Kerry Motor Club members prepared for the forthcoming Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry by scoring impressive results on Sunday’s Nenagh Rally in County Tipperary.
The Birr and District Motor Club organised rally was the opening round of the locally sponsored Top Part West Coast Rally Championship.
April’s Circuit of Kerry is round two of the popular series as well as being the second round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.
First Kerry Motor Club members over the finish line on Sunday were former Kerry Winter Rally winners Mike Quinn and Tony Healy. The Ford Escort Mk2 crew finished an impressive 13th overall and were second in the over two-litre class. Their performance earned them the Top Part drive of the day awards.
Circuit of Kerry deputy clerk of the course Eoin Duffin and Kerry Motor Club PRO Mike Cleary were 18th overall and fourth in the same class as Quinn.
Tralee’s Darren Young and with Ardfert’s Pat Lawlor on the notes scored an impressive win in the 1600cc front-wheel drive class in their Honda Civic.
The Abbeydorney / Tralee pairing of Ger O’Brien and John Liston were fourth in their class in another Ford Escort MK2.
Local co-driver Denny Greaney was second in his class alongside Cork based driver DJ Browne in a Citroen C2.
Former Kerry Winter Rally clerk of the course, Jakes Kelly, acted as Motorsport Ireland safety officer on the event.
The Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry Rally takes place on April 8 and entry forms and regulations will be issued in the coming days.
Roads in West Kerry that have not been used in seven years form the backbone of the rally, with the addition of another valley stage that has not been used since the late 1990s.
A unique rolling loop system means some of the stages will be visited two or three times, as a result competitors will face 11 special stages, a record number of tests for national rallies in recent years.
In total the route will comprise of 110kms of timed stages over classic and demanding Dingle Peninsula roads .
Garry Ringrose will link up with the Ireland squad this week ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations meeting with Wales at the Aviva.
He will take the place of Robbie Henshaw, who is out for the rest of the season with a shoulder problem.
Ringrose hasn’t played since injuring his ankle in Leinster’s Pro 14 win over Ulster last month, and trained with his province today.
Meanwhile, Joe Schmidt has called up Connacht scrum-half John Cooney in place of the injured Luke McGrath.
While Munster hooker Niall Scannell replaces Rob Herring.
On McGrath, Leinster are hopeful of a swift recovery from his knee injury.
The scrum-half picked up the knock during Saturday’s Pro 14 win over the Scarlets and will miss the remainder of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign.
But after a scan yesterday, it’s hoped McGrath will be fit for Leinster’s Champions Cup quarter final with holders Saracens on April Fool’s Day.
Wales have been given a four-pronged boost ahead of Saturday’s game at the Aviva.
Full-back Leigh Halfpenny, out-half Dan Biggar, and back rows Taulupe Faletau (PR: Tah-loo-pay Fah-let-ow) and Ross Moriarty have all recovered from their respective injuries.
While forwards coach Robin McBryde says both George North and Liam Willams came through their Premiership outings unscathed.
Munster winger Ronan O’Mahony will undergo a scan to assess a shoulder injury sustained in Saturday’s Pro 14 defeat to Cardiff.
He’s now a major doubt for this Friday’s visit of Glasgow to Irish Independent Park.
The province say Tommy O’Donnell is edging nearer a return after a shoulder injury of his own has kept him out since New Year’s Day.
While out-half Tyler Bleyendaal came through his comeback cameo against the Blues with no ill effects.
Phil Healy will lead a team of four Irish athletes at next month’s World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
The Bandon 400-metre runner set an impressive time of 52-point-zero-8 seconds in Boston last month.
Joining her on the team are 15-hundred metre runner, Ciara Mageean, and 60-metre sprinters Amy Foster and Ciara Neville.
A Spanish court won’t pursue a case against four West Brom players accused of stealing a taxi, because of a lack of evidence.
Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz (PR: Bow-azz) Myhill apologised on Friday for breaking a curfew during a training camp in Barcelona.
The club are still investigating and haven’t confirmed any more details.
West Brom are bottom of the Premier League and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Southampton on Saturday.
It’s been confirmed that Samcro will run in the Ballymore Novice’s Hurdle next month at Cheltenham.
Samcro had been in contention to go in the Supreme Novice’s Hurdle, but Gigginstown (PR: Jig-ins-town) manager Eddie O’Leary has confirmed the unbeaten horse will race in the Ballymore.
O’Leary has also confirmed that Apples Jade will run in the Mare’s Hurdle at Prestbury Park.