Well done to Brian Lavelle & Darren Curran who came 1st in class and 35th o/a;
Jared Gill navigating for Ray Cunningham who won the historic category;
Sean McHugh & Kathleen Kennedy, 8th in class and 61st o/a;
Derek McCarthy navigating for Stephen Reynolds, 4th in class and 71st o/a;
James McGreal & Chris Mitchell, 5th in class & 81st o/a;
Keith Jacobs & Michael Carr 4th in the juniors.
Hard luck to Barry Cuffe & Stephen McGing who retired after an incident on stage 3.
Justin Ryan battled his way through torrential rain showers and muddy, slippery roads to take maximum championship points and second Junior place overall at the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally on Saturday.
The battle to become the Irish Tarmac Junior Champion for 2017 has become a two horse race as this, the penultimate round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding sponsored series has seen championship leader Jenna McCann have her lead slashed to just 3 points as Justin and his co-driver John Burke in their Honda Civic secured what was their best finish this year.
Sailing across the rain-soaked stages, Justin and John used all of their knowledge to set the fastest stage times of championship registered crews on three of the opening four stages. Despite easing off the pace, perhaps a little too much over the next two stages; letting Jenna come within 14 seconds in her Ford Fiesta, Justin never looked back and held the top championship spot throughout the remaining two timed stages to finish event runner up, behind non championship registered Jason Black in his Toyota Starlet.
Speaking after his day of action around Derry, Justin said “Hats off to Jason Black in his Starlet, his pace on the wet Tarmac was unbelievable. We couldn’t match it but we were focused on staying ahead of Jenna. We are going to need to drive hard on the final round in Cork on October 1st and it will be really fun to drive in a fight for the title. It’s going to be interesting, let the quickest driver win!”
Mayo & District Motorsport Club wish to announce that the Autocross scheduled for the 20th August has been cancelled.
Monthly Club meeting:
Belcarra Community Centre, Friday 4th of August 9pm. All welcome.
by Andy Walsh
The Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, the final round of the 2017 Michael O’Brien Plant Hire Junior 1000 Championship provided a fine finale to an excellent inaugural season on the gravel. It proved to be a dream day for Jason Murphy, not only winning the Mallow based event, but clinching the 2017 title.
“I am absolutely delighted to win the National J1000 championship. I can’t believe it, it means a lot to secure the title and be the first name into the history books! A massive thanks to Ray Fitzpatrick and the Forest Rally Committee team for putting such hard work into this J1000 series, and thanks to my uncle and navigator Matthew who undoubtedly helped me to get into this position today! Thanks to C-Sport who had the little 1 litre Peugeot 107 in excellent shape all year and to Philip Case for excellent suspension set up and Killian Duffy from Onthepacenote for excellent notes all season. Thanks also to my sponsors Westtyre for their support, the championship sponsors, TV crews, organisers and marshals for a great years rallying, and to my family and friends for all their help” said the new 17 year old champion.
Despite a winning margin of just over one minute and twenty seven seconds, (after 65 kilometres of loose surface forest stages) over second placed Aoife Gahan, daughter of Tom Gahan, famous in rally preparation circles, it took a while for the South Mayo driver to find his rhythm, trailing the lead by 12 seconds after the first stage, a sign of nerves perhaps. But showing his determination Jason clawed back 15 seconds on stage two to lead at the first service by just 3 seconds. Slight adjustments to the car by the Claregalway based C-Sport Rally preparation team, who look after the running of the Peugeot 107, seemed to give Jason new confidence as he increased his lead to almost a minute over the next two stages, arriving back at the last service halt of the day with a cushion and the knowledge that two more clean runs would round of his first season in the championship for 16-18 year olds with another event win.
With no dramas on the last loop Jason and Matthew arrived back at the finish ramp, capping a wonderful debut season again spraying champagne and the knowledge that the fabulous championship prize of a drive in an R2 car on a 2018 Irish Forest Rally is now a reality!
This Sunday sees motorsport attention turn to the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, the final round of the inaugural Michael O’Brien Plant Hire, Junior 1000 Championship and 17 year old Jason Murphy from south Mayo is in the driving seat, as he aims to secure the 2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally J1000 Championship title.
It’s been a great season for Jason and co-driver Matthew in their 1 litre Peugeot 107, and now just 65 kilometres of loose surface forest stages, based in the Mallow area, separate the Shrule driver from the title. “We carry a slender one point lead into the final round following a nip and tuck battle all year with Kilkenny’s Alex Byrne, who surprisingly, to date, hasn’t entered the event. The aim for Sunday is a steady run and not to think about the championship” explained Jason. “It’s been an enjoyable year to date. There’s a friendly atmosphere within the championship, and it’s a credit to the committee for the package they have put together for 16 to 18 year olds like myself. No doubt this championship is going to grow in stature and it would mean a lot to secure the title and be the first name into the history books!”
With a fabulous prize of a drive in an R2 car on a 2018 Irish Forest Rally round up for grabs to the J1000 2017 champion, incentives are fantastic for this teenage Mayo rally driver.