Preparations for the 40th running of the International Rally of the Lakes are well under way. Never satisfied with repeating what has gone before, Clerk of the Course Dermot Healy and his team are marking this impressive milestone with many new additions to the event.

One such addition is the introduction of a pre-1990 section. The brainchild of Dermot Healy, this new and innovative section will bring a fresh dimension to the event. Confident that it will appeal to a greater audience, the event has elected to give the section its own title – Lakes RallyFest Ireland. Dermot explains the thinking behind Lakes RallyFest Ireland: ‘The rallying years leading up to 1990 included the “golden age” of rallying. Many of these iconic rally cars are alive and well, but many remain out of view from the Irish rally fan.’

The evolution of the rally car through that pre-1990 period shaped the sport we see today. The short-lived Group B era and the birth of Group A spawned some of the most iconic rally cars of a generation and made superstars of the men and women who drove them. This era has a place in the hearts of every rally fan. Many of these iconic cars are still in frequent competitive use today in international events abroad. Ironically many of them are in Irish ownership, but with no regulations allowing participation on Irish soil they remain garaged away from the public eye.

Eager to attract Irish and overseas crews alike to participate in Irish events, Dermot, working closely with Motorsport Ireland (the Irish motorsport governing body), set about formulating pre-1990 regulations to allow these cars to participate on Irish stages. ‘We are delighted for the first time in Ireland to be able to invite both Irish and International crews to debut their iconic rally cars on our legendary Irish stages, and offer fans an added spectating dimension to the event,’ Dermot says. ‘Irish along with international crews will offer a real international feel to this relaxed and fun section of the event.’

Rally fans will get a unique opportunity to see these iconic cars transverse over Ireland’s legendary rally stages this May Bank Holiday weekend. The prospect of spectating on the Healy Pass or Moll’s Gap will leave lasting memories for crews and fans alike. Limited to fifty crews, they will participate in the Rally of the Lakes untimed. 160 competitive kilometres await the Lakes RallyFest crews over two days, offering fans ample opportunity to see the crews exhibit their cars, many in original livery.

The main event again this year is a round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship and the Southern 4 Championship. The event promises to attract leading crews from both the International and National scene seeking the challenges that the Killarney-based event has to offer. This year’s event consists of 240 competitive kilometres, run over some of Ireland’s classic stages, as well as some new sections. ‘The combination of the classics with a twist and the new additions will be a welcome challenge for all competitors,’ Dermot says. ‘Keeping the event fresh is what we strive to achieve.’

Full updates of the event are available on Killarney is the place to be this May Bank holiday weekend!


Any further information please contact: Dermot Healy +353 (0)87 257 4766

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