Start studded entry for Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Rally
With just over ten days to go to Ireland’s only dedicated historic and modified rally, organiser Killarney and District Motor Club has attracted a stellar entry.
The entry list for the 2017 Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic rally looks certain to top the 130 mark defying almost any other event in the country this year, with the possible exception of the Donegal International Rally in June.
Big names like motorsport royalty Jim McRae and former British Junior Rally champion Rob Duggan are already confirmed for the December 2 event.
The rally has also attracted some names not usually associated with historic rallying. Multiple International Rally of the Lakes winner Darragh O’Riordan will contest the event in a Ford Escort Mk2 while former Irish national championship frontrunner and winner of the 1994 Kerry Winter Rally returns to the sport after a very long lay off.
Welsh visitor Tomas Davies, usually seen this side of the Irish Sean in a modern Ford Fiesta R5 is entered in a BMW M3 while his country man Gareth Lloyd, so often a front runner in Killarney is in another Escort.
Local front runners in the pure historic element of the rally include Mark Falvey and Diarmuid Lynch in an Escort Mk1.
Unusual cars include the Saab 99 EMS in the hands of West Cork man Noel Hurley. Local rally fans will remember the famous Russian brothers, the Bolshikhs who stunned on their Rally of the Lakes appearances in the early 1990s and London-based Irish man Ernie Graham has entered a replica of their BMW M3.
Local crew Noel O’Sullivan and Nicholas Burke have tackled almost every historic rally since the inception of the event in 1996 and are out again in their venerable Ford Escort.
Gary Kiernan won the recent Kerry Winter Rally and will be hoping for back-to-back successes in the Kingdom as he contests the modified section in another Escort.
Former Irish Tarmac Rally Champion John Coyne , seen more recently in a modern Porsche GT, returns to Killarney in a Talbot Sunbeam while Dessie Nutt Geraldine McBride are another crew who cannot be discounted for an overall victory in their Porsche 911.
Kevin Eves, the current Irish Tarmac modified champion and a Billy Coleman award nominee is also on the entry list in his Toyota Corolla.
The rally gets underway with a traditional run over Moll’s Gap on Saturday, followed by a rolling loop of stages at Bealaghbeama, Carragh Lake and Rockfield