Tralee co-driver He­garty to con­test Ir­ish Tar­mac Rally Cham­pi­onship

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - SPORT - MO­TOR­SPORT Sean Mo­ri­arty

KERRY Mo­tor Club co-driver Sean He­garty is to take on his big­gest rally chal­lenge yet as he pre­pares to con­test the full Dance to Tip­per­ary Ir­ish Tar­mac Rally Cham­pi­onship.

The six-round in­ter­na­tional rally se­ries takes in ma­jor two-day events in all cor­ners of the coun­try in­clud­ing the Rally of the Lakes in May as well as the Done­gal In­ter­na­tional and the Cork 20.

He­garty, from Tralee, will con­test the cham­pi­onship for the first time along­side Lim­er­ick driver Keith Lyons in a newly ac­quired Ford Fi­esta R5. The pair are the cur­rent Class R2 Top Part West Coast cham­pi­ons and are rel­ish­ing the chance to com­pete on some of Ire­land’s big­gest ral­lies.

Four of the six are new to the crew and they will face Bri­tish cham­pi­onship com­pe­ti­tion for the first time on the Ul­ster In­ter­na­tional in Au­gust.

Lyons, whose father Ken is a for­mer Cir­cuit of Kerry win­ner, said: “I wit­nessed my father com­pete from an early age, so the die was cast many years ago. I am un­der no il­lu­sions, this year will be a steep learn­ing curve. Step­ping from a Ford Fi­esta R2 into an R5 Fi­esta will be a great chal­lenge, for both the team and me.”

Their first rally in the new car will be the West Cork Rally in Clon­akilty on St Pa­trick’s week­end.

Round two of the World Rally Cham­pi­onship takes place this week­end in Swe­den where Paul Na­gle’s Citroen Rac­ing Team will be hop­ing for bet­ter for­tune than their 12th po­si­tion last year. The squad con­ducted an ex­ten­sive four-day test last week in ef­forts to iron out last year’s sus­pen­sion is­sues.

The C3 was im­pos­si­ble to drive on the snow and ice-cov­ered roads near Torsby where the WRC’s only proper win­ter rally takes place and re­sulted in the off-road ex­cur­sion on the Var­gasen stage which ul­ti­mately led to the bad re­sult one year ago.

The Top Part West Coast Cham­pi­onship kicks off this Sun­day with the Ne­nagh Stages in County Tip­per­ary where sev­eral lo­cal crews are in ac­tion.

A fleet of Ford Es­cort Mk2 will be driven by Ger O’Brien / Sean Lis­ton (Abbey­dor­ney); Eoin Duf­fin / Mike Cleary (Kil­flynn); Vin­cent O’Shea / James Lowry (Ken­mare) and Mike Quinn / Tony Healy (Lyre­crompane).

Tralee team Dar­ren Young / Sean Walsh wheel out their trusty Honda Civic while Kil­lar­ney’s Kevin O’Donoghue / David Ran­dles com­pete in a BMW M3.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.