South African calls on Rally Academy member to guide him around Kerry

Ronan Comeford

South African driver Ashley Haige-Smith has placed an entry for the Kerry Winter Rally on October 30. 

The Peugeot 208 driver has called on academy member Ronan Comerford to co-drive in the Kerry Motor Club event. 

KMS: Give us a bit of an insight to Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy

RC: The Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy gives some of the country’s brightest motorsport talents the opportunity to develop their skills and take their career to the next level. Born out of the Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award and the passion of a few individuals to provide a more rounded support network, the Academy is now well recognised on the European and world stage.

The programme is funded by the Team Ireland Foundation through the support by philanthropist and 1982 Irish Tarmac champion, John Coyne. John is passionate about giving the next generation an opportunity to succeed in the sport he has enjoyed throughout his life.

KMS: How is it opening opportunities:

RC: I was very fortunate to have been selected to join the Academy in March this year (2022) and since I have, the development in myself and looking at co-driving in a more in depth level with support from my mentors and seeing where the improvements can be made as an on-going process, has made me more knowledgeable and heightened my understanding of the duties of the co-driver in order to be on the journey to the top with drivers from both home and abroad (international drivers)

With this, it has allowed me to embark on new opportunities throughout the year and that continuing into 2023, with self-belief and further support from the whole academy team, friends and family, I believe I am ready to take on the challenges and events as the network expands.

KMS: There is a big support network behind you

RC: I’d like to thank friends and family for support but in particular John Coyne and Sean McHugh who work to bring us out the best we can be, to Alan Heary for support with Mental and Physical Fitness, Gemma and Daniel from Davy Nutrition who provide us with the expertise and knowledge for our Nutrition and staying fuelled both before, on and after the events and Andy Walsh for his work and support.

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