This weekend on Sunday, July 10 from 11am, the Ballyhoura Mountains will come alive and engines will purr as the Mallow Autograss Club will be holding a race day in their world class track in Ballyguyrue North.
The race track is regarded as one of the best in the country and the club has invested a significant amount of money, with help from Ballyhoura Development, on developing it into the fantastic arena that it now is.
This weekend will see competitors from all over Cork, Ireland and abroad going head to head for the coveted Damien Forde Memorial Cup.
The track is located near the site of a former landfill and so when the club came on board, it gave the area a renewed sense of existence and brought recreation, motor sport and leisure activities into a beautiful part of the Ballyhoura Mountains.
The track was developed and constructed by Mallow Contracts and one of their employees Damien Forde from Burnfort, who would have been in his 25th year this year ,sadly passed away just over a year ago.
Last year, they held the inaugural Damien Forde Memorial Cup event in his honour, as he was a valued member of the club. He also helped to build the track, as he worked for Mallow Contracts with fellow club member, Paudie Sheehan.
Last year’s event was won by Paul O’Connor and there will no doubt be a lot of competition for the coveted prize on Sunday.
Treasurer Finian Twomey told The Avondhu that Damien was a big loss to the club and they were all devastated when they learned of his passing.
“He was the most happy-go-lucky guy and we were devastated by his loss. The amount of respect the competitors had for Damien was clear last year when they did a lap of honour in his memory with flags out the windows, before releasing balloons in tribute to him. It was really poignant,” Finian explained, speaking about the touching tribute.
The club has just under 100 members and their membership is on the increase. The Mallow Autograss Club was without a track for about six years and everything that the members have achieved with the new track is thanks to the hard work and dedication of Teresa Cusack (chairperson), Finian Twomey (treasurer), Sandra O’Brien (secretary), Nicole O’Brien (PRO), Niall Cronin (safety officer and vice treasurer), the landowner David Herbert who was a great facilitator; engineer and architect Alan Scuffins and Padraig Casey, Carmel Fox and Claire Horgan who were in Ballyhoura at the time, as 75% of the funding came from Ballyhoura Development.