Millstreets Denis Moynihan heads a very strong field in the Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Rally which gets underway from the towns Gleneqle Hotel early on Saturday (November 29th) morning. Moynihan, won the Historic section in the Rally of the Lakes in May and finished second on this event last year in his Ford Escort Mk1.
At stake is an all expenses paid trip to the Barbados Rally Carnival next summer.There is a huge overseas entry too, lead by the Ford Escort crews of Tomas Davies, Rob Smith and former Irish National Champion, Melvyn Evans. The Welshman finished third last year, some 48 seconds behind Moynihan and the Ford Escort pilot will be hoping to go one better this year.
Tralee’s PJ O’Dowd, who was recently crowned both West Coast and National Historic Rally Champion is also on the entry list but his Talbot Sunbeam is still awaiting parts following a rear differential problem on the recent Kerry Winter Rally and his appearance on the start list will remain in doubt until the very last minute.
The modified section is always keenly fought and this year’s event is no exception with some of the best rear-wheel-drive car drivers from both sides of the Irish Sea expected in Kerry at the weekend. Top seed is County Down’s Wesley Patterson who will be hoping to reverse his luck in the Kingdom. Patterson retired from the Kerry Winter Rally after his Ford Escort hit a baled-chicane. He crashed out on stage two of this event last year.
Local ace Fergus O’Meara is sure to give his rival a run for his money although the Kilorglin man could be a bit rusty has he not competed much this year owing to overseas business commitments. Martin McGee starts at three and the Donegal man is a former winner of this section of the event. Phil Collins who has been coming from his Hereford home to compete on Killarney rallies for well over 30 years is another who will challenge for over all victory in the event in his Ford Escort Mk2. Top local drivers in this section include Charlie Hickey and Vincent O’ Shea in their respective Escorts.
SS1 & SS4: Molls Gap
Road closures from 07:00 to 14:00
National Secondary Road: N71
Starting 100m beyond the entrance to Muckross House via Galway’s Bridge, Molls Gap and finishing at Carrig East.
SS2 & SS5: Beallaghbeama
Road closures from 08:00 to 11:00 and 11:50 to 14:50
Regional and Local roads: L-7545, R-568, L-4047 and L-3502
Starting at Blackwater Bridge via Maulcallee Cross to the R568 at Gearha Bridge Cross, Gearha Cross via Tooreennafersha and Beallaghbeama Gap and finishing at Shronahiree More.
SS3 & SS6: Caragh Lake
Road closures from 08:45 to 11:40 and 12:20 to 15:30
Local roads: L-4019, L-4017, L-4018 and L-4020
Starting at Shanacashel Crossroads to Blackstones Bridge to Drom East, Bunglasha North, Lough Beg to Quaybaun Crossroads and finishing at Tooreenasliggaun Cross.
SS7 & SS8: Gortnagane
Road closures from 14:10 to 19:00
Local roads: L-7056, L-7055, L-3014
Starting at the junction at Knockacappul near the school south to Rath Beg, past Rathmore GAA Grounds, south to Awnaskirtaun right to Gortnagane, Gortderrig, Gortacareen, Drom to the junction at Headfort with the R570.