Circuit of Kerry Stages Rally (J) - 11 Apr 10

Posted: April 27, 2010 12:34 PM - 26492 Hits

Round 3 - 2010 National Rally Championship (+ Junior)
Round 2 - 2010 West Coast Rally Championship

In Car

Posted: April 23, 2010 10:28 AM


Lloyd Hutchinson/Kevin Flanagan (SS5)

Damien Whoriskey & Michael McClafferty - Stage 1

Video Clips

Posted: April 23, 2010 10:26 AM

Report courtesy of Dunlop - Proud sponsors of the National Rally Championship

Posted: April 23, 2010 10:20 AM

Yet again, the Circuit of Kerry Rally, was decided on a tie break, the fourth time in eleven years.  In an exciting third round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship, Derek McGarrity and co-driver, James McKee (Subaru) edged out long time leaders, Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru WRC), who led by seven seconds entering the seventh and final stage.

Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC), who was co-driven by Enda Sherry, took third place - 31 seconds further adrift, Maguire is the new leader of the Dunlop series, pre-event leader, Mel Evans (Subaru WRC) was one of the retirements.

Barry Meade (Ford Escort) won the Modified category and Alan Ring (Mitsubishi) won the Group N category.

Just like he did last year, Kevin Barrett (Subaru) set the fastest time on the opening stage, the Maynooth driver was five seconds ahead of Circuit of Ireland winner, Derek McGarrity following the completion of the famous Desmond's Grave stage.  Pre-event series leader, Mel Evans (Subaru) was third - four seconds further adrift with Niall Maguire, Kevin Kelleher and Manus Kelly completing the top six.  Evans was quickest through the second test with McGarrity setting the pace on the third stage.  At the Tralee service halt, Barett held a ten second lead over McGarrity, rally leader Barrett recalled a moment on S.S. 3 when he cut a corner too tight and mud filled the rim of a rear wheel causing a vibration.  McGarrity was relatively content in second with Maguire up to third.  Kevin Kelleher led Group N but was penalised some 15 seconds for early arrival at one of the controls, however, he was more concerned about a soaring temperature gauge. 
Declan Boyle (Escort) was the top two-wheel drive exponent, he was fifth overall but Barry Meade, also in an Escort, was only a mere second in arrears.  Eamonn Daly (Mitsubishi) was seventh overall followed by Evans, who lost time when a turbo pipe came adrift.  The Escorts of Ed Synan and Paul Purtill completed the top ten.

Mark Jasper, who was seeded at seven in his Hyundai, was well down the order, his car developed steering trouble and slipped to fifteenth overall.  Elsewhere, Manus Kelly crashed out while Mike Quinn lost substantial time when he slid off the road on the third stage.

McGarrity reduced Barrett's lead to just two seconds on the fourth test as Niall Maguire set the best time to remain third - 20 seconds behind McGarrity. 

Evans lost more time on the fourth stage and retired when a pipe split.  Another driver to retire was Kevin Kelleher, his Mitsubishi overheated.  On stages five and six, Barrett extricated a total of five seconds from McGarrity and arrived at the final service halt with a seven second lead over his rival.  Ironically, both suffered some transmission glitches.  Meanwhile, Maguire increased his pace and was 18 seconds behind second placed, McGarrity. 

The race for supremacy in the Modified category was intense, with Declan Boyle, who was fourth overall, a mere second ahead of Barry Meade.  Boyle remarked that his Escort has some transmission woes while Meade endured a spin on Stage 5.

Ed Synan and Paul Purtill, also in Mk. 2 Escorts were next in classification in a top ten that also included Mark Jasper (Hyundai Accent WRC), Adrian Hetherington (Ford Escort) and Alan Ring (Mitsubishi).  Jasper continued to suffer due to the lack of power steering and a lack of power.  Ring, who had decided to use the stages as a test exercise, was somewhat surprised at his new role of Group N leader.

In an exciting final stage, McGarrity punched in the best time and finished seven seconds faster than his rival and took victory on a tie break from a disappointed Barrett.  Maguire's third place was enough to promote him to top of the Dunlop leaderboard.

In the Modified category, both Meade and Boyle had skirmishes on the final test, Meade fared best, despite some front wing damage while Boyle lost over five minutes.  Ring won the Group N category and Jasper brought his Hyundai home in sixth place.

The Escorts of Paul Purtill and Ed Synan were seventh and eighth respectively with Lloyd Hutchinson (Mini), who won the "Driver of the Day award and Richard Whelan (Honda Civic) completing the top ten.

Confidence Building Weekend for Cunningham

Posted: April 23, 2010 9:50 AM

It was a confidence building weekend for the up and coming new Irish talent Jonathan Cunningham as he begin his Dunlop National Irish Junior Rally Championship campaign last weekend at the Carlton Hotel Circuit of Kerry Stages Rally.

The event saw Cunningham go quickest on three out of the four stages during the event, but a time costing spin and puncture on Stage 3 of the event saw him lose out on overall victory and finish an agonising yet still impressive third overall.

The event began at lunchtime, with Cunningham instantly finding his pace on the opening 17km test setting fastest overall time, seven seconds faster than Darren McKenna and 16 seconds quicker than Cal McCarthy. Cunningham was surprised to find himself on the pace for his first tarmac event in 2010. Stage two saw the trend continue with Cunningham again setting fastest overall time, this time three seconds quicker than another of his biggest rivals Kevin O Connor and ten seconds quicker than McKenna. With the stage at only 13km in length it was even more of an impressive time, meaning Cunningham had upped his overall lead to a healthy seventeen seconds.

With all looking good for an incredibly promising result disaster would strike on the penultimate day of the event for Cunningham. Whilst navigating a fast right hander, the Honda Civic lost grip and despite his best efforts Cunningham could not catch the slide and the car drifted off the road and got beached on a bank. Luckily a number of spectators were watching at the junction and they were soon helping Cunningham to get back on the road. Whilst trying his best to make up lost time, Cunningham would slightly overcut a corner resulting in a puncture for the young Irishman, a double blow in only 18km! The drama saw Cunningham lose 46 seconds to McKenna and drop from first overall to fourth, a bitter blow that would be hard to recover from.

With only one stage remaining on the event, Cunningham knew he had to push as hard as he could in case any of his other rivals hit trouble and he could progress up the leader board. Cunningham however decided to prove that his problems had not affected his confidence by setting another fastest overall time and with this move himself back up the standings into the final podium position of the event, only 20 seconds off the eventual winner McKenna.

Although it was a frustrating end to the rally for Cunningham the current Fiesta SportChallenge UK leader was able to take away a lot of positives from the event and will be hoping to take the top spot at his next event, the Monaghan stages in two weeks time, which will also see him compete on the third round of the Fiesta SportChallenge UK series, the Pirelli Challenge Rally the day before the second Junior Rally Championship event, it will be an incredibly busy weekend but hopefully one to remember for all the right reasons!

Driver Jonathan Cunningham said:
“It was a real shame that we ran into problems on the penultimate stage of the event, especially as we were comfortably on the pace, but it just shows you cannot even make one mistake as you will instantly be playing catch up! I am really happy that we were on the pace and although disappointed I am not down hearted as I still finished on the podium. I’m now really looking forward to the next event in Monaghan which will see me take in two events in one weekend! It will be a very busy but very exciting weekend!”


Posted: April 23, 2010 9:13 AM

1 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC) 64m 40s,
2 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC) 64m 40s,
3 Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC) 65m 11s,
4 Barry Meade/Johnny Hickey (Ford Escort Mk II) 67m 12s,
5 Alan Ring/Brian Duggan (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 68m 46s,
6 Mark Jasper/Don Whyatt (Hyundai Accent WRC) 68m 50s,
7 Paul Purtill/Kaye Shanahan (Ford Escort Mk II) 68m 52s,
8 Ed Synan/Denis O’Connell (Ford Escort Mk II) 68m 55s,
9 Lloyd Hutchinson/Kevin Flanagan (Mini Cooper S) 70m 09s,
10 Richard Whelan/Colin Fitzgerald (Honda Civic VTI) 70m 17s.

Group N Production class:
1 Alan Ring/Brian Duggan,
2 Eamon Daly/Anthony O’Conaill (Mit. Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 71m 16s,
3 Shane Maguire/Paul Kelly (Subaru Impreza N11 Gp N) 71m 40s.

Leaders After:
SS1-6 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS7 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Stage Winners:
SS1 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS2 Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS3 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS4 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS5 Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS6 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS7 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Updated Entry List

Posted: April 9, 2010 5:12 PM

Cunningham Begins Irish Title Bid

Posted: April 9, 2010 4:53 PM

After making a perfect beginning to his UK Fiesta SportChallenge title bid by winning the opening two rounds, 26 year old Galway born Jonathan Cunningham will begin his Dunlop National Irish Junior Rally Championship campaign this weekend at the Carlton Hotel Circuit of Kerry Stages Rally.

The event will see Cunningham switch from his highly successful Fiesta ST that he has used so far this season to his equally competitive Honda Civic which has undergone a full rebuild since last being used on the Cork Stages Junior Rally last year.

The event will also see Cunningham have another change, this time in the form of navigators. His UK based navigator Richard Millener is unable to make the event, and instead he will keep the event a true “family” outing by employing the co-driving skills of his brother Patrick, with Cunningham’s service crew for the event consisting of other family members and friends.

Cunningham is quickly making a name for himself this year, proving that he is constantly improving his speed and talent since his inaugural year in rallying only 12 months ago. The main aim for the talented Irishman this year in the junior championship is to again qualify for the prestigious Billy Coleman Award. After finishing a close second in the award in 2009 Cunningham feels he knows what extra is necessary to try and take the award in 2010.

With an incredibly strong field of 20 Junior drivers lining up for the start of the event Cunnigham has been seeded at fourth on the road. His main rival will be the very quick Kevin O Connor in his Citroen C2R2 Max. Cunningham knows that to win the event will be a tough task but he is confident of his speed after his UK victories and with tarmac being his preferred surface he is in high spirits and looking forward to taking the fight to his competitors.

The Junior event will take in 4 competitive stages and Cunningham will hopefully cross the finish line around 17.00 on Sunday.

Driver Jonathan Cunningham said:
“I have had a great start to my rallying campaign so far in 2010, massively exceeding my own expectations. I am now really looking forward to getting back to competing on home soil and on my favourite surface. It will be tough to take victory this weekend as the competition is so strong but I’ll give it my best shot. It should be a great event.”

Navigator Patrick Cunningham said:
“Me and Jonathan have competed together before and we are both confident in the speed we are capable of, I am looking forward to getting back in the navigators seat and hopefully I can help my brother to continue his great winning streak that he has achieved so far this year. I’m just looking forward to getting started on Sunday.”

Preview courtesy of Dunlop - Proud sponsors of the National Rally Championship

Posted: April 9, 2010 12:52 PM

Organisers of the Sunday's Circuit of Kerry Rally, the third round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship, have assembled a quality entry with no fewer than seven World Rally Cars in the top ten.  The Kerry Motor Club has placed Welsh ace, Mel Evans (Subaru WRC) at the head of their impressive entry.  The event will be based at the Carlton Hotel, Tralee with servicing adjacent to the hotel complex.   

Evans has made a terrific start to the season with a brace of wins on the Nenagh and Mayo events and holds a twelve-point lead in the ten round Dunlop series.  As he bids for a hat-trick of victories, he faces strong opposition in the seven stage Kerry event that includes the classic Desmond's Grave stage.

Maynooth's, Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC), who retired from last week's Circuit of Ireland Rally after just two stages, will be keen to rack up some Dunlop points. 

Former winner of both the event and the championship, Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) has been involved in three tie-break finishes in Kerry - losing out on two occasions.  Maguire knows he has to make a strong impression as he bids for an unprecedented fourth national title.  Last week's Circuit of Ireland winner, Derek McGarrity (Subaru WRC) should have plenty of confidence after his fourth success on the Easter classic.  Second to Evans on the opening round, the Glengormley driver made a quick exit on the Mayo event, in Kerry he will be determined to finish in top spot to boost his Dunlop  championship aspirations.

Defending Patterson's RallyNews Group N champion, Kevin Kelleher is seeded at number five in his Mitsubishi and having finished third in Nenagh will seek a similar result in Kerry.  Should the weather conditions be somewhat inclement, Kelleher will be expected to be much closer to the WRC brigade. 

Remarkably, there are a total of four overseas drivers in the top ten, all in World Rally Cars.  Aside from Evans, John Stone (Skoda Fabia WRC), Mark Jasper (Hyundai Accent WRC) and Hugh Hunter (Ford Focus WRC) are seeded at six, seven and eight respectively. 

The top two-wheel drive exponent is that of current champion, Mike Quinn (Ford Escort), a sensational third in this event in 2009, the Kerry ace will again be out to impress on local ground.  Another local hero, Alan Ring (Mitsubishi) completes the top ten, the former Group N champion, finished eighth overall on last week's Circuit of Ireland. 

The Group N contingent also includes Thomas Fitzmaurice (Mitsubishi), Sean Flanagan (Subaru) and Trevor Bustard (Mitsubishi) Meanwhile, 2009 Mitsubishi Evo UK champion, Danny Barry is a late entry and it will be interesting to see how the Enniskerry driver will perform.  The quality of the modified entry is brimming with talent, aside from Quinn, it features Declan Boyle (Escort), who was an impressive fifth in Mayo, Barry Meade, Manus Kelly, Des Moore, John O'Donnell, Ed Synan, Adrian Hetherington, Fergus O'Meara, Anthony Hand, Tom Flaherty and Frank Sweeney all in Ford Escorts and Stuart Darcy (Toyota Corolla).  There is little doubt that this category will be contested with great vigour.

One very interesting entry is that of Limerick's, Ken Lyons, a former winner of the event, he returns to rallying at the wheel of a two-litre Mk. 2 Ford Escort, Lyons was a regular competitor in the 1980's when he campaigned a Mk. 2 Ford Escort before switching to a Sierra Cosworth.  Other entries include Eoin Doyle (Subaru WRC), Vincent O'Shea (Escort Cosworth) and Alan O'Callaghan (Subaru) 

Statement from Kerry Motor Club

Posted: April 8, 2010 11:32 PM

"Despite several requests by the committee of the Circuit of Kerry, the organisers of 'The Big Tent' have refused to cancel or move their Saturday night event.

Kerry Motor Club have not endorsed any events in the tent on Friday or Saturday night.

Any fundraising proposed by 'The Big Tent' in aid of the Motor Club has not been sanctioned by Kerry Motor Club."

Event Preview

Posted: April 8, 2010 11:28 PM

This weekends Carlton Hotel Circuit of Kerry has attracted some of the best rally crews in Ireland and the UK to compete in this prestigious event. With a host of rally championship winners all competing a great day of rally action is guaranteed around North Kerry as the crews compete for both class and overall honours in both the Dunlop National Rally Championship and the Top Part West Coast Rally Championship. Leading the cars away from the Carlton Hotel will be the 2009 British MSA National champion and current Dunlop championship leader Melvyn Evans and co driver Patrick Walsh in a Subaru S12 world rally car.
The Welsh crew are in terrific form at the moment having won the opening 2 rounds of the Dunlop championship in Nenagh and Mayo. Seeded No 2 is Maynooth’s Kevin Barrett who will be co driven by Limerick’s Sean Mullally. A win for Kevin and Sean in their Subaru S11 WRC would be an excellent boost for their championship campaign after a non finish on round 1. Former Circuit of Kerry winner and 4 time Dunlop National Champion winner Niall Maguire is at No 3 and will be co driven by Enda Sherry.
The Monaghan pairing have lost this rally twice on a tie break rule and will be aiming for the top spot on the podium Sunday evening. At 4 are a crew who are in excellent form after just wining the Circuit of Ireland rally over the Easter weekend, Derek McGarrity/James McKee in a Subaru S12B WRC. McGarrity is the current Northern Ireland rally champion and also a former Irish Tarmac champion and is no stranger to victories in Kerry having previously won the Killarney Rally of the Lakes.
At No 5 is Dunlop group N championship Kevin and Martin Kelleher (Mitsubishi Evo 9) followed by the first of the UK world rally car team entries John Stone and co driver Lee Carter in a Skoda Fabia WRC with their team mates Mark Jasper/Don Whyatt (Hyundai Accent WRC) seeded just behind at no 7. This will be the first time these 2 crews will compete in Kerry and will be a major attraction to the event. At No8 are the Welsh rally crew of Hugh Hunter/Andy Marchbank who will also be competing in the Circuit of Kerry for the first time in a Ford Focus world rally car. Local rally ace Mick Quinn and co driver Grainne McEnery are seeded at 9. The crew had a fantastic rally season last year having won the top 2 wheel drive award in the Dunlop championship along with winning the Killarney Historic’s rally plus many top 5 finishes throughout the year in their powerful Ford Escort MK11.
Castleisland’s Alan Ring/Brian Duggan (Mitsubishi Evo 9) round off the top 10 are will be one of the favourites to lift the group n award on Sunday evening at the finish ramp. Daniel Barry and Co driver Martin Brady have put in a late entry to compete in Kerry and the 2009 UK Mitsubishi Evo Challenge winners will be aiming for a podium finish in their group A Mitsubishi Evo 6. A new addition to this year’s event is a modified challenge for cars in classes 9 to 14. The prize to the highest placed modified competitors will be 2 free entries to 2 rallies which is worth over €1000. Rally fans will be treated to some spectacular action on the stages as the modified crews do battle to win the overall title

Some of the other local crews who will be competing are Thomas Fitzmaurice/Fionn Foley (15), Ed Synan/Denis O’Connell (20), Fergus O’Meara/Liam Brennan (23), Frank Sweeney/Seamus O’Connor (29), Paddy O’Rourke/Tony Healy (32), Ger O’Brien/Kevin Savage (47), Pat Barry/Stephen O’Connell (48) and Tim Enright/Stephen Buckley (50) to name just a few.

Action will get underway on Sunday morning from the start ramp at the Carlton Hotel at 08.38 before a short service halt at the service park in the car park of the hotel. The crews will than compete over 3 closed road special stages before arriving back to the service park for a 30 min service. Once again the crews will compete over the mornings 3 stages before once again returning to the service park for the final service of the day before competing over the final stage. The winners of the 2010 Carlton Hotel Circuit of Kerry Stages Rally are due to arrive back to the finish ramp at the Carlton Hotel at approx 5pm where a champagne reception will await them.
A full colour official program of the event which will include a map of the stages will be available to buy in local shops from Thursday and a list of program outlets is available at Spectators are reminded to obey the safety marshals on the stages and in the service park as they are there to insure the safety of both the competitors and spectators at all times.


Posted: April 8, 2010 11:18 PM












Late Entries

Posted: April 7, 2010 3:55 PM

Details on the Club Website:

Final Instructions, Scrutiny Times & Scrutiny Road Book, Time & Distance available

Posted: April 7, 2010 3:13 PM

All Are available on the Club website:

Seeded Entry List

Posted: April 2, 2010 12:08 PM

Entries open until Friday 9th April

Posted: April 1, 2010 2:45 PM

Entries for the Circuit of Kerry Stages Rally will remain open until Friday the 9th of April

Promotional Video

Posted: March 29, 2010 10:07 PM

Team Legend Fires for Circuit of Kerry

Posted: March 26, 2010 2:01 PM

Legend Fires Skoda Fabia WRC of John Stone / Lee Carter is coming to Kerry!

The 2 car WRC team of Legend Fires Motor Sport will be venturing to the depths of Kerry on the weekend of 10th-11th of April , bring the cars across the water from England to contest the Carlton Hotel Circuit of Kerry Stages Rally,
The event is to be used as a shake down for the John Stone / Lee Carter Legend Fires Skoda Fabia WRC and Mark Jasper / Don Wyatt in their Legend Fires, Dunlop / Flogas Ireland backed Hyundai Accent WRC which has recently been converted to RHD ready for the 2010 MSA national championship.
Both Drivers are in need of practice down the Kerry stages in preparation for the forthcoming Manx National Rally, so this event although a bit of a drive from home fits into the calendar , both crews are really looking forward to their time in Tralee, and hopefully the Kerry stages will be well up to giving the challenge to the crews that we are coming for.( we don’t doubt that they will as we've heard a few stories !!! ) .

Neither crew have been on the Kerry stages so expect a baptism of fire and a good recce on the Saturday will be vital if they stand any chance of keeping up with the local crews on Sunday.
The battle between the team members for finishing position will be the main concern for bragging rights at the Carlton Hotel's bar on Sunday night but a good show for the spectators is always part of the agenda.
Mark also hopes to debut a new colour scheme with a bit of Kerry green over what was a awesome looking all black Accent.

Rally Launch - (Sat) 27 Mar 10

Posted: March 23, 2010 1:07 PM

The Official Launch will take place this Saturday 27th of March from 8pm at the Carlton Hotel.
All Welcome

Modified Challenge Poster

Posted: March 21, 2010 10:17 PM

Calling all Amateur Photographers

Posted: March 12, 2010 9:33 AM

Once again Kerry Motor Club are giving all rally fans who take photographs at rally events In Ireland the opportunity to have 25 of the most exciting action photos of rally cars in action on a stage, published in the 2010 Carlton Hotel Circuit of Kerry Stages Rally event programme.

It would be great if you would insert your name and address, i.e. Joe Blogs Kinsale, or, Mary Ryan Listowel, onto the top or bottom of the photo and e-mail it to

in .jpg format before 24th March 2010.

Regulations and On Line Entry Open

Posted: March 1, 2010 8:37 PM

Regulations available and On Line Entry Open:

Circuit of Kerry 2010 - Preliminary Detail on Awards & Entry Fee

Posted: February 1, 2010 3:55 PM

The organizers of the Carlton Hotel Tralee Circuit of Stages Rally 2010, to be held on the 11th of April, are pleased to announce, the following preliminary detail of the event.

At the clubs recent AGM, Senan Raggett (COC for Kerry), proposed some new and novel ideas to help bring the Rally back to a capacity entry.

In an effort to support rally crews who may find it difficult to put together the necessary funding to compete in a championship, the following proposals were made by the COC.

A. All class winners, from 1 to 16 in addition to the normal prizes, will receive the following:
1. €100 part refund of their entry fee
2. €150 Voucher for the 2010 Kerry Mini Stages Rally.
(Classes must have 5 or more starters to qualify)

B. He also outlined details of a ‘MODIFIED CHALLENGE’, which are as follows:
All modified classes from 9 to 14 will be eligible to win the ‘Modified Challenge’!
The winners, (Highest Finisher) will receive 2 FREE ENTRIES for 2 Rallies From 3 nominated events.
Those events are Circuit of Munster, Galway Summer Rally and Clare Stages Rally.

C. Also, the proposal was made to reduce the entry fee from € 545 to an even €500.

These efforts are to be funded by Kerry Motor Club.

The proposals were accepted unanimously by the club.

Event Website / Details

Posted: January 1, 2010 12:01 AM

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