Wm. Loughman Forestry Rally

Early Entry Incentive Package Winners

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2012 Wm. Loughman Memorial Forest Rally

Early Entry Incentive Package Winners

• Full Entry Refund: Gerard Lucey/James Lucey

• €225 Refund of Entry Fee: John Murphy/Niall Fitzpatrick

• B+B for two People in the Carraig Hotel, Rally HQ on Friday Night the 2nd of March or Saturday Night the 3rd of March. Pat Price/Stephen Price


Unseeded Entry List/Marshal's Meeting Points

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Jennings dominates in the Hills of Donegal

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Donegal MC hosted round one of the 2012 Valvoline Forest Rally Championship and the ten stage event was held on Saturday Jan 28th. Garry Jennings dominated the proceedings, Garryleading from start to finish and claiming nine fastest times. Jennings, who hails from nearby Kesh was driving a Group A Impreza. He is current Group N Tarmac champion and he won the Peugeot U.K. 206 cup in 2002.

Second place was a fine result for young Stephen Wright in the Evo6. While the Monaghan driver finished 53 sec behind the rally winner, Wright held second place all day, and he equalled Jennings time on stage2.  Wright finished last season on a high note with 3rd (and leading Valvoline runner) on the Down rally.

Colin Britton was third, the Strabane driver just thirteen seconds behind Wright. Britton was the first of three Group N cars, and he finished a mere second ahead of Donegal’s, Conor Harvey who had just 22 seconds to spare over Beragh’s Ian Cochrane. 

The excitement was no less intense in the 2WD class, where Tyrone drivers ruled the roost. As expected Frank Kelly was on top rung, and the Moy man finished  sixth  with a margin of eighteen seconds over Adrian FrankHetherington (8th O/A)in the V6 Rover powered Mk2. Third in the class was claimed by Shane McGirr (9th O/A) in the Starlet RWD, just 9 seconds behind Hetherington. Other finishers in the top ten included Corkman Ger Lucey who was 7th despite an electric niggle all day in the Evo 8, and local driver Paul Reid who was tenth in a Mk2.  

There are two new classes in the 2012 Valvoline Forest Rally Championship. Drivers of R2 homologated cars can enter Class 10,  and Class 11 caters for the Historic class. Joe Mc Gonigle entered his C2R2 Max but he retired after SS7 with a broken drive shaft. Tommy O’ Connell was more fortunate, and he scored the first ever historic points in his LHD Escort Mk2.

His father Seamus created another bit of history, when he was the first retiree. A half shaft failed in the Derryman’s Mk2 en route to the first stage. Other retirements included 2010 forest champion Pat O’ Connell (engine), Enda McNulty (misfire) Vincent McAree (anti-lag), Mark Murphy (transmission) and Mick Nevin (spark plug). In total eighteen crews retired from a starting list of forty five.

After this weekend’s Wm. Loughman rally, there are five rounds  of the 2012 Valvoline Forest Rally Championship remaining: Apr 15  Moonraker  Rally; May 19 Cork Forest Rally; July 8 Tipperary MC Rally; Aug 4 Dogleap Rally and Sep 22; Bushwhacker Rally.

Championship Website

Championship Points

Photos Courtesy of Dermott Sweeney (www.dermottsweeney.com)


'Early Entry Incentive Package'

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Carrick on Suit Motor Club are now delighted to announce their 'Early Entry Incentive Package' for this year's Wm.Loughman Forestry Rally.
Early Entry Incentive Package Draw: This Year's Early Entry Incentive Package Include:

• B+B for two People in the Carraig Hotel, Rally HQ on Friday Night the 2nd of March or Saturday Night the 3rd of March.

• Full Entry Refund

• €225 Refund of Entry Fee

Competitors who want to be in the draw MUST be FULLY PAID by the Entries Closing Date: Friday 24th of Feb and Winners will have to start the rally to avail of prizes.

2012 WM. Loughman Memorial Forest Rally - Event Documents

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Attention ALL- Please USE (The Event Entry Form Contains Interactive Fields and can be filled out on your PC/Laptop and then please Sign your signature in the required fields after printing)

Full Time Schedule

Special Stage Time Schedule


2012 Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship

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Press Release 1.

The 2012 Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship roars into life on this Saturdays Abbey Hotel Donegal Forest rally. Hosted by the Donegal Motor Club and based in Donegal town, the Clerk of the Course is Michael Kelly and he has planned a route of 65 competitive kilometers spread over 10 stages. The first car leaves Parc Ferme at 830am to head to the Pettigo area where two stages will be done twice. In the afternoon there are three stages repeated in the Barnesmore Gap area.

Link to full Release....


Donegal Forestry Rally - (Sat) 28 Jan 12: Event Info

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Donegal Forestry Rally: Website/Previewdonegal
Donegal Forestry Rally: Seeded Entry List
National Forestry Championship: Website
National Forestry Championship: On Twitter
National Forestry Championship: Facebook Page


Pastures New for 2012 Wm. Loughman Memorial Forest Rally

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2012 Event PreviewWillieLoughman2012
Innovation was the outstanding feature last years Willie Loughman Memorial Forest Rally as the Carrick on Suir Motor Club introduced an all-inclusive one day rally which included both scrutiny for the competing cars and was followed then by evening and night stages. The club continues with this successful format for the 2012 event which will take place on Saturday the 3rd of March. The highlight for both competitors and spectators on this year’s event comes by way of a mouth-watering 25 Km stage, the longest in the National Forestry Championship this season for the competitors in the Gurteen Forest Complex and for the passionate rallyfans in the South East the event moves to pastures new as the rally revisits the Village of Portlaw as the famous stages of Towerhill  and Bealough make a welcome return after a long absence.

The rally is again centralised in Carrick on Suir as the Carrick Motor Club continues its successful partnership with co-sponsors the Carraig Hotel and Suirway Forklifts. As the one-day format from last is continued the Carraig will act as rally HQ for paper scrutiny/documentation and prizegiving but the main hub of the event will be in the Mill River Business Park which contains mechanical scrutiny and the service area. The one day all inclusive rally format will see competitors arrive in the morning to get their respective cars checked, then the main event is set to begin with the first stage scheduled for 15.00hrs.

That initial special stage is very ‘special’ indeed as the rally gets underway in the Gurteen Forest Complex near Kilsheelan and it’s a monster this year as the full Gurteen Complex will be run as a complete test on the opening loop in daylight and will then be tackled again as the second loop starts at 19.00 hrs. Clerk of the course, Barry Duggan expands on his plans and stage selection for 2012, “This year’s event will be effectively broken into two locations, with stage one and four being based in Gurteen and special stages two and three on the first loop and then stages five and six on the second loop in Portlaw. First Gurteen, The huge complex has formed the backbone of our event for main years and being so large we always decided to split the forest into two separate stages. This year I wanted to try something different and after toying with the idea, I’m now delighted to announce that this year ‘Gurteen’ will be run as a complete 25 km stage, making it the longest in the National Forestry Championship. It will give the crews a baptism of fire as the rally opener and then the rerun in darkness will pose an even sterner test.”

Barry also explains his decision to move to new pastures for this year’s rally, “From both the organisers and competitor’s perspective going back repeatedly to the same areas can get very mundane. In the interest of giving the rally a fresh look we decided to move to new ground, together with the land owner, the local Forester and Coillte, the Motor Club has come to an agreement on using the region and I'm delighted to be back in Portlaw for the famous Towerhill and Bealough stages. It's always good to source new terrain and I'm sure the change will be welcomed by the crews and fans alike.”   

Taking place on the first Saturday in March the Willie Loughman again forms an integral part of the Valvoline National Forestry Championship and fits in this year as the second round. The rally also forms round two of the competitive Triton Showers South East Stages Rally Championship regional series. Carrick Motor Club members took a clean sweep in 2011 with Shay Power and John Rafter crowned champions, Shay’s Brother-in-law, Alan Commins with his son James calling the notes took second place. James Coleman, partnered by Michael Haley picking up third place on the podium with the championship going all the way to the wire on the final round in Wexford. Both championships play a vital role in attracting crews to the event.


2011 Wm. Loughman Forestry Event Preview

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KEEPS us in the DARK for Forestry Rally
2011 Wm. Loughman Forestry Rally Event Preview

If the climax of the opening round in this year’s VALVOLINE National Forestry
Rally Championship is anything to go by then we’re in for a MOTORSPORT treat next weekend in Carrick on Suir. Three weeks ago the new season of Forestry Rallying was ushered in by the Tipperary Motor Club and the event went all the way to the wire with Cork crew, Owen Murphy and James O’Brien taking the honours on the final stage. Next weekend sees the championship move to Carrick on Suir for the Willie Loughman Memorial Forestry Rally, sponsored by The Carraig Hotel, Suirway Farm Machinery and PM Autos.

The Carrick Motor Club is always to the forefront in pushing new boundaries and this year is marked by a return of NIGHT STAGES. Barry Duggan takes charge for his second time as Clerk of the Course, after calling the shots on a very successful rally twelve months ago. For 2011, Barry has pushed the envelope by streamlining the rally to a "Single Day Event". The rally moves this year from its usual Sunday format to a new all in one day scrutiny and rally on Saturday next the 5th of MARCH. Competitors will arrive to the Carraig Hotel (Rally Headquarters) on Saturday morning for mechanical and paper scrutiny, the rally action then gets underway in the afternoon with the first of six stages getting off the startling line at approximately 3pm. The first loop of three tests will be completed in daylight but the second loop will see darkness fall and the competitors will be required to adapt to the conditions.

The special stages for this year’s rally are based in the Gurteen Forest Complex near Kilsheehan and the Anner Forest Complex close to Ninemilehouse. The word special is not lightly used. Stages one and two on the opening loop and four, plus five on the second are classics in the Forestry Championship. The stage layout sees stage 1 and 4 encompass the perimeter of the Gurteen wood, the stage offers spectator viewing points on the R680 road between Kilsheehan and Clonmel. Stages 2 and 5 again in Gurteen is almost entirely closed for spectator viewing except for the junction at Boola Bridge. The competing cars will enter the junction coming downhill at speed and turning hairpin left. The action moves north near to Ninemilehouse to the Anner wood for the third stage in the loop. This famous test is a traditional part of the Willie Loughman event and the 2011 version sees the competitors enter the forest at Ballinruan cross roads and the start of the test is on the upper section of the wood. The stage is again almost completely landlocked for spectator view but for the section of hairpin bends beyond Boherboy cross roads.
After the completion of the opening three tests, the competitors return to Carrick on Suir for service in the Millriver Business Park and is scheduled between 17.00 and 18.00 hrs. Then at 18.30 hrs the cars make their way back to Gurteen for the second loop and the feature of this year’s event, the NIGHT STAGES. The winning crews are expected back to the Carraig Hotel finish ramp at approximately 20.15 hrs.

This year’s forestry rallying season got off to a flyer in Mitchelstown on the 13th of February and it turned out to be memorable for three drivers in particular. Going into the final Kilworth stage, Dubliner John Reid (Toyota Corolla WRC) held a sixteen second lead over Carrick Motor Club member Andrew Purcell. Former Billy Coleman award winner Owen Murphy was a further six seconds back in third place, but all was to change over the 12 Kms of Kilworth. Reid was the first to waver, spinning early in the test and dropping 37 seconds. This left Purcell only to finish and claim victory but the 2009 Forestry Champion co driver succumbed to the pressure and slid of the stage at a tight junction; with no spectators to be seen Purcell was left to rue his chance as his great drive ended in retirement. As the smoke cleared it was Owen Murphy and James O’Brien who emerged victorious and take an early lead in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship. With the demise of Purcell on the final stage, the door was left open for Frank Kelly to claim third overall in his Ford Escort Mk11. The Co. Tyrone man also took top two wheel drive honors and the winner of class 5. With Cork’s Liam Brennan calling the notes the pair recorded fastest 2WD times on every stage.

As we look ahead to the action next weekend all of the above are back to fight for top honors and class success. Winning crew from round one, Owen Murphy and James O’Brien were one of the first crews to enter the event and will be looking to make it two in a row. After their respective mistakes on the final stage in Mitchelstown both John Reid and Andrew Purcell will be looking to get their championships aspirations back on track. Purcell should have the upper hand as he is on home ground but Reid with Enda Shields in the co driving seat finished second overall twelve months ago and will be looking to go one better this year.

The quality of the entry is not confined to the top of the field as there will be interest battles and crews to keep an eye on through out. Among the Mitsubishi brigade are the Pat Price, Bob Scanlon, the Lucey brothers from Co. Cork, Trevor Hutton and Vincent McAree. We have forestry rallying stalwarts Michael Nevin, The Benskins from Co. Cork. There’s an international flavor with entries from Patsy Keenan from the USA and Ian Downey who’s currently living in Germany. Seventh overall in Mitchelstown was claimed by Alistair Fisher who was giving his new Fiesta R2 its first rally run in advance of the WRC Academy series and he will be joined by Carrick Club member Craig Breen who is also in preparation mode ahead of the launch of the FIA WRC Academy in Portugal at the end of March, Breen was in action last weekend in the South of England on the Rallye Sunseeker but a water pump problem cause the Waterford driver a class win. The event will be Craig’s first in his newly acquired Fiesta R2 as he lays the ground work for his WRC Academy assault. Using the R2 model in the Irish forests will be no surprise to him as on the last occasion in 2009 in the Birr forestry Rally, Breen clinched the Irish junior title and third overall on the event in the front wheel drive car. As is usual in the forest sideway action is the norm and we can look forward to plenty of stones flying from the Toyota Starlets of Michael Cuddihy and from Tyrone Shane McGirr, Cuddihy is another man on home ground as he lives near Ninemilehouse. He has a new co driver this year as James Dunphy takes the hot seat. James reports he really enjoyed the rally in Mitchelstown, he states “The Starlet is not an easy car to pilot but Michael does a great job”, McGirr had a great run on the opening event this season taking class 3 honors and will be pushing all the way in Carrick. This sets the scene for will be another event not to be missed in Carrick on Suir NEXT WEEKEND.

Photos Courtesy of myrally.ie



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