Sport

West Cork contingent revving up for Kerry Winter Rally

November 4th, 2021 5:30 PM

By Southern Star Team

Ovens driver Owen Murphy (Ford Fiesta R5) is seeded at number five for Sunday’s Kerry Winter Rally.

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BY MARTIN WALSH

THIS Sunday’s Kerry Winter Rally, one of the most popular events in Irish rallying, has a strong presence of local drivers headed by Ballylickey’s Daniel Cronin and Ovens man Owen Murphy, both in Ford Fiesta R5s.

The organising Kerry Motor Club has received a capacity entry (140) with some 39 more in reserve for their event featuring two stages repeated three times with servicing in Ardfert Quarry.

Cronin, who is a former double winner of the event (2016, Mitsubishi; 2014, Subaru WRC), will be fresh from a fine third place in Wexford a few weeks ago. He is seeded at number four and will be co-driven by Inchigeelagh’s Eamonn Creedon. Cronin’s regular co-driver Shane Buckley sits with his brother Aidan (Ford Escort), who is seeded at No. 33. Ovens’ Owen Murphy (Fiesta R5) follows Cronin off the start line. Tenth in the recent Cork ‘20’ he will be aiming to finish higher up the order.

Dunmanway’s Jason McSweeney will drive the McGeehan Motorsport Mini WRC, his first outing in a WR car. He said: ‘Hopefully, we will get a good test. It’s great to be out again and we will try and be as competitive as we can.’ Seeded at No. 12, he will be co-driven by Blackpool’s Liam Brennan.

Elsewhere and having missed the recent Wexford Rally, Clonakilty’s Cal McCarthy (Citroen DS3 R5) will be keen to end the season on a high note as will Kilcrohane’s Jer O’Donovan (Skoda Fabia S2000).  Other locals are Dunmanway’s Conor McCarthy (Mitsubishi); Barryroe’s Steve Roberts (Ford Escort) and Reenascreena’s Seamus Ronan (Honda Civic). In Class 1, the entry includes Skibbereen’s Pat Calnan and The Pike’s Peter Keohane, both in Peugeot 106s.

In the Historic category, Newcestown co-driver Adrian Deasy calls the notes for Kerry’s Alan Ring in the ex-Ari Vatanen Subaru Legacy; Denis Cronin (Escort) has targeted the event as a shakedown for the Killarney Historic Rally and Glounthaune’s Luke McCarthy competes in his Ford Escort, they are seeded at 44, 50 and 63 respectively.

The stage locations – Knights Mountain and Kielduff – are near Ballymacelligott with the first of the day’s six stages scheduled to start at 9.30am.

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