Oct 04, 2015
Local ace Daragh O’Riordan will be going for an unprecedented fifth consecutive win on this weekend’s, Acesigns Cork 20 International Rally.
O’Riordan and co-driver Tony McDaid have only had sporadic outings this season in their Ford Fiesta World Rally Car but they still head an impressive entry list for the final closing round of the 2015 Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. Having already wrapped up the title on the previous round, Donagh Kelly need not have travelled to Cork for the season finale but he will make the trip from Donegal in an effort to see out an almost flawless season. Kelly, who had not won an international rally before the start of this year, has simply blown away the opposition on his run to the title. Kelly will start at number 2 in his Ford Focus with Conor Foley on the notes. Keith Cronin debuted his Citroen DS3 R5 on last year’s Cork 20 but a trying season in between will see this year’s event as a confidence building exercise for the talented Ballylickey driver. Cronin, who’ll start at number 3, finished runner up to O’Riordan last year.
Welsh driver and former Irish National Rally Champion, Melvyn Evans is an interesting entry at number 4, as is Denis Cronin, uncle of Keith, at number 5. Car 6 has attracted a lot of attention as Roy White will make his World Rally Car debut in a Ford Fiesta. White, a former production front runner, has been driving an MG in the national series for the past number of years and his step up to WRC machinery is a serious statement of intent. Stephen Wright and Joe McGonigle will renew their season long battle in their respective R5 and S2000 cars while the top 10 is rounded out by Group N contenders, Brendan Cumiskey and Aaron MacHale.
Declan Gallagher is the top modified seed at number 12 and the Toyota Starlet driver can secure his second consecutive modified championship with a good points haul in Cork as championship leader Ross Hunter, has not entered. Gallagher will face stiff competition from Frank Kelly and Phil Collins while front wheel drive bragging rights should be a straight fight between the rapid Jason Ryan in his Toyota Starlet and Vincent McSweeney in a Honda Civic.
Father and son pairing, Ernie and Will Graham are the top historic seeds while recently crowned Carryduff Forklift R2 Champion Rob Duggan heads a strong junior entry of over 20 cars in his R2 Peugeot. Proceedings will start on Friday evening with a ceremonial start in the town of Fermoy before the action starts on Saturday and Sunday. Event headquarters is the Radisson Blu Hotel in Little Island and more information on the event can be found by visiting www.munstercarclub.com
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