Andrew Purcell and Mark Wiley were the stars of the weekends Willie Loughman Memorial Rally round one of the Valvoline Irish Forestry Championship and the Suirway Group South East Stager Rally Championship. They were faultless as the dominated a very tough event to take maximum points as the powered there way to victory in the PCRS prepared Ford Fiesta R5 rally car.
The event was hosted by The Carrick on Suir Motor Club and based in Carrick and 80 starters with some from overseas inc 3 competitors from the USA .
The rally got under way just after 11am with some great stages ahead of the drivers and the pace was set by last years winner Josh Moffett followed closely by Andrew Purcell ane Barry McKenna these three just seemed to have the edge over the local crew of Ray Breen/Andy Hayes ane UK based Michael O Brien/Liam Brennan who were having there own battle.Sadly Josh Moffetts efforts came to an abrupt halt when he clipped a rock on stage two and lost a wheel which left Purcell and McKenna to swap stage times and it was very close as the entered the last loop of stages which were held in the dark and Purcell dominated and went onto win the event with the margin been 19 seconds.Stephen McCann put in some great stage times to finished well deserved 3rd overall the battle between Breen and O Brien finally ended with 6th and 9th respectively. A fantastic drive by Niall Henry driving a Mitsubishi Evo 10 in class 20 saw him finish 4th and a fine drive from a championship frontrunner from previous years saw Gerard Lucey finish 7th. Class 7 was won by Michael Conlon driving a Ford Escort and a very good drive from John Gordon who was just returning to action after an accident last year saw him finish a very credible 29 o/a and first in class 10 .Some other notable performances on the day were the father and son of John Mullholland/Aidan O Connor driving a Subaru N12B finishing 24 o/a and young Johnnie Mulholland/Jeff Case finishing 33 o/a.Mike Garrahy last years class 10 winner finishing 28 o/a.And taking part in his first bever event Lee Bracken /Francis Kelly driving in a honda Civic finishing 54 o/a and first in class 9 what a result .The J1000 class was won by last years champion Jason Murphy/Matthew Murphy,
1st o/a Andrew Purcell /Mark Wiley
2nd o/a Barry McKenna/Leon Jordan
3rd o/a Stephen McKann/Kian Treanor
4th o/a Niall Henry/Damian Duffin
5th o/a Niall McCullagh/Ryan McClosky
6th o/a Ray Breen/Andy Hayes
7th o/a Gerard Lucey/JJ Cremin
8th o/a Conor McCourt/Caolon
9t o/a Michael O Brien/Liam Brennsn
10 th o/a Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips