The weather was great, great driving too
Photos and videos
Seeded Entry List, Final Instructions, Time & Distance Schedule available at the Irish Forest Rally Championship website
Sunday 3rd February 2013
For immediate release WEST LIMERICK MINI STAGE FOREST RALLY
With entry numbers progressing through the sixties, there is considerable excitement building for the prospects of next Sunday's West Limerick Mini Stage Forest Rally.
The event is based in Kantoher Business Park, near NewCastle West and it marks the opening round of the 2013 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland Forest Rally Championship. It is being organised and promoted jointly by the Forestry Committee and Limerick Motor Club.
Clerk of the Course Barry Duggan has picked two classic stages at Banane and Reanahown. These stages are used twice and they will yield a total stage distance of 40km. Scrutiny, service and administration all take place in rally headquarters in Kantoher Business park. Scrutiny takes Sunday morning and the first car is away at 12 midday, returning at 1600.
The entry list is a marvellous mix of former champions and class winners and other forest regulars. In addition the organising committee have been very successful in attracting a lot of entrants who are new to rallying and forest racing in particular.
Former champs like Pat O' Connell and Owen Murphy return to do battle in their Mitsubishi Evo's and they will be challenged by the WRC cars of Mick O' Brien (Escort), Kevin Barrett (Subaru) and John Reid (Toyota). Fans of rear wheel drive are promised plenty of oversteer from the Escorts of Adraian Hethrington and Paul Fitzgerald as well as Shane McGIrr in the Starlet RWD.
The list of local entrants is dominated by the Ford Escorts of Ray Benskin Jnr (Ballycotton) Jimmy Deane (Mallow), Sean Benskin (Rathcormack), Michael O' Sullivan (Charleville). The Civic brigade is headed by Dan Cronin (Bantry), John Byrnes (Murroe) and Sean Alan (Rockchapel). Their front wheel drive opposition will emerge from Joe Allen (Mallow), Joe Dowling (New Castle West), Tim Holland (Mallow) and the Peugeot 306 of Con O' Riordan (Killarney). Local 4X4 drivers include the Evo 8's of Ger Lucey (Ballyvourney) and Mark Murphy and the Subaru of Danny Creedon (Milstreet).
Clerk of the Course Barry Duggan is thrilled with the strong entry. "I think it is a vote of confidence in the quality of the special stages. And the entry fee of E350 offers serious value for money. We must acknowledge all the help from the organising committee and thank the Kantoher Development Group, Tara Cladding and Mc Mahon's Eco-Fuels for wonderful help. Thanks also to the Cork MC who will be operating the results system and the rally updates will be available on www.irishforestrally.com".
Events Secretary John Quill said "the entry fee of E350 is only sustainable because it is heavily subsidised by the Forest Rally sub- committee. I would like to remind competitors that the stages were repaired after the pace note suppliers were through the stages. In the seeding order, all 2WDs will be first through the stages in reverse seeding order and they will be followed by the 4X4's in regular seeding order".
Austin Shinnors PRO Valvoline National Forest Championship
Press Release by Kevin and Johnny O'Connor
"O’Connor Motorsport Gear up for an exciting 2013..!!
Looking ahead to the 2013 season, Askeaton Brothers, Johnny and Kevin are excited to kick off the year with the running of the first ever West Limerick Mini Stages Forest Rally this weekend, it is round 1 of the Motorsport Ireland National Forest Championship. The woods of West Limerick are set to resonate to the revs of racing engines when the Rally takes place on Sunday February 10th.The rally is based in Kantoher Business Park, near Newcastle West and it marks the opening round of the 2013 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland Forest Rally Championship. 2012 National Junior Championship front runner, Johnny competing in his Citroen C2R2 Rallycar commented “We are really excited about the Rally now. It’s our first time taking these cars into the forest and with everyone talking about this new event its exciting, it has the formula to be a great rally and it is only around the corner so I just can’t wait.” Brother Kevin, 2012 Citroen Racing Champion, competing in his recently rebuilt Citroen C2 MAX added “The Gravel conditions are so tough and you are always only a few inches away from slipping off the road at any moment. When it goes well it’s a great feeling but it’s a tough mental game, a small mistake and you will find yourself stuck in a bank!". With plans of competing abroad this year looking very likely both brothers will be aiming to finish and get mileage under their belt on Gravel and we will hopefully have a couple of exciting announcements in the coming weeks..!!"
Sample Stage Video by Patterson Pace Notes