Southern 4 Historic title to be decided this weekend – Walsh and Williams top two ahead of Killarney Historic Rally

After a bumper season of excitement, drama, blisteringly quick stages and all manner of weather thrown into the mix, its fair to say that the 2022 IPS Packaging Southern 4 Rally Championship has come back with a bang after a lengthy time away.

After the enforced absence, this season has seen a record number of registered crews, a raft of new events joining the championship and an exciting new title sponsorship, with Sean O’Carroll and IPS Packaging becoming the new lead supporter of the Southern 4 series.

Having tackled the familiar two-day internationals in West Cork, Killarney and the Cork ’20, as well as the very welcome additions of the Circuit of Munster, Stonethrowers and Banna Winter Rally, its a fitting season finale for our Historic crews this weekend at the legendary Killarney Historic Rally.

The 2022 Championship has ebbed and flowed right from the very off in Clonakilty all the way back in March, and with just one last chance left for competitors to score the title race is down to two drivers, as Peader Walsh and Neil Williams are set to duel it out for the crown.

The season kicked off strongly for Welshman Williams in West Cork, claiming maximum points on both days to gain an early championship advantage over Fergus O’Meara. The Kerry ace would go on and claim a maximum score himself on Round 4, the Sunday of the Rally of The Lakes but this would be the last time we would see O’Meara for the year.

Neil Williams photo by Adam Hall

Keeping right in touch early on with Williams was fellow Welsh driver Berian Richards, although missing rounds 5 and 6, the Circuit of Munster & Stonethrowers, would leave both Richards and Williams at a distinct disadvantage.

The secret to any Championship title bid, especially one played out over ten high speed, ultra-competitive rounds, is gaining consistency. For Peader Walsh, he has shown once again that strong points scoring all year is vital in building a score, and with the final round to go the Ballycotton ace and his MK1 Ford Escort hold a nine-point advantage over the MK2 Escort of Neil Williams.

Finishing routinely within the top-3 Historic Crews all year, Walsh took advantage of the season layout to claim a pair of maximum scores on both Round 5 (Circuit of Munster) and Round 9 (Banna Winter Rally) when many of his rivals were absent, and even has the ability to drop two scores including a non-finish on the Stonethrowers. The final spot on the rostrum is set to be decided between Berian Richards, Philip McKibbin and Craig McWilliams.

While Peader Walsh and Neil Williams are set for a frantic battle to claim the top spot in the 2022 IPS Packaging Southern 4 Historic Drivers Championship, a similar battle is raging in the Navigator stakes where Anthony O’Sullivan holds a 17-point advantage over Grace Walsh who is sure to be ruing the missed opportunity to score heavily in O’Sullivans absence on the Stonethrowers. Tommy Commane holds 3rd at present, but Ronald Riordan and Nick Sparks still hold outside chances of claiming the final podium spot.

With seven incredibly high-speed stages to come this weekend in Killarney, including three runs up the legendary Molls Gap, there are sure to be a few twists and turns to come yet in the closing salvos of an incredible Southern 4 Historic Championship.

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