UK: National Forest Rally round two summary

Murphy/ Downey Reverse The Scores The Kildare crew of Brian Murphy/ Joe Downey came from behind to win the Sean Conlon Memorial Forest Rally, Round 2 of the 2004 "McCauley Trailers" National Forest Rally Championship. Based in Mitchelstown...

Murphy/ Downey Reverse The Scores

The Kildare crew of Brian Murphy/ Joe Downey came from behind to win the Sean Conlon Memorial Forest Rally, Round 2 of the 2004 "McCauley Trailers" National Forest Rally Championship. Based in Mitchelstown with a capacity entry including 12 Ka's, this was also the opening round of the Ka Championship. Good weather, a host of WRC machinery and some new stages set the tone for a very competitive event.

John McCarthy/ Dan Maguire (Corolla WRC) set the pace through stage 1, Cambaun Wood, with a 6.56, 10 secs clear of James Murphy/ Con Mulcahy (Escort Cosworth) followed by Brian Murphy/ Joe Downey (Impreza 555) 1 sec adrift. Dermot Kelly/ John Brennan (Escort WRC) and Kevin Lynch/ Francis Regan (Impreza WRC) tied for fourth on 7.09. Cambaun had a few casualties, Pat Norris/ Declan Timulty lost diff pressure in their Impreza, top 2WD Tom Kiely/ Michael Cuddihy (Escort mk 2) punctured losing 2 mins. Pete Willoughby/ Greg Shinnors (Sierra) retired at junction 6 with a broken gearbox, Lloyd Hutchinsons' Mini retired at the same spot with broken steering and Matt Shinnors/ Dominic O'Connor were another to be sidelined with broken steering.

The event moved to the new stage, Goaten Bridge near Ardfinnan where Brian Murphy/ Joe Downey pushed very hard to set fastest time and reduce McCarthy's' lead to 6 secs. Kevin Lynch/ Francis Regan were 3rd fastest 15 secs off McCarthy, Lynch was not happy with his car reporting brake problems. Tom Kiely retired with a broken steering arm. Kieran Molloy/ Brian Boland (Evo 7) retired due to lack of fuel pressure and Rodney Wilton/ Derek Coleman retired with a collapsed rear wheel bearing in their 206 cup car.

Stage 3 was cancelled so the cars proceeded directly to service at the Galtee Meats Complex, Mitchelstown. John McCarthy held the lead with a 6 sec margin over Brian Murphy, Kevin Lynch held 3rd, 22 secs back and hoped to sort some of his mechanical troubles, James Murphy 4th, 1 sec off Lynch and Dermot Kelly held 5th, 13 secs in arrears reporting a bent steering rack. Kevin O'Kane/ Mark Hanna (Impreza WRC) and Trevor Karding/ Charles Boland (Legacy) tied for 6th, Denis Biggerstaff/ Derek Brannigan (6R4) held 8th despite losing time when they burst a brake pipe. John Shanahan/ Liam McLaughlin were 9th overall and leading Gp N in a DJ Rally Hire Evo 6. Paul Mulcahy/ Karl Baumann rounded off the top ten in their rapid 1600 16v Starlet.

McCarthy was fastest on the second run through Cambaun, 8 secs clear of Kevin Lynch and 10 secs up on Brian Murphy. With 2 stages remaining McCarthy held a 16 sec lead over Brian Murphy and Kevin Lynch held 3rd. Brian Murphy seemed to revel in the new stage as he turned the tables on McCarthy setting fastest time again through Goaten Bridge taking 18 secs off McCarthy to give him a slender 2 sec lead going into the final stage. It was all to play for Murphy lost a win on the final stage in Carrick and was determined to go all the way in Tipp. John McCarthy now more confident with his Corolla wasn't going to back off but needed a score to make up for his non-finish in Carrick, Kevin Lynch had only to hold station to keep on top of the championship leader board.

Kevin Lynch set fastest time through the final stage, (Kilworth) 6 secs up on Brian Murphy. John McCarthy tried too hard losing a minute when he overshot and stalled at a turn square right only 2 miles in and then suffered a puncture which ended his chances of victory. Dermot Kelly had a half spin at the same junction as McCarthy costing him 4th overall, James Murphy lost time as his engine stalled at most of the junctions due to electrical problems.

Brian Murphy/ Joe Downey emerged from Kilworth winners of the Sean Conlon Memorial Rally after very competitive day. Murphy drove faultlessly and kept piling on the pressure, his Robbie McGurk run Impreza never missed a beat. Brian Murphy/ Joe Downey are now joint championship leaders with Kevin Lynch/ Francis Regan who finished 2nd to reverse the scores from round 1. John McCarthy/ Dan Maguire ended up a disappointing 3rd but were glad to finish and clock up championship points. James Murphy/ Con Mulcahy took a fine fourth overall given the newer machines that that followed them, James was well on the pace despite wrong compound tyres. 5th placed Dermot Kelly/ John Brennan were deflated but relieved to finish without any off road excursions. Kevin O'Kane/ Mark Hanna finished 6th. 7th overall went Denis Biggerstaff/ Derek Brannigan their Metro 6R4 had a few niggly problems but all in all they enjoyed the forests down south.

John Shanahan/ Liam McLaughlin took 8th overall and Gp N honours. Stephen Moore/ Tony McHugh finished 9th overall and 2nd in Gp N only 3 secs behind Shanahan, Moore lost time on ss1 with a broken shaft, tried all day to pull it back and took 16 secs off Shanahan on the final stage. Patrick Elliott/ Sean Moriarty brought home their hired Evo 6 in 10th and 3rd in Gp N, 11th placed Bob Scanlon/ Adrian Deasy led the Gp N battle after ss1 but lost time on the last stage. Bob Scanlon and Patrick Elliott are now tied for 3rd overall in the Championship. Aaron McHale/ Gerard McMonagle took 12th overall and 5th in Gp N. 13th overall, best 2WD and winner in class 3 went to Paul Mulcahy/ Karl Baumann in a 1600 16v starlet, Paul is now 5th overall in the championship and leading 2WD.

Local Crew Aidan and Denis Jackson took class 1 honours and 23rd overall in a Nova. Mick Nevin/ John Kinahan clinched class 2 and 26th overall. Ray Benskin/ Peadar Walsh won class 4 and finished 19th. John Reid/ Brendan Greene won class 5 and finished 14th. Andrew Kearney/ Robert Hughes finished 24th and took class 7 honours in their 206. Pat O'Connell/ Paul Monton finished 37th and won class 9 in a Ka; they now lead the Ka Championship.

<pre> Top Ten

1  2   Brian Murphy      Joe Downey             6       0.43.02
2  1   Kevin Lynch       Francis Regan          6       0.43.41
3  4   John McCarthy     Dan Maguire            6       0.43.55
4  3   James Murphy      Con Mulcahy            6       0.44.34
5  5   Dermot Kelly      John Brennan           6       0.44.38
6  6   Kevin O'Kane      Martin Hanna           6       0.45.42
7  13  Denis Biggerstaff Derek Brannigan        6       0.45.45
8  7   John Shanahan     Liam McLoughlin        8       0.46.19
9  15  Stephen Moore     Tony McHugh            8       0.46.22
10 12  Patrick Elliott   Sean Moriarty          8       0.46.33

-nfrc-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers James Murphy , Francis Regan , Brian Murphy , John McCarthy