Rallysport-style report on Kerry crews in action on last weekend’s Corrib Oil Galway International Rally

It was wet, windy and mucky.
There were traffic jams everywhere.
It was so great to be back.
It was a classic Galway, the Kerry crews who made the finish earned every bit of it.
Many locals made it to the finish, many more did not.
Kerry Motorsport News presents its (almost) traditional Rallysport Magazine style rally report.
Every Kerry competitor covered plus those from outside the county who are members of the two local clubs.

7: Cathan McCourt/Liam Moynihan (Ford Fiesta RC2)
Fourth in the International section
Leading the local contingent was Killarney and District Motor Club member and Millstreet, County Cork resident Liam Moynihan. He was on pacenote duty for Cathan McCourt in a Ford Fiesta Rally2, the pair set consistent top four and five times to finish fourth in the main category. A right-rear puncture on Sunday’s fourth stage proved that even the front runners could not stay out of trouble on their way to fourth place overall.

11: Daniel Cronin/ Shane Buckley (Volkswagen Polo RC5)
Fifth in International Rally
Daniel Cronin and his London-based Rockfield co-driver Shane Buckley said it was a very difficult weekend to get used to a new car. They finished fifth in the new Volkswagen Polo Rally 2 that they acquired only days before the rally.
“Of course it’s a good car, it was designed by a Kerry man,” said Buckley in reference to Volkswagen Motorsport engineer, Richard Browne, from Firies.

16 Paul Barrett/ Kevin Reilly (Ford Fiesta RC2)
Ninth in International Rally.
Paul Barrett, whose grandfather came from Ballyduff, finished ninth in his Ford Fiesta.
The Kildare man admitted he struggled through the waterlogged stages, which included an overshoot on stage 11.

29 Declan Gallagher/ John McCarthy (Toyota Starlet)
Did not finish
Declan Gallagher and his Killcummin co-driver John McCarthy had a short day after putting their Toyota Starlet off the road on the opening stage of the event.

43 Peter Wilson/John McCarthy (Ford Fiesta RC2)
13TH in the International section
John McCarthy guided Peter Wilson to 13th in the main category but they could have finished higher only for the windows in their Ford Fiesta kept getting steamed up during the horrifically wet Saturday loop of stages.

47 Connor Murphy/ Sean Collins
In the national section of the rally, Connor Murphy and Sean Collins finished 10th. They were on their second outing in a newly built Ford Escort – they failed to make the finish of last November’s Killarney Historic Rally so they were still learning the nuances of their new car in far from ideal conditions. A right rear puncture mid-way through Sunday and clutch problems after Saturday’s loop were just some of the issues they had to contend with.

67 Neil Phelan/ Keith McCarthy (Ford Escort Mk2)
Did not start
Despite completing the recce the Cork/Kerry crew did not start as the car was not ready.

77 Luke McCarthy/Brian Duggan (Ford Escort Mk2)
Fifth in the historic section
Brian Duggan, who was co-driver to former National Champion Luke McCarthy, finished fifth in the historic section in their Escort. Luke said he would be better off with a pair of swimming togs as tyre choice was that difficult.

78 Duncan Williams/ Declan Casey (Ford Escort Mk2)
Second in the historic section
Rathmore schoolteacher Declan Casey finished second in the overall Historic standings alongside UK visitor Duncan Williams in a Ford Escort RS1800.They were in an event long battle with bothers Maurice and Stephen Meskell but a broken axle frame dropped the Limerick men to third their Escort Mk1. It was Williams first attempt at the Galway Rally and they netted top Irish Tarmac Championship category points for their efforts.

99 Cyril Casey/ Elaine Ni She (Ford Fiesta)
Did not finish
West Cork’s Cyril Casey and West Kerry’s Elaine NÍ Shé ended their rally in a stage seven ditch.

114 Alan Watkins/Eoghan Eoghan McCarthy (Ford Escort Mk2)
11th in the historic section
Killarney and District Motor Club member Alan Watkins was 11th in his Ford Escort. The UK visitor had a very important message at the end of day one.
“The real heroes are the marshals who stood out in that rain all day. It is ok for us in a nice warm car and I want to say thanks,” he said.

122 Eddie Kennelly/Pual McGlinchey (Ford Escort)
Did not finish
Eddie Kennelly and Paul McGlinchey, from Lisselton, retired their Escort on Saturday morning with fuel pump issues.

129 Philip McKibben/Tommy Commane (Ford Escort Mk1)
Tenth in the historic category
Lixnaw-based co-driver Tommy Commane, alongside County Louth’s Philip McKibbin in an Escort Mk1 put the whole rally in perspective.
“The organisers started the last Saturday stage on two-minute intervals as there were so many cars off the road,” he said.
“Safari-spec survival Sunday,” he added on day two. They finished tenth in the category.

135 Robert Leech/ Denny Greany (Proton Satria)
Did not finish
Wexford’s Robert Leech s employed Denny Greaney from Cordal as his co-driver for the weekend in their unusual Proton Satria. They were in and out of a few Galway ditches on Saturday. A broken differential ended their Sunday run.

140 Sam Leach/ Barry Attridge (Opel Corsa)
46th in National Rally
Fossa-based Sam Leach retired his Opel Corsa due to a driveshaft failure on Saturday. He re-joined on Sunday morning under SuperRally rules only for the same thing to happen.
A third attempt, on Sunday afternoon, somehow netted a class win.

J4 Jason Farrell/Rob Duggan (Honda Civic)
Second in the junior category
Rob Duggan, an event winner as a driver, marked his second event ever as a co-driver. He guided Jason Farrell to second in the Junior Rally run over five Sunday stages.
“Never again,” said Duggan. “Jason can be looking for a new co-driver for the West Cork Rally.”

J7 John Michael Kennelly/ Eoin Corcoran (Honda Civic)
Third in the junior category
Kerry Motor Club member John Michael Kennelly finished third in the junior rally despite a puncture thwarting progress on the fourth stage.

J12 Jamie O’Rourke/Patrick Brislane (Honda Civic)
Did not finish
An off-road excursion on the final loop ended their event.

J14 Ronan Lacey/Anthony O’Driscoll (Honda Civic)
Did not finish
Another local crew to suffer from the Galway traps – they found a nice soft bog to land in with no damage but no hope of re-joining the road either.

The Kerry /Limerick juniors deserve credit for the efforts they went to to get their cars to Galway.

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