Glittering entry list for Killarney Historic Rally

Rally great 'Jimmy McRae'.
Rally great 'Jimmy McRae'.

The entry list for the Killarney Historic rally which takes place this weekend reads like a who is who of the rally world.

The 150-car field boasts several former Irish and British Champions, multiple international rally winners and a host of regional title holders.

Top seed is Northern Ireland driver Ryan Barrett, and his co-driver Diarmuid Lynch in their Ford Escort Mk2.

Barrett has never won in Kerry but is a British Historic Rally Championship front-runner and former winner of the classic section of Rally Isle of Man.

Armed with Lynch’s local knowledge the pair will start as firm favourites to win the seven-stage rally.

They will not have it easy though, as behind is former Irish National Rally Champion Melvyn Evans.

The Welshman has finished third overall for the last two years and is keen to add the Killarney title his portfolio of Irish wins.

Third seed, Seamus O’Connell is no stranger to event wins at this level; he counts the Donegal Historic Rally amongst his greatest victories and has employed local man Brian Duggan to guide him around the Kerry roads.

Also amongst the leading entries in the Historic section is Steve Perez, British Rally Champion in 2010, and also British Historic Rally Champion in 2014. Perez will be driving his extremely popular Lancia Stratos rally car.

Rally legend Jimmy McRae returns to Killarney, the five-time British Rally Champion and seven-time winner of The Circuit of Ireland is looking forward to the event driving his Vauxhall Firenza Can-Am.

Irish Historic Rally Champions of 2014 and 2015, James O’Mahoney and Ernie Graham have both, entered in their Ford Escort RS1800s. Gareth Lloyd finished second to Graham in this year’s Irish title race and he is another driving chasing victory.

Current Irish National and Tarmac champion Donagh Kelly is another in the impressive line-up driving his Ford Escort Mk1 and former Irish Forestry champion Owen Murphy is at the wheel of a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus.

The rally gets into gear on Friday night with a ceremonial start at 7.30pm in Killarney and the real action starts on Saturday.