Killarney Historic Rally Starts 2017 Tarmac Championship Season
The 2017 Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Historic Championship is about to get underway with the Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Stages Rally. The event is the first of an eight round series and is the only dedicated Historic Rally on the Irish Rallying calendar. Last year’s rally was cancelled at the eleventh hour due to flooding caused by Storm Desmond but the weather clerk promises to be kinder to Clerk of the Course Kevin Flannery and his team with cold dry conditions forecast.
As always the entry is interesting and varied with 47 cars entered for the main historic rally while as always the Modified event is well supported with some of the best talent in Ireland and the UK entered. Ryan Barrett is top seed in the Historic event and he will be followed by Melvyn Evans with both drivers in Escorts, while third seed Owen Murphy drives the ex-Russell Brookes Sunbeam Lotus.
Other drivers entered include Ernie Graham & Gareth Lloyd who had such a titanic battle in the 2015 Historic Championship, while Brendan McAree who came second in last year’s series brings his beautiful Porsche 911 and Andy Johnson who was third in the 2016 series behind McAree is again in his Chevette. Stanley Orr is another very talented driver who will relish the challenge of the stages, while Dessie Nutt is a multiple winner of the event. Overseas interest includes Alan Watkins, Jimmy McRae, Duncan Williams, David Goose & Roger Moran all whom have sampled Irish Tarmac over the years.
The action gets underway with the famous Molls Gap stage at 8:45am Saturday morning. There are six more stages with Coolick, Anablatha and Gortnagane all to be tackled twice. The second running of Gortnagane will be the real sting in the tail as it will be run in darkness before the first car reaches the finish ramp just after 5:30pm.