Legendary Hirvonen set to take part in West Cork Rally

Launching the Clonakilty Park Lodge West Cork Rally on the resort closing Friday night time had been – from left – Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan, Clonakilty Chamber of Trade; Greg McCarthy, clerk of the route; Cllr Paul Hayes, deputy Mayor of the County of Cork, and David Henry, Clonakilty Park Lodge.

BY MARTIN WALSH

 

FORMER International Rally superstar Mikko Hirvonen will likely be one of the crucial one of the crucial primary sights for subsequent month’s Clonakilty Park Lodge West Cork Rally.

The participation of the Finnish motive force, winner of 15 WRC occasions, was once introduced on the release on the Clonakilty Park Lodge, headquarters of the development and name sponsor for the previous 13 years.

Hirvonen helped Ford to producers’ titles in each the 2006 and 2007 International Rally Championship and was once runner-up within the WRC 4 occasions at the back of Sebastian Loeb. He retired from the International Rally Championship scene in 2014.

Hirvonen will power a Mk 2 Ford Escort for the development, which takes position on March 16th and 17th. This 12 months, for the primary time, the West Cork Rally will shape a part of the British Rally Championship and in addition continues as a counting spherical of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

On the reception, it was once additionally introduced that The Southern Big name is a media spouse of the West Cork Rally. The rally’s BRC standing was once a key part of the release that was once attended through political and wearing dignitaries.

There will likely be 4 levels at the Saturday, every repeated two times with a brief 2km degree on Saturday night just about Clonakilty the city. Sunday’s itinerary is a loop of 3 levels, repeated two times.

All through the weekend, the provider park is on the Teagasc Agricultural School complicated in Darrara. The rally end is at Emmet Sq..

The West Cork Rally was once first held in 1977, when it was once received through rally legend Billy Coleman (Ford Escort). The primary West Cork motive force to win the development was once Dunmanway-born Donal O’Donovan, who, together with his co-driver Pat Lordan, received the development in a Ford Sierra in 1998.   

Different native winners incorporated Ballylickey’s Denis Cronin (Subaru WRC) in 2005 when he was once co-driven through Helen O’Sullivan. In 2009, Dunmanway’s Liam McCarthy and co-driver Kieran Murphy took their Toyota Corolla WRC to a well-liked victory.

This 12 months, Ballylickey’s Daniel Cronin (Ford Fiesta R5) – a brother of four-time British rally champion Keith, will spearhead the native problem that are supposed to additionally come with the Skoda Fabia S2000 duo of Dunmanway’s David Visitor and Kilcrohane’s Jer O’Donovan.

Donegal’s Donagh Kelly (Ford Focal point WRC) has received the rally for the closing 5 years. 

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