Mar 05, 2017
Just as Ford in Ireland marks 100 years in 2017, Kerry Motor Club will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic Ford Sierra Cosworth rally car with a special award on its forthcoming Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry Rally car.
The Ford Sierra Cosworth was a mainstay of the World and European Rally championships in the mid to late 1980s. This year will mark the 30th anniversary of the popular rally car and Circuit of Kerry organisers want to attract as many entries as possible from drivers of the turbo-charged, whale-finned machine. The car was officially unveiled at the 1986 Geneva Motor Show ahead of its public launch in July that year.
When rallying’s governing body elected to move to the Group A formula at the start of the 1987 season Ford entered the Sierra in the World Rally Championship with French driver Didier Auriol taking its maiden victory on the Tour de Corse in May 1988. After its WRC tenure the car was passed down to private teams with many of them finding their way to Ireland and Kerry.
One such example is owned by long-time Kerry Motor Club member Pat Barry who came up with the idea. He also wants to extend the invitation to owners of Escort and Sapphire variants of the car in an effort to create the biggest Cosworth-powered entry list for years. He said: “It would be great to get a batch of Cosworths together, especially since it coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Sierra in the World championships. It has never been tried before.”
Run under the stewardship of Richard Talbot, the Circuit of Kerry will offer the maximum allowed stage mileage under Motorsport Ireland regulations.
The Tralee man re-takes the helm of the club’s flagship event 30 years after his first appointment as the Circuit of Kerry clerk of the course, marking another 30th anniversary for the club.
An extensive route survey has already taken place and residents in the proposed route have offered their all-important support to the rally.
A total of nine stages, in a three-by-three format, using roads not used in The Kingdom for many years, and on stages made famous by the old-style Circuit of Ireland, ensures that competitors and fans can look forward to a long and challenging rally.
Another plus point for the rally is that driver sign-on, the service park, and other event-related activities are all housed within the Rose Hotel’s complex, making it a very easy event to manage from both an organiser and competitor point-of-view.
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