All roads are leading to Abbeyleix for this weekend’s Birr and District Motor clubs annual tarmac stages rally. The Abbeyleix Manor Hotel sponsored event kicks off the first round of the Rally Championships on Sunday morning.
There is a cracking entry list which consists of five World Rally cars and two Super 2000 cars in the top ten. Blasting away at the front of the pack this weekend will be number one seeded Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullay (Subaru WRC). Monaghan crew Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC) are at number two with Carragalines Brian O’Mahony/John Higgins making their second appearance in a McKinstry run (Subaru Imprezza WRC )at number 3. Robert Barrable/Dermot O’Gorman will make history this weekend being the first crew to tackle a Birr event in a Super 2000 rally car in their Skoda Fabia S2000 at 4.
There is a strong local contingent part taking in this event with Templemore crew Paul O’Brien/John Kinihan (no 38 )competing in a newly built class 11 Honda Civic followed closely by Nenaghs Andrew Slattery/Shaun Forde (Subaru Imprezza). The class 13 battle continues with William Cavanagh/Oliva Cowen, Eoin Woods/TBA, John Cavanagh/John Nolan and Kieran Guinan/Alan Higgins all driving Ford Escort Mk2s.
Durrows Oliver Stanley/Edward Thompson will be out in their newly built Ford Focus, followed by Mark Kane also in a new car a Mk2 Escort. Nenaghs Davey Forde/Cecil Doak will be out in their class 15 Subaru Imprezza. Ballacollas Mark Kirwin will be co-driving for Joey Carroll in a Citroen C2R2, while brother Brian will be driving his Peugeot 206.
Borris-in-Ossory’s Frank Dwyer is swapping the passenger seat for the driver’s seat for this year’s rally driving his Ford Ka with Barry Foyle doing an opposite swap and navigating for Tommy Kelly in a Honda Civic. Keith Murray will navigate David Fitzsimons in a class 13 escort with Robert Lewis returning to the stages after a two year absence.
Finally help is also required and anyone intending on marshalling or helping out in any way is asked to contact Ger on (087-2156419). Rally programmes will also be available in Rathdowney, Durrow and Abbeyleix from Friday. The club would also like to wish Clerk of the Course Bill Ryan and his team the very best of luck in the running of the rally this weekend .Rember safety first, Keep The Race In Its Place and please obey all Rally Marshalls. For More information log on to www.Birrmotorclub.com.