The splendid and scenic west Kerry region provides the backdrop to Sunday’s second round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship, the Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry Rally that has attracted a strong entry.
The rally is also a counting round of the Top Part West Coast Rally Championship that began in Nenagh last February with Clonmel’s Roy White (Ford Fiesta WRC) taking victory.
There’s little doubt that Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) has bitter-sweet memories of the Circuit of Kerry, the former triple national champion has won and lost events in Kerry on a tie-break.
No other event in Irish rallying has been decided on tie-breaks as much as the Circuit of Kerry and while Maguire was involved in three such events, the last tie-break finish was in 2012 when local hero Thomas Fitzmaurice denied Cork’s Brian O’Mahony although the latter went on to win the overall title.
As ever, for the local contingent, a strong performance on the Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry is a very specific target. Last year, Tralee’s Tim Enright (Escort) claimed the bragging rights, however, Lyreacrompane man Quinn will endeavour to claim top spot on this occasion. There are others too, such as Kilflynn’s Tom Relihan, Killarney trio Charlie Hickey, Ed Murphy and Tadhg O’Sullivan along with Kenmare’s Vincent O’Shea, Ballylongford’s Tommy Mason, Tarbert’s Jason Costello, Lisselton’s Pat Barry and Killarney’s John Hickey, all in Ford Escorts all vying for success.
Elsewhere, Killarney’s Mark Falvey in his Mk. 1 Ford Escort competes in the Historic section.
Two Kerry drivers are in the keenly contested Class 11F – Tralee’s Darren Young and Kenmare’s Shane McCarthy, both in Honda Civics will face stern opposition from the similar cars of Mallow’s Derek Butler and Donegal’s Michael Boyle.