Kerry crews in action in Carlow this weekend

The Triton Showers-backed Motorsport Ireland National Rally Championship resumes on Sunday with a visit to the Carlow Rally for the first time in six years.

There are several Kerry competitors on the 150-car entry list although Rally of the Lakes winning co-driver Noel O’Sullivan in not one of them. He is listed to co-driver for third seed Darren Gass in a Citroen C3. The second round of the British Rally championship, the Jim Crlak Rally, is scheduled for the end of May. O’Sullivan is committed to that championship alongside Osian Pryce and is scaliong back other commitments and “get some rest.”

Sunday’s Sheehy Motor Group Carlow Rally is based at the Seven Oaks Hotel in Carlow town, will consist of two stages repeated three times. It marks the mid-point of the series where reigning champion Monaghan’s Josh Moffett remains unbeaten following start to finish victories in Mayo, Birr and Monaghan.

Included in the rally is the popular Ford Escort Mk2 challenge.

Rally of the Lakes National winners Rob Duggan and Ger Conway have placed an entry for the event and while he would love to add the prestigious Mk2 trophy to his growing collection that is not the main purpose of this entry.

“If everything works out this week,I would like to give the engine a run before Donegal and get another days racing under my belt,” said Duggan “It would be nice to get [the Mk2 trophy] but not easy either. Carlow is more of just making sure our issues are sorted.”

They were lucky to make the end of the Rally of the Lakes after their Escort suffered a range of problems including a leaking head gasket, a clutch problem and a faulty starter motor.

Thomas Randles and Diarmuid Lynch won the 2004 Ford Escort Mk2 challenge within the Carlow Rally. The return this year, more as a trip down memory lane rather challenge for overall awards in their famous 88 LK 1000-registered Ford Escort Mk2.

Local crew Tommy Randles, right, and Diarmuid Lynch, winners of the Kenmare Cup, with Dan Keane (Killarney and District Motor Club Chairman) and Lisa Foley, Secretary, at the prizegiving ceremony of the Killarney and District Motor Club International Rally of the Lakes at The Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney on Sunday. Picture: Eamonn Keogh

Ballyheiuge’s Gearoid O’Regan is currently very far down the reserve list but he is hopeful of getting a run as he is in third place in his class in the Midlands East Rally Championship. The top three in each class in each championship are entitled to an automatic entry so he is hoping this clerical error will get corrected during the week. Maurice McElligott will co-drive.

Keith McCarthy will co-drive for Neil Phelan in another Ford Escort.

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