Killarney will play host to the the 36th running of Rally of the Lakes which is also the fourth round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship this weekend. The event, one of the most iconic in European rallying, will also feature the FIA European Historic Rally Championship.
The three-day event will begin with a ceremonial start in Killarney town centre on Friday May 1st before the crews tackle some of the most spectacular roads Ireland has to offer. Declan Boyle and Donagh Kelly head an impressive an entry list in their respective Subaru and Ford and both drivers will be looking to put a disastrous 2014 Rally of the Lakes behind them. Both Boyle and Kelly led the rally last year until crashing out on the final day. Last year’s Killarney winner and current Tarmac Championship leader Sam Moffett has elected to miss Killarney this year as he
is preparing for a number of European Championship events. Sam’s brother Josh will also miss Killarney for similar reasons. One driver who isn’t missing the rally though, is Dubliner Robert Barrable. After a sensational drive on the recent Circuit of Ireland Rally, many feel the former Billy Coleman Award winner has a real chance of victory this weekend in the Patch Tyre Equipment/Airport Hire Subaru. Daragh O’Riordan and Garry Jennings are both previous winners of the event and are seeded at 4 and 7 respectively with the top 10 also including recent Circuit of Kerry winner Alan Ring and talented Monaghan driver, Stephen Wright.
Former National Rally Champion Aaron McHale is the top Group N seed at number 16 and will resume his season long battle with fellow Group N driver, Brendan Cumiskey. Declan Gallagher heads the modified entry in his Toyota Starlet and he will have to fend off local drivers Fergus O’Meara, Vincent O’Shea and Charlie Hickey if he is to take a second consecutive national win in Killarney. Denis Moynihan will lead away the historic section of the rally in his Mark 1 Escort while there will be particular interest on the third historic car on the road. Frank Cunningham will debut his Sierra Cosworth and it is a very special car having won the 1991 Rally of the Lakes in the hands of legendary driver, Bertie Fisher. Local driver Rob Duggan is the top seed in the junior section which has attracted almost 30 entries.
Saturday will see the competitors tackle some of Ireland’s most famous stages with Moll’s Gal, Tim Healy Pass, Ardgroom, Cods Head and Kilmakilloge all included. After the overnight halt the crews will once again attack Moll’s Gap before moving on to Beallaghbeama, Shanera and Rockfield with the winning crew arriving back at the Gleneagle Hotel at around 4pm.
The event comprises of several championships in one:
Round 4 Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship
36th running of the Cartell.ie Rally of the Lakes.
PlasticBags.ie Southern 4 Rally Championship
FIA European Historic Rally Championship.