This year’s Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry Rally will have several American drivers on the entry list.
Event organiser Kerry Motor Club has been working behind the scenes since January in-an-effort to attract more overseas entrants to its April 5 rally.
It seems the club’s efforts are paying off as, last week, it was confirmed that at least two Welsh drivers had entered the rally. It has since been revealed that a few American drivers are entering the rally too.
Rally legend Seamus Burke, a Donegal man based in Atlanta has placed an entry for the rally. No stranger to competing in Kerry, the Ford Escort driver has competed on the Rally of the Lakes and the Killarney Historic Rally in the past but this will mark his first appearance on the Circuit of Kerry.
“Seamus and his wife Bernadette were coming to Ireland that time anyway for a family holiday and he was hoping to fit in an event while he was home. The Circuit of Kerry suited perfectly in terms of time and family commitments,” his co-driver Martin Brady said.
The pair have rallied extensively together in the USA and just two weeks before the Circuit of Kerry they will contest the Rally of the 100 Acre Wood in Salem, Missouri in a Ford Fiesta R5.
They will use Burke’s historic-spec Escort for the Circuit of Kerry, the car is currently being transferred from gravel to tarmac spec after an outing on the RAC Rally in Britain last November.
Former Irish Tarmac rally champion, John Coyne, who is currently based in California will bring his unique Porsche 997 GT3 to the rally for the first time. His last appearance on the Circuit of Kerry was in 1987 when he drove an Opel Manta 400 to 18th place.
Other US-based drivers are likely to enter too with further overseas announcements expected in the run up to the rally.
The Rose Hotel-based event will be a round of four major rally championships as the Triton Showers National Rally Championship returns to Kerry for the first time since 2018.
Entry fees have been maintained at the 2019 levels of €725 for main field entrants.
The junior entry fee is set at €475 and new for this year is the event’s inclusion in the Motorsport Ireland Junior Rally Championship. This series will include tarmac events for the first time and the Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry has the honour of being the first closed-road rally to welcome the rising stars of Irish rallying.
Kerry Motor Club’s main event is also a counting round of the Top Part West Coast Rally Championship and the Moriarty’s Centra Kingdom of Kerry Rally Championship.
The Rose Hotel is considered the best rally base in the country, the outstanding facilities at the hotel, as well as the ample space in the hotel’s grounds means that every aspect of the rally from the administration checks, drivers’ briefing, service park, parc ferme and the trailer park are all within the same complex.
Entries for The Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry Rally opened last week and entry forms and regulations are published on http://www.kerrymotorclub.com.