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Donnelly Heads Huge Lakes Entry

Reigning Tarmac Champion Eugene Donnelly will lead away the 151 starters in the 2006 Ordnance Survey Killarney International Rally of the Lakes, which takes place over the Bank Holiday weekend of April 28th – May 1st.

Details of the event, now in its 27th year were announced at a reception in the Brehon Hotel Killarney on Sunday April 9th by Minister John O’Donoghue T.D., Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism. In the Minister’s address he said “This International event has some of the most scenic rally stages in Europe such as the world-renowned Moll’s Gap, will be followed with keen interest and enthusiasm by an estimated 60,000 spectators including some 3,000 overseas visitors. Research into the economic benefits of the Rally has shown that it injects more than €20m into the local economy and as such it makes a very significant contribution to tourism in Killarney”.

Over three hundred entries were received for the Rally of the Lakes, which is a counting round of the Pirelli Tarmac Championship, The West Euro Cup and the 023 Tiles Southern Four Championship. The 2005 winners of all three championships are back in Killarney to defend their titles.

Last Years Tarmac Champion, Eugene Donnelly, who has already won the opening round in Galway, will start at No 1 in an effort to secure his second Lakes win and to extend his lead in the Tarmac series. 2005 Lakes winner Andrew Nesbitt will miss the event but we could see the Armagh driver back in action for the Shell Donegal in June. Former winner Derek McGarrity will start at No 2 in his S11 Subaru, followed by the Ford Focus WRC of Eamon Boland, a driver who invariably finishes well in Killarney. Next up is another Subaru in the hands of Tim McNulty, winner of the recent Circuit of Kerry and one of the drivers likely to make a significant impact on the Tarmac scene in the years ahead. Austin MacHale, who first won this event twenty years ago, follows at No 5, in what may well be his last appearance in Killarney, as he is reported to be contemplating retirement at the end of the season, to concentrate on the rallying careers of sons Gareth and Aaron.

Making a welcome return at No 6 is Killarney’s own Donie O’Sullivan whose past record on his home International includes a debut tarmac win for the Prodrive Gp N Impreza, 2nd overall in a Group A Subaru and an accident late in the rally, while holding 2nd overall two years ago. On all those occasions Donie was navigated by Paul Nagle, who is unavailable for the event as he will be in Rally Argentina with Gareth MacHale. Donie drives the McKinstry Motorsport Impreza used by Andrew Nesbitt on the Galway International and will have Limerick man Sean Mullally on the notes.

Peadar Hurson, who was setting some excellent stage times here last year before crashing out on the Cullen stage, is back again this year and starts at No 7 in his Subaru.

2005 Southern Four Champion, Denis Cronin who retired on the first stage of this years 023 Championship opener in West Cork, starts at No 8 and hopes to lay the foundations of a successful defence of his title. Nigel Hicklin, with Killarney man Diarmuid Falvey on notes is listed at No 9 in his Toyota Corolla WRC, while 2006 West Cork Rally winner, Melvyn Evans, in yet another Subaru Impreza WRC round off the top 10.

The top twenty consists entirely of World Rally Cars, making this one of the strongest fields ever assembled for an Irish International.

Last years Group N winner and Group N Tarmac Championship leader Colm Murphy heads the biggest class in the event, with no less than 35 of the best group N cars in the country all lined up to challenge the Limerick driver. Main threat to Murphy’s crown is expected to come from the 2005 Group N Tarmac Champion, Ballinamallard’s Garry Jennings, whose record on the Lakes has to date been unfortunate, but who will have the advantage of being partnered by the very experienced James O’Brien, twice a winner in Killarney with Andrew Nesbitt, and a man with great local knowledge of these stages. Other serious contenders for the Group N win will be Alan Ring in his new Subaru N12, Seamus Leonard (Mitsubishi Evo 9), Kevin Kelleher (Evo 9), Roy White (Evo 9), Willie Fannin (Subaru) and Killarney man Kevin O’Donoghue (Evo 9).

Guy Woodcock (Ford Escort maxi), from Flintshire in North Wales, starts his quest for a third successive West Euro Cup at No 38, with his opposition in a A7 class coming from Durham’s Geoff Wright in a Nissan Almera and a trio of Killarney drivers, David Randles (Nissan Almera), Jimmy White (Ford Focus) and Kieran Marshall (Honda Civic R).

Phil Collins, winner of the National section in the Rally of the Lakes in 2005 returns to Killarney, none the worse of a roll on the recent west Cork Rally. The Hereford driver, who has been a regular on the Rally of the Lakes since its earliest years can expect to have a battle on his hands from Tony Davies (Metro 6R4), Tom Randles (Toyota Celica ST205) and Wesley Patterson (Ford Escort).

Local crew of Todd Falvey and Dan Barry head the 30 strong Historic entries, having won last years event in their Stanley Cookers/Mulvihill Media sponsored Porsche 911. Historics will join the rally after five stages and will compete over all the remaining stages of the event.

The very successful Junior section, which was pioneered by the Killarney club to celebrate the 25th Rally of the Lakes in 2004, has attracted a full entry of 40 crews, who will compete over the final four stages of the rally. The winner of the Junior section will receive the Gerard Horgan Memorial Trophy, named in memory of the late Gerard Horgan, who was Deputy Clerk of the Course for the Rally of the Lakes for almost twenty years, before his death in late 2004. Junior sections are now a feature of most Irish Rallies but few if any have the same attraction for young drivers as the chance to compete over the most famous tarmac stages in Europe such as Molls Gap, Beallaghbeama and Caragh Lake.

Ordnance Survey Ireland continues as title sponsors of the Rally of the Lakes, making this their ninth year of association with Killarney and District Motor Clubs premier event. Additional support comes from the Gleneagle Hotel, Esso, Killarney Vintners and Traders and Failte Ireland.
 

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Originally posted by RS1800
Is Stephen Murphy doin the Lakes in Redmond's S11?


Yes he is.
Does anyone know when the entries will be released for the lakes considering the top 10 was released about a week ago and there have been press releases talking about the great entry received and listing out other guys competing. The suspense is killing me
 

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Martin Costello
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APPARENTLY HE S NOT GOOD ENOUGH WITH NO REAL PREVIOUS FORM TO GO ON IN KILLARNEY
 

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Hi All,

There should be enough people on the forum to fill in the rest of the Entry list.
:springer:

Copy and paste the list and fill in what blanks you know......
?? = Not 100% Sure

18 Gareth Jones ??

20 Eddie Garry ??
21 Phil Collins ???

23 Colm Murphy
24 Garry Jennings
25 Alan Ring :whistle:

32 Willie Fannin

35 James O'Sullivan

42 John Hickey

49 WJ Dolan
50 Walter Walsh
 

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g jones crashed out last year suppose thats y he isn't in the top ten is he envolved in any actual championship or does he do it for fun

[Edited on 18-4-2006 by sub555]
 

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Formerly PJ RS1800
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Anybody know of anyone from the 153 published that's definately NOT doing the event.....we're 9th on reserve and I'm getting anxious!!!!
 
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