Robert Barrable will contest the Cartell.ie International Rally of the Lakes (April 28-30) in a Hyundai i20 R5, supported by Co. Kildare-based Patch Tyre Equipment (Ireland’s leading supplier of tyre and garage equipment), Michelin tyres and Swords-based Hyundai Ireland dealer Michael Barrable Motors.
The 29-year old Dublin driver gave the New Generation i20 R5 its Irish rally debut on last month’s West Cork Rally, and was second in the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Championship until retirement two stages from the finish. After such an excellent debut, Robert and co-driver Damien Connolly will be looking for a similar performance when they head west to the famous Tarmac stages around the host town of Killarney.
The Rally of the Lakes is an event Robert knows well. In 2015, he finished second overall in a Subaru WRC S14 and won the Bertie Fisher Cup for setting the fastest time over Moll’s Gap. This year’s event will only be Robert’s third rally since then, however, having spent two years racing in the British GT and Volkswagen Racing Cup championships.
Robert is currently sixth in the Irish Tarmac Championship drivers’ standings, after finishing third on the opening round of the 2017 series, the Galway International Rally, in a Fiesta R5.
Robert said: “We learnt an awful lot about the Hyundai i20 R5 in West Cork, and whilst we spent all the event experimenting with set-up we still managed to run inside the top three of the Irish Tarmac Championship for almost the full two days. This fills us with confidence, and we head to Killarney with a much better understanding of the car and a firm base on which we can build. The Rally of the Lakes stages are some of the very best in the world – they’re great fun to drive in any car, so I’m especially looking forward to competing on them in the i20 R5.“With one score dropped already, it’s important we reach the finish and score some good Tarmac Championship points. We’d be pleased with a finish in the top three, although that won’t stop us trying to challenge for victory.”
The 38th running of the Cartell.ie International Rally of the Lakes begins with a ceremonial start in Killarney’s town centre on the Friday night (28 April), where fans will be able to meet the drivers and enjoy local bands playing live on stage. The action takes place over the following two days, with eight spectacular Tarmac stages run on both Saturday and Sunday, which include legendary stages such as Cods Head, Ardgroom, Healy Pass, Caragh Lake and the event’s signature test of skill and bravery, Moll’s Gap. The rally finishes at The Gleneagle Hotel after all 16 stages have been completed.