Abbeyleix Manor Rally Full Kerry report
4 Daniel Cronin / Shane Buckley (Ford Fiesta R5)
Eighth overall/ third in class
London-based Faha co-driver Shane Buckley guided Daniel Cronin to eighth overall on Sunday’s Abbeyleix Manor Hotel Rally. A broken drive shaft on stage three hampered progress for the Ford Fiesta R5 crew. The crew were using the event as a high-speed shakedown for the West Cork Rally next month. Although they registered for the Top Part West Coast Championship they are unlikely to enter the next round, the Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry as it falls just one week before the Circuit of Ireland and they are hoping to contes the full Irish Tarmac championship this year.
16 Raymond Conlon/ Damien Fleming (Toyota Corolla)
Ninth overall/ first in class
Killcummin co-driver Damien guided Raymond Conlon to ninth in a Toyota Corolla and as well as their top ten finish took the class 13 win too. They were second in the two-wheel drive race. The pair plan on contesting the Border Rally Championship this year, starting with next month’s Mayo Rally.
20 Mike Quinn/Kevin Tydings (Ford Escort)
It was a difficult day in the office for former West Coast Rally Champion Mike Quinn and his new co-driver Kevin Tydings. A faulty throttle cable hindered progress on the opening stage, and that affected confidence over the middle loop. A broken gearbox ended their day.
27 Andrew Duggan/Tara Duggan (Ford Escort)
An engine problem two kilometres in to the first stage forced an early retirement for the Killarney-based brother and sister team.
30 Vincent O’Shea/ Eoin O’Donoghue (Darrian T90 DXE)
35th overall/ third in class
The Kenmare crew of Vincent O’Shea and Eoin O’Donoghue were the best all-Kerry crew and they marked their first run in their new Darrian T90 DXE with 35th place overall. Co-driver Eoin O’Donoghue told Kerry Motorsport News: “It is very small inside comparted to our previous BMW. It is a very different car.”
31 Eoin Duffin/ Ciara Duffin (Ford Escort)
The Circuit of Kerry clerk of the course made hard work of his day. An off-road excursion on the second loop needed the help of spectators to re-join the course. He stopped again on the final stage when the exhaust manifold came lose and jammed itself between the engine and sump guard. Daughter Ciara made her rally debut.
70 Raymond Spence/ Ger Somers (Ford Escort)
48th overall/ tenth in class
Co-driver Ger Somers described the rally as one of the slipperiest he had ever contested. The Down/Kerry crew hope to tackle the Easter weekend Circuit of Ireland which runs close to Spence’s base.
71 Sean Enright/Kevin Doyle (Ford Escort)
Enright and Doyle enjoyed a trouble-free run to second in class 12 in their Escort. Like most of the field, they had concerns about the slippery nature of the roads.
75 Katie Quinn/ Ciara O’Connell (Honda Civic)
The Quinn family made a habit of breaking gearboxes on Sunday. Like her father Mike, Katie’s Honda Civic’s gearbox lost fifth gear but with the help of her own and many other service crews she was able to fit a new one at the second service half of the day. Her efforts came to nothing after a driveshaft failure on the final loop forced retirement.
84 David Griffin/ PJ O’Dowd (Toyota Corolla GT)
61ST overall/ first in class
“No grip, no power, no problem,” is how the historic class winners described their day after a trouble-free run.
85 Alan O’Sullivan/ Mark Doody (Honda Civic)
51ST overall/ third in class
A great performance by the young West Kerry driver resulted in a third overall finish in the junior section of the rally. They also had the honour of taking home the best placed Kerry Motor Club award.
91 John Michael Kennelly/ Maurice McElligott (Honda Civic)
Kerry Motor Club’s Maurice McElligott, who was on pacenote duty for John Kennelly, retired after a broken radiator and driveshaft in their Civic ended their day.
Non-starters included Ed Synan/ Denis O’Connell, Ger O’Brien/ John Liston and Neil Phelan/ Keith McCarthy and Mark Kane/ TJ O’Brien.
Richard Talbot was codriving for Christy Carey in the 001 Safety Car Mitsubishi Lancer E9.