Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Rally of the Lakes Event Preview

Killarney and District Motor Club, organiser of the Rentokil-Initial Killarney Historic rally has attracted a start-studded entry list for its December 7 event.

The rally, run solely for historic rally car, is the only one of its kind in Ireland.

Over 120 crews will take to the start, at the Kerry town’s Gleneagle Hotel at 735 on Saturday morning. Ahead of them lies nearly 100km of competitive action over some of the country’s most famous rally stages including Moll’s Gap and Ballaghbeama. The final stage, near the villiage of Kilcummin, on the outskirts of Killarney, will be run under the cover of darkness to ensure a challenging finale to the last rally of the Irish motorsport calender.

The rally is divided into two main categories โ€“ historic and modified โ€“ and while the latter machines may be quicker the overall winner must come from the former class.

Leading the field away will be local crews Mark Falvey and Diarmuid Lynch in their ex-Billy Coleman Ford Escort Mk1 and Denis Moynihan and Shane Buckley in a similar car.

 

International field

The rally has been blessed with a massive overseas entry, and provides a fitting end to the 2103 tourist season.

Leading the international attack is former Irish National champion, Welshman Melvyn Evans in his Escort Mk2. Evans has not competed much this year, instead concentrating on running customer cars in Ireland, the UK and Belgium, but did tackle the national section of Wales Rally GB two weeks ago where he finished second overall in his Subaru Impreza World Rally Car. He has employed West Cork co-driver Sean Hayde for the event.

Evans will be followed off the ramp by Surrey-based Northern Irish father ands son team Ernie and Will Graham in their Mk1.

The club has received a late entry for another top Welsh driver, Julian Reynolds, one of the fastest historic rally competitors in Britain but who is making his first visit to the Kerry event. He and his Limerick-based co-driver Frank Curtin are expected to be slotted in to the top five seeds before the start.

Newly crowned Dunlop Irish Junior champion and local driver Rob Duggan marks his first outing in a Ford Escort. Duggan is usually found at the wheel of a Honda Civic and if he can master the Escort’s rear-wheel-drive transmission he could spring a surprise. He will be guided by the vastly experienced Liam Moynihan from nearby Millstreet.

 

Modified Rally

Defending champion, Donegal’s Martin McGee is the top seed in the hotly contested Modified section.

He will face oposition from the likes of Wesley Patterson who has vast experience of the Kerry ed-trio.com stages and Phil Collins who has been coming to Killarney, either for May’s Rally of the Lakes or this historic event almost every year since 1980.

Mike Quinn and Tony Healy, winners of the recent Banna Beach Resort Kerry Winter Rally, and the 2009 winners of the Modified section will also start amongst the favourites. The start one place behind the ever-quick Barry Meade who has taken time out form his rallying to concentrate on his road-cycling career. All of the above crews will field Ford Escort Mk2s of varying degrees of potency.

 

Local drivers

 

Aside from those already mentioned some of the local crews to look out for in the Historic rally include recently crowned Top Part West Coast Historic champions PJ O’Dowd and John Young from Tralee and Ray Hilliard and Conor Walsh from Listowel in an Escort Mk1.

The modified entry list is awash with Kerry crews too and the likes of Kilorglin’s Fergus O’Meara, north Kerry’s Ed Murphy, and Kenmare’s Vincent O’Shea won’t be far away when the final results are tallied on Saturday night.

There are several Kerry-based father and son teams in the rally too, not least Charlie and Johnny Hickey who will driver the Rentokil-Initial backed Ford Escort (pictured) and Noel Sr and Noel Jr O’Sullivan in their Escorts.

Interesting entries

 

Other interesting entries include former Rally of Lakes International Rally winner Daragh O’Riordan. The East Cork-based driver is usually found behind the wheel of a state of the art World Rally Car but this marks his maiden outing in a historic-specification rally car. Current Irish Tarmac Historic rally champion, James O’Mahony from Limerick is also on the entry list in his Volvo 144s.

 

Top seeds Historic Rally

 

1

Mark Falvey

Co. Kerry

Diarmuid Lynch

Co. Kerry

Ford Escort Mk1

2

Denis Moynihan

Co. Cork

Shane Buckley

Co. Kerry

Ford Escort

3

Melvyn Evans

UK

Sean Hayde

Co. Cork

Ford Escort

4

Ernie Graham

England

Will Graham

England

Ford Escort RS

5

Drew Wylie

Co. Down

Dean Beckett

Co. Antrim

Ford Escort

6

Rob Duggan

Co. Kerry

Liam Moynihan

Co. Cork

Ford Escort

7

Andy Johnson

Co. Down

TBA

 

Vauxhall Chevette HSR

8

Gareth Lloyd

Wales

Jim Crowe

Co. Kilkenny

Ford Escort

9

Ray Hilliard

Co. Kerry

Conor Walsh

Co. Kerry

Ford Escort

10

Ray Cunningham

Co. Galway

Adrian Cusack

Co. Galway

Morris Cooper S

Top Seeds

 

Modified Rally

 

 

Martin McGee

Donegal

Denis O’Mahony

Co. Cork

Ford Escort Mk2

Wesley Patterson

Co. Down

Johnny Baird

Co. Donegal

Ford Escort RS

Phil Collins

England

Adrian Deasey

Co. Cork

Ford Escort RS Mk2

Barry Meade

Co. Cork

Colin Fitzgerald

Co. Cork

Ford Escort Mk2

Mike Quinn

Co. Kerry

Tony Healy

Co. Kerry

Ford Escort Mk2

Fergus O’Meara

Co. Kerry

Mikie Galvin

Co. Kerry

Ford Escort Mk2

ED Murphy

Co. Kerry

John McCarthy

Co. Kerry

Ford Escort Mk2

Pat Donegan

Co. Meath

Alan Keena

Co. Westmeath

Ford Escort Mk2

Declan Gallagher

Co. Donegal

Ryan Moore

Co. Donegal

Toyota Starlet RWD

Vincent O’Shea

Co. Kerry

Brian Hickey

Co. Kerry

Ford Escort Mk2

Kevin O’Donoghue

Co. Kerry

Karl Atkinson

Co. Kildare

Ford Escort Mk2

Timetable

Time: Control

357.35 Start ramp
7.45 Service in

458.15 Molls Gap One
9.04 Ballaghbeama One
9.55 Kilgobnet One
10.47 Service Two
12.01 Moll’s Gap Two

012.50 Ballaghbema Two
13.41 Kilgobnet Two
14.33 Service Three
15.32 Coolick One
16.09 Service Four
17.12 Coolick Two
18.08 Finish Ramp