Killarney Historic – one week to go

Bumper entry for Killarney Historic Rally

Rally fans are looking forward to the biggest Rentokil-Initial Killarney Historic Rally ever with some of the sport’s top names set to start the November 30 event.

Organiser, Killarney and District Motor Club has attracted a record entry, with over 180 crews vying for the 160 available starting places.

The seeded entry is due to be published early this week but after The Kerryman went to print.

Last year’s winner Owen Murphy has switched from his event-winning Talbot Sunbeam and will start in a Ford Escort Mk2.

Rally of the Lakes winners Craig Breen and Paul Nagle will take the challenge to Murphy and they will field another Escort.

Entries have come from all over Ireland, England, the Isle of Man and Wales. The inclusion of Belgian champion Paul Lietaer in an Opel Manta 400 and Rathmore native Jack Kelleher who is returning from his Australia base shows the rally is really an international event in all but name.

Local drivers are well represented too with former winner Mark Falvey set to return in his ex-Billy Coleman Ford Escort Mk1 and Todd Falvey fielding another MK2 variation.

Local co-driver’s contesting the rally include Tommy Commane who is alongside Louth’s Phillip McKibben in an Escort Mk1 and Tony McCarthy who is on pace note duty for James Hall in an Audi Coupe Quattro.

Alan Ring will give his newly built BMW M3 its first taste of home roads while former Rally of the Lakes national rally winner Rob Duggan will compete in the historic rally proper for the first time in a hired Escort.

London-based Listowel man Ray Hillard has his Escort Mk1 fully repaired since his Rally of the Lakes shunt. Killarney native Mick Smith is another making the trip from the UK capital and he will drive the same Chrysler Avenger he used on the Rally of the Lakes earlier this year.

Denis Dowling will drive his Ford Escort M2 while Pat Looney, from Killcumin, makes a welcome return in his MK1. Diarmuid Lynch, better known for his co-driving skill will be behind the wheel of a Mini Cooper S. Aidan Kennedy will drive a similar Mini.

Other big names include Dubliner Robert Barrable who has entered the rally in a historic specification Ford Escort, a massive change from the four-wheel-drive machinery he usually drives.

An equally tantalising Modified rally is also blessed with a star-studded entry list.

Former multiple British Champion Jason Pritchard, on his Killarney debut, will be one of the top seeds in this section and his main opposition will come from Donegal’s Damien Tourish and Cavan’s Garry Kiernan.

Former Rally of the Lakes winner, Darragh O’Riordan makes a rare outing in a modified event but can’t be ruled out of overall contention either. He will use another Escort for the rally.

Locals contesting this section  include Charlie Hickey, Denis Hickey, Aidan Buckley, Andrew Duggan, Tadgh O’Sullivan and Colin O’Donoghue in a fleet of Escorts. Kevin O’Donoghue will drive his BMW M3 on the event.

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