Kerry: T&D Rallying preview

RAndles to start National Campaign in Dingle The Dingle-based Circuit of Kerry Rally, on April 7th, will see Tom Randles, and his co-driver, Diarmuid Lynch, kick-off their 2002 Dunlop National Rally Championship campaign. They plan to enter all...

RAndles to start National Campaign in Dingle

The Dingle-based Circuit of Kerry Rally, on April 7th, will see Tom Randles, and his co-driver, Diarmuid Lynch, kick-off their 2002 Dunlop National Rally Championship campaign. They plan to enter all the remaining rounds of the National series, as well as the Ordnance Survey/Gleneagle Hotel Rally of the Lakes.

Competing together since 1996, Tom and Diarmuid have previously entered occasional National Championship events, but have never tackled the entire series. They have regularly recorded impressive results, including a class win on the 1998 Manx Trophy Rally, second overall on the 1999 Killarney Classic Rally, and top five places on the 2001 Wexford and Kerry Single Stage Rallies.

The South Kerry pairing will once again compete with their familiar, dayglo painted Ford Escort RS. "Our main target on the National events will be to accumulate points to win our class in the Championship," says Tom. "It would be nice to finish in the overall top ten on the individual rallies, but it will not be easy with so many new four wheel drive cars out there." The Ford Escort RS, as dedicated rally followers will know, is rear wheel drive, having originally been designed in the mid-1970s.

One round of the National Championship has already taken place, in Mayo. "We couldn't make the first round, because I had a long-standing family commitment that weekend," explains Tom. "However, we've added the Rally of the Lakes to the programme, so we will still be doing ten events this year." The Rally of the Lakes which is organised by the Killarney & District Motor Club, (of which both Tom and Diarmuid are members), is part of the Tarmac Championship for international rallies.

As well as planning for the season ahead, Diarmuid has been weighing up the competition: "The Escort will run in class 14 on the National rounds, or class 12 on the Rally of the Lakes, and our main opposition will come from the likes of Denis Cronin and Michael McArdle in BMW M3s, and other Escort drivers such as Alan Nesbitt and Douglas Richardson. Denis especially, is very quick, he will be hard to beat."

The crew's Escort RS, or 'Mark 2' as it is more commonly referred to, will be sponsored in 2002 by Dyno-Rod, Advanced Biotech, Plumbfast Direct, Heatmerchants, Firebird Boilers and CRL Oil.

Nine rounds remain in the Dunlop National Rally Championship, including the Circuit of Kerry. The series visits Monaghan, Carlow, Cavan, Waterford, Sligo, Clonmel and Ennis before concluding in Skibbereen in October.

-t&dr-

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