Duggan makes history on Killarney Historic Rally
The two runs over Moll’s Gap were the deciding factors in Rob Duggan and Ger Conway’s victory on Saturday’s Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Rally.
Driving a West Wales Motorsport run Ford Escort Mk2, the local pair led from the start to take a comfortable 14 second victory over World Rally Championship stars Craig Breen and Paul Nagle.
Duggan and Conway were eight seconds quicker than their Escort rivals on the early morning run over Ireland’s most-famous rally stage.
Their second run earned them a further six-second buffer but Breen and Nagle reeled them in over the Ballaghbeama and Shanera stages.
Just eight seconds separated the crews as they headed to the two final tests over Rockfield and Coolick but when Duggan snared two more seconds over the short Rockfield the rally was done as a contest.
Duggan goes into the history books as the first ever former winner of the Modified category in the rally to win the overall historic title while Conway was celebrating his third success on the event having previously won it on two occasions alongside Denis Moynihan.
While Duggan and Conway were deserving winners, and the runners-up were the first to say this at the finish of the final stage near Kilcummin on Saturday evening, Nagle was more than a little disappointed.
New for this year, the overall winners of the rally were presented with the Maurice Nagle Memorial Trophy, named in honour of the man who founded the Killarney Historic Rally. Paul would have dearly loved to get his hands on the trophy named after his father but it wasn’t to be this year.
However Nagle was named as the Kerry county co-driving champion following his victory on two days of the Rally of the Lakes and his second place on Saturday.
Alan Ring finished seventh in his BMW M3 while Kilgarvin’s Helen O’Sullivan guided Denis Cronin to ninth.
Todd Falvey got the upper hand over his nephew Mark, just four second separated the 12th placed Ford Escort RS1800 and 13th placed Ford Escort RS1600.
Pat Looney and Ronald Riordan won class C3 in their Ford Escort RS2000 while Donal O’Connor and Ann Hutchinson were third in a similar car.
Abbeydorney co-driver Tony McCarthy guided James Hall to sixth in Class K in their Audi Coupe Quattro
Denis Dowling and James Treanor took their Ford Escort RS1800 to 11th in class.
London-based Killarney man Mike Smith won class C2 in his Hillman Avenger.