The West Cork Rally returns this weekend after a two-year hiatus and traditional St Patrick’s Weekend event always attracts a strong local entry.
This year’s Clonakilty-based rally is no exception with over 30 locals entered.
Killarney and District Motor Club member Liam Moynihan continues his successful partnership with Cathan McCourt. The Ford Fiesta crew are the fifth seeds after taking fourth place on last month’s Galway International Rally.
Daniel Cronin and Shane Buckley start at seven in their second outing in their new Volkswagen Polo R5. They finished fifth in Galway last month.
Killarney Historic Rally. Modified category winner Rob Duggan will make his first start of the season. He will have a new co-driver for the weekend. Regular partner Ger Conway is unavailable due to work commitments so John Falvey will deputise.
Duggan’s Agahdoe neighbour Sean Murphy and his Rathmore co-driver Sean Collins are another Ford Escort crew on the 140-strong entry list. A right rear puncture and clutch problems were just some of the issues they had to contend with on their way to tenth in Galway last month.
Kevin O’Donoghue starts at 46 in his BMW M3 E30. He has employed local Nissan dealer David Randles as his co-driver marking David’s first event in the passenger seat since 2018.
Killarney and District Motor Club member Barry Meade makes a welcome return after a few years on the sidelines with a newly built Class 13 Ford Escort.
Vincent O’Shea, from Kenmare, is out in his Darrian T90 GTR.
Mike Nelligan and John Hurley are also on the comeback trail as they make their first event start since the 2019 West Cork Rally in their rebuilt Toyota Corolla.
Rathmore’ Collin Moynihan is another Ford Escort driver on the entry but he has yet to nominate a co-driver for the event.
Glenflesk’s Bob Moran holds a unique record. This will be his 18th time entering West Cork and only a handful of locals have more starts than the Escort driver.
Co-driver Tommy Moynihan marks his first start since the 2019 Rally of the Lakes.
He is alongside Patrick O’Connor in Mitsubishi Lancer E9 and will start at 105.
Ray O’Neill from Milltown is listed at 131 put will most likely start further up the running order once re-seeds are applied on Friday night.
Kerry Motor Club’s Keith McCarthy is alongside Neil Phelan in a Ford Escort – their car was not ready for the Galway international in February.
Rathmore’s Jack Kelleher, brother of local Councillor Niall is making the long trip from Sydney to compete in the event and take in a family holiday too. He will be co-driven by Colin O’Donoghue who is better known as a rally winning driver and they have entered a Honda Civic in the rally.
Newcomers Michael Lucey and Brendan O’Mahony face an anxious wait as they are on the reserve list for the over-subscribed event.
There are two Killarney and District Motor Club crews entered in the Junior rally which runs over the Sunday stages.
Jason Farrell (Muckross) and Donagh Crowley (Rathmore) share a Honda Civic and newcomers Gary Healy (Clonkeen) and Kevin Doherty (Killarney) compete in a similar machine.
Kerry Motor Club is represented by John Michael Kennelly and Ronan Lacey.
There is plenty of Kerry interest in the Historic section of the West Cork Rally.
Of the 25 crews entered in the event 11 have a Kerry connection.
Alan Ring and Adrian Deasy are second seeds.
They will field the same Subaru Legacy that drove to second place over all in last November’s Killarney Historic Rally.
Killarney and District Motor Club member, Alan Watkins from Telford is another ‘local’ on the entry list in his Ford Escort.
Robert Falvey, a member of the extended Falvey rally family from Rathmore is also entered in the Historic section of the rally.
Fergus O’ Meara and Ronald Riordan are another Killarney and District Motor Club crew entered in the Historic category in their Ford Escort BDG.
Rathmore schoolteacher Declan Casey is on pacenote duty for Fermanagh’s Michael
McDaid in a Ford Escort RS1800.
Denis Cronin from Ballylickey will start his 41st year of motorsport with Kilgarvan’s Helen O’Sullivan on co-driving duty in their Ford Escort.
Cork driver Luke Mc Carthy will have the Healy Pass’ Brian Duggan on pacenote duty in their Ford Escort. The pair are frontrunners in the historic Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.
Lixnaw’s Tommy Commane is alongside Philip McKibbin in their Ford Escort Mk1.
James Hall has employed Tralee co-driver Tony McCarthy to guide him around the West Cork stages in their fabulous Audi Coupe.
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