The seven-time Circuit of Ireland winner and multiple British Rally Champion, Jimmy McRae, has entered the Dromhall Hotel 2003 Killarney Historic Stages Rally. The legendary Scottish driver will pilot a 3-litre Porsche 911 in the Classic category on the Killarney & District Motor Club-organised event, which takes place on Sunday, December 7th.
"We are delighted that Jimmy has decided to compete on the Killarney Historic Stages Rally", said Clerk of the Course, Tim Clifford. "He has always been very popular with Irish rally fans, and his presence will be a major boost to the event."
While McRae spends much of his time nowadays managing the affairs of his famous sons, Colin and Alister, on the World Rally Championship, he still competes regularly himself, and recently finished the 2003 Rally of Great Britain in seventeenth place.
The Scotsman's Porsche will be entered on the Dromhall Hotel Killarney Historic Stages Rally by the Vodka Kick Rally Team, as will those of Dessie Nutt and Steve Perez. Nutt, from Castlerock, Co. Derry, will be attempting to further extend his run of successive victories in the Historic category, having won the previous five events, while Perez, the newly-crowned British Historic Rally Champion, will be one of Nutt's closest challengers. The Derbyshire driver took fourth place in the Historic category last year, on his first attempt at the event.
The KDMC has also received a surprise entry for the 2003 Killarney Historic Stages Rally from Letterkenny's James Cullen. A former winner of the Donegal and Cork '20' International rallies, Cullen will drive a 1600cc Ford Escort on this event, and will compete for honours in the Classic section. He will be navigated by Reba Graham. Cullen finished second on the Rally of the Lakes on three occasions, and is a firm favourite with motorsport fans throughout Ireland.
The route for this year's Killarney Historic Stages Rally has also been confirmed. The event will get underway from Killarney at 8:20am on December 7th. A loop of four stages, Molls Gap, Beallaghbeama, Caragh Lake and Brookhill, will be repeated twice during the day. The ninth and final stage, Coolick, will commence after nightfall, and the winning crews will arrive at the finish ramp at Randles Bros. Nissan in Killarney at 5:45pm.
The RNLI Valentia Lifeboat is the chosen charity to benefit from the 2003 Killarney Historic Stages Rally, and a percentage of each entry fee received from competitors will be contributed to the Lifeboat fund.
The 2003 Killarney Historic Stages Rally will be sponsored by Randles Dromhall Hotel, (which will provide the venue for the Rally Headquarters), Connolly's Red Mills Animal Feeds, EPS Bison Pumps and Killarney Crystal. The event caters for three categories of cars: Historic (Pre - 1968); Post-Historic (1968 - 1974) and Classic (1975 - 1979).
The organisers are urging remaining competitors who wish to enter the event to do so as soon as possible, as the closing date for receipt of entries is Monday, November 24th. Regulations and entry forms for the Dromhall Hotel 2003 Killarney Historic Stages Rally are available from the Event Secretary, Rachel Clifford, [Tel. +353 (0)64 44025 (7pm - 10pm); E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org], or can be downloaded from the rally's website at www.killarneyhistoricrally.com .