Craig Breen and Paul Nagle will return to the scene of one of their most-famous victories at next weekend’s Ypres Rally Belgium.
The rally has been promoted into the World Rally Championship’s schedule for the first time this year.
The Waterford/Killarney crew will drive a third Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in the three-day event that gets underway on Friday afternoon (August 13).
The last time the rally ran, as a Belgian Rally Championship round in 2019, the Irish team ran out convincing winners in a privately entered Volkswagen Polo. It was Nagle’s second win in one of the biggest rallies in Europe. He previously guided Kris Meeke to victory there in 2009.
Championship rules dictate that they will run eighth on the road, their current World Championship standing’s position.
However, their road position will not carry the same advantage on the asphalt roads of Belgium as it would on gravel.
The leading cars will cut corners and drag earth and dust on to the racing line. If it rains during the event, these corners will very quickly turn to mud.
“You can add two seconds a kilometre to a stage time in the wet,” said Nagle.
This is their fourth World Rally Championship outing of the year. They were second in Estonia last month, eighth in Croatia in April, and fourth in the Arctic Rally Finland in February.
Colin O’Donoghue makes rallying history in Belgium
Colin O’Donoghue drove himself into the record books at the weekend as he became the first son of a winning rally driver and Killarney and District Motor Club (KDMC) member to win an event. Colin scored the biggest win of his career after he and his co-driver Kieran O’Donoghue won the Escort Rally Special in […]
Colin O’Donoghue drove himself into the record books at the weekend as he became the first son of a winning rally driver and Killarney and District Motor Club (KDMC) member to win an event.
Colin scored the biggest win of his career after he and his co-driver Kieran O’Donoghue won the Escort Rally Special in Belgium on Sunday.
It was the first overseas event, as a driver, for the former winner of the modified section of the Killarney Historic Rally.
His father Kevin won the Kerry Winter Rally in 2006 making the O’Donoghues the first father and son from KDMC to win events outright.
Colin and several other Irish drivers decided to enter the rally, based at the famous Chimay motor-racing circuit near the French border, due to uncertainty on the resumption of the sport in Ireland.
“It was a class experience,” said Colin. “I will have to go back and defend the title. It was a lot more-bumpier than I expected, the roads were very like roads on the Galway Summer Rally.”
His run was not without problems, a broken gear selector, a readout board fell off and landed near the peddles, and a broken right rear shock absorber were just some of his tribulations.
Field results were confusing too and with two stages left to run he wasn’t sure if it was himself or Belgian rival Pieter-Jan Maeyaert who was leading the event.
“One website said he was leading, another said we had 22 seconds advantage with just one stage to run, the results were slow uploading,” added Colin. “We went into the last two stages, and went as hard as we could, even with the broken shock and came out 28 seconds up.”
He was co-driven by Kieran O’Donoghue, the Glenflesk man is no relation, but is well-known for his skills behind the wheel of a Honda Civic on local Junior rallies.
Triple treat for car lovers this weekend
Killarney car fans are in for a triple treat this weekend with three different events to look forward to over two days. Tomorrow (Saturday), Cannonball will blast through the town. Over one hundred supercars, ranging from firm favourites like McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls Royce and Bentley are expected to take part […]
Killarney car fans are in for a triple treat this weekend with three different events to look forward to over two days.
Tomorrow (Saturday), Cannonball will blast through the town.
Over one hundred supercars, ranging from firm favourites like McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls Royce and Bentley are expected to take part while raising funds for the HOPE Foundation.
The cars will leave Kenmare at around 11.30am and will travel via Moll’s Gap to Killarney and onwards to Farranfore and Tralee.
“The cars will not be stopping in towns this year to avoid gatherings,” said an event spokesperson, but the Killarney Advertiser understands that the high-powered convoy will be stopping in Tralee for a lunch halt before making their way to Tarbert and the Shannon Ferry.
On Sunday, and as revealed by the Killarney Advertiser last week, the Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club will host its annual classic motorshow at the racecourse from 11am. This event will raise funds for St Francis’s Special School in Beaufort.
Cars n’Coffee Killarney will join the vintage club on Sunday. After a successful 2019 season at KC Print, Cars n’Coffee is looking for a new home in Killarney, and Sunday’s collaboration with the vintage club could pave the way for further events at the racecourse.
“Having events of this quality in Killarney shows that the town could soon become the car culture capital of Ireland,” said Cars n’Coffee organiser Ger Neeson.
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