ALMC Wicklow Forest Rally Launched.
May 16, 2014 by Adrian Beattie
The countdown to the inaugural ALMC Wicklow Forest Rally continues, in less than a week the hills and valleys of Glendalough, Aughavannagh, Laragh and Rathdrum will be the staging points for a very welcome return of forestry rallying to the county of Wicklow. It is almost a decade since a forestry rally ran in the county and the excitement and interest is building to the delight of the organising team and local enthusiasts. ALMC Motor Club last year celebrated its 50th year in existence and is delighted to be including a forest rally along side their regular ALMC Stages Rally run every July north of the capital.
We are also looking forward to a return to the Glendalough Hotel as a rally headquarters and the inclusion of Glendalough House in Annamoe for scrutiny on Saturday morning.
The return of forest rallying to Wicklow has sparked huge interest from forest rally regulars as well as new comers to the woods. Clerk of the Course, John Carroll, noted at last Thursday evenings press launch, that he is delighted that so many national and in particular local entries have been received including the Driver family, from Enniskerry, being well represented and also Jason Roche changing his Mark II to gravel spec for the day. John is also looking forward to the great mix of WRC, 4WD and 2WD machinery that will be on display.
The two stages (Glenmalure and the Murray Motorsports Aughavannagh Stage) are in excellent condition and will be a really enjoyable challenge for the approx. 50 to 60 crews on Saturday. The two stages will be run twice with service near the village of Rathdrum. All-in the stages will be 47km in length with a compact route offering great value for crews at 390 Euro for an entry.
Entries received include Antrim’s Desi and Niall Henry and Liam Regan, also top Monaghan names such as Josh Moffett, Michael Conlon and Michael Carbin. Daniel Cronin, Omagh’s Marty McKenna and Patrick Keenan coming from the US, are also expected as well as great forestry regulars in the Benskin’s, Allen Treacy, Gerard Lucey, Pat O’Connell and Damien McGauran.
John McCarthy and Mickey Joe Morrissey, in a Corolla WRC, was the last crew to lift a forest rally trophy in Wicklow in 2006 in a rally that saw top 20 finishers that included Peter McCullough, Owen Murphy, Patrick Keenan, Niall Driver, Paul Staunton, Daniel Barry, Seamus O’Connell and Emma McKinstry. Next Saturday evening that gap should be firmly closed with new holders of the 2014 ALMC Wicklow Forest Rally perpetual trophy.
Entries are still very welcome, particularly as this weekend gone was a very busy one in the motorsport calendar for some interested crews, for entries call Joe Downey on 086 254 4364, our club website, www.almc.ie, holds the entry form and it will continue to be updated with all the latest information on the rally and details required by competitors. Also the club Facebook page (ALMC Motor Club) and Twitter (@almcmotorclub) will carry regular updates and rally news. Rally programmes will be available in shops in the Laragh area on Friday, at rally H.Q and also in the service area in Rathdrum. Seeding of entries will take place on Wednesday night and will be published shortly thereafter.
We look forward to welcoming competitors and spectators alike next weekend to the “Garden of Ireland”.
ALMC Wicklow Forest Rally is a counting round of the Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship and the Triton Showers South East Stages Rally Championship.