Tiles Southern 4 Championship 2005 preview

This weekend's Quality Hotel West Cork rally again marks the opening round of the 023 Tiles Southern 4 Championship. Last year's championship saw 11 drivers in with a chance of glory heading into the final round. Most of those drivers have...

This weekend's Quality Hotel West Cork rally again marks the opening round of the 023 Tiles Southern 4 Championship. Last year's championship saw 11 drivers in with a chance of glory heading into the final round. Most of those drivers have committed again to the 2005 championship including current champion Liam McCarthy, and defending West Cork winner Donie O'Sullivan. Liam became the first double champion in 2004 and will be keen to make it 3 in row this year.

023 Tiles are back on board as title sponsors, the fourth year that James O'Sullivan has supported the championship. The support from 023 Tiles has helped raise the profile of the championship, with some of the best drivers from Ireland and the UK competing in the series. CMV Productions will again be filming on all rounds of the championship, with TV coverage on the Sky Digital Platform already confirmed for the opening round.

The championship will again be open to all classes and use the Motorsport Ireland class structure with additional classes for the Historic Competitors.

The organisers are delighted to welcome back the same 5 rounds as last year, with an additional round for the historic competitors. Opening the championship is the Quality Hotel West Cork Rally, followed by the Rally of the Lakes on the May Bank Holiday weekend. Last year, the Raven's Rock Rally joined the championship, and Ann Fitzgerald and all in Carrick-on-Suir Motorclub will host the 3rd round again in 2005. The 4th round is the Cork 20 International Rally Round, with the Fastnet the final round for the "main field".

The 023 Tiles Historic Championship has a few changes for 2005.

As well as an overall championship for the highest placed historic or post historic car, there will be four new classes,

- up to 1650cc historic

- over 1650cc historic

- up to 1650cc post historic

- over 1650cc post historic

The Historic cars will also compete on an extra round, the Killarney Historic Stages Rally in December.

The 023 Tiles Southern 4 Historic Championship will be run in association with the Irish Historic and Classic Car Association (IHCCA).

The 2004 Championship saw some huge battles, more over the 1600 class. The award is open to all cars up the 1650cc, both homologated and modified. Such was the pace for this award on last year's championship; Wesley Daly topped the 2WD awards in his 1600 Escort. Daly, along with 1600 award winner, Patrick Corcoran will be taking part in the championship again this year, and will also have the likes of Kenny O'Neill in his Ford Puma and Domonic Naughton in the Peugeot 106 taking part.

Championship sponsor and Group N award winner James O Sullivan, will have to content with drivers such as Kevin O'Donoughue and Gabriel Martin in the defence of his title. With Alan Ring and Willie Fannin expected to join the championship from Killarney it is expected to be another hotly contested class.

Championship Rounds

Mar 19/20 - West Cork Rally

Apr 30 - May 1 - Killarney International Rally of the Lakes

Jun 26 - Carrick on Suir Raven's Rock Stages Rally

Oct 1/2 - Cork '20 International Rally

Oct 30 - Skibbereen Fastnet Stages Rally

Dec 3/4 - Killarney Historic Stages Rally (Historic Classes Only)

-ts4c-

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Series Other rally
Drivers Alan Ring