REPORT: Historic section of Rally of the Lakes had more storylines than the mainfield! Most crews mentioned

The historic rally produced some of the best story lines of the rally. A gorse fire on Saturday caused the cancellation of Banard 2, a man on a bicycle forced the end of Shanara 2 on Sunday, a gearbox was imported from Wales overnight and a competitor made a return to the sport four years after a serious accident.

Alan Ring came from behind to win the historic rally in their Subaru Legacy RS. He and co-driver Adrian Deasy were both lucky and happy to get to the end of Saturday. Their car suffered complete brake fade. 

“The pedal went to the floor,” said Ring in Parc Ferme on Saturday evening, “It did not inspire confidence.” His win on Sunday was the second time in a row that he won the historic section of his home rally – his previous victory coming in 2019, the last time the rally ran. 

Historic Category winners Alan Ring and Adrian Deasy celebrate at the finish ramp with Paul Ahern (Aherns Motor Group), Darren McCormick (Clerk of the course), Michael O’Mahoney (Rentokil Initial) and Dan Keane (Killarney and District Motor Club Chairman) at the Killarney and District Motor Club International Rally of the Lakes at The Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney on Sunday. Picture: Eamonn Keogh

Fergus O’Meara and Ronald Riordan finished second category behind Ring’s Subaru.

“I am still learning this car,” said Fergus, “I am very happy to be the top Escort.”

It was still enough for O’Meara to seal top Historic Irish Tarmac Rally Championship points ahead of England’s Neil Williams who has won two of the previous four rounds.

Welsh visitor Meiron Evans, on his first visit to Killarney, was the overnight leader but knew he would have to give best to crews with more experience of the event on “Moll’s Gap Mountain” as he called Kerry’s most-famous stage.

Luke McCarthy and his Healy Pass co-driver Brian Duggan pipped Maurice and Stephen Meskell to third-place points, a result which will put McCarthy and Duggan just ahead of the Meskell brothers at the top of the championship standings.

Todd Falvey and Declan Casey were eighth in their Escort. “It was fantastic – no dramas,” said Todd.

Berian Richards and Ashley Trimble – definitely not Kerryman – had one of the stories of the rally. A called back to their Mid-Wales base. A friend left the garage with a spare gearbox, made the midnight sailing from Fishguard to Rosslare and arrived in Killarney in time to replace the offending item. They finished 11th.

One place behind was Ray Hilliard and his co-driver Megan Costello- another story of the rally. It was Megan’s first event after sustaining serious burns in a rally crash nearly four years ago and she marked her brave return by guiding the London-based Hilliard to 12th.

Next up was Pat Looney and Amy Burke. Pat said their run was: “100 per cent faultless” on their way to a Class C3 win.

Robert Falvey and John Doody had no dramas on their way to 14th and a class D3 win.

Phillip McKibbin and Tommy Commane were the stars of another story of the rally. The second running of Shanera was disrupted by a man on a bicycle who insisted on traversing the stage. The marshals at the famous hairpin at the dipping tank were unbale to talk sense into him and were forced to cancel the stage. Tommy, a member of a Garda Siochana was able to use his negotiating skills to calm the situation down.

Donal O’Connor and his Cork co-driver John Nugent took third in class C3 in their Ford Escort Mk1.

Photo Ray Corkery

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