Carrick Forest summary

McCarthys' dominant debut. John McCarthy won the 2003 Willie Loughman Memorial Carrick Forest Rally dominating from the start as he debuted the "ex Fisher Impreza". It was the first time this famous car was in the woods, John's first event...

McCarthys' dominant debut.

John McCarthy won the 2003 Willie Loughman Memorial Carrick Forest Rally dominating from the start as he debuted the "ex Fisher Impreza". It was the first time this famous car was in the woods, John's first event in the car and it was also the first win for the East Cork pairing of John McCarthy and Dan Maguire. John set the pace on stage 1, Gurteen 1 with a 9.06 including a spin and nearest challenger was Garry Jennings in the rapid 106 Maxi on 9.28 followed by a line of serious 4WD machinery, John Donnelly and Eddie Kinirons were tied on 9.36, followed by Kevin o' Kane 9.51. Top seed Dermot Kelly had electrical trouble throughout the day costing him dearly. At service after ss 3 John McCarthy was 34secs ahead of Eddie Kinirons and this trend would contiue all the way to the finish. John's only trouble was very limited steering lock, which was sorted by adjusting the lock stoppers and now the Impreza seemed to go up a gear, pulling out an even bigger lead stage after stage all the way to the finish in Carrick.

Eddie Kininrons had his best result to date, finishing a solid 2nd this makes a good start to his championship hopes, really gettting it together although losing some time on the tight hairpins due to handbrake problems.Yet again rising star Garry Jennings shone as he powered the rapid 106 Maxi to 3rd despite losing the rear shocks on ss 9, doing last stage, Anner without any rear shocks at all! Kevin o' Kane was 4th and seemed to slip back after a serious charge setting fastest time on ss 5. John Shanahan finshed a very fine 5th on his first day in the newly built Gp N Impreza, this was a learning curve with some mechanical trouble along the way. Dermot Kelly was just a second behind in 6th after a frustrating day but when his Escort WRC was on song so was he, setting fastest time on ss 9. John Donnelly finished 7th, he was in the top 3 early on but a puncture on ss 6 cost nearly a minute dropping him down the leaderboard. John McGaffin had a steady run to 8th enjoying himself no end with that mighty Legacy. Paul Mulcahy finished 9th and won class 2. His cousin Alan (Mulcahy) in a similar 1600 16v starlet was 10th.

Retirements included no.8 James Murphy, who suffered a burst rad on ss 7, David James went off early in the day, Paul Staunton finished down in 23rd after a variety of troubles (battery, steering rack etc). Kieran Molloy broke a shaft on ss 2. Mike o' Sullivan no. 33, head gasket on ss 1. James Foley's civic retired on ss 3. But spare a thought for no. 26 Matt Shinnors who retired 10yrds into ss 1, his mk 2 stopped with some electrical bug!

This was the first round of the Ford Ka championship and the first time these lads came to the woods, series winner on the day Vivienne Noone had alot of fun and is looking forward to the next day for the Ka series in the woods. The event ran very well, it's always a hard one to finish and anyone that made it to Carrick was happy to be on the finishers list.

<pre> Top Ten 1. (5) John McCarthy/ Dan Maguire Impreza 53.35 2. (6) Eddie Kinirons/ Greg Shinnors Celica 55.07 3. (4) Garry Jennings/ Gordon Noble 106 Maxi 55.59 4. (2) Kevin O' Kane/ Steven Griffith Impreza 56.20 5. (12) John Shanahan/ Paddy Loughman Impreza 56.56 6. (1) Dermot Kelly/ John Brennan Escort WRC 56.57 7. (3) John Donnelly/ Greg McCarthy Escort WRC 57.37 8. (9) John McGaffin/ i.s. Allsopp Legacy 58.26 9. (39) Paul Mulcahy/ Kenny Walsh Starlet 59.56 10. (18) Alan Mulcahy/ Dermot Harrington Starlet 1.00.42

Class Winners 1. (21) Llyod Hutchinson/ Lester Hutchinson Mini 1.01.26 2. (39) Paul Mulcahy/ Kenny Walsh Starlet 59.56 3. (20) Noel Driver/ Joe Shinnors Escort 1.01.40 4. (17) Allen Treacy/ Michael Coakley Corolla 1.03.28 5. (1) Dermot Kelly/ John Brennan Escort WRC 56.57 6. (104) Gareth McHale/ Joe Downey 206 cup 1.01.18 7. no finishers 8. (12) John Shanahan/ Paddy Loughman Impreza 56.56

-www.irish-rallying.com

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers James Murphy , Gareth McHale , John McCarthy