Several Welsh drivers planning on entering Circuit of Kerry

Steve Wood and Keith Moriarty after the 2017 Clare Rally

Several Welsh drivers planning on entering Circuit of Kerry

Entries for the Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry officially opened this week and already there are several overseas drivers who have expressed an interest in entering the Tralee-based April 5 event.

Sunday’s Abbeyleix Manor Rally marked the opening round of the locally sponsored Top Part West Coast Championship.

The Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry is the second round of the series and after Sunday’s event Welsh driver Steve Wood is the provisional championship leader.

At the finish line in Abbeyleix on Sunday he confirmed to Kerry Motor Club members that his next event this side of the Irish Sea will be the Circuit of Kerry.

He has finished third on the rally on two different occasions in the past and this year he and his co-driver Abbeyfeale’s Keith Moriarty will use the same Ford Fiesta that Corkman Daragh O’Riordan used to win last year’s rally.

“I like the rally, I like the area, and Keith knows the territory,” Wood told Kerry Motor Club on Sunday evening.

Dai Roberts, who made his Circuit of Kerry debut last year is another Welshman advancing his plans to return to Tralee in April

The Welsh crews, like all overseas entrants, will race for the London Irish Motor Club International trophy presented by long-time KMC member Sean Moriarty who is one of the founding members of LIMC. He is keen to maintain links between the two clubs.

The nine-stage 120km rally will feature the return of the classic Desmond’s Grave stage alongside a spectator friendly stage near Killflynn.

“I am delighted to offer an entry fee of €725 for main field, the same as last year, our committee has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to cut back running costs without taking from the standards drivers would expect from Kerry Motor Club,” said clerk of the course Eoin Duffin. “We look forward to welcoming new and old friends to Tralee in April, especially the returning National Championship contenders.”

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.

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 will open in the coming days, once Motorsport Ireland officials approve the regulations, and regular updates will be published on in the run up to the event.

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