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Wishing Good Luck to “Beaumont Brawn”

We would like to wish a huge good luck to “Beaumont Brawn” from all the staff at Bluebird Care Dublin North.

Bluebird Care Dublin North are delighted to sponsor “Beaumont Brawn” in this summer’s IRFU Tag Competition, at Malahide RFC. The team is made of up staff from Beaumont Hospital along with a couple of members of Malahide RFC.

View the pictures from their training session here:

 

 

A Mini Adventure for Raftery in Galway World Car Outing 

Billy Coleman Young Driver of the Year Dean Raftery will take on the biggest challenge of his career as he steps up from his usual Ford Fiesta R2, to a BMW MINI World Rally Car on the Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally. Receiving the support of rally sponsor Colm Quinn BMW, Raftery will compete in one of two MINI WRCs on the event, the sister car piloted by five times Irish Tarmac Champion Eugene Donnelly.

At the age of just 23, the Craughwell based rally star will aim to capitalise on his sensational performances in the MSA British Rally Championship and World Rally Championship finale Wales Rally GB. He has been offered this opportunity thanks to his victory in the Young Driver of the Year competition hosted by Motorsport Ireland and the Irish Sport Council which took place back in Decemeber. Keen to develop his skills across a wide variety of competitive cars, Raftery feels that the experience in a world car is ‘key’ to his progression in the sport and will help to boost his profile as he continues his career.

“This is such a fantastic opportunity on my home event in front of my home crowd, it truly is a dream come true” explains Raftery. “It really is an honour to drive for event sponsor Colm Quinn BMW on and event that my local motor club organises and what an incredible car to compete in. Of course it will be a totally unique driving experience compared to the Fiesta but hopefully I can adapt to the power and grip levels quite quickly. McGeehan Motorsport is running the car and we should be able to fit a test in before the event so I can get a feel for the car”.

Having a five time Irish Champion as a team mate will undoubtedly help the Galway Motor Club member too. “Of course Eugene is a legend on the Irish roads and I’m sure I can learn a lot from him both before and during the event” he says. “It will provide a great benchmark to judge my stage times by too but I will certainly be driving my own event, at least for the first few stages”.

Raftery will once again be supported by his regular backers including Bluebird Care, Modern Tyre Service, EARS Motorsport, Kumho, King Car Parts, Quinns Hardware Labane, Mike Kelly Commercials and Raftery’s Bar. He will start the event as number 6 seed and will be co-driven by Mark Kane.

The three day event provides over 200km of competitive stages in the Galway region and takes place on 6th, 7th and 8th February. After the ceremonial start on Friday 6th, two full days of action lie ahead for the crews before returning to the finish ramp at the Clayton Hotel late on Sunday afternoon.

For more information on Dean, updates from the event and his rallying career, visit www.deanraftery.com

Raftery Becomes Multiple British Rally Champion in Manx Drama

23 year old Dean Raftery recovered from an early event roll in his Bluebird Care backed Fiesta R2 to be crowned MSA British Rally Championship RallyTwo winner on last weekend’s Rally Isle of Man.  Due to the hard work by his team, Raftery and co-driver Aileen Kelly were able to restart the event after their leg one dramas and return to the TT Grandstand in Douglas on Saturday evening as champions.  Not only did they secure the hard fought RallyTwo title, but they also became class BRC2, FiestaSport Trophy and RAVENOL Oils Newcomers champions whilst finishing the championship in third place overall.

Add to the list a Pirelli Star Driver nomination for all their efforts this year and Raftery is undoubtedly one to watch for the future.

The Galway rally star thought his rally was over on just the opening leg of the three day long marathon event when he rolled his Fiesta on only the second stage of the rally. A distraught Raftery was recovered back to the service area later that night where his team set about repairing the damage inflicted by his trip into one of the Manx hedges.  “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as we turned the car upside down” he said. “I knew all I had to do was get to the end of the event but we were just caught out and I really thought that was my championship over. The entire team pulled together and attempted to get us back in the rally; they were amazing, I really can’t thank them enough for all their efforts”.

Thanks to the Super Rally rules and the fact the long event was split into two points scoring opportunities for British Rally Championship contenders, Raftery was able to restart the event on Friday evening and immediately put the past days dramas behind him to make his mark on the stage times.  Tackling the stages under the cover of darkness, he began to rebuild his confidence on the tricky Manx roads to record some impressive times over the remainder of the day’s stages.

Saturday allowed Raftery to begin the day with a clean sheet and was rarely out of the top 10 all day long, confirming perhaps that it really was a simple mistake that caused his early event dramas on Thursday.  Crossing the finish line of the finish of the final stage of the event in front of the famous TT Grandstand, Raftery and Kelly were crowned champions and could take the silverware back to Ireland.
“It really is a dream come true for me to take the RallyTwo win after a season of ups and downs for us” explains Raftery. “We have proved that we have the pace to compete at the front and the consistency has helped us this year.  It’s great to become a multiple champion at only 23 years old and hopefully this will be a stepping stone for me and help further my rallying career.”

Raftery will also receive a free entry to the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB which takes place in November thanks to the MSA British Rally Championship “Road to Wales” initiative and his third overall in the series. Competing against the best drivers in the world will certainly be the one of the toughest tests in his short career so far.

His Pirelli Star Driver nomination for his performance during the year will offer Raftery product support from the tyre manufacturer in 2015 during his motorsport activities and is perhaps the icing on the cake for the likeable youngster. “I really can’t believe the results and titles we have gained this year” he says.  “I’ve always looked to progress my career as far as I can and the Wales Rally GB prize will undoubtedly be the next challenge in that plan. I’m looking forward to seeing what next year holds for us and what opportunities await.  I have to say a huge thank you to Aileen, the team and my all of my sponsors for their continued support; I could not have achieved any of this without them.”

Raftery is sponsored by the nationwide home and care service provider Bluebird Care has continued support from Craughwell Tyre Services, King Car Parts and Black Hawk Fuels.

For more information on Dean and his rallying career, visit www.deanraftery.com

Raftery needs to master the Manx in British Championship finale

Galway rally ace Dean Raftery will head across the Irish Sea this week to contest the final round of the MSA British Rally Championship, Rally Isle of Man. Offering two points scoring opportunities, the fondly named “Manx” will be the most important event in the Irishman’s rallying career as he aims to secure the RallyTwo, FiestaSport Trophy and BRC2 championship honours.  With three long days of closed public road rallying ahead, Raftery and regular co-driver Aileen Kelly need to master the unique roads around the small island from the very first stage if they are to take the silverware back to Galway. 

The 23 year old Ford Fiesta R2 pilot currently has a hat trick of wins in the RallyTwo category and will aim to build that tally up to five as the event offers the chance to add to the point’s tables after the first full day and then again at the rally finish. With just one point separating Raftery from rival Gus Greensmith, he will need to keep a weather eye on the horizon if he is to the best chance of taking the championship win. “I think the biggest unknown for all of us is the weather on the Isle of Man” he explains. “It certainly has its very own microclimate and trying to predict what will happen is rather pointless on the island. You just have to go with it and do your best to battle through if you make a wrong tyre choice. It will be the same for everyone so it’s how you handle the situation that will make the difference”.

No stranger to closed road rallying, Raftery is confident the Manx roads will suit his driving style. But rather wisely perhaps, the Bluebird Care backed driver thinks a cautious approach could be favourable.

“Of course there is a lot of pressure on us on this event, much more than normal” he explains.  “It’s my first time on the island, aside from when I was here as a spectator when I was three months old but we can’t count that. I will need to learn as I go as its totally different to any event I’ve done before, you can’t really compare it to the roads back home so I`ll just have to take it one stage at a time and see where we are.”

But it’s not just the RallyTwo title that is up for grabs on the Manx roads.  Raftery is just outside a podium position in the BRC title chase, just one point away from third. Just four points separate him from the top of the FiestaSport Trophy standings and he heads the BRC2 class with six points to spare. But Rally Isle of Man is famous for its unpredictability and Raftery simply cannot afford to relax if he is to end his dream inaugural season in the British Championship.

Rally Isle of Man kicks off on Thursday 11th September, with four stages planned during the evening including a unique spectator stage in Douglas promenade. The bulk of the event competitive mileage is on Friday with stages running well into the night. A final seven stages await on day three, Saturday 13th where the winners will celebrate at the event finish which is hosted by famous TT Grandstand.

Raftery is sponsored by the nationwide home and care service provider Bluebird Care has continued support from Craughwell Tyre Services, King Car Parts and Black Hawk Fuels.
For more information on Dean and his rallying career, visit www.deanraftery.com