Quirke’s American Snow rally debut
By Sean Moriarty
New York-based Kenneth Quirke is preparing to tackle the United States of America’s only all snow.
The Camp native will co-drive on the Sno*Drift Rally, scheduled for February 19 and 20, for former Irish Tarmac Rally Champion John Coyne in a McKenna Motorsport prepared Ford Fiesta R5.
Quirke made his US rally debut last July on the Southern Ohio Rally and since then has competed on several other American rallies with various drivers.
Coyne, who is originally from Dublin is now based in California. Although now in his early 70s, his appetite for the sport has not diminished. The 1982 Irish Champion is better known these days for the support he offers up and coming Irish drivers and co-drivers who are trying to make it on the international scene.
Based in Lewiston, Michigan, Sno*Drift Rally is the opening round of the American Rally Association’s National Rally Championship.
Other Irish entries include current ARA champions Barry McKenna and Leon Jordan (Ford Fiesta WRC) and Seamus Burke and Martin Brady (Ford Escort Mk2).
Coyne hires rally cars from McKenna Motorsport. The New York team usually employs experienced Irish co-drivers and flies them over the US for the weekend.
As a result of the current travel restrictions McKenna Motorsport were unable to provide an Irish navigator so the opportunity fell to Quirke.
“It is funny because my dad [Martin] remembers John competing on the Circuit of Kerry in the 1980s and here am I am going navigating for him,” said Quirke. “At the moment it is just a one off event but I am thankful for the opportunity.”
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