UK: Moonraker Forestry Rally preview

The Moonraker Forestry Rally based in Midleton, Co. Cork Sunday 16th of May is the 4th Round of the 2004 "McCauley Trailers" National Forest Rally Championship and the 3rd round of the Ka Championship. Clerk of the Course Coleman Hegarty has...

The Moonraker Forestry Rally based in Midleton, Co. Cork Sunday 16th of May is the 4th Round of the 2004 "McCauley Trailers" National Forest Rally Championship and the 3rd round of the Ka Championship. Clerk of the Course Coleman Hegarty has devised a new format of eight stages (45 stage miles) in East Cork & West Waterford with centralised service in Cappaquinn.

Top seed Kevin Lynch/ Francis Regan are expected to extend their lead in the series this weekend as Lynch plans to use his latest spec S9 Impreza WRC. In the absence of Brian Murphy who is competing in Wales with Austin McHale the strongest opponent to Lynch will be the Subaru's of Kevin O'Kane (Impreza WRC) and Pat Norris (Impreza 555).

Killavullen's John Shanahan/ Liam McLoughlin are top Gp N seed at no. 4, followed by Tyrone's Stephen Moore/ Tony McHugh at 5. Both driving Subaru's this is sure to be a nip and tuck battle all the way for Gp N honours, Shanahan is the unbeaten champion and Moore's car has been rebuilt and now equipped with new Prodrive suspension. Consistent results have locked no. 6 Patrick Elliott/ Sean Moriarty (Evo 6) and no. 7 Bob Scanlon/ Peter Keohane (Evo 6) in a battle for championship honours as Scanlon leads the Gp N class and holds 4th overall in the championship with Elliott only 1 point adrift.

The top ten is rounded off with a trio of high powered 16v Escorts including John Reid/ Brendan Greene at 8, Brian Lawlor/ Peter Kavanagh at 9 and local crew Tommy Kiley/ Michael Cuddihy at 10. Just outside the top ten are Dungarvan's Paul Mulcahy/ Karl Baumann in their rapid 1600 16v Starlet, Mulcahy is currently 6th overall in the championship and leading 2WD. Local class contenders include Ballycotton's Ray Benkin/ Peadar Walsh, Rathcormac's Sean Benskin/ Martin Godfrey, Midleton's Ollie Williams/ Michael Sigerson, Danny McEvoy/ Bill Collins and Ivan Bryan/ Bernard McSweeney

The first car starts from the Midleton Park Hotel & Spa at 8AM on Sunday morning with the opening stage near Dungourney followed by the famous fast and flowing "Vee" near Lismore before service in Cappaquinn. The event moves towards Aglish and Scart Mountain for a loop of stages with service again based in Cappaquinn after ss5 & 7. The final stage is a reverse of the opening test near Dungourney. The first cars are due back at HQ for a champagne reception at 17:30.

HQ: Midleton Park Hotel & Spa,Midleton, East Cork
Scrutiny: Keary's Toyota Garage, Midleton, Saturday 15th May 17:00-21:30
Drivers Briefing: 22:30 Saturday 15th May @ HQ
Parc Ferme: Midleton Business & Developement Car Park, O'Dwyer's rd.
Service: Centralised Service, Cappaquin industrial estate after ss2, 5 & 7

-gs/ir-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Francis Regan , Austin McHale , Brian Murphy
Teams Williams