Patrick ‘Whack’ Croke to lead competitors over start ramp in Killarney on Friday night

Killarney and District Motor Club promoting overcoming dissabilities in motorsport 

Ireland’s only wheel-chair rally driver will get a very special opportunity at Friday’s ceremonial start for the Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Rally.

Patrick Croke from County Waterford will lead the top drivers in the rally over the start ramp in his specially converted Citroen C2 rally car.

Despite being born with Cerebral Palsy, it did not prevent Patrick from following his dream to become a rally driver.

Although unable to participate in closed road events like the Killarney Historic Rally, he is allowed to drive on circuit-based events at the likes of Mondello Park and Tynagh Raceway.

A neighbour and close friend of World Rally Championship star Craig Breen, Patrick has co-driven form Ireland’s top rally driver on several occasions including finishing third overall on their home event, the Raven’s Rock in 2017.

On Friday night he will drive his rally car from the Lewis Road Parc Ferme to the start ramp on Main St – a role not too different to a Grand Marshal in a St Patrick’s Day Parade.

He will lead Breen and his co-driver Paul Nagle through the streets of Killarney.

“My disability never held me back,” he said. “I grew up around rallying, my parents took me to the Killarney rallies from the early 1990s, I know nothing else. More could be done to promote disabled motorsport, it would be very easy to convert go-karts to hand controlled, I am often asked if rallying is dangerous but the way I look at it is you could fall in the shower some morning and die too.”

He is looking forward to leading his friend, neighbour and rally hero Breen over the ramp in Killarney on Friday night.

“It is going to be mind-blowing,” he added. “I have followed Craig all over the world, rallying has taken me places other people don’t go to, I want to show people that this can be done.”

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