Carrick on Suir Motor Club’s kindness and generosity shows little sign of abating.
The club, who are celebrating their 60th anniversary, has collected a staggering €200,000 for various charities over the years and that incredible trend continues at Sunday’s Winter Rallysprint in the Waterford Airport Business Park complex, with Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin set to benefit.
Several rally champions will compete including three members of the MacHale family — Austin and sons Aaron and Gareth. Five-time Irish Tarmac champion Austin will drive the Mk. 2 Escort with another Tarmac champion, Donegal’s Donagh Kelly, also set to feature.
Meanwhile, Gareth MacHale (Irish Tarmac Champion in 2010) will campaign James Coleman’s Ford Escort. Aaron, a winner of the Dunlop National Championship in 2007, will drive his own Citroen DS3 R5.
Another Dunlop champion Ray Breen will be reunited with the Metro 6R4 he campaigned in the Kel-Tech colours a few decades ago. Other entries include Tyrone’s Frank Kelly (Ford Escort), Ashbourne’s Jack Newman (Ford Escort), Wexford’s James Bradley (Honda Civic), and Waterford’s Keith Power (Mitsubishi).
The first of what is anticipated to be five runs over the 2.2km circuit starts at 10.30am. Aside from the competitive element, the club will also host a display of photographs and other memorabilia while some World War II cars will also be on display.
Elsewhere, the curtain falls on the Irish car-racing season with Sunday’s fifth annual Mondello Park Six Hour Fiesta Enduro race. Champions LOH Motorsport are favourites for an event that starts at noon and finishes at 6pm. The Murray Motorsport outfit have two teams with racing greats Tommy Byrne, David Kennedy, and Kevin McGarrity all making their Fiesta debuts while Niall McFadden is the fourth team member.
The second Murray team comprises of David Maguire and Michael Cullen along with ex-saloon racing champions, John Denning and Rod McGovern. Former show jumper Eric Holstein has the Leonard brothers Michael and Karl as teammates.
Another experienced outfit is the Barrable family team of Michael and his sons Robert and Peter while the RK Racing team of Barry Rabbitt, Richard Kearney, Ian Conroy, and Mike Dermody may fancy their chances.
The all-female crew of WIM Racing features Ruth Nugent, Nicola Watkins, Aimee Woods, and Emma Dempsey.
With some 32 cars on the grid and over 110 drivers involved, it will certainly be a busy Sunday in Mondello.
Meanwhile, Limerick racing couple Matt and Catherine Shinnors take on another epic rallying journey on the weekend’s Shinshiro Rally, the final round of the Japanese National Rally Championship. They have competed in many diverse rallies including the Arctic Rally.
Their latest venture was meant to be observed as the candidate event for Japan’s return to the FIA World Rally Championship, however, the FIA has since changed its mind.
Located around 270km south of Tokyo, the tarmac rally tomorrow and Sunday, will consist of 15 stages — for Bantry born Catherine, there is an extra challenge as some of the road book is in Japanese.
The pair seeded at No. 65 will campaign a Toyota GT86. Toshi Arai (Subaru WRC) is the top seed.