Last Sunday’s Killarney Forestry Rally was the opening round of the 2023 Moriarty’s Central Car Sales Kingdom of Kerry Rally Championship.
As the championship is classed-based the results depend on where each competitor finishes compared to the number of starters in their respective classes.
The top all-local crew in the rally was Diarmuid Lynch and Eleanor Looney.
The Ford Escort team overcame throttle linkage problems to finish 40th overall and second in class 13.
They won the James O’Rourke Memorial Trophy, presented by the O’Rourke family from Brosna in memory of James who died in a road traffic accident while returning from a forestry rally in Cork about 20 years ago.
This was only Eleanor’s third rally as a co-driver.
Other locals to do well include Cordal co-driver Denny Greaney. He guided Limerick driver PJ O’Connor to a Class 4 win in their Mitsubishi Lancer E9. They are the current class 4 National Forestry class champions so got their title defence off to a perfect start.
Mike O’Donoghue and Padraig Dineen were third in this class 4 in a similar Mitsubishi to that of O’Connor and Greaney.
Shane Buckley guided Tipperary driver Casey Jay Coleman to second in class 2 in what was their first time working together.
Colin Nelligan, from Knocknagoshel, finished second in class 9 in his Suzuki Swift.
Event sponsor Cyril Wharton and co-driver Donal Falvey had to rely on SuperRally rules to get to the finish after the turbo failed in their Subaru on their road section to the opening stage.
Mikie O’Connor Jr and Mossie Costello both failed to make the finish but they each get a starter’s point.
The leaderboard looks like this after round one
Points remain provisional until March 21. The launch for round two, the Circuit of Kerry, takes place on March 22, and the final positions will be published last the launch
Diarmuid Lynch 3
Mike O’Donoghue 3
Colin Nelligan 3
Cyril Wharton 2
Mossie Costello 1
Mike O’Connor Jr 1
Shane Buckley 9
Denny Greaney 5
Eleanor Looney 3
Padraig Dineen 3
Donal Falvey 2
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