A new rally championship open to Kerry-based drivers and co-drivers with rounds including all local rallies is ready to be rolled out by the two motor clubs in the county.
The Moriarty Centra Faranfore Kingdom of Kerry Rally championship will open on the Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry Rally and will also include The Catell.ie Rally of the Lakes and the Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Rally.
The new series is open to members of Kerry Motor Club and Killarney and District Motor Club who are full time resident of the county.
Drivers and co-drivers will score points based on the class they compete in. Each day of the Rally of the Lakes will count as separate rounds. Winners will receive entry fee vouchers towards 2019 events run by the two clubs.
Regulations have been sent to Motorsport Ireland and are awaiting the governing body’s green light ahead of round one , The Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry.
Behind the scenes works has be on-going since the start of the year with club officials, a selection of local competitors and series sponsors discussing the various ways to run the series and make it accessible to all club drivers and not those with the bigger horsepower cars.
The idea was put before Kerry Motor Club at its meeting in the Rose Hotel last Thursday night. A similar motion was on the agenda at Killarney and District Motor Club’s annual general meeting on Tuesday night.
Sponsor Mike Moriarty of Moriarty Centra Faranfore said: “ This is about the clubman or woman and giving them something back for supporting local events. People tend to be negative about the current state of Irish rallying but nobody was trying something new. This is the new thing we are all waiting for.”
World Rally Championship co-driver Paul Nagle has backed the championship. He said: “It is a great idea.”
A end-of-season prize giving will take place in the period between Christmas and New Year that will be open to all local motorsport officials , competitors and fans. Entry fee to the new series will be free for the opening year, to get it off the ground, but a nominal fee will be charged from 2019 onwards to cover costs like trophies etc.
Sean Moriarty is founder and co coordinator of the championship………………..
The Circuit of Kerry, set for April 8, has always had strong support from UK visitors and this year is proving no different.
Welsh driver Tomas Davies has entered his BMW M3 in what will be his first attempt at the Tralee-based rally.
Scottish native Lee Hasting is also making his first visit to Kerry in his Subaru Impreza.
Limerick driver Keith Lyons and his local co-driver Sean Hegarty will both attend.
Local crew Tom Relihan and Maurice McElligott were one of the first to commit in their Ford Escort MK1.
Other local entries include Denis Hickey from Glenflesk, Eddie Kennelly from Lisselton and David Griffin from Keel.