Given the number of Wexford competitors in Rallies (and rally sprints) across the country and beyond, Wexford Motor Club will be publishing a monthly round up to acknowledge these competitors and their achievements. In our first round up, we are taking a look back at November 2021. While there were not many events, we still had plenty of competitors out on the stages.
First up was the Kerry Winter stages rally in Banna. Top Wexford seed was Conor Moore, with Ella Ryan navigating, in his newly acquired Mitsubishi Lancer R4. Conor’s second event in the car started well, running 19th overall after stage 1. Unfortunately, a small off road excursion put him out of the rally on stage 5. Further down the list, John and Andy Hayes had a trouble free run, bringing their Civic R3 home in 53rd overall and first in class. Owen Cardiff and Dermot Roche’s run of bad luck continued. After engine issues forced them to retire before the start of the Wexford rally, the gremlins returned in Banna. The pair were forced to retire after stage 3. Despite being seeded 30th car on the reserve list, the pair made the long journey to Banna and only got a confirmed entry at 4pm the day before the rally. A proper show of dedication from the pair!
Next up was the Killarney Historic Rally. Top Wexford seed was the highly experienced navigator, John McGrath from Bunclody, sitting in with rapid Mk2 man, Ryan Loughran. Using the top spec 2.5 Escort Mk2 of Richard Moore, another Wexford man, the pair were primed for a big run. Unfortunately, after finishing the first stage an impressive 6th overall, slipping off the road on stage 2 meant retirement and rally 2 for the pair, eventually finishing 73rd. Unfinished business here for sure.
Top Wexford driver on the day was James Bradley navigated by dedicated Rally man, David Byrne. The pair had a great run, finishing 18th overall, and 4th in class. A fantastic result from the pair given the quality of entry. New Ross man John Boland had a fine result in his Mk2 beating his seeding by 60 places and making steady progress though the field all day. New Ross man, Pat Caulfield had a great run navigating for John Newman in the spectacular BMW M3. A few places further back, Liam Fitzgerald navigated John Barry to 3rd in class. The pair drove a smart rally in their unmistakable Mini, gaining the finish that many others missed out on. Richard Cleary and Niamh Holland were having their first start together in Killarney. Richie has started many times as a navigator but the first time driving dream was ended early with mechanical trouble on stage 1, Molls gap. Andy Hayes also navigated Darragh O Riordan who retired to Rally2 after a small fuse box fire.