Firing up the Group B Memories #DejavuKillarney
FIVE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS RETURN TO KILLARNEY.
STIG BLOMQVIST (World Rally Champion), BERNARD BEGUIN (Multiple French Rally Champion), JIMMY McRAE (Multiple British Rally Champion), SAEED AL-HAJRI (Multiple Middle East Rally Champion) and BILLY COLEMAN (British and Irish Rally Champions) will be guests at DÉJÀ VU KILLARNEY this Easter, when the event relives the golden Group B rallying era of the 1980s on the 15 & 16 April.
‘The real thing’, as they say in the Coca Cola ads, will be in Killarney this Easter! Not the anonymous white suited and helmeted gentleman made famous by the Top Gear series, but the 1984 World Rally Champion from Sweden.
Stig heads a stellar line up of international rallying stars who will be returning to Ireland to help us recall the brutal Group B rallying days in the 1980s when power ruled.
The Swedish ace drove for Audi Quattro, one of the most famous Group B factory teams in that short lived but unforgettable period. He beat his team mate Hannu Mikkola to the world crown in one of the all conquering A2 Quattros. Stig brought one of those mean machines to Ireland in 1983 to contest the Circuit of Ireland and Ulster International rallies. His Circuit ended in retirement but his Ulster win helped him secure the British Rally Championship that year.
RIDE WITH THE REAL STIG
The event will be raising money for its designated charity, The Irish Cancer Society, by auctioning a passenger ride on the Sunday Run over the famous Kerry stages with the former World Champion. Stages such as Cods Head, Molls Gap and the Healy Pass, which are forever carved in the annals of Irish rallying history.
Another of the highlights this Easter will be the recreation of the Rothmans Rally Team. Using MK II Escorts, Porsche 911’s, Opel Asconas and Mantas, BMW M3s and Metro 6R4s, the team had many successes on the Irish stages in the Group B period. Now some of their star drivers, co-drivers, and team personnel are returning for the Killarney celebrations.
Bernard, the five times French Rally Champion, drove the teams Porsche 911 RS in the 1985 Circuit of Ireland Rally and finished fourth. This was Bernard’s only Irish appearance but he had many successes in the Rothmans Porsches and he was also famous for winning the WRC qualifying Tour De Course Rally in one of the rare 430 horsepower BMW M1 Supercars.
Saeed who won the Middle East Rally Championship in 1984 & ’85 driving Rothmans Porsches, swapped the desert sands for the Galway ice in 1986. There he skilfully glided his 911 RS to second place. His trip to the Circuit of Ireland that year was spectacular when his high speed spotlight shedding spin was caught on his in-car camera, but less successful. However, his return to the Cork 20 Rally in 1989 gave the Qatari driver an outright Tarmac Championship qualifying win in a David Sutton run Ford Sierra Cosworth.
As well as the Scottish driver’s five British Rally Championship wins, his Irish achievements are also legendry – seven Circuit of Ireland victories, and a Tarmac Rally Championship. Jimmy was in the Rothmans Team on two of those Circuit wins (1982 & 1983 – Opel Asconas), and he won the Ulster Rally in their Metro 6R4 in 1986.
Billy and co-driver Ronan Morgan will also attend Déjà vu Killarney. They drove the Prodrive Rothmans Porsches, BMW M3s and Metro 6R4s. Billy won the British Rally Championship in 1974 and the Circuit of Ireland three times in 1975, 1976,and 1984. He was 4th overall in the 1985 World Championship Rally Tour De Corse.
Billy was also Irish Tarmac Champion in 1984 and finished 3rd in The European Rally Championship in 1979. He has won numerous Irish rallies over the years including the Cork 20, Donegal International, Galway International and Killarney Rally of the Lakes.
Enthusiasts are invited to register for Déjà vu Killarney in any of their cherished cars. They will drive the wonderful Kerry stages on a non-competitive run on the Sunday Run and mingle with the Group B aces at the Gala Dinner that evening.
Dr. Beatty Crawford & Alan (Plum) Tyndall. Organisers.
Entries close on March 17 and details are available on:
Registration – €225, Gala Dinner – €75 per person.
Special accommodation rates available at Rally Head Quarters – The Maldon Hotel Killarney.
Ferry/Accommodation deal https://nutttravel.com/packages/motorsport/dejavu/
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