Murphy’s Stout Title Bid


Jason-Murphy in his 1L Peugeot 107 Photo-credit-Alan-Noonan

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.