Kerry crews to watch on the Cork ’20’

It seems the sporting calendars are aligned again

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One week after an All-Ireland Football final the Cork ‘20’ International Rally will take place.


Just like the GAA, Motorsport Ireland has been trying to streamline its programme of events and this weekend’s Little Island-based rally is one of the biggest changes to the calendar.


Instead of its traditional late September or early October slot, the Cork ‘20’ will now occupy an August weekend date.


As ever there is a strong Kerry presence in the two—day rally, the penultimate round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

Leading the field way are the Rally of the Lakes winning crew of Callum Devine and Noel O’Sullivan.

Winning Driver Callum Devine, right, and co-driver Noel O’Sullivan celebrate at the finish ramp at the the Killarney and District Motor Club International Rally of the Lakes at The Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney on Sunday. Picture: Eamonn Keogh

The Volkswagen Polo crew came very close to winning last month’s Donegal International Rally until they collided with a chicane bale on Sunday morning.

Nevertheless Muckross co-driver O’Sullivan is looking forward to getting back out in a competitive field.

“It’s great to be back doing another round of the Irish Tarmac championship. It was 2014 since I have last done Cork so that makes me feel a bit old,” he said.

“It’ll be a big race as always next weekend against the lads.”

Daniel Cronin and London-based Rockfield codriver Shane Buckley will be hoping to put last weekend’s bad luck behind them. They broke a track control arm on the Stonethrowers Rally in their similar Polo.

Vincent O’Shea was the best of the Kerry driver on the Stonethrowers Rally. The Darrian T90 driver is reunited with local co-driver Eoin O’Donoghue making it an all-Kerry affair in this event.

Kerry Motor Club’s Mike Quinn marks his first outing since the Rally of the Lakes when a rear diff issue in his Ford Escort forced retirement for him and his co-driver Kieran Doherty

North Kerry’s Tim Enright makes a return to the sport after a very long lay-off. The Ford Escort Mk2 driver has not competed since the 2019 Clare Rally. He has yet to nominate a co-driver for the event.

Bob Moran leads his class in the Southern 4 championship of which the Cork ‘20’ is a counting round.

Michelle Hickey will co-drive for her John Hickey in his infamous Fubaru Escort 4×4. Their last outing as a team, the 2019 Rally of the Lakes, resulted in a third in class finish.

Kerry Motor Club chairman Eoin Duffin and co-driver Mike Cleary hope to have the engine problems that side-lined their Ford Escort Mk2 during the Circuit of Munster behind them.

Plug lead issues hampered Raymond O’Neill’s progress during the recent Stonethrowers Rally but he and co-driver Padraig O’Donovan are always in contention for Class 12.

London-based Listowel driver Ross Hilliard competes in a Honda Civic in class 11F.

Amy Burke marks her second outing as a driver in a hired Ford Escort

Historic Rally

Alan Ring and Adrian Deasy are the top seeds in the historic element of the rally in their Subaru Legacy RS. Their last outing resulted in a class victory in the Rally of the Lakes.

Darren McCormick (Clerk of the course), Paul Ahern (Aherns Motor Group), Sean Kelly MEP , Alan Ring, Michael O’Mahoney (Rentokil Initial) , Adrian Deasy and Dan Keane (Killarney and District Motor Club Chairman) at the Killarney and District Motor Club International Rally of the Lakes ceremonial start in Killarney town centre on Friday night. Picture: Eamonn Keogh

Brian Duggan is on co-driving duty for Luke McCarthy. The Kerry/Cork crew are chasing Irish Tarmac Historic Rally Championship points in their Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2.
A special mention to Ray Breen, father of World Rally Championship star Craig, and whose father hailed from the Strand Road area of Tralee. He and co-driver Damien Morrissey compete in a similar Legacy RS to Rings’. This is Morrisey’s first rally since 2015 and only his second event since 2009.

Rathmore teacher Declan Casey and his Fermanagh driver Michael McDaid are chasing both Irish and Welsh historic championships this year. The Ford Escort RS1800 crew finished second in Donegal in June
Peter Falvey and Iarla McCarthy (Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2) are another crew competing for the first time since the Rally of the Lakes.

Lixnaw’s Tommy Commane and his driver Philip McKibbin had to rely on Super Rally rules to get their Ford Escort Mk1 to the finish of the Donegal International Rally in June, they will be hoping for a more straightforward run this time out.

Juniors Rally
The absence of Killarney’s Aaron Farell has all but handed the Irish Junior Tarmac Rally Championship title to Donegal’s Ryan McHugh.
Nevertheless, Kerry is well represented on the Junior Cork ‘20’ entry list.

Gary Healy and Gearoid Moynihan (Honda Civic EK4) are the fourth seeds. The relative newcomers are after strong performances on the Circuit of Munster and Stonethrowers Rally already this season.

Kerry Motor Club’s Jamie O’Rourke and Patrick Brislane start a J7 in another Honda Civic.


 

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