Interest builds up for 2023 Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally
The continuing popularity of the Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally is borne out by the fact there are over 200 entries received across all categories to date. The second round of the Samdec Security ITRC International Championship has attracted a lot of interest and amongst them are 2022 winners Josh Moffett & Andy Hayes in a Hyundai i20 R5. Josh won’t be short of challengers, as his brother Sam, along with Meirion Evans, Robert Barrable, Gareth & Aaron MacHale, Desi Henry and Callum Devine are just some of those entered. Local interest centres on David Guest, Cal McCarthy, Jason McSweeney, Kevin Kelleher and Owen Murphy.
The modified men are coming out in force as well with Barry Meade, Daniel McKenna, Gary Kiernan, Kevin Eves and Frank Kelly just some of the names throwing their hat into the ring. The Historic section looks like being a cracker with over thirty crews entered to date, among them being last years winners Neil Williams & Anthony O’Sullivan. Mark Falvey, Meirion Evans, Ray Breen, Duncan Williams and Sebastian Ling are just some of the other drivers in what is shaping up to be an extremely competitive section. Cork drivers Darragh O’Donovan, Robbie O’Hanlon, Catherine Walsh and Kyle Browne are amongst the junior entries so far. Prospective entrants are reminded that entries close on Friday 3rd March and to be on the published seeded list you will need to have your entry in by that date. Anyone wishing to enter this classic competitor friendly event can do so via the www.corkmotorclub.com website.
Speaking at the recent successful rally launch in Clonakilty, Clerk of the Course Steve Davis said “the planning of the event began in November, and the route for this years rally will be as compact as usual, using classic stages such as Ring, Sam’s Cross and Ardfield along with some sections not used for a number of years”. David Henry general manager of the Clonakilty Park Hotel said “this is our 21st year as title sponsor of the rally, and it’s a great start to the tourism season”.
The rally begins on Saturday 18th March with the first car leaving Parc Ferme at 9am to head to service followed by the first stage at Clogagh. After eight tough stages the first car will arrive at Parc Ferme for the overnight halt at 5.30pm. Six more stages follow on Sunday 19th with the first stage taking place just after 11am, and the winning car due back at the finish ramp at 3.45pm.
L-R Cal McCarthy (competitor), David Henry (General Manager Clonakilty Park Hotel), Ed Twomey (West Cork Rally Committee), Steve Davis (Clerk of the Course). Neil Whelton (Chairman West Cork Rally Committee) & David Guest (competitor)