From school friends to rally rivals – two Killarney co-drivers go head-to-head in British Rally Championship

Two Killarney-based rally co-drivers, who have been best friends since national school, are set to go head-to-head at the highest level of the British Rally Championship (BRC).

Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin, and Noel O’Sullivan from Muckross, are both entered in Saturday’s Nicky Grist Rally in Wales which is the second round of the BRC.

The pair have been friends since they started in the Holy Cross Mercy School, before moving on to The Mon, finally completing their school days together at St Brendan’s College.

Mike Galvin – Hyundai i20 R5-N

Despite the two of them enjoying successful international rally careers this is the first time they have gone head-to-head in the same championship.

Galvin is on co-driving duty for Keith Cronin, a former four-time BRC champion who is making a comeback after three years on the sideline. Galvin previously guided the West Cork man to his last British title in 2017 and the pair are also former Irish Tarmac Champions.

“It is nice to be at this level, the two of us at the top end of the British championship,” Mikie said.

They will be joining O’Sullivan who is already committed to the series alongside Welsh driver Osian Pryce. The crew took third place on the championship’s season opener in Cheshire in a Volkswagen Polo R2.

“With all the rallying we have done, we have never driven in a direct head-to-head, maybe in some local rallies like the Rally of the Lakes, but not in big championship events,” Noel said. “It is fantastic that this is happening.”

A third school friend, Rob Duggan, has also enjoyed success at home and abroad.

“We were the three rally boys going to school,” added Mikie. “We are together since Junior Infants and all three of us have competed at an international level.”

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