The 2018 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship, will once again play host to the Junior 1000 drivers, aged just 15-19, as the future stars of the stages take to the Irish Forest Rally Championship, an ideal learning ground to perfect their rallying skills. This Saturday at Mondello Park Racing Circuit, the 2018 M. O’Brien Plant Hire Junior 1000 series will be launched in style at the new HeroSpec Rallysprint event, where the Juniors will be mixing it with WRC and Modified machinery!
National Forest Championship Co-ordinator Ray Fitzpatrick is very excited about the second season of the Junior 1000 which once again is sponsored by former National Forest Rally Champion – Mick O’Brien of M. O’Brien Plant Hire. “Last year was a big one for us to get the whole series off the ground and now for 2018 the interest has risen considerably and it is shaping up to be a big year for Junior 1000. We have a great prize fund on offer with €1500 for the series winner, €1000 for second and €500 for third. Added to this, entry vouchers per round of €200 for first, €150 for second and €100 for third are all designed to help these young driver’s progress in the sport.” Once again the 1000cc chargers will be on a control Kumho gravel tyre supplied by Ears Motorsport Ireland, and Ears will not only be supplying on-event service for the crews but also offering tyre prizes for each of the five rounds, making it an attractive proposition for any 15-19-year-old driver.
Reigning champion Jason Murphy is set to return in his C-Sport prepared Peugeot 107 to defend his crown, with Tipperary’s Aoife Gahan, the first female competitor in the series returning after a successful debut on last years Cork Forest event. Scottish driver Peter Beaton in his Peugeot 107 is set to make his Valvoline Championship debut at the first round in Carrick On Suir after being a front-runner in the N.I. J1000 series. Reigning Northern Ireland J1000 Champion Sam Adams was also to make his Valvoline debut with the Skoda Citigo in Carrick, but sadly the Co. Antrim driver was a passenger in a horrific road accident last weekend, and we hope he can make a recovery to join us during the season. Significant interest of late has come from Casey-Jay Coleman, Konan Heaney from Cashel, Aaron Whelan from Cork and Cavan’s Ben Kellett, so the entries are set to grow and the talent to shine in the forests!
2018 M. O’Brien Plant Hire Junior 1000 Championship Rounds
1 3rd February Willie Loughman Memorial Carrick on Suir Forest Rally, Co. Tipperary.
2 4th March Limerick Forest Rally, Silvermines, Co. Tipperary.
3 14th April Munster MCC Moonraker Forest Rally, Ballyvourney, Co. Cork
4 14th July Cavan Forest Rally, Co. Cavan.
5 29th July Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, Mallow, Co. Cork.
Interested in the M. O’Brien Junior 1000 series contact Ray Fitzpatrick-tel: 00 353 85 151 6229
For all the latest updates and more information of the Valvoline Motorsport Ireland Irish National Forest Rally Championship please look us up on Facebook or Twitter and even more details are available on our dedicated website: www.irishforestrally.com F: Irish Forestry Championship T:@IrlForestchamp.Official
Image from David Harrigan