UK: Ireland Rally of the Lakes preview

Ordnance Survey Ireland Rally of the Lakes 2004 - May 1st & 2nd Round 3 - Pirelli Irish Tarmac Rally Championship Round 2 - West Euro Cup Round 2 - 023 Tiles Southern Four Rally Championship Round 1 - Irish Ford Focus Rally Championship Round 3 -...

Ordnance Survey Ireland Rally of the Lakes 2004 - May 1st & 2nd
Round 3 - Pirelli Irish Tarmac Rally Championship
Round 2 - West Euro Cup
Round 2 - 023 Tiles Southern Four Rally Championship
Round 1 - Irish Ford Focus Rally Championship
Round 3 - Pirelli Historic Tarmac Rally Championship

Mitsubishi and Peugeot World Rally Cars To Debut On Killarney Rally

The Ordnance Survey Ireland Rally of the Lakes 2004 will see the first Irish appearance of World Rally Cars from Mitsubishi and Peugeot. Long-time Pirelli Irish Tarmac Rally Championship contender, Eamonn Boland, is to drive a Mitsubishi Lancer WRC2 in the Killarney-based event, while George Tracey will give the Peugeot 206WRC its long-awaited Irish debut. The addition of these two machines to the entry is sure to further heighten interest in the rally, which is already set to attract 70,000 people to the south-west of Ireland.

Boland has taken the Irish rallying fraternity by surprise with the news that he is to switch to Mitsubishi. The Wexford driver, who took his first International victory on the Cork '20' International Rally last October, has exclusively driven Subaru products in recent times, and previously used Fords for many years.

The Lancer, which is currently being converted to right-hand drive at Dom Buckley Motor Sport in Scotland, is identical to the version campaigned by Mitsubishi Motors Ralliart team drivers, Francois Delecour, Alister McRae and Jani Passonen during the latter part of the 2002 World Rally Championship.

Boland will be guided by his regular co-driver, Damien Morrissey, on the Rally of the Lakes.

The news that George Tracey is to drive the Peugeot 206WRC was also unexpected. Although Tracey is a vastly experienced competitor in rallying, circuit racing and rallycross, his move to the ranks of the World Rally Car drivers was not anticipated. In the past few years, he has piloted Group N and Historic cars, and is a regular competitor in the Killarney Historic Stages Rally each December. He will be navigated on this occasion by local man, Jakes Kelly.

The 206WRC in question is an ex-works example, most recently used by Kronos Team drivers, Bruno Thiry and Freddy Loix, in the Belgian Rally Championship.

The arrival of the 206WRC and the Lancer WRC2 adds further variety to the Pirelli Tarmac Championship, which has already seen an influx of new cars over the past couple of years. Ford, Hyundai, Subaru and Toyota are already represented at the top levels of Irish rallying, and as of the May Bank Holiday Weekend and the Ordnance Survey Ireland Rally of the Lakes, Mitsubishi and Peugeot will also join the fray.

-osi-

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Series Other rally
Drivers Freddy Loix , François Delecour , Alister McRae