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30 Secs With Tommy Cuddihy

tommy c

Name: Tommy Cuddihy

Birthday: 24/07/1992

Lives: Piltown Co Kilkenny

Occupation: Shop Floor Assistant

Rally car: Everything

Road car: Toyota Starlet

How old were you drove your first
I was 11 years old driving a 91
hiace around my friends field

Where does your love of motorsport
come from?
My love for motorsport started at a
very young age. My dad brought me to Carrick on suir forestry rally and Ravens
rock rally every year and I always wished I could compete in these rallies
someday and I thank Dad for bring me to them rain or shine. I guess I was very lucky
to have plenty of rally drivers around my home town and they were kind to let
me fall in with.

How do you find navigating and why?

I love navigating it’s a fantastic
experience and such a rush to be sideways in the woods so close to trees or
going 100 mph over dips and jumps. I love all the prep a co driver has and the
we all undertake. Co drive lets you meet new people and make new friends and
its always a nice thing to co drive for someone who is on the same wavelength as

I started rallying in 2008 in a Honda
civic in my home rally the raven’s rock and slowly progressed my way up the
ranks to where I am today. I was very fortunate to fall in with Waterford based
Driver and Co Driver Billy Ryan in 2012 in his Honda Civic we did couple of rallies
that year and Billy and Simon Reid have always passed on their advice to me
which I used in today’s rallies. Iv been lucky to sit in escort’s Hondas Evo’s Subaru’s
life long dreams for people who love the sport.
2013/2014 has been the highlight of
my career If been very lucky to co drive for Barry Meeke whos brother is world
rally star Kris Meeke that was a fantastic call to get and we finished fivemiletown
30th overall. Kildare driver Peter McCullagh contacted me to co
drive in Cork
Forestry in 2013 my first big name in the forestry. We finished the event 8th
overall won group N what a fantastic experience I had that day and to this day
i’m still co driving for Peter.

If you won the lotto what rally car
would you buy and why ?
If I won the lotto I would but a Ford
Escort BDA for its pure power and for the beautiful noise of it screaming threw
and Irish forestry.

What your plan’s for the rest of
2014 year?
My plans for the rest of 2014 are
Imokilly single stage rally with Waterford’s
Billy Ryan.
I am compete in Tipperary Stonethrowres Rally with Frank
Kelly. I am competing with Peter McCullagh in the Evo 9 in which we will hope
to get a top 3 finish hopefully. The rest of the year is unknown as of yet.

Favourite food and drink?
My favourite food would have to be
the old Sunday Dinner and home chicken spuds gravy veg. ahh you cant beat good
home cooked meal. Drink wise cool can of redbull.

What were you thinking when you got
the phone call from frank kelly?
When I recived the call from Frank
Kelly I was speechless Ireland top driver is looking for me to sit along side
of him I must be doing something rite. I was so proud to get the call and to be
in the famous Baby Blue how lucky am I all I could say was hell yeah I’ll do

Would you thinking you can keep
notes to frank?
I think I will be well able for
Frank’s pace.

What is the
best rally of the year for you?
My best
result by far this year was in Wicklow Forest with Peter in the evo 9 group n
winners tv interview and an amazing 4th overall fantastic team work
put in by us both.

Who is Ireland’s next top rally driver?
I believe young Rob Duggan has got
what it takes to be the Ireland
nxt top driver.

Who is going to win the wrc this
year 2014?
Id like to see latvala win the

What is the best tarmac rally and
I think Ravens Rock and Wexford 2
day are by far the best local rally both clubs put so much effort in to the
both events months of work and each year the run a fantastic event an as seen
on entries people come back each year.

What do you prefer tarmac or forest?

Will killkenny win the all Ireland?
Yes they will be there abouts.

Would you recommend navigating and why ?
I would recommend navigating because
it’s a great way to spend your money. You meet new people you travel the
country and see some fantastic sights and of course have a great laugh with
friends and family.

Any one you would like to thank

Yes I would like to thank my parents
Tom and Philomena and my sister Sarah for supporting my over these few years.
My friends John Falvey Terry Falvey John Judy Doherty Simon Reid Billy Ryan
Carrick On Suir Motor Club Douglas Stewart Emmet Lyons Peter McCullagh to name
a few and everyone else out there ye know who ye are. Thank you all and Rally
for this fantastic opportunity watch this space folks.

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30 Secs With Rally Driver Cormac Phelan


Name: Cormac Phelan
Birthday: 2 July
Lives: Cootehall, Co Roscommon
Occupation: Technical Sales
Rally car: Citroen C2R2 Max
Road car: Honda S2000

How old were you drove your first car?
I was about 8 or 9 when I got the chance to drive my first car.
My aunt had bought a brand new Polo, we were on the way back from town one day in it and as we turned onto the lane up to her house she asked did I want to drive, so naturally I said yes she wasn’t expecting what came next, I must have wheel spun the car about 50mtr’s and before she new it we were in 2nd gear and me with the foot on the floor.

What was your first road car?
My First car was a Red EG Honda Civic 1.3, Was some little car with the only down side to it being that you would have to fill it with oil every few days due the amount of blue smoke coming from it was ridiculous.

Where does your love of motorsport come from?
I’m not really sure to be honest. My dad has always been into cars and since before I could walk I would have been down in the garage sitting in the engine bay watching him. This naturally gave me the love for anything with wheels which in 2012 turned me towards rallying.

What was your first rally car?
My first rally car was a Honda civic group N, which I bought in Limerick.
Never really had much luck with this car, In my first ever rally, the gear box exploded on stage 3 and then on my second rally the engine let go on stage 4. But even those few miles was enough to have me hooked on rallying.

How do you find the new c2 from the Honda?
So far I absolutely love the C2. It’s a brilliant car to drive and is unbelievably fast through the tight and twisty stuff. It’s a bit giddy down a narrow bumpy straight but over time I’ll hopefully get the hang of it. In a straight line there is not much between the two cars the civic is ever so slightly faster but is kind of expected seeing as the Honda has an extra 25bhp. But so far I am more then happy with the C2 and just need more practice in Left Hand Drive.

What is your dream rally car and why ?
It would have to be a Citroen C4 WRC. They just look the nuts and sound amazing.
As well as it being something totally different form the usual wrc cars in Ireland.

What your plan’s for the rest of 2014 year?
The plan for the rest of 2014 is to finish out the Dunlop Junior Championship and the Top Part Junior Championship.
I also hope to take Part in the Cork 20 International in October.

Favourite drink?
It has to be Coca-Cola. The only bad side is I get addicted to it and lets be honest it isn’t good for you.

Do you have any frustrating memories in rallying?
I really don’t have many as I haven’t been rallying long,
However Mayo rally this year was probably the most frustrating, after battling the conditions all day and on the last junior stage to make a stupid mistake and cut a corner. Which I was told by Katja not to cut. The result two broken wishbones.

Who is your Favourite rally driver of all time and why?
I always see this question and everyone says Colin McRae who there is no doubting was a class act to watch along with the likes of Sebastian Loeb who just dominated the WRC for years.
But for me id rather say someone who inspired me to try go faster and who has always helped me with advice when trying to set the car up, For this reason I would have to say Damien Mc Carthy. Just watch some of his in car with the Honda and see the commitment he has and the unbelievable stage time he puts in, It’s just nuts to see the things he could make the Honda do.

Who is Ireland’s next top rally driver?
At present you would have to say Sam Moffett, He is most defiantly on top form and is really showing the potential of the 1.6 wrc car against the more powerful 2.0 litre cars.
It’s great to see a young lad like myself getting to the top of Irish Motorsport.
Helps to give us all hope.

Who is going to win the wrc this year 2014?
Sebastian Ogier I think pretty much has it sown up, He seems very calm and collected and is all about getting a good finish rather than risking everything for the win.

What is the best tarmac rally in the world and why?
For me it has to be Donegal International or Killarney rally of the lakes,
Both have some of the most iconic stages around and I look forward to competing in them both next year hopefully.

Must be an honour be nominated for the Billy Coleman ?
Its an absolute privilege to have been nominated for the Billy Coleman. When I got the phone call from Motorsport Ireland I couldn’t believe it I was actually speechless which doesn’t happen to often when it comes to talking about Motorsport.

What is in your rally bag?
All the usual bits really suit, fireproofs and boots. I do however always bring my first pair of Rally Boots no idea why to be honest, Id be afraid taking them out would bring bad luck ha.

Would you like to thank any one?
Yes I would love to say a huge thanks to everyone who has helped me out in Rallying to date,
If it wasn’t for my families support and my Girlfriend/Navigator Katja who give up all there free time to support my addiction 
Also a Huge thanks to my Sponsors who have been very supportive.

National Automation
FAAC Ireland
HKC (Alarm Manufacturer)
PJF Motorsport
DYGM Photography.

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30 Secs With Co-Driver Andy Marchbank


Name: Andy Marchbank
Birthday: 20th May 1962
Lives: Little Sutton, near Chester
Occupation: Employed by Bentley Motors,Crewe
Rally car: Subaru WRC S11
Road car: Ford Kuga/Toyota iQ/My pride and joy motorhome

How old were you drove your first car?
I was about 10 or 11 sitting on my dad’s knees.

What was your first road car?
Ford Escort Mk1 (ORN 417K) Funny how you can remember the registration number but I couldn’t tell you what happened yesterday! Lol

Where does your love of motorsport come from?
My dad used to take me to Oulton Park race circuit which is quite close to where I live.

How did you get in to co-driving ?
A close friend of mine was also interested in motorsport and his older brother took us out to watch a few road-rallies.I was hooked.We did our first event together when I was 17…now 35 years on,around 800 rallies and over 150 drivers later I think I’ve passed my sell-by-date!

How you do you find the tarmac stages in Ireland ?
Fantastic!! Like back home every area/county has it’s own type of terrain and characteristics be it tight and twisty or fast and flowing.

How do you finding the national rally in Ireland?
They are all so well organised and I’ve never met such enthusiastic people. The PR/media for the rallies is second to none and the emphasis on safety is strongly put across.
What is your dream rally car and why ?
Well I’d love to see Hughie in a Subaru WRC S12b to see what he could do with that! In the 80’s I went up the road in a Peugeot 205 T16 at a petrol halt during a road rally and that was mighty impressive but,my all time favourite was the Lancia Delta S4 which was absolutely phenomenal!!

What your plan’s for the rest of the year with hugh?
Well I’m missing Tipperary unfortunately as I’m away in France so my next Championship round is Galway Summer which was our first win in the Subaru last year.We’d love to do Mull in the car but it all depends on Championship standings.

Favourite drink?
Got to be Guinness,Gin and Tonic,wine,bacardi or basically anything remotely alcoholic or I love a good cup of tea.

Do you have any frustrating memories in rallying?

Apart from everyone that I don’t finish,
A couple of years ago we were competing on the Cambrian Rally,the last round of the BTRDA Gravel series.We were leading the event by around a minute when we had the gearbox fail in the Ford Focus WRC 03,it cost us the rally win but more importantly the BTRDA title.Gutted!

What is like sitting with hugh?
If it wasn’t for Hughie I would of retired years ago. Can you imagine navigating for your best buddy? We have a ball! He’s the nicest guy you could ever meet (he told me that!).Although we are both very competitive in the car we wouldn’t lose sight of the fact that this sport of ours is meant to be fun.

Who is going to win the wrc this year 2014?
Sebastien Ogier…..the most consistent driver out there.

What is the best tarmac rally in the world and why?
I’m biased towards The Tour of Mull as I used to compete there in the 80’s when it was a round of the Motoring News/BTRDA road rally championship.It’s got the lot fast,flowing,tight,twisty and you rally at night as well as during the day but having said that we’ve been told, on good authority, that Donegal is THE Holy Grail of Irish rallying……… or Killarney

What has been your high light in rallying in Ireland to date?
I love the rally wins but I’d have to say that your Irish hospitality has bowled us over during the year.Everyone is so friendly and our fellow competitors apart from being competitive are up for the craic as well.

Who is Irelands next top rally driver and why?
I’d love to see young Declan Gallagher in a WRC,I’d like to spectate on that event! Daniel McKenna is mighty impressive and it’s good to see a young driver be able to adapt from FWD to RWD as well as being able to drive quickly on both gravel and tarmac.

Who do you think will win the national this year?
Well there are a number of drivers in with a shout.Declan Boyle has been a class act all year but with him and us having a couple of retirements it would be an outside bet.Paddy McVeigh is always there as is Steve Wood and he’s getting more and more used to the car.My answer is………I wouldn’t like to say but whoever it is it will be a deserved and memorable win with Dunlop’s recent announcement.

Would you like to thank any one?
How long have you got? Richard Talbot for his tireless work with the Championship,what an ambassador, Laura for all her hard work(it doesn’t go unnoticed I promise you), all the Championship rally organising clubs,’ how you can organise such well run events is something that clubs back home could learn from .Both Hugh and I understand what it takes to put on an event and how much of your valuable personal and home-life time it engulfs without taking into account that you have businesses/work to juggle with as well. Amazing!
The thousands of marshals who give up their time in the rain,sun and probably more rain.You are the unsung heroes and it’s you guys and gals that allow Hughie and I (2 old geezers) ) to get our kicks! Thankyou one and all. We are very grateful. Don’t forget to come over and say “Hi”.
All the team at Melvyn Evans’ Motorsport.I say “Team” as that’s what it is. Without the knowledge,and hard work of ALL the lads we wouldn’t get the results we’ve had.
Last, and certainly not least, to my closest buddy thank-you for putting up with all my chunnering over the last 10 or so years.It’s been a blast!!

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30 Secs With dj/model and scrutineer Niamh mc galey


Name: Niamh mc galey
Lives:cork Ireland.
Occupation: dj/model and scrutineer for motorsport Ireland.
Marital status: single
Contact details: Facebook Niamh mc galey and twitter @djlisalush.
What is your favourite Rally car:it would have to be the Austin mini cooper.
Road car:bmw m3 coupe.

How old were you drove your first car ? I was nine my dad and uncles always worked on cars and I would be allowed drive them around our house.

Where does your love of motorsport come from?
Be Read more

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30 secs With National Champion Chris Wheeler


Name:Chris Wheeler
Lives:England, Torquay, Devon
Occupation:Apprentice Vehicle Technician
Rally car:Ford Fiesta MS1
Road car:Ford KA

How old were you drove your first car ?
I first drove a car when I was eleven year’s old.

What was your first road car?
My first road car is a Ford KA.

Where does your love of motorsport come from?
I grew up into a motorsport family & watched my father Steve compete on all sorts of motorsport events, All my life I have wanted to be a rally driver & at the age of fifteen I competed on my first ever rally.

When was your first Win In a Rally Car?
My first win in a rally car was on the Tour of Epynt stages in South Wales which lead to me becoming the youngest ever national class champion in history.

What was your first rally car ?
My first ever rally car was a Citroen C2 which I had at the age of 14.

What is your dream rally car and why ?
My dream rally car is the brand new Ford Fiesta R5+

What your plan’s for the rest of 2014 year?
My plans for the rest of this season are to do tarmac testing to prepare myself for the Belgium Rally Championship in 2015.

Favourite drink?
My favourite drink is Strongbow

Do you have any frustrating memoriesin rallying?
My most frustrating memory was on the Ulster Rally 2013 when the driveshaft broke on the very last stage just 100 yards from the finish line.

Who is your Favourite rally driver of all time and why?
Colin McRae was & still is my favourite rally driver of all time, a true legend.

Who is going to win the wrc this year 2014?
Sebastien Ogier

What is the best tarmac rally in the world and why?
Romania is the best tarmac rally have seen to date, the roads are very fast & smooth, one I’d love to compete on in years to come.

Would you like to thank any one?

I’d like to thank my team, sponsor’s & my follower’s for all of their support, help & time, I really appreciate it so much, this is our journey to the top in the rallying world.

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Phelan gains Young Rally Driver of the Year nomination

cp for his performances in May and June.

The 24 year-old from Cootehall, Co Roscommon, won the Junior class in the Carlow and Circuit of Munster Rallies, giving him a hat-trick of three in a row in the Dunlop National Rally Championship, as he had earlier taken victory in the class in the Kerry round in April. This was his first Junior win, and is the highlight of his rallying to date. Despite retiring from the opening Dunlop round in Mayo, Cormac holds second place in the Junior Championship, just two points behind the class leader.

Cormac began his motorsport career in 2012, tackling three rallies, and increased this to five events last year, so this is his first full season of competition. He has been driving a Honda Civic until recently, but has now changed to a Citroen C2R2 Max which he drove to second place in class in Sligo last weekend on his first outing in a left hand drive car.

His plans for the remainder of this year include completing the Dunlop Junior series and the Top Part West Coast Championship. For 2015, he intends tackling some of the Irish Tarmac Championship rallies, and hopes to contest the Junior section of the European Rally Championship.

Cormac’s principal sponsors are FAAC, who manufacture automated gates and doors, HKC Alarms, National Automation Ltd., where he works as head of technical sales, PJF Motorsport and DYGM Photography. He attributes a large part of his success to his girlfriend Katja Auhl, who is his regular co-driver.

The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award receives €50,000 worth of support to contest stage rallies nationally & internationally in 2015 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Tom Walsh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2015, along with co-ordinator support.

Five bi-monthly winners are selected from January/February, through to September/October, joined by the winner of the Junior Championship in the Dunlop National series, the winner of the Junior class in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.

Cormac Said Early Tonight
I am absolutely delighted to share this great news with everyone. I am over the moon and want to thank everyone for there support through out the year so far.
Especially all my family and friends.
Also huge thanks to my sponsors who have been absolutely great all year.
Lastly huge thanks to connacht motor club for there support. Thanks everyone

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