After a season of high-speed action, titanic battles and having traded seconds all year, nobody could have written a script that would see Jack Brennan claim the 2022 Motorsport Ireland Forest Rally Championship J1000 Title on the very last stage of the season. For the young Kilkenny star, and navigator John McGrath, it looked like all their incredible driving this campaign would be in vain, as they sat at the start of the second run of Mount Hilary, the closing stage of the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, in second place on the event and with an 11 second disadvantage to Jack Harris & Aaron O’Regan. Disaster struck for Harris & O’Regan during the stage, they would end up losing 18.7 seconds and cough up the victory to Brennan, yet at the same time the time loss wasn’t significant enough to promote Mossie Costello & Tom Murphy beyond their third place. Having started the season with amongst some of the largest J1000 numbers on the entry lists, the 2022 Championship was always set to be a humdinger, and so it proved to be. Thirteen crews started in Killarney while a staggering seventeen battled it out in Carrick on Suir. Leaving the Willie Loughman Forest Rally in April, things looked good for Brennan’s title push, with maximum points on the board. The Killarney Forest Rally victory looked dominant, bringing the VW Up home with 53 seconds to spare over Jack Harris, while the winning margin was 37 seconds on round two, beating Mossie Costello on that occasion. Round 3, and the Moonraker Forest Rally, saw things dramatically change in the championship race. With 51 seconds to spare and one stage to go, Brennan had yet another victory in mind, until a puncture early in the stage would see nearly four minutes ebb away, and with it Mossie Costello & Tom Murphy would claim a well-deserved victory. Costello & Murphy had shown incredible pace right throughout the season, and it felt fitting that the Kerry driver would end the season level on points with Jack Brennan, although the superior number of maximum scores for Brennan would see the title evade Costello. In Cork, as mentioned, the final round would prove eventful. As mentioned below, inheriting the victory on the last stage gave Jack Brennan the added point required to steal the title away, but with three maximum scores from four rounds it fair to say that the results reflect fairly on the year.
What lies ahead for the truly rising stars of the MIFRC J1000 Class of 2022 is unclear, but what is for certain is that these young talents have showcased skill, speed and determination well beyond their years, and the future for these youngsters is incredibly bright. The proof is evident from the performances this year of 2019 J1000 Champion Kyle McBride who has seen incredible pace this year in his Ford Fiesta R2.
On behalf of everyone involved in the Championship, we would like to congratulate Jack Brennan on the J1000 Title, and we look forward to watching what is undoubtedly set to be an incredible future ahead for the Mooncoin star.