3 March 2015
By Bryan Smyth
There are now less than two weeks to go to the Quality Hotel Clonakilty West Cork Rally and each of the categories (Main Field, Historics & Juniors) are at capacity with over 200 entries received in total. The rally is the second round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship (its first time as a full counting round), and this has had a positive impact with competitors coming from all over the island of Ireland as well as the UK and the US. Last year’s winner and current tarmac championship leader Donagh Kelly is back to defend his crown in his Ford Focus and having also won in Birr recently is on a great run of form. Kelly will be challenged strongly by the likes of Declan Boyle the current tarmac champion, Sam & Josh Moffett, Daragh O’Riordan and Melvyn Evans.
Stephen, Wright, Jonny Greer & Joe McGonigle are the top R5 contenders while Group N should see a battle between the likes of Aaron McHale, Brendan Cumiskey, Stephen Carey and Brian O’Keeffe among others. As always the modified battle should be intense with Declan Gallagher, Gary Kiernan, Phil Collins, Adrian Hetherington and Wesley Patterson part of a large and competitive list. The Historic Rally has a very high quality field with drivers such as Ernie Graham, Denis Moynihan, Gareth Lloyd and James O’Mahony among the entry while the Junior category is also very well supported. Entries will still be accepted in all categories however.
There will be fourteen stages in this year’s event, four stages repeated on the first day with service after every two stages. Sunday will see three stages repeated, with service after the first loop of three stages. The service park will be in the grounds of Darrara Agricultural College as usual while Parc Ferme will be at the Model Railway village. The action gets underway at 10.45am on Saturday 14th with the first car due back that evening at approximately 5.30pm. The Sunday action gets underway at 10.30am and the first car is due at the finish ramp around 4.15pm. For those intending to marshal, a list of meeting points is available on www.westcorkrally.com as well as contact details for the Chief Marshal Edel Fahy.
Programmes for the event should be available from Saturday 7th of March and a list of outlets will be provided on www.westcorkrally.com and www.corkmotorslub.com. This year’s programme will contain an eight page supplement dedicated to last year’s event designed in the style of the book “The West Cork Rally – A History” by Kevin O’Driscoll, which can be detached and added to the book.