Three Killarney Polos for Rally of the Lakes

Three local competitors will start the 2023 Rally of the Lakes in state-of-the-art rally cars capable of winning the event.

Defending champion Callum Devine will start at number one and he will have Muckross co-driver Noel O’Sullivan in a Volkswagen Polo Rally2.

Two more local Volkswagens will start the rally in the hands of Rob Duggan and Alan Ring.

They dramatically won the rally last year after chief rival Alistair Fisher crashed out in the final stage.

“It is an honour to carry number one on the doors,” said O’Sullivan. “The club have put on an incredible route, and it is great to see the two boys out in Polos. There is a very strong entry, and we will do our best to get a good result.”

Duggan is the defending modified category champion but has made a surprise step up to the top class.

“It has always been a dream since I was four or five years old to go up The Gap in a top machine,” he said.

“I have no idea what to expect, I will only see the car on Thursday morning, I have only done the rally in a modified car, so I guess this car won’t be as tail happy.”

He will be co-driven, as usual, by Ger Conway.

Duggan’s car will be run by Welsh outfit, Melvyn Evans Motorsport, the same team as Ring who makes a welcome return to top-flight rallying after a few years contesting events in the historic category.

“Next weekend should be good,” he said. “Myself and Rob will be teammates and it will be nice to have a proper car for the event.”

The rally gets underway with a ceremonial start in Killarney town centre on Friday evening before two action-packed days across 16 stages.

The Saturday run returns to the challenging Beara Peninsula while Sunday morning’s action takes place in South Kerry ahead of the grand finale on East Kerry roads on Sunday evening.

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