Ireland’s only event that caters solely for historic cars and night stage rallying will count as a first round of the 2017 Irish Tarmac Historic Rally Championship, the final round of the 2016 Southern Four Rally Championship and the final round of the 2016 West Wales Rally Stage Masters Challenge.
Clerk of the course, Kevin Flannery, and his crew have built this year’s rally around the competitor and in doing so, they have, selected a route of classic stages based around Killarney town, offering the competitor 110km of competitive action with the popular feature of the final stage being run in total darkness off the Killarney-Rathmore road.
The rally will be backed by Rentokil Initial Ireland as main title sponsor for the fourth consecutive year and the company’s managing director, Michael O’Mahoney, has highlighted the fact that the event has grown over the years and is a phenomenal success.
The rally, which provides a welcome end of season boost to Killarney, is worth millions of euros to the local economy. It will once again be hosted at the Gleneagle Hotel as rally headquarters.
The event will feature on TG4, Setanta Sports, Motors TV and Sky Sports throughout the Christmas period.
The action will get underway with a ceremonial start on Main Street at 7.00pm on the Friday evening and the real drama gets underway on Saturday morning with the iconic Moll’s Gap stage.
The course will also see crews zipping through Kilcummin, Gneeveguilla and Gortnagane, which runs parallel to the main Rathmore-Killarney road.
The top competitors will include former British Rally and British Historic Rally champion Steve Perez, the legendary Jimmy McRae and Irish Historic Rally champions of 2014 and 2015 James O’Mahoney and Ernie Graham.
Irish Tarmac Rally champ Donagh Kelly and British Junior Rally kingpin Robert Duggan, from Killarney, are entered and other local competitors will include Pat Looney, PJ Dowd, Donal O’Connor, Aidan Kennedy, Jack O’Shea, Kevin O’Donoghue, Tommy Mason, Aidan Buckley, Tadhg O’Sullivan, Denis Hickey, Noel O’Sullivan, Vincent O’Shea and Charlie and Johnny Hickey.
Pictures: Eamonn Keogh. Click on individual images for information
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