Marty McCormack with navigator David Moynihan took an emphatic win at the Donegal Forestry Rally 2017, round three of the Irish Forestry Rally Championship. This vaults the TigerRisk Škoda Fabia R5 to the joint fourth in the championship standings with three rounds to go.
Following on from a fine third overall at the British Rally Championship Pirelli Rally in Carlisle the previous weekend, hopes were high heading into the Donegal Town based event. After a number of notable withdrawals, the competition was slightly lacking, but this would not effect Marty as his aim was to gain as much testing prior to the Scottish Rally on the 20-21st of May. Marty now holds a firm 5th place overall in the British Rally Championship standings but is poised, just a handful of points away from the podium places. A good result at the Scottish event should pull the team back into title contention!
The Donegal Forestry Rally started as it was to continue, with the fastest time for the Kumho-shod Skoda over the opening test. This was followed up with another two fastest times over stages two and three before returning to service with a 19.3-second advantage over Patrick O’Brien.
“The first stage was incredibly demanding, it was very tricky and so slippy we were very glad to get through it. I settled in better on the second stage and felt much more comfortable on the third, it was very nice. It was a mixed morning altogether but we are here and leading the rally so all is good!” “We have a few things we want to do with the car in service now to try and get more grip in the slippy sections, it’s all learning”
The car now re-fettled by the McGeehan Motorsport Team, Marty and David went back out with a renewed vigour. Another two fastest times were just reward with Marty commenting “The changes we made to the car seem to be helping, stage four was very tricky over the jumps and bumps so we were just a bit careful through that, we have a nice lead built up now so we just want to look after it now”
With only two stages remaining in the Donegal Forestry Rally, the TigerRisk car was 46.4 seconds clear in the lead of the event. It was now a case of keeping it clean and getting to the finish. The final test was a 16km blast through Tullnacarry, which was run twice. Disappointingly the first running of the stage was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, so this left one stage before the finish line in Donegal Town centre.
Marty blasted into the final test, his last opportunity to feel comfortable with the car before the Scottish Rally. He finished the stage twenty-five seconds quicker than his nearest rival to claim the victory by over one minute ten seconds!
“It’s been a great day in the TigerRisk Škoda and to get the win is a great bonus, but the amount we have learned about the car in these conditions is invaluable! It is a great confidence boost heading into the Scottish where we need a good result to keep us in the championship hunt.”
Keep an eye on Twitter @martymccormack and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marty.mccormack1. Marty is competing this season with the support of Tiger Risk Partners and P. McCormack and Sons Ltd.