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Circuit of Kerry
RALLY NEWS No.1 - Tralee - Start - Sunday @ 08:30:20
RALLY NEWS NO.1 Carlton Hotel/Tralee/Sunday morning

Once again this Circuit of Kerry Rally has an exciting top entry, and has also attracted a decent quantity. Close to 100 competing cars will tackle the three exciting stages, repeated three times, along the Southern edge of the Dingle Peninsula and the Slieve Mish Mountains. Kevin Barrett, fresh from winning the Mayo Stages in his fabulous Triton Showers backed Subaru Impreza WRC, will lead the convoy of cars away from the Carlton Hotel in Tralee, with the similar Subarus of Niall Maguire and Darren Gass behind. Gass, who hasn’t competed since Cork last year, has the number 114 on his McKinstry Subaru. In theory the winner should come from one of these three WRC cars, but then theory and reality in rallying are sometimes somewhat divorced. When Kevin Barrett came in from his recce, he commented, “I’m looking forward to it. The stages are tricky enough mind, and the weather could play a big part in the rally – it’s a fair run out to the stages and you could get caught on the wrong tyres handy enough. But then it’s the same for everyone.” Kevin, who lost the rally here last year on a tie break, finished off by saying, “I think Niall (Maguire) could be the danger man tomorrow. He’s won here before, and he’s looking really sharp.”

There’s a raft of good drivers here – at 3 & 4 are the GpN Lancers of Alan Ring and Thomas Fitzmaurice, while Mike Quinn at 6 in his Escort has produced some stunning drives here in Kerry in the past. Young Shane Maguire is at 7 in his GpN Impreza, Shane the current Top Part West Coast Champion. Eamonn Daly is at 8 in his GpN Lancer and Vincent O’Shea in his Escort Cosworth rounds off the top ten. (No 9 was to have been Alan Callaghan, but he is a non-starter).

Further non- –starters include cars 11, Liam Howlett, No.19 Kevin O’Connor, 22 Jonathan Folan, 26 David Guest, and 28 John Hickey. Late entries, as well as Darren Gass, include Kevin O’Donoghue who has the number 112 on his Escort, and Frank Kelly (119). Frank has a revolutionary 5 cylinder Alfa Romeo type engine in his Escort, so this will be steep learning curve for Frank. Frank and Kevin O’Donoghue will probably be started into the top 20 start times.

One of the ‘00’ course cars will be Killarney’s Expert Electrical man Mike O’Leary in his beautiful BMW M3 Compact. Instead of his usual co driver, Mike Moriarty, Mike will have Motorsport News journalist Sean Moriarity co-driving. Sean used to be a top co-driver here before he moved to London. And one of the stages passes his granny’s house! Final word goes to Clerk of the Course Senan Raggett, who has put so much time and effort into this rally, he’s practically a stranger in his own house. It’s his 6-year-old daughter Roisin who has the task of wishing Senan’s wife Suzanne all the best for Mothering Sunday!
More news later: BRIAN & LIZ PATTERSON www.rallynews.net

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