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.
Adding interest however on Sunday, will be the first female Junior driver, 18 year old Aoife Gahan who is making her rallying debut in a Chevrolet Spark. Aoife’s father Tom is famous in rally preparation circles and also Aoife’s godfather was the late, great Frank Meagher, this highlights the interest that the J1000 championship is building in its first year, as these teenagers gain valuable early experience of gravel driving, and indeed co-driving as they swap to the navigators seat for the public road sections between the stages.
Action gets under way on Sunday with first car away from Parc Ferme at 9.30am.
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Mayo & District Motorsport Club wish to announce that the Autocross scheduled for the 23rd of July has been cancelled.
Mayo & District Motorsport Club wish to announce that the Autocross scheduled for June 11th has been postponed. We hope to reschedule this event for later in the year.
To whom it concerns.
Due to unforeseen circumstances Mayo and District Motorsport Club has postponed its Autocross (LS) scheduled for 7th May 2017.
It is the club’s intention to seek a new date to run the Autocross later in the year.
Yours in Motorsport,
Mayo and District Motor Club
Moore setting the Pace
Nineteen-year-old Lorcan Moore from Crossmolina is continuing to show at every occasion that he is one of the main up and coming young Co-Drivers in Irish rallying at present.
Lorcan, who is studying Commerce (Global Experience) at NUI Galway, is not only just after competing in six rallies in the past five weekends, but he also represented Mayo Motorsport Club overseas as he made the trip to the Malcom Wilson Rally in Cumbria on March 11th last, before he flew home immediately after to compete in the Mayo Stages Rally the following morning in Achill, where he had been as high as 7th overall in the event whilst competing with Ballyhaunis man Shane Buckley.
With an astounding eight rallies completed to date this season, and many more in the pipeline, Lorcan is competing in the Clonakilty Black Pudding Irish Tarmac Junior Rally Championship, where he navigates for his older brother and World Rally Mechanic, Brian, in their self-prepared Honda Civic. After taking second place points in round one – the Galway International Rally; and maximum points in round two – the West Cork Rally, he is currently in control of the navigator’s championship. However, he insists that it is still early days in the season, and that anything can happen.
Not only this, but Lorcan also competes in the Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship, in the Dickson Bros. Motorsport team, where he navigates for Tyrone native Ashley Dickson in their fabulous Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9. After solid performances in the earlier rounds of the championship, the Carrick-on-Suir Forestry Rally and the Moonraker Rally in Cork, where he took second and third place points respectably the young Crossmolina man lies second overall in the hotly contested Group N championship.
With undoubtable commitment to the sport, Lorcan also competes as a driver and is the reigning Mayo & District Motorsport Club Young Driver Champion after some stellar performances in his Citroen Saxo rally car last season. However, he has decided to focus on navigating for the 2017 season.
Speaking recently Lorcan said: “It is far too early yet to think about championships, rallying is so unpredictable and it could be all over in a split second. It’s fantastic to get the opportunity to compete most weekends in two superb championships where we get to experience the best stages the country has to offer. It’s a bit of a commitment being away, but whether I’m in Cork, Waterford, or England, I love every second of it. Between University and rallying, it came to a stage where I hadn’t been back home to Crossmolina in five weeks. It is very much a team effort, and I must thank my drivers, Ashley Dickson, Brian Moore, and Shane Buckley (among others) and their sponsors, (Dickson & Co Insurance, BM Motorsport Services, & EPS Group) for making it all possible, not forgetting the service crews”.
Moore is now focusing ahead to the rest of his 2017 season, where he is competing in the Monaghan Stages Rally, in a weeks’ time, before the International Rally of the Lakes in Killarney the following weekend.
Local Mayo crew Shane Buckley / Lorcan Moore enroute to winning the Eddie O’Hora Memorial award for top two wheel drive Mayo Motorsport Club crew on Stage 1 of the Mayo Stages Rally in Achill.
Round two of the 2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship, the Moonraker Forest Rally, took place on Saturday last. The event run by the Munster Motor Club saw a magnificent seventy seven cars start from a sun kissed Ballyvourney, for this eight stage event. It was an event very much enjoyed by the crews, with the fast, flowing stages in fabulous shape.
Local interest focused on young South Mayo driver, Jason Murphy who turned 17 on the eve of the event and had his uncle Matthew in the navigator seat. Fresh from their victory in the new J1000 section at Round 1 recently in Carrick On Suir, the pair are concentrating on the forest trails with the overall end of season Championship prize of a drive in a R2 Rally car on a 2018 Irish Forest Rally round, a fabulous incentive for a young rally driver to gain a real head start for their future rallying careers.
From the outset, the Presentation College Headford fifth year student laid down his intentions creating a lead of three minutes to his nearest challenger after two stages, but stage three was to witness a change in fortune. After a flawless run, as the pair approached the end of the stage, disaster struck; a front strut, the main part of the special adapted gravel suspension in their little one litre Peugeot 107 broke, forcing them to a halt, Jason’s challenge looked in doubt, his three minute lead was soon swallowed up by Alex Byrne from Tipperary in a similar spec car.
Refusing to throw in the towel so early in the event, Jason and Matthew worked on their stricken rally car and after getting back to service park were able to carry out repairs with the help of their C-Sport service team and were able to rejoin the event under Rally 2 rules that with the addition of a time penalty enabled them to score championship points.
With suspension mended the pair rejoined and with a spirited drive which showed the commitment of Jason the pair brought their Westtyre backed Peugeot 107 home in a super second place of the 16 to 18 year old J1000 section, not only adding valuable championship points but proving the ‘never give up’ attitude prevailed!!
Next up for the pair is Round three the Abbey Hotel Donegal Forestry Rally which takes place on the 13th of May.
The event was won by Cork’s Keith Cronin who had Mikie Galvin on the notes; they topped a Ford Fiesta podium lock out ahead of Monaghan’s Josh and Sam Moffett who finished second and third.
A gallery of images of our running of the Stages Rally this year, held on the beautiful backdrop of Achill Island.
Pic Credit – Alan McGuire
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