Killarney revs up for rally treat

Johnny Hickey: competing in the big event
Johnny Hickey: competing in the big event

THERE will be no shortage of local competitors vying for the honours in the Killarney Historic Rally which is scheduled to attract a big crowd to town on Saturday, December 5.

Organised by the progressive Killarney and District Motor Club, it will feature 120km of classic stages and count as the opening round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship as well as the ultimate round of the Southern Four Rally Championship.

The legendary Jimmy McRae, a five-times British Rally Championship winner, will be back in action in a town where his rally prowess is well known and he will be joined on the starting ramp by drivers of the class of Steve Perez in his Lancia Stratos, multiple Scottish Rally champ David Bogie and James O’Mahoney.

The modified section will feature top drivers Donagh Kelly and Declan Gallagher who will be in action along with several local rally aces, including Pat Looney, Noel O’Sullivan, Charlie and Johnny Hickey, Tadgh O’Sullivan, Donal O’Connor, Aidan Kennedy, Fergus O’Meara and Cyril Wharton.

An added interest this year will be the performances of father-and-son duo Conor Falvey in a Porsche 911 who will battle it out with son, Mark, piloting a Ford Escort RS1600.

The Historic Stages Rally remains Ireland’s premier event for historic rally cars and night stage rallying and it will receive invaluable TV coverage on TG4, Setanta Sports, Motors TV and Sky.

The Rentokil Initial sponsored rally starts with the iconic Moll’s Gap, rated by drivers as being the best and one of the most-challenging stages in the world. Other stages will take in Kilcummin, Anabla, Gneeveguilla and the Rathmore area.