Over €1m Worth Of Rally Cars On Display In Town Centre This Saturday

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Kerry Motor Club’s PJ Dowd with Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council Norma Foley and David Fitzgerald, Operations Manager at The Rose Hotel at the launch of the Circuit of Kerry Rally at The Rose Hotel last month. Photo by Dermot Crean

IN case you didn’t know, Kerry Motor Club are hosting the Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry Rally this Sunday, but on Saturday cars will be on display in the town centre.

Tralee Chamber Alliance and the Club will host a static display of rally cars on the Mall and in the Town Square where up to 20 modern and classic rally cars will go on show from 12.30pm to 5pm on Saturday afternoon.

Members of the club will be on hand to showcase motorsport to the general public and talk about their cars and their passion for the sport.

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Town centre-based business will be involved from music store Hugh Culloty showing rally footage, Minx boutique dressing their window in Rally Racewear and Der O’Sullivan’s delicatessen supplying refreshments to the crews while Kerry Motor Club’s resident DJ Ray Stack will entertain the many spectators expected to attend.

“We are calling it Rally Town, where the cars are the stars,” said Kerry Motor Club organiser Tony McCarthy. “There will be over one-million-euro worth of cars on show.”

The event will kick off with a photoshoot at Tralee Wetlands before the convoy of rally cars (up to 20) will make their way to the town centre.

Cars on display include Mike Quinn’s Subaru Impreza World Rally Car, originally built for 2003 World Rally Champion Petter Solberg and used by the Norwegian during the 2005 season.

Ballyduff driver Mike Dowling will display his early 1970s Ford Escort Mk1, a beautiful example of a 40-year-old car perfectly adapted for modern rallying.

Going the full circle with Blue Oval machinery, Limerick Ford dealer Keith Lyons will demonstrate his Ford Fiesta R5, a four-wheel-drive turbocharged machine that strikes little in mechanical resemblance to its road-going cousins.

One of the most exotic rally cars on display will be a Porsche 911, owned by Mike Buckley of Killarney. Porsche rally cars are a rarity the world over, and this is one of the few in Ireland.

A modern Renault Clio will sit alongside the historic Porsche offering the general public a glimpse on how the sport has evolved over the last four decades.

The Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry has been Kerry Motor Club’s flagship event since 1975.

This year’s rally is a counting round of the locally sponsored Top Part West Coast Rally Championship and the Moriarty’s Centra Kingdom of Kerry Rally Championship.

The rally has attracted over 100 drivers from all over Ireland the UK with one entrant, a Kerry emigrant, returning from New York to compete on the rally.

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