Kerry Motor Club has released details of its Rose Hotel Circuit of Kerry rally with significant route changes in store for the April 8 event.
As a counting round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship and the Top Part West Coast Championship the Tralee-based club wanted to showcase some of the county’s best mountain and coastal roads – including using sections of the fabled Wild Atlantic Way – for its flagship event.
Roads in West Kerry that have not been used in seven years form the backbone of the rally, with the addition of another valley stage that has not been used since the late 1990s.
A unique rolling loop system means some of the stages will be visited two or three times, as a result competitors will face 11 special stages, a record number of tests for national rallies in recent years.
In total the route will comprise of 110kms of timed stages over classic and demanding Dingle Peninsula roads
One of the unique selling points of this popular rally is the Rose Hotel itself. The home of the internationally renowned Rose of Tralee International festival is regarded as one of the best rally headquarters in the country.
Its superb facilities ensure that signing-on, drivers’ briefing, and marshal hosting can all take place under one roof while the complex’s extensive car park allows the service park and overnight parc ferme to be situated on the hotel grounds and within walking distance of all other activities.
Clerk of course Richard Talbot said: “A warm welcome awaits competitors and rally fans in Tralee on the weekend of April 7 and 8. We are offering 11 stages, yes 11 stages of classic west Kerry roads in a compact route that will be easy for competitors to recce. We pride ourselves in having the best headquarters in the country with accommodation packages to suit all budgets.”
The rally is round two of the Triton Showers National Rally championship under the directorship of Kerry Motor Club member Kevin Barret who will contest the rally in his Subaru Impreza World Rally Car.
It is also round two of the Top Part West Coast Rally Championship, an agreement that goes back to 1993, the longest running motorsport championship sponsorship agreement in Ireland. Top Part is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year after opening its first store in Tralee in 1978. Company founder Donie Dillane is a long-time supporter of Kerry Motor Club and is a former Circuit of Kerry competitor.
Entry forms and event regulations will be released as soon as Motorsport Ireland officials approve them, and the club will offer online entry and electronic payment options to competitors.
Photo: Kerry Motor Club member Kevin Barrett on last year’s event with Kerry’s famed scenery as a backdrop; credit Rally Through A Lens