The North Cork/West Cork crew of Derek Butler, Lisgriffin, and Diarmuid O’Shea, Ballydehob, secured victory in the Vavoline Junior Forestry Championship in Castle-wellan, Co. Down, at the weekend in their Honda Civic, having competed in all six rounds in the championship. They had their first win in Mitchelstown on their first day out, followed by second place in Carrick-on-Suir before a dis-appointing 7th place in the Moonraker while leading with two stages to go. Getting better as time went on and getting used to the car on forestry, they had a magnificent run in the Cork Forest Rally to finish an incredible second to Douglas Stewart from Dublin and Billy Ryan from Waterford in a Peugeot 206 Cup car. Even better things were to come from Butler and O’Shea when they snatched victory from Stewart and Ryan in the Bushwhacker Rally in Omagh. With the champ-ionship now tied on points, both crews made the long haul to Castlewellan for the final round of the championship. Butler and O’Shea were eager to win this event with seven stages in total. Butler and O’Shea set the pace for Stewart and Ryan from the start. At the first service in Castlewellan Country Park Stewart and Ryan were missing where they hit a bank and could not get back on the slippery forestry track, so Butler and O’Shea put in some very respectable times over the rest of the course to seal victory in the junior category.

Also well done to Joe Shinnors Jnr and Derry Healy who won their class and championship and to Liam Kelleher and John Duggan from Banteer who also won their class and championship in their classes respectively. Derek and Diarmuid just started rallying this year and a well deserved victory for both of these boys. Butler and O’Shea now qualify for the Billy Coleman Award which will be known over the next few weeks, and they will also receive an award for the two-wheel drive class. Derek and Diarmuid would like to thank their sponsors. Well done to all involved.