Kerry members of London Irish MC back behind the wheel of their rally cars at special test event – photo special

Kerry members of London Irish MC back behind the wheel of their rally cars.

Two London-based Kerry member of London Irish Motor Club drove their rally cars for the time since 2019 at a special test event last Tuesday. 

Mick Smith, the Killarney-born chairman of London Irish Motor Club, was back behind the wheel of his Chrysler Avenger for the first time since the 2019 Killarney Historic Rally. 

Ray Hilliard had an even longer wait. His last outing was the Rally of the Lakes in May 2019 but he drove his newly re-built Ford Escort Mk1 at the event organised by LIMC. 

The test tool place at the Bont Dolebolion 2.2 mile tarmac stage near Aberystwyth Mid Wales.

The venue is operated by specialist firm Slip and Grip Automotive.

“It’s an ideal venue for pre-event or pre-season testing for rally cars, sprint or hill climb cars. The stage has several layouts that can be determined or adjusted depending on the crews needs on that day. Bont boasts some of the most challenging single venue tarmac in the UK and makes for the perfect proving ground for those who compete on tarmac rallies all over Europe. The venue has no noise limits and has a sufficiently sized tarmac paddock for crews to work on cars,” said Slip and Grip Automotive.

Mick has a new clutch system fitted to his Avenger since its last outing and is also getting some engine work done to the car’s engine by Chrysler specialist with Zakham Engineering who had an engineer on site for the day. 

Slip and Grip Automotive also had a Motorsport UK recognised instructor on hand for the day. 

“You are never told to learn,” said Mick. 

He impressed the Slip and Grip Automotive people too. 

“Mick made the most of the unique private stage and had Iain Duncan in the co-driver’s seat for some professional instruction, they had a ball improving driving techniques whilst getting more seat time since everyone has had so little in the past two years.” 

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