Title Pursuit Down to the Wire
The final round of the 2014 Valvoline National Forest Rally Championship takes place in Ringsend, Co. Derry this Saturday November 8th. The forests of Cam and Springwell play host to an epic finale to this year’s championship as Josh Moffett, Owen Murphy and Desi Henry bid to claim the 2014 title. Never before has there been such a hair rising finish to the championship with a three way shootout on the final round culminating with the closing stages in the dark.
The events consists of 6 stages (2 done 3 times), Sringwell offers 5.2 challenging miles while the renowned “Cam” offers 7.4 miles. There is a service after each loop at the event sponsors’ premises the “River Ridge Recycling” complex in Ringsend. There are 38 stage miles with a compact loop of just 65 road miles. Scrutiny and Documentation take place Saturday morning at River Ridge Recycling with the first car away at 11:01. Following the opening loop first service is scheduled at 12:18 with the final service at 14:45 before the closing loop set to run in darkness. The first competing cars are due at the finish podium approx. 17:10 where the event winner will be declared and the 2014 Valvoline Forest Rally Champions will be unveiled.
Top seed Kenny McKinstry (Impreza S14 WRC) will have to fend off Martin Carins (Impreza S14 WRC). Cairns won the recent Bushwhacker Rally and has an identical machine to Banbridge ace McKinstry. However the young guns with their Group A Evo 9’s will be right in contention as they battle for the 2014 title. Current point’s leader Josh Moffett is at no.3 – the young Monaghan man won the penultimate round in Carrick on Suir and is match fit having competed on the Fastnet Rally in the “Family” Fiesta WRC. Owen Murphy is at no. 4, the Cork man claimed a hat trick of wins mid-season. The 2011 Champion will be determined to make amends having dropped to 3rd on the final stage in Carrick. He was out last Saturday night competing on the “Startrek” navigation trial and will be the man to watch in the dark. Round 1 winner Desi Henry is no.5 and the third man in the “Valvoline” battle. Just like his rivals Henry has had seat time since Carrick. The Portglenone native took a notable 3rd overall on the recent Galloway Hills rally in Scotland. It’s simply too close to call, all three men have the speed. Add in the multiples of permutations, combinations and dropped scores who knows who will be crowned the 2014 Valvoline Forest Champion.
Marty McKenna (Impreza S12B WRC) is at 6 and is due a good run. Sam Moffett at no.7 is hoping to make the podium in the Valvoline Gp N category. No.8 seed Gareth Sayers will go hard in his Evo 7. Liam Regan can never be under estimated at no. 9 with his unusual Peugeot 206 4x4. Frank Kelly (Mk2) rounds off the top ten and is the first in a tantalizing 2WD line up including Adrian Hetherington (Mk2), Seamus O’Connell (Mk2), Shane McGirr (Starlet) and Micky Conlon (Mk2). The latter duo will battle for the Valvoline 2WD laurels. Niall Henry (Evo 9) and Patsy Keenan (Evo 9) are front-runners on the Gp N leaderboard and either driver can take the honors. Alan Atcheson (Mk2) should wrap up class 4 as his main opponents are not travelling. Tim/ DJ Howard (Nova) are making the long trip from Co. Cork and are on course to secure class two.
The Seeded Entry List is available at www.mamc.co.uk.
Further information including time & distance schedule, final instructions & live results during the rally are also available from the club website.
Further Championship information, points update etc. are available at:
00 353 87 2691975