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irish tarmac rally championship

Moffett Heads Monster WCR Entry List

In little under ten days, the 44 th Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally gets underway with the novelty of Friday evening stages for thefirst time. For the first time, the event will run as a three-day rally with four stages scheduled for the Friday afternoon. A large entry has been received, and Motorsport Ireland has increased the allowed starters in the main field to a potential 176. Top seeds Josh Moffett & Andy Hayes are looking to make it three in a row, although having made the switch to a Citroen C3 this season it may take a little time to get the car suitably set up. Callum Devine & Noel O’Sullivan, the current tarmac champions, follows them back out in their trusty VW Polo Gti R5. Third seeds Keith Cronin & Mikie Galvin are Fiesta mounted once again following their Galway win and will be looking to go one better than the runner-up spot achieved in 2016. Matt Edwards & David Moynihan at four in another Fiesta should be well on the pace, with Edwards finishing fourth on the event back in 2019.

Number five seeds William Creighton & Liam Regan are dark horses for the event in their Fiesta, with the 2023 JWRC champions making the jump into faster machinery after a couple of years in a Rally 3 car. Creighton has more familiarity than most with the West Cork stages and if he is on form will give the more experienced crews ahead of him a run for their money. Sixth seeds Jonny Greer & Niall Burns will be Citroen mounted as usual, with Jonny another regular visitor to Clonakilty. Ryan Loughran & Gareth Doherty follow at seven and making their first ever appearance on the event in a Fiesta. David Kelly & Dean O’Sullivan are at eight in a VW Polo after a steady Galway run, while UK visitors James Ford & Neil Shanks in a Citroen C3 are getting quicker with every outing, and they are seeded at nine. Declan Boyle & Patrick Walsh in a Citroen C3 rounds off the top ten with the Donegal driver hoping for better luck than last year. Outside of the top ten there is more quality as Gary Kiernan, Eddie Doherty, David Guest, Cal McCarthy, Jason McSweeney, Owen Murphy, Michael Boyle & Joe McGonigle are all capable of top results.

The national entry should see a titanic battle between the Darrian’s of John Dalton and James Stafford while Kevin Eves can never be discounted in his rapid Toyota Corolla. Escorts are also to the fore in the modifieds as expected with Conor Murphy, Frank Kelly, Gary McPhillips, Damien Toner, and Jonathan Pringle among the drivers expected to feature at the sharp end. Further down the field the Rally 4 class is likely to be hotly contested as always. The Historic field has twenty-five entrants led by Welsh driver Neil Williams in an Escort, co-driven by local man Anthony O’Sullivan. The Historic Rally will start on Saturday morning, and the twelve junior competitors will compete on the six Sunday stages.

The impressive and diverse entry comes from Ireland, the UK, the US, Barbados, Australia, Singapore, and South Africa. The action gets underway on Friday 15 th with two stages, Ballinascarthy & Rossmore being tackled twice, the second run over each of these stages will be in darkness. There will not be a ceremonial start this year but following the first days action (after stage 4), there will be a fan zone in Clonakilty town. Killian Duffy & Andy Walsh from will be providing coverage over the weekend. Saturday action takes in eight stages, Clogagh & Castletown attempted twice in the morning, with Ring & Dunworley attempted twice in the afternoon. Sunday’s six stages are Ardfield, Glandore and Sam’s Cross all to be tackled twice. Scrutiny will take place in Clonakilty Car Centre and Parc Ferme for the event will be at Clonakilty Showgrounds close to the Rally Headquarters, the Clonakilty Park Hotel. The Service Park returns to the West Cork Business & Technology Park on the outskirts of Clonakilty for the first time since 2006.


External Credits:

2024 Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally


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