2016 Round 2 Preview
This weekend’s Cartell.ie Rally of the Lakes is the second round of the PlasticBags.ie Southern 4 Rally Championship. The popular regional series began in Clonakilty in March with the West Cork Rally. The event, run by Cork Motor Club with Greg McCarthy as Clerk of the Course, had International status on this occasion and it consisted of fourteen stages. It had a bumper registration throughout all the classes with a total of 150 signing up in Clonakilty.
This year’s PlasticBags.ie Southern 4 Rally Championship shows some changes to previous years. It includes the introduction of a “Drive of the Day” on each round of the 2016 campaign culminating with a “Drive of the Championship” that will be presented at the Awards night. In Clonakilty, the inaugural winners were Jason O Mahony/Breda O’Driscoll (Honda Civic).
Donegal’s Donagh Kelly and his Monaghan co-driver Conor Foley took maximum points in their Class 7 Ford Focus WRC and they arrive here in Killarney with a seven point advantage over Aaron McHale (Skoda Fabia S2000), who registered for the series for the very first time.
Meanwhile, twenty-five Juniors have already signed up for the PlasticBags.ie Southern 4 Rally Championship. Former champion John O’Flaherty returned to the series in Clonakilty but retired on the Ardfield stage. Other Junior class winners like Eric Calnan, Diarmuid O’Halloran & Patrick Lawlor all returned in Clonakilty. Debutants Fergus Hurley/Eric Deane took the top points on the West Cork. In J1 that honour went to Brian Keohane /Donal Keohane and in J2 Christy McCarthy/Anthony Sheehan took the major points.
In the Historic Category, last year’s overall winner Donal O’Connor (Ford Escort) has a new co-driver with Emma Nott calling the notes. George Swanton/Kevin Barry (Ford Escort) and Ed Flahavan (Lancia Fulvia) have also registered.
Here is a brief review of the current standings:
Class 1: Brian O Mahony & Michelle Gallwey (Honda Civic) lead on 40 points.
Class 2: We have Calum Devine/Keith Moriarty (Opel Adam) on 40 points. This is going to be a challenging class with the likes of Cal McCarthy, Nick Barnett and Gerard Seaman in the mix and further additions expected.
Class 3: It’s the crews of David Carney/Ray Fitzpatrick up against Ed Twomey/Sean Hassett.
Class 4: David Guest/Paddy Robinson took maximum points in Clonakilty followed by Brian O’Keeffe/Sean Hayde and Philip Cross/Tony Hennessy.
Class 5: Aaron McHale leads with full points in his Skoda Fabia 2000 followed by Jer O’Donovan/Derek Tobin (Subaru R4). Kilkenny’s Joe Connolly/Richard Connolly (Fiesta) are third.
Class 7: Led by Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Ford Focus WRC).
Class 9: Maximum points went to Derry Collins with David Swanton second and Noel McCarthy third.
Class 10: Shaping up to be a very competitive class. Victor Beamish/Susan Beamish are on full points after the West Cork Rally with Steven O’Donovan/Mike Cleary in second and Jerry O’Mahony/Willie Buchannan in third.
Class 11F: Simon Reid is just ahead of our 2015 Junior Championship winner John O’Sullivan with the PlasticBags.ie windscreen visor. In third place and not too many miles away from John is Andrew Lehane. All are competing in Honda Civics.
Class 11R: Paul Fitzgerald/Pierce Doheny (Jr.) in their Ford Escort lead Donal McGrath. Tara Duggan is second in the Co-Drivers section with her driver, Andrew Duggan third in class.
Class 12: Denis Hickey/Sean Nolan lead the class after Round 1. Second are Sean Hickey/Derry Long with William Buttimer/Vincent Bennett third.
Class 13: Dan Kelleher (Escort) is on full points, Fergal Kelly is second and Welshman, Neil Spain is third.
Class 14: PlasticBags.ie Championship sponsor Sean O’Carroll (Escort) and co-driver Niall O’Sullivan compete in this class. Things did not go to plan in Clonakilty due to some mechanical issues, they retired on the opening day.
A very popular class we are going to see a lot of action on the stages from this group. Heading into the second round, Enda O’Brien is on full points ahead of Killarney crew of Charlie Hickey/Johnny Hickey. In third place is John Reddington in the Rothmans coloured Ford Escort.
Class 20: Mark Nangle/Nollaig Breen are unchallenged here, but let’s see what the next round brings.
Championship sponsor Sean O’Carroll said “We at PlasticBags.ie are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Southern 4 Rally Championship. We also have a number of PlasticBags.ie sponsored cars in the event this year. There has been a great co-operation between the clubs and the championship and we are glad to be part of this. As a competitor I see also how the Southern 4 Rally Championship offers some of the best in world class stages in the events that are included. You could call the PlasticBags.ie Southern 4 Championship the “Wild Atlantic Way” of rallying.”
Best of luck to all involved in the Cartell.ie International Rally of The Lakes, have a wonderful weekend in Killarney. We wish Clerk of the Course, Anthony O’Connor and all his team the very best.
PlasticBags.ie Southern 4 Rally Championship is delighted to be associated with Killarney International Rally of The Lakes.
Registration for the Plasticbags.ie Southern 4 Rally Championship is available to all competitors/cars in an event. Regulations are available on www.southern4rallychampionship.com
A total of 150 registrations were taken at the West Cork Rally - registration will continue until the fourth round.
Find us on Facebook and Twitter @PlasticbagsS4RC #S4RC where we will be updating you on championship details over the weekend.
Karen J O’Sullivan
Registrar, PlasticBags.ie Southern 4 Rally Championship.