Successful US debut for Quirke
Kenneth Quirke took a very creditable fourth overall on his American rally debut on Saturday July 18.
The New York-based Camp man contested the Southern Ohio Forrest Rally as co-driver to Ryan Booth, a former Indy car racer who, in recent years, turned his hand to rallying.
The pair used a McKenna Motorsport hired Ford Fiesta R5 for what was the second round of the Rally America national series and their opposition reflected the event’s national status.
The rally was won by their team boss Barry McKenna and Leon Jordan who recorded a first ever win for the Skoda brand in America. They were followed home by YouTuber and Hollywood stunt man Ken Block in a Ford Escort Cosworth and Brandon Semenuk who was driving for the Subaru USA team.
Quirke and Booth held fifth for most of the rally – an unusual even in the sense that it started at 3pm on Saturday and ran until the early hours of Sunday morning – but they grabbed fourth on the final stage.
Atalanta-based Irish driver Joseph Burke was holding fourth for much of the rally but hit a rock on the final stage and the resultant damage put him out of the rally and immediately promoted Quirk and his driver.
“I would like to thank everyone that made this possible. Especially Ryan Booth and Barry Mckenna! What a fantastic experience, first time navigating in the woods and in an R5. I won’t be forgetting this one and that’s for sure. That’s one ticketed off the bucket list for sure,” said Quirke.
“A great rally and the run through the night seen us getting better and better the more mileage we put up – setting top five times all night. A big thank you to all the guys in Mc Kenna Motorsport. Top class job and was a pleasure to be around the crew all weekend.”
Versions of this article originally appeared in the Kerryman. Kerry Motorsport News is the motorsport content provider to The Kerryman.