Motorsport: Kelly and Jennings do battle in Killarney

Reigning Irish Tarmac champion Donagh Kelly (Ford Focus WRC) battles former champion Garry Jennings (Subaru WRC) over some of the classic stages in Irish rallying as the Cartell.ie Rally of the Lakes gets underway in Killarney tomorrow.

Their battle for supremacy begins on the classic Gortnagane test. With a limited programme of events this year Kelly is glad of the presence of Jennings especially as Declan Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC) has withdrawn his entry.

Keith Cronin (Citroen DS3 R5) heads the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Championship contenders. Surprisingly, the Ballylickey driver has little experience of the Killarney event, his last outing there was in 2006 in a Peugeot 206. Having dominated the opening rounds in Galway and West Cork his ITC title bid took a hit on the Circuit of Ireland with an opening stage retirement. Having lost the series lead – by four points to Josh Moffett – Cronin will focus on regaining the top spot in Killarney where Alastair Fisher (Ford Fiesta R5) is amongst his principal rivals. The pair had a keen contest on the West Cork until Fisher crashed. Series leader Josh Moffett (Fiesta R5) should be closer to both in Killarney.

Alan Ring (third overall last year) returns in a Ford Fiesta R5, the Castleisland native ran the car in West Cork and the Circuit of Kerry with the +kit but he will have the car in R5 trim for his home International. Monaghan’s Stephen Wright in a similar car and the Skoda Fabia S2000’s of Donegal’s Joe McGonigle, Cork’s Owen Murphy and Dubliner Aaron MacHale are next off the start line. Murphy gave the ex-Freddy Loix car its debut in Clonakilty in what was a difficult outing, this time he will be eager to make the finish line. Dunmanway’s David Guest (Mitsubishi) and Waterford’s Brian O’Keeffe (Subaru) are the highest seeded Group N drivers.

Local driver Fergus O’Meara (Ford Escort) heads the Modified entry that also features the ultra quick Eugene Meegan (BMW 1M), Jack Newman, Ed Murphy, John Bonner, Charlie Hickey and Ross Marshall all in Ford Escorts and BMW E30 debutant Kevin O’Donoghue. The rally is also a counting round of the PlasticBags.ie Southern 4 Rally series.

There are eight stages on both days. with finish at the Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney at 5.30pm on Sunday evening.


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