West Cork Rally – International and National section – Kerry crews reports – all crews mentioned
Co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the Kerry contingent taking fourth overall alongside Daniel Cronin in their Volkswagen Polo RC2.
Buckley, who is also a member of London Irish Motor Club, took home the Mike Cornes Memorial Trophy, presented to either LIMC or Craven Motor Club members in recognition of both clubs’ efforts in encouraging overseas participation in the West Cork Rally over the weekend.
Killarney and District Motor Club member Liam Moynihan was the best of the local competitors after eight trying stages on Saturday but he and his driver, Cathan McCourt, crashed out of fifth place on Sunday morning.
Rob Duggan and John Falvey finished second on the national category on their Ford Escort after a weekend-long battle with James Stafford Tom Scanlon in their Darrian.
It was Falvey’s first time sitting with Duggan but the Aghadoe driver was full of praise for his new co-driver.
“It was a baptism of fire on Ardfield on Saturday morning,” said Duggan. “But John did a great job all weekend. It is a mental hot pace. Very fast but very fun.”
Abbeyfeale’s Keith Moriarty was fifth in the national category alongside Sam Moffett in a Toyota Starlet RWD.
Barry Meade, on his first rally in a long time, finished 10th overall but reckons he should have had more commitment in the faster sections. “I am too shy,” said the Killarney and District Motor Club member.
Fergus O’Meara and Ronald O’Riordan, ran in the main field after they did not get a call in from reserves for the historic rally reported brake and clutch issues in their Escort.
Bob Moran, on his 18th West Cork won his class by staggering four and half minutes despite being rusty after a long lay-off.
Ray O’Neill and Padraig O’Donovan were one place behind Moran, in overall terms, and second in their class in another Escort in what was their first West Cork Rally.
Brian Doherty and David Fleming were third in their class in their Ford Fiesta despite giving themselves some “massive frights” on Saturday.
Co-driver Keith McCarthy and his driver Neil Phelan were trying to dust off the cobwebs in their first rally since a big crash on last September’s Cork ‘20’ and were happy to record a finish.
It was a case of mission accomplished for returning Australian Jack Kelleher and his co-driver Eoin O’Donoghue – they finished the rally in a hired Ford Fiesta – and will now be able to upgrade his race licence for that next event.
Knocknagoshel’s Ian Horgan and Mike Doody were one place behind in 54th place overall in their Toyota Corolla and said they really enjoyed the stages.
Killarney co-driver Tommy Moynihan reported a few moments along the way as he and his driver Pat O’Connor ended the weekend second in class in their Mitsubishi Lancer E10.
Conor Murphy and Sean Collins retired their Escort on Sunday morning with gearbox problems.
Rathmore’s Pat Cashman was alongside Frank Rafferty in the pink Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth. Turbo problems early on Saturday delayed progress and they suffered a nasty crash on Saturday’s final stage – thankfully without injury apart from some bruising.
Rathmore’s Colin Moynihan retired on Sunday morning with mechanical issues in his Ford Escort.
Vincent O’Shea’s Darrian and Mike Nelligan/John Hurley’s Toyota were others on the growing retirement list.
Kevin O’Donoghue retired his BMW M3 at the end of stage one after an oil-filter housing worked its way loose.
Apologies if we missed anyone – but please keep us informed on future events via email@example.com or WhatsApp 087 6771019.
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