Tralee is revving up to host a never- before-seen classic car spectacular in May

Tralee is revving up to host a never before seen classic car spectacular in May.

150 cars expected

Motorsport hero drivers from all over Europe

All funds to Recovery Haven

Kerry Motor Club’s 50th Anniversary celebration event

Close to 150 cars, from the 1960s to the present day, will take part in the two-day Déjà vu Tralee classic road run in May.

The event is part of Kerry Motor Club’s 50th-anniversary celebration and is one of a series of Déjà vu events that have taken place all over Ireland in recent years.

Déjà vu Motorsport was set up by legendary TV motorsport producer Alan ‘Plum’ Tyndall and former international co-driver Dr Beatty Crawford (who spent time during his illustrious medical career as a locum at University Hospital Kerry) in 2016.

They set out to recreate the legendary rally events of the 1960s and 1970s, their first Deja Vu was based in Killarney and celebrated the town’s connection with the old five-day Circuit of Ireland.

The Tralee event will be the seventh reunion of its kind and so far, events have raised over €200,000 for charities since 2016. This year all profits will be donated to the cancer support house Recovery Haven in Tralee.

It will be one of the flagship events in Kerry Motor Club’s year-long 50th birthday celebrations.

On Friday, May 27, motorsport heroes from Ireland, Britain, Belgium and the USA will descend on the county town.

Based at the Rose Hotel, the road run’s drivers will set off on a 160km tour of classic rally stages in West Kerry, after a ceremonial start on The Mall in Tralee town centre on Saturday morning (May 28).

They will be driving some of the greatest motorsport cars ever assembled in Tralee.

Once they return to the Rose Hotel later that evening, they will enjoy a Gala Dinner Dance and a target of €30,000 has been set for Recovery Haven.

“The Rose Hotel in Kerry’s county town will be the headquarters for this weekend of motoring nostalgia. Registration will take place on Friday afternoon in the beautiful hotel followed by a welcome reception and drivers’ briefing,” explained Dr Crawford.

“On Saturday morning the cavalcade of up to 150 cars will leave the start in Tralee town centre for a spectacular 160km route on the Dingle Peninsula.”

The drivers will visit areas of historical motorsport importance in County Kerry, including the site of the 1903 Ballyfinane Hillclimb which was won by Charles Rolls and who went on to become a founding father of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. This was the first-ever closed road motorsport event in The Kingdom.

The crews will stop off at Inch Beach, to remember the speed trials of the 1920s there and will continue along the Dingle Peninsula via Minard, Slea Head, Brandon Creek, the Conor Pass and Camp Mountain before returning to Tralee via the Short Mountain. All of these roads have been used in the Circuit of Ireland and Circuit of Kerry rallies over the last 50 years.

Legendary drivers already confirmed include multiple European and Belgian Rally Champion Patrick Snijers who will drive a Martini Lancia Delta.

A total of 16 different Porsche 911s are entered, while a 1968 Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider Veloce is one of the oldest cars confirmed.

Local driver Conor Falvey will drive a Porsche 911 3.0 RS that double World Rally Champion Walter Rohrl from Germany used during his 1978 world championship season.

Several different versions of the Audi Quattro are entered including rally and road-going versions.

Champion drivers confirmed include Stuart Biggerstaff, son of former British Rallycross champion Denis and he will drive his dad’s spectacular MG Metro 6R4.

British Historic Rally Championship frontrunner Paul Barrett is entered in his Ford Escort Mk2, former Irish championship frontrunner Liam O’Callaghan will drive the Volkswagen Bettle his late father Paddy drove on international events in the 1960s.

Irish rallying folk hero Kieran O’Neill is entered in the famous Opel Kaddette that he campaigned all over Ireland, the Isle of Man and even Barbados in the 1990s.

More cars and drivers will be announced in due course. A launch event will take place in the Rose Hotel on Friday, April 29 where some local drivers and event organisers will be on hand to explain more about the event.

Deja Vu is supported by Kerry County Council, Tralee Chamber Alliance and Rentokil Initial Ireland.

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