Both Kevin & Johnny O Connor went to last weekend's Killarney rally of the lakes in their www.dmmotorfactors.com backed Citroen's, as favourites to win both the junior rally (Johnny) & the Citroen Racing trophy (Kevin).
Kevin along with regular co-driver and Killarney native Shane Buckley started off the event where they left off at the circuit of Ireland, fastest Citroen over the demanding ballaughbeama mountain pass. By service one the crew were once again leading the Citroën battle by 7.5 seconds from David Carney. However all the hard work was quickly undone as they got caught out on the third corner in Caragh Lake, "When we were starting the stage it gave a slight drizzle and maybe I didn't warm the back tyres enough on the road out, but once we turned onto the bridge the back of the car got away, I taught we got away with it but when we hit the bridge, I was sure it was rally over and we both got out, after realising that the damage wasn't too bad we got in and continued on" In the mist of the drama Kevin lost a total of 2 minutes and dropped to third Citroen behind Kieran Daly and David Carney. "We knew victory on the lakes was out of question then, so we concentrated on stage points and I think we took 11 stage wins from 15 so it's a heap of points for the championship". Leader Kieran Daly and second placed Carney were having a great battle until Daly's gearbox seized and pulled him into the scenery on the Healy Pass. Kevin & Shane went on to score second place points 35 seconds off the Winner David Carney.
In the junior rally, Johnny, also partnered with Killarney man Gerard Conway, stared on stage 9 of the rally, Molls gap on Sunday morning; it was a great start as the crew set joint fastest time over the demanding 14 km stage with local driver David Fleming. From there the crews went to the Cods Head stage where they cut one particular bend and hit a rock, "I taught we got a puncture so I backed away off for a few kilometres and it ruined our stage, so I knew it was going to be a bad time, but in fairness to David he must have drove very well in there, he set a scorching time!" From Cods head the crews went onto the longer Ardgroom test where John's rally came to a sudden stop. He went on to explain the incident. "We approached a 3 rd gear left hander and on the exit I pulled 4th over a blind crest which led into a 5th gear right hander before the famous Ardgroom jumps, we didn't expect the car to launch into the air over the crest and when we landed I just ran out of road and it catapulted us into the walls either side of the road, the car will rise again but we won't be ready for Carlow. It's such a pity because I don't want to be labelled as a loose cannon it was just a mistake I made in recce. I'll be marking it as a jump the next time!"
The next event for O Connor Motorsport will be the Circuit of Munster Rally where both Citroens' will be competing.
DMACK Seals Podium On Irish Debut
Posted: November 13, 2016 12:32 PM
DMACK celebrated a successful Irish Tarmac Rally Championship debut after Darren Gass finished second on the Killarney Rally of The Lakes. Gass secured two fastest stage times in his Subaru Impreza WRC in a controlled drive which saw him extend his lead of the popular series.
The Northern-Irishman won both opening rounds of the championship this year but switched to DMACK in a bid to boost his challenge for the rest of the season. The Irish stages are notoriously difficult to master but DMACK's new DMT1 moulded slick was more than a match for the other established tyre brands in the championship.
Gass used the S compound tyre throughout Saturday's eight special stages when mostly dry and sunny conditions gave crews the perfect opportunity to push on classic stages such as Molls Gap and Ballaghbeama.
But the DMT1 rose above the competition when Saturday afternoon rain fell on the final loop of three stages. Gass powered through the Shanera stage to set DMACK's first ever fastest stage time in Ireland before following it up with another on the notoriously demanding and abrasive Carragh Lake test. The 23-year-old, with co-driver Enda Sherry, held third position overnight just seconds behind multiple Irish champion Eugene Donnelly.
Competing on the Killarney stages for the first time, Gass belied his relative lack of experience to reel in and overtake Donnelly on Sunday's Cod's Head stage. Switching to DMACK's H compound for the afternoon, he controlled the pace to secure runner-up spot and strengthen his championship lead.
The impressive result for DMACK was a real talking point at the event with the new tyres drawing a keen level of interest from other top competitors.
Dick Cormack, DMACK Motorsport director, said: "We're extremely happy with the results from the event and pleased to see just how well both compounds worked across a real mix of road and weather conditions. The Killarney stages are a real challenge but Darren drove a clever rally, didn't put a wheel wrong, and now has a solid lead in the series. For DMACK to score fastest times and a podium finish on our first Irish Tarmac Championship event is a great achievement and incredibly encouraging for the future."
Darren Gass said: "The performance of the DMACK tyres was surprising straight out of the box and when it rained on Saturday the S slick was brilliant in the wet. They felt really good in the fast sections as well so it's been a good decision to switch over. This result was really important as we needed more points for the championship."
Kieran Marshall/Thomas Hayes,
David Carney/Ray Fitzpatrick,
Garry Jennings/Barry McNulty.
1 Barry Meade/Liam Moynihan (Ford Escort) 2h 17m 41s,
2 Roy White/Liam Brennan (MG ZR) 2h 17m 50s,
3 Fergus O'Meara/Diarmuid Lynch (Ford Escort) 2h 20m 32s,
4 Ed Murphy/John McCarthy (Ford Escort) 2h 22m 17s,
5 Denis Moynihan/Eamonn Hayes (Ford Escort) 2h 24m 18s,
6 Charlie Hickey/Johnny Hickey (Ford Escort) 2h 24m 39s.
Kevin Donnelly/Andrew Lehane (Toyota Starlet),
Con Mulcahy/Jonathan Keane (Vauxhall Nova),
Ken O'Neill/Ronald Riordan (Ford Puma),
Con Lucey/Pat Looney (Ford Escort),
Ed Murphy/John McCarthy,
Joe Connolly/Richard Connolly (Ford Escort),
John Hickey/John McCarthy (Ford Escort).
Jason Ollerenshaw/Colin Fitzgerald (Honda Civic).
William Todd/Aaron Johnston (Mini Cooper S),
Stephen Coffey/Michael O?Mahony (Ford Escort),
John Spiers/Susanne Niedrum (Porsche 911),
Declan Jackson/Barry McCarney (Ford Escort),
Alan Courtney/Paul Soutar (Porsche 928),
Killarney Classics in Store for Round Three of the Citroen Racing Trophy Ireland
Posted: May 1, 2012 11:30 AM
Kevin O’Connor and co-driver Shane Buckley stormed to victory for the second event in succession on round two of the Citroen Racing Trophy Ireland series. With wins on the opening West Cork and Circuit of Ireland rounds, they now head into this weekend’s Cartell.ie Killarney Rally of the Lakes full of confidence. “I am absolutely delighted to win the first two rounds” explains Kevin. ”The 6000€ prize money that we have won on the first two rounds is a huge boost to our budget this season. We are very much on a budget, but I’m really looking forward to the Killarney Rally of the Lakes at the weekend. This round is the closest to home for me in this championship, and they are classic stages down there, so I can’t wait. It’s going to be a tough rally on cars and drivers, and it was last year for the C2 crews, especially with the Cods Head and Ardgroom stages on day two.” Kevin’s co-driver Shane Buckley is from Killarney, and is very much keen for success on this important sporting event.
Second in the points standings is Donegal’s Joe McGonigle. Joe was unlucky in West Cork, having lead the C2’s for many stages, until he suffered sheared wheel studs. Nevertheless he didn’t go home empty handed, with the new points system which also rewards fastest stage times keeping him in the hunt. Joe and co-driver Ciaran Geaney put in a fabulous late charge on the Circuit of Ireland, with outright fastest two wheel drive times around the Lisburn Town Stage and second fastest on the Banbridge North test, to claim second place. But Joe has had his car up for sale and has just pulled out his entry, having taken a deposit from a Finnish customer.
Kieran Daly will be back in action this weekend after his massive accident on the Birr Stages, where he wrote off his C2 Max, but also badly broke his arm. Kieran has purchased Scott McElhinney’s championship winning C2 R2 Max and the yellow machine has been prepared for the event. “I took it a brief run up the road the other night, but that’s all I have driven it” commented Kieran, whose arm is on the mend. “The arm feels ok, but for sure it will be a tiring event, especially on day two. I’ve completed the recce and everything seems ok, so I will see on the rally.” Kieran was fast in Killarney on the opening stages last year before an engine failure, and could be one to watch. Keith Moriarty is in the hot-seat.
Another man whose been rebuilding is Peter Barrable who has re-shelled his C2 Max after a high speed off in West Cork whilst challenging well. Peter has come on strides over the last season and is capable of fastest C2 times, but like Kieran Daly, it may take a little time to settle in after that accident. Jovial Welsh visitor Steve Wood, had a good fourth place on the Circuit of Ireland and with co-driver Johnny Baird is creeping ever closer to the top times. It will be his first trip to the Killarney stages in the C2 Max however, and on this event experience can count to get the best lines for the sweeping fast roads.
Cashel’s Paul Manton is on the entry again. Paul took a couple of seasons out of the sport to look after his business, after contesting the CRT Ireland series from 2007-2009, and is back this season, having finished fourth in West Cork. Armagh’s Sean Agnew joined the series on the Circuit of Ireland, and set a great time around the Titanic Super-special stage, but sadly he is now unable to take part this weekend.
So round three of the Citroen Racing Trophy Ireland series, kicks off this weekend for Killarney Rally of the Lakes, where the C2’s will tackle the classic stages, such as Molls Gap, Caragh Lake, Ballaghbema, and the Tim Healey Pass. They will be tough tests for these little 1600cc screamers.
Lucey to arrive on the 11th hour!
Posted: May 1, 2012 11:24 AM
Daniel Lucey begins the trip home tonight (Tuesday) from Australia to compete in the Rally of the Lakes, with arrival in Ireland on Thursday evening.
A "compressed" reece on Friday awaits Daniel and his Co-Driver Derry Healy, before Molls Gap on Sunday Morning.
Luckily for Daniel, the Lucey Motorsport crew have the Escort Mk I fully prepared for the weekend's rallying!.
O'Connor's Head for Classic Killarney
Posted: April 30, 2012 2:55 PM
Next weekend will see both Kevin and Johnny O'Connor head to Killarney Co. Kerry for the Killarney Rally of the Lakes.
Older brother Johnny who will be competing in the junior section is using the event as a warm up for the Carlow stages the following week, which is round three of the national junior championship. "Obviously I want to do well in Killarney but I need to box clever and preserve the car for Carlow the week after, we'll see how the gap goes on Sunday morning and take it from there." This will be Johnny's first time competing on the Killarney stages and is lapping up the challenge, "I think most of the other junior competitors have done this rally before, so our notes will be very important in Killarney".
Kevin will be competing in the main field of the rally and it is also round three of the Citroën Racing Trophy, round three of the TROA Irish Tarmac Rally Championship & round two of the Southern four rally championship for the crew.
Kevin who heads to the rally with a two victories and a 48 point lead in the Citroen Racing Trophy is very excited about competing in the classic Killarney stages. "I can't wait for Molls gap on Saturday morning, Killarney is my local international rally and with Shane being from Killarney, we will be trying very hard". On the previous round of the Citroen Racing Trophy, the IRC Circuit of Ireland, Kevin Led the Citroen race from start to finish of that event to secure his second championship maximum score, "The circuit was absolutely brilliant, and we were delighted with the win but Killarney is going to be a different rally again, with Kieran Daly back out and with Joe and David, It won't be easy".
Keep tuned into Twitter and Facebook over the coming days to see the crew's preparations and progress on the event.
Killarney & District Motor Club, organisers of the Cartell.ie Rally of the Lakes have announced details of this year's event which will take place over the May Bank Holiday weekend May 4th to 6th.
Cartell .ie, Irelands leading vehicle history record company continue as title sponsors for the 3rd year, with additional support from the Gleneagle Hotel Group, Ordnance Survey Ireland and the hoteliers and traders of Killarney.
The 33rd Rally of the Lakes will be a counting round of The Irish Tarmac Rally Championship 2012, the Irish Tarmac Historic Rally Championship , the Irish Tarmac Modified Challenge ,
The Windscreen Company Southern 4 Championship and the Citroen Racing Trophy 2012
Clerk of the Course Dermot Healy has decided to run this years rally on the exact same route and timetable which he used in his first year as Clerk of the Course in 2011.
He feels that replicating last years route will not only reduce recce time for competitors who did the event in 2011 but it will also have taken account of the great reaction of competitors who regarded the 2011 format as one of the best ever run by the Killarney Club.
Old favourites like Beallaghbeama, Caragh Lake and Shanera are retained on Saturday with the all time classic loop of Healy Pass, Cods Head, Ardgroom and Killmackillogue featuring on Sunday. Total stage distance is approximately 240 Km.
As is traditional, each day starts with the iconic Molls Gap, which is used twice on Saturday and once on Sunday.
Entry fees have been retained at last years level with the International at EUR 850, National at EUR800.
Historic entry fee is set at EUR600, with Historic cars seeded among the main field and starting on stage 1 on Saturday. Historics miss two stages during Saturday, but complete the entire Sunday route giving them a total of 14 stages.
For an entry fee of EUR350 Juniors get a full days rallying on Sunday over the finest tarmac stages in Europe, no better venue for a future Billy Coleman winner to show his talents.
Centralised service in Killarney on Saturday and in Castletownbere on Sunday continue to be a feature of the event.
A free entry in the 2013 Rally of the Lakes up for grabs for the winners of each category, International, National, Historic and Junior.
Innovations for 2012 include the introduction of Super Rally Rules which will enable competitors who have retired on day 1 to rejoin the event for the second leg and qualify for championship points.
Conscious of the fact that rallying , in common with the general economy is going through tough times the organisers realise that much of the entries in Irish rallies for the foreseeable future will come from clubmen competing in the modified classes.
A number of sponsors have come forward to provide a special prize fund for some of the classes in the National Rally with EUR1000 going to the crew from Classes 9, 10 11 or 12 finishing highest in the overall classification. A further EUR1000 is on offer for the highest finisher from classes 13 or 14. These awards are open to all cars in each group of classes with the exception of Honda Civics for which a separate award of EUR1000 has been provided and which is open to cars in the National and International sections of the rally
These cash awards are in addition to the normal class awards which will be awarded strictly on classification within each class.
The event will start with a ceremonial start in Killarney town centre on Friday evening at 8pm and will finish at the Gleneagle Hotel at approximately 5pm on Sunday after 2 hard days of rallying over some of the worlds greatest tarmac stages.
Exceptional accommodation deals are available at Rally Hq, the Gleneagle Hotel, for crews and followers alike. Bookings and information at 064 663600
Regulations and on-line entries will be available shortly and further information is available at