sunday ahead of the ceremonial finish celebrations in Clonakilty town centre.

Cave targets repeat performance in Ireland

Posted: March 10, 2020 4:21 PM

Aberdovey's Tom Cave is looking forward to returning to the event where he posted his first of three British Rally Championship victories last year, the Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally, which takes places this coming St Patrick’s Day weekend - 14th & 15th March. He will be partnered by co-driver Dale Furniss from Llanfyllin.

In a nail-biting, final stage shoot out in 2019 against fellow Welshman Matt Edwards, driving his PCRS prepared, Get Jerky supported Hyundai i20 R5, Tom and his co-driver on that occasion James Morgan secured an impressive win by a margin of 4.8 seconds. Scroll forward to 2020 and the rivalry is rekindled, with Edwards also returning to West Cork in a Ford Fiesta R5.

But the competition for BRC honours this year doesn’t end there, with the appearance of another Welsh driver Osian Pryce in a VW Polo R5, WRC regular Rhys Yates in a Fiesta, 2019 Billy Coleman Award winner Josh McErlean - also in a Hyundai - and Ollie Mellors driving a Proton Iriz R5.

Tom sets the scene: “To win the British Championship round and finish third overall against so many top Irish drivers last year was fantastic and very satisfying. Looking at the entry list for this year, the competition is just as tough - if not tougher - so we’ll need to be on our game and as well prepared as we can be, make sure the pre-event test and recce go well and then give it our best shot.”

Tom and Dale initially led the opening round of the British Championship, last month’s Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally, before clipping a rock and breaking a wheel. The subsequent time lost pushed them outside the top-ten, but a fight back through the field saw them end the day a credible sixth.

“We need to keep our championship hopes on track and to do that, scoring points is all-important”, explains Tom. “The West Cork Rally is a demanding event with 14 stages and 135 miles on closed public roads. So whilst it’s not a sprint, you can’t afford to back off, especially with strength of competition we'll be up against. I can’t wait!”

Following a ceremonial start in Clonakilty on Friday evening, the action gets underway on Saturday morning and features eight stages providing 68 competitive miles. Sunday’s distance is similar, with its six stages covering 67 miles of competition.

Tom’s 2020 rally campaign is supported by: Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing, Pirelli Tyres, Trailhead Fine Foods and Get Jerky, Shukers Hyundai of Aberystwyth, WD40 and Atech Racing.

McErlean seeks a change in fortune in West Cork

Posted: March 10, 2020 4:19 PM

Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Award winner Josh McErlean will be looking for a positive result at this weekend’s Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally (14/15 March) after suffering an early exit from the opening round of the British Rally Championship (BRC) in Wales last month.

Despite a strong performance during the season opener which saw McErlean running as high as third overall, he was forced to retire after hitting a rock in the penultimate stage of the event. Aiming to put the opening round behind him, the 20-year-old will be looking to secure a strong result as the Clonakilty based event houses the second round of the BRC.

The Kilrea ace has undoubtedly proved that he is worthy of a top-flight seat after his performances in the Junior British Rally Championship last season saw him take the title with one round to spare. The subsequent prize drive on Wales Rally GB marked the beginning of the relationship with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing and McErlean soon bedded into the i20 R5 which this season is being run by the Philip Case Rally Sport outfit.

His R5 debut in the BRC in North Wales last month saw him instantly get to grips with the Hyundai, setting a string of top times to move into the podium positions before an early exit from the event. McErlean believes that this weekend’s West Cork Rally offers the opportunity to regain the momentum he lost after the Cambrian.

“Of course it's frustrating to look at the championship scoreboard so early in the season and see a zero next to your name, but we simply have to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves down and look to Cork as the turning point,” he says buoyantly.

“I have a huge amount of learning to do in the Irish lanes, just like I had to learn the car for the gravel, so it is like a reset switch has been set really. That will probably mean that we can’t expect to be looking at BRC podiums this weekend, especially with the experience of the other guys around us. But I want to find a pace that I`m happy with and just progress during the weekend. It’s a very long event compared to the Cambrian”.

The West Cork Rally is one of the longest in the series, with 14 stages housing a generous 220 kilometres spread across two days. With stages hugging the Irish coast, conditions are often unpredictable and with almost 30 R5’s contesting event thanks to the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship and BRC fighting for honours, McErlean will have to call on all his experience from last season.

“I enjoyed West Cork in the [Peugeot] 208 last year and we won the Juniors, but of course this will be a very different attack this time around. We have to focus on getting a solid result and bagging some points and I’ve been working hard on the on-boards from last year to try and hit the ground running, but there is no doubt it’s an important event in my R5 career”.

Retson seeks points more than prizes in West Cork

Posted: March 10, 2020 4:18 PM

Scottish rally driver Finlay Retson will head to the Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally in Ireland this weekend (14/15 March) in the quest for a solid result in the Junior British rally Championship after taking a career-best second place at the opening round last month.

The 19-year-old will be battling for Junior BRC honours in his JSR Services – Blairgowrie and DJR Services backed M-Sport Ford Fiesta R2 as the series makes it first foray of the season onto the asphalt. Over 200 kilometres of special stage action during two days across the west coast of Ireland are in store as over 180 crews are set to tackle the gruelling closed-road event.

Vying not only for the coveted Junior BRC title but also for €60,000 prize fund towards a Junior World Rally Championship campaign with M-Sport and Pirelli in 2021, Retson and co-driver Rhys Stoneman will be aiming to build on their runner-up spot on the Cambrian Rally and conquer the daunting Irish lanes.

After a mixed debut season in the Junior BRC during 2019, Retson stamped his authority firmly on the scoreboard at the opening round to enjoy a buoyant start to his campaign. Battling a budget shortfall which has forced the Blairgowrie pilot to take everything “event by event”, he impressed onlookers by taking second fastest Junior BRC crew on the opening stage of the slippery rally.

Further top times saw him take the lead of the hotly contested single-make battle before a more measured drive over the closing stages saw him settle for second. Now Retson will head across the Irish Sea where he took fifth place in 2019.

“I’m thrilled to be contesting the second round of the Junior BRC and its certainly been a tough fight to get this far,” says Retson.

“We are struggling with the budget this season but I hope that the first round result has proved what I'm capable of. Last year was very much a learning exercise and now I can start to put that experience into practice. West Cork is probably one of the hardest events on the calendar so it will be very easy to come unstuck. Whilst a repeat of the Cambrian Rally result would be great, we have to remain realistic about our chances”.

Retson will be up against a handful of Irish juniors all with much more experience of the bumpy roads in the region. He believes it will be a case of matching a comfortable pace to a mature head over the weekend.

“West Cork is a huge contrast to the Cambrian, it's like a marathon in comparison sop the approach needs to be very different. I don’t want to get caught up in the pressures and battles for the lead of the Junior with the Irish guys, I don’t think that will do me any good at all. It’s a very long season and as we proved last year its very important to get as many points in the bag early on. If we can get the budget to carry on in the series, then those solid results will really come into play.”

Retson is supported by JSR Services - Blairgowrie Ltd, DJR Services, J.Gas Ltd, Watermans Legal, G S Robertson Ltd, Kevin Donachie Electricians and Plas Y Rhosyn Wedding Venue.

Proton Iriz R5 set for West Cork Rally assault

Posted: March 10, 2020 4:15 PM

A brace of four Proton Iriz R5’s will tackle this weekend’s Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally with Ollie Mellors leading the way at the second round of the British Rally Championship in Ireland (14/15 March).

After taking the Iriz to its first-ever Irish podium at the Birr Stages Rally a fortnight ago, Mellors and co-driver Max Freeman will be aiming for a solid BRC result, adding to Mellors’ fourth place at the series opener in Wales as the Proton brand returned to the BRC for the first time since 2016.

The rapid Derbyshire pilot will be flanked by five-time Irish Tarmac Rally Champion Eugene Donnelly, rising youngster James Williams and double BRC Ladies Champion Nabila Tejpar, all driving an Iriz R5, taking the total to four on the event.

Mellors heads the Proton pack but is seeded outside of the top ten, such is the strength of the entry on the popular event which sees over 180 crews contest the gruelling closed-road event. The British Championship joins regulars from the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship in Clonakilty as almost 30 R5’s tackle the arduous two-day rally.

Competing on asphalt for the first time in four years at the Birr Stages, Mellors overcame several hold-ups to set a string of top three times in the Thornbridge Brewery, Reliable Vehicle Logistics and Michelin backed Iriz R5 to take third but is realistic about his chances this weekend.

“West Cork [Rally] will really be night and day from Birr [Rally] and we really can’t expect a repeat performance this weekend,” says Mellors who has also attracted backing from leading utility contractor O’Connor Utilities Limited for the event.

“I`m pleased with how the car performed on the Irish lanes and it was the perfect shakedown and precursor to Cork, it enabled us to find a good set up and confidence in the car so it was very important to go and do that. It was the first time I’d driven on Tarmac in four years and it would have been foolish to head to West Cork if I hadn’t done that. But with the strength of the entry this weekend, we just have to focus on British Championship points and do our own thing. It’s a long season ahead and points are valuable, even at this stage of the championship”.

With four Iriz R5’s joining the fray in Ireland, Mellors Elliot Motorsport Managing Director Chris Mellors is delighted to see a buoyant number out in West Cork.

“It will be a nice moment for the team to see four Iriz R5’s parked up together. We know the car is more than capable on a sealed surface but it’s a big weekend and as a team, we need to think about the Championship from Ollie’s [Mellors] point of view. It’s a very long event, one of the longest in the series so it will be a good test for the car and our drivers of course”.

The West Cork Rally takes crews over 14 stages and 220 kilometres of competitive driving spread across Saturday and Sunday.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: March 4, 2020 5:20 PM

1 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Hyundai i20 R5) [RC2]
2 Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2]
3 Alistair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC4]
4 Tom Cave/Dale Furniss (Hyundai i20 R5) [RC2]
5 Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (VW Polo GTI R5) [RC2]
6 Sam Moffett/James O Reilly (Hyundai i20 R5) [RC2]
7 Osian Pryce/Noel O Sullivan (VW Polo GTI R5) [RC2]
8 Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes (Hyundai i20 R5) [RC2]
9 Desi Henry/Stuart Loudon (Hyundai i20 R5) [RC2]
10 Robert Barrable/Liam Moynihan (VW Polo GTI R5) [RC2]
11 Rhys Yates/James Morgan (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2]
12 Meirion Evans/Jonathon Jackson (VW Polo GTI R5) [RC2]
14 Oliver Mellors/Max Freeman (Proton Iriz R5) [RC2]
15 Owen Murphy/Anthony Nestor (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2]
16 Cathan McCourt/Barry NcNulty (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2]
17 Daniel Cronin/Shane Buckley (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2]
18 Jonathan Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroen C3 R5) [RC2]
19 David Guest/Jonathan McGrath (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2]
20 Joesph McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2]
21 Eugene Donnelly/John McElhinney (Proton Iriz R5) [RC2]
22 Kevin Kelleher/William Lynch (Subaru Impreza WRC S14) [7]
23 Cal McCarthy/Derek O Brien (Citroen DS3 R5) [RC2]
24 James Williams/Dai Roberts (Proton Iriz R5) [RC2]
25 Josh McErlean/Keaton Williams (Hyundai i20 R5) [RC2]
26 Gary Kiernan/Darren O Brien (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
27 Kevin Gallagher/Ger Conway (Darrian T90 GTR) [14]
28 Kevin Eves/Chris Melly (Toyota Corolla) [14]
29 John Dalton/Gwynfor Jones (Darrian T90 GTR) [14]
30 Vincent McSweeney/Michael Kearney (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [20]
31 Jason McSweeney/Liam Brennan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [20]
32 Wesley Patterson/Johnny Baird (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
33 Richard Moore/John McGrath (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
34 John Bonner/Rory Kennedy (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
35 Richard Moffett/Darragh Kelly (Toyota Starlet) [14]
36 Colin Byrne/Stephen Quin (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
37 Colin O Donoghue/Sean Collins (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
38 Alan Carmichael/Claire Williams (Ford Fiesta R5) [24]
39 William Mavitty/Brian Daniels (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [RC4]
40 Ger O Donovan/Sean Hayde (Skoda Fabia S2000) [RC2]
41 Conor McCarthy/Gavin Sheehan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [20]
42 Keith Power/Tom Cuddihy (Ford Fiesta R5) [22]
43 John Cope/Tony Cope (Subaru Impreza) [13]
44 Denis Moynihan/Eamon Hayes (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2]
45 William Creighton/Liam Regan (Ford Fiesta R2) [RC4]
46 Eamonn Kelly/Conor Mohan (Ford Fiesta R2) [RC4]
47 David Kelly/Arthur Kierans (Ford Fiesta R2T) [RC4]
48 Brian Brady/Eamonn Creedon (Ford Fiesta R2T) [RC4]
49 Finlay Retson/Rhys Stoneman (Ford Fiesta R2T) [RC4]
50 Colin O Rourke/Shane Gilhooly (Ford Fiesta WRC) [7]
51 Kevin O Donoghue/Ann Other (BMW M3) [14]
52 Tom Flaherty/Patrick Curley (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
53 Wayne Evans/John Smithwick (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
54 Mark Dolphin/Colin Fitzgerald (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
55 Adrian Evans/Martin Henry (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
56 Conor Curley/Nigel Frazer (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
57 Barry Jones/Iwan Griffiths (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
58 Richard Cleary/Niamh Holland (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
59 Denis Hickey/Sean Nolan (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
60 Gwyndaf Evans/Ioan Lloyd (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
61 Darren Hamill/Martin Harte (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
62 Jr McDaid/Eamon Doherty (Ford Escort) [13]
63 Jason Ryan/Peter Keohane (Toyota Starlet) [11F]
64 Seamus Connolly/Gary McCrudden (Toyota Corrolla) [11R]
65 John Hickey/Denny Greaney (Ford Escort) [20]
66 Tony Rees/Ian Taylor (Darrian T90 GTR) [14]
67 Christy Gallagher/Lee Cullen (Toyota Starlet) [11R]
68 Conor Murphy/Donagh Crowley (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
69 William Nolan/Evan Downey (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
70 Eoghan Calnan/Conor Calnan (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
71 Dyfrig Jones/Emyr Jones (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
72 Michael Canny/Sinead Canny (Ford Fiesta R5) [22]
73 John Reddington/Kenny Bustard (Ford Fiesta R5) [RC2]
74 Ross Brusby/Dave Robson (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
75 Neil Phelan/Keith McCarthy (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
76 Sean Moran/Jonathan Keane (Ford Escort) [13]
77 Huw Jeffreys/Avarina Jeffreys (Subaru Impreza) [20]
78 Gareth Irwin/Justin McCauley (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
79 Derek Butler/Aaron O Regan (Honda Civic) [11F]
80 Tom Barber/Sion Jones (BMW Compact) [14]
81 Cathal McCarthy/Declan Buttimer (Honda Civic) [11F]
82 Corey Eves/TBA (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
83 Stephen Peoples/David Gordon (Ford Escort) [13]
84 Ed Twomey/Sean Hassett (Subaru Impreza) [20]
85 Johnnie Mulholland/Kaine Treanor (Ford Fiesta R2T) [RC4]
86 Nabjla Tejpar/Hugo Magalhaes (Proton Iriz R5) [RC2]
87 Jason Dickson/Martin Brady (Ford Fiesta R2T) [RC4]
88 Eddie Lewis/Dom Adams (Ford Fiesta R2T) [RC4]
89 Rupert Flynn/Richard Crozier (Ford Fiesta R2T) [RC4]
90 Peter Jackson/Ian Davis (Ford Fiesta R2T) [RC4]
91 Jerimiah O Flynn/Neil Flynn (Ford Escort) [13]
92 Philip Cross/Tony Hennessy (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
93 William Keanneally/Finbarr Fogarty (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
94 Aaron Browne/Daniel Hanratty (Honda Civic) [11F]
95 Andrew Duggan/Tara Duggan (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
96 Bob Moran/Dylan Doonan (Ford Escort Mk2) [11R]
97 Tommy McDonagh/Paul Hickey (Ford Escort) [12]
98 Colin Moynihan/Keefe Kilcoyne (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
99 Jason O Brien/Brian Quinlan (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
100 Sean O Carroll/Niall O Sullivan (Ford Escort RS Cosworth) [15]
101 Cian Walsh/Derry Long (Toyota Corolla) [13]
102 Ciaran Phelan/Karl Egan (Honda Civic) [11F]
103 Paul Bruton/Thomas Bruton (Honda Civic) [13]
104 Llyr Jones/Sophie Buckland (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
105 Adrian Randles/Alistair Wyllie (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
106 Gerard O Connell/Mark McCarthy (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
107 Michael O Sullivan/Mairead Duane (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
108 Steve Roberts/Jack Carroll (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
109 Fergus Hurley/Eric Deane (Ford Escort) [11R]
110 Pat Aherne/Donnacha O Callaghan (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
111 John O Sullivan/Denny O Riordan (Ford Escort) [11R]
112 Andrew James/Alec Morris (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
113 Kenneth Cullinane/Robert O Regan (Honda Civic) [11F]
114 Richard Hickey/Sac O'spuds (Ford Escort) [11R]
115 Eamonn Bates/Pat Knox (Honda Civic) [22]
116 Jerry O Mahony/William Buchanan (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
117 Don Moynihan/Patrick Cashman (Ford Escort) [12]
118 Mickey P Kelleher/Eoghan McCarthy (Ford Escort Mk2) [10]
119 Victor Beamish/Susan Beamish (Vauxhall Nova) [10]
120 Paul Roberts/Tadgh O Sullivan (Opel Corsa Maxi) [13]
121 Graham Kelly/Dean Kelly (Ford Escort G3) [13]
122 William Buttimer/Vincent Bennett (Ford Escort G3) [12]
123 John Quill/Alan Hartigan (Citroen C2 R2) [11F]
124 Anthony Whelton/Ray Looney (Ford Ecsort) [11R]
125 John Forde/Kerrill Dempsey (Citroen C2) [10]
126 Richard Davis/Meg Brady (Ford Escort) [12]
127 Nigel Roche/Graham Roche (Honda Civic) [11F]
128 Gavin Rogers/Georgina Clark (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
129 Chris Brady/Jenny Warren (Honda Civic) [11F]
130 Brian O Mahony/Michelle Galwey (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
131 Feargahl O Connor/Cathal Murphy (Honda Civic) [11F]
132 Patsy McDonagh/Leigh Cavanagh (Ford Escort) [10]
133 Tom O Sullivan/Matt Sweetnam (Peugeot 205) [10]
134 Hazel O Callaghan/Shane Farrell (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
135 Shane Stanley/Sean O Crowley (Honda Civic) [11F]
136 Eddie Doherty/Andrew Cronin (Ford Escort) [11R]
137 Brian Doherty/John Falvey (Ford Fiesta) [11F]
138 Noel McCarthy/John Caverelly (Ford Escort) [9]
139 Mark O Donovan/David Duggan (Ford Escort) [11R]
140 Aidan Hennessy/Andy O Donoghue (Ford Escort) [11R]
141 Raymond O Neill/Padraig O Donavan (Ford Escort) [12]
142 John Bagge/Ron Mackey (Peugeot 306) [22]
143 Aidan Long/Henry Jennings (Subaru Impreza) [15]
144 Shane Casey/Seamus McHugh (Honda Civic) [11F]
145 Frank Hurley/James Kingston (Ford Escort) [10]
146 Eoin Crowley/Shane Murphy (Peugeot 206) [11F]
147 Colm Forde/Jonathon Trill (Honda Civic) [13]
148 John Ryan/Niamh Ryan (Subaru Impreza) [15]
149 Michael Dineen/Denis McAulliffe (Toyota Corolla) [10]
150 Donal Dineen/Bryan Giles (Honda Civic) [11]
151 Gavin Walsh/Mark O Regan (Renault Clio) [22]
152 Roy Baldrick/Dermot Friel (Talbot Sunbeam) [13]
153 Emma Nott/Declan Casey (Ford Escort Mk2) [23]
154 Padraig Deasy/TBA (Honda Civic) [22]
155 Anthony Fehilly/Kyle Fehilly (Ford Escort Mk2) [11R]
156 Ronan Creagh/Peter O Sullivan (Honda Civic) [11F]
157 Graham Carroll/Ryan Carroll (Honda Civic) [11F]
158 Robert Beamish/Orla Beamish (Opel Corsa) [9]
159 Paul Reck/Shane Cahalane (Peugeot 106) [9]
160 Patrick O Regan/Ray Alyward (Peugeot 205) [10]
161 Alan McGough/Niall Myers (Austin Mini Cooper) [9]

R162 James Boland/John McCay (Ford Fiesta R2T) [RC4]
R163 James Bradley/David Doyle (Honda Civic) [11F]

H1 Neil Williams/Anthony O Sulivan (Ford Escort Mk2) [18]
H2 Duncan Williams/Cathal Quill (Ford Escort Mk2) [18]
H3 Gareth Llyod/David Byrne (BMW M3) [19]
H4 Denis Cronin/Helen O Sullivan (Ford Escort Mk2) []
H5 James O Mahony/Gary Gallagher (Ford Escort Mk2) [19]
H6 Todd Falvey/Iarla McCarthy (Ford Escort Mk2 RS1800) [19]
H7 Wyn Spot Huges/David Davies (Ford Escort Mk2) [D5]
H8 Peader Walsh/Grace Walsh (Ford Escort Mk1) [C3]
H9 Berian Richards/Frank Curtin (Ford Escort Mk2) [18]
H10 John O Reilly/Nick Sparks (Ford Escort Mk1) [18]
H11 Bernard Daly/Philip Doherty (Ford Escort Mk1) [18]
H12 James Hall/Tony McCarthy (Audi Coupe) [K]
H14 George Swanton/Labhaoise Hyland (Ford Escort Mk1) [17]
H15 Edward Flahavan/Anthony Roche (Lancia Fulvia) [17]
H16 Harry Brown/Martin McGrath (Hillman Avenger) [17]

J1 Cathal Nolan/Emel McNamara (Honda Civic) [16]
J2 Jason Farrell/Robert Duggan (Honda Civic) [16]
J3 Thomas Murphy/Tommy Downes (Honda Civic) [16]
J4 Noel Murphy/Stephen Monaghan (Honda Civic) [16]
J5 Gareth Deazley/Gavin Downey (Honda Civic) [16]
J6 Ian Horgan/Mark Doody (Honda Civic) [16]
J7 Greg O Brien/Conor Mullen (Honda Civic) [16]
J8 Anhtony O Driscoll/Eoin Corcoran (Honda Civic) [16]
J9 Aine Phelan/Cathal Keane (Honda Civic) [16]
J10 Darragh O Donavan/Michael White (Honda Civic) [16]

Breen/Nagle to compete in West Cork

Posted: March 3, 2020 5:45 AM

Regulations / Entry Form

Posted: February 14, 2020 7:55 AM

Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally 2020 Press Release 3

Posted: February 8, 2020 12:14 PM

The West Cork Rally has a long-standing reputation for delivering a world class event that is affordable and enjoyable for all our competitors. Our rally is organised by competitors for competitors and we will always strive to deliver safety, value, and enjoyment for all our competitors, whether you run Car 1 or Car 160 – This is a core value of The West Cork Rally and indeed Cork Motor Club.

Recently we have all witnessed the introduction of additional regulation, complexity and cost to our sport. This has placed an additional cost burden on entries across all rally events. The organising team of the 2020 West Cork Rally are proud to announce that this additional cost will not be passed on to our competitors in 2020. After careful examination of our event budget and some difficult decisions we are pleased to announce that the 2020 entry fees for all categories will remain the same as those of 2019.

    Mainfield: €1095 – 14 stages – 220km stages
    Historic: €725 – 10 stages – 170km stages
    Junior: €500 – All day Sunday – 6 stages – 110km stages – Note: If Driver & Navigator Marshal on Saturday they receive a further €100 discount.
Cork Motor Club have made the decision to absorb these additional costs and charges rather than simply passing them on to our valued competitors. We have made this decision as we believe that in times of uncertainty leadership is required. Many in the Sport are hopeful of a change of policy at National Level that would allow a reduction in costs for all events. Should this happen for our sport, in addition to keeping 2020 WCR entry fees the same as 2019, Cork Motor Club will also deliver the following to our competitors:

Should Motorsport Ireland revise their current charging structure and regulations between the date of issue of this press release and Friday March 13th, 2020, Cork Motor Club will refund the value of any additional savings achieved to each competitor who starts the 2020 West Cork Rally. The sport must be sustainable at all levels, including for the ordinary Clubman, and Cork Motor Club can and will deliver the cost saving on items we control – we would hope that the powers that be do the same.

Regulations are currently with Motorsport Ireland and the F.I.A. and will be available shortly.

Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally 2020 Press Release 1

Posted: December 19, 2019 3:29 PM

In just under three months the West Cork countryside around the town of Clonakilty will reverberate with the sound of rally cars. The 42nd Clonakilty Park West Cork Rally which takes place on the 14th & 15th March 2020 will see the top talent in both Ireland and Britain come head to head. The event will be the second round of both the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship and the British Rally Championship as well as the opening round of the Southern 4 Rally Championship so a great battle in in store.

For 2020 Greg McCarthy has stepped aside as Clerk of the Course after five successful years and Steve Davis has taken over the reigns as Clerk. Steve has a huge amount of experience having been deputy to Greg for a number of years and has laid on a classic route totalling almost 240km over two days. There will be eight stages on the opening day with six on the second day, all to be held in daylight.

The Clonakilty Park Hotel (formerly the Quality Hotel) is once again the Rally Headquarters for the weekend. In keeping with recent years, service will be in a centralised location over the two days. There will be a historic and junior section, with the historic rally beginning on stage 5, and the junior rally taking in all of Sundays stages.
More information will be available in the coming weeks

Event / Club Website

Posted: December 19, 2019 3:28 PM

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