25 out of 25 for John Keatley as the event’s first winner returns to the 25th Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Rally – with 25 on the doors

25 out of 25 for John Keatley  

 The winner of the first-ever Killarney Historic Rally, John Keatley, will return to the event this year in the same car he won the event in 25 years ago.  

Killarney and District Motor Club is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the rally this year and what better way to mark than to give the first winner door panel 25 for the event.  

The Magherafelt, County Derry driver has been one of biggest supporters of Irish historic rallying for years. I 

Back in the day he contested all the major historic rallies and championships, but these days he “picks and choses” the event he likes to do.  

He is a former Irish Tarmac Historic Champion, and he has competed as far afield as Barbados 

“I am looking forward to it,” he told Kerry Motorsport News. “The car is ready.” 

And what a car. John is bringing his glorious 1965 911 Porsche to Killarney.  

This is the same car he used 25 years to win the inaugural event. A quarter of a century ago the car was painted white but after an extensive re-build in recent years the car is now red with a gold stripe.  

“It will be good to see old faces again,” he said.  

His last appearance in Killarney was the 2019 Rally of the Lakes where he finished second in class in a Ford Escort. That was the same car he entered into the ill-fated 2015 Killarney Historic Rally – the event was called off at the very last minute due to the onslaught of Storm Desmond. 

John Keatley also contested the Rally of the Lakes in 2000.Photo by Seamus Counihan

His last competitive appearance on the Historic Rally was in 2007 but he failed to get to the finish on that occasion.  

As well as winning the first rally he finished runner-up on the second running of the Historic Rally in 1997.  


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