15 March 2018
By Bryan Smyth
There are only a couple of days to go to the 2018 Quality Hotel Clonakilty West Cork Rally and a strong entry both in quality and quantity has been received for the event. Top seed Donagh Kelly is going for an unprecedented five in row in his Focus WRC but is sure to be pressed hard by fellow Donegal man Declan Boyle (Fiesta WRC) who was victorious in Mayo last Sunday. The Irish Tarmac Championship contenders will also have a big say in the destination of the winners trophy. Leading the way is Sam Moffett (Fiesta R5) who is the reigning champion and who finished runner up in Clonakilty in 2015. Josh Moffett, Robert Barrable, Jonny Greer, Stephen Wright, Desi Henry and Daniel Cronin are all in similar Fiestas and such is the Ford dominance at the top end that Eugene Donnelly in his Hyundai i20 R5 is the only non Ford in the top ten.
Kevin Eves, Gary Kiernan, Rob Duggan, John Dalton and Declan Gallagher are just some of the top drivers competing on the National event. The Historic Rally welcomes back Barry Jones who won the category here last year on his way to becoming Tarmac Historic Champion, but he will have strong opposition in Owen Murphy, Neil Williams, Denis Cronin and Martin Doherty to name but a few. The Junior Rally is also looking strong with a capacity entry received.
The action begins with the famous Ring stage at 10.28am on Saturday morning with tests also around Clogagh, Newecestown and Ballinascarthy all to be attempted twice. Sundays six stages consist of two runs over Ardfield, Sams Cross and Rossmore with the first car due at the finish ramp at 4:30pm. The family of the late Donal O’Brien who sadly passed away last year, have kindly put up The Donal O’Brien Cup for the top Class 14 finisher.
Results for the event can be found at http://results.westcorkrally.com while Pattersons Rallynews Bulletins will be available digitally at www.rallynews.net. You can also keep up to date with more information by checking into www.westcorkrally.com and also the Facebook Page West Cork Rally and the Twitter page @westcorkrally. We are delighted to have C103 Radio Station as our Official Media Partners for the rally and for regular updates tune into C103 over the weekend.
Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce will be giving a €50 voucher to each crew in the Main Rally and the Historic Rally and will also be giving an additional €100 voucher to each overseas crew.