ONE OF the highlights of the motoring calendar, the Killarney Historic Rally was launched on Sunday at The Gleneagle Hotel and, with just over two weeks to go until the engines start revving, the excitement is already building.
Founded in 1996 by Maurice Nagle, The Killarney Historic Stages Rally is the only rally in the country devoted solely to historic, pre-historic (and we don't mean dinosaurs here!) and classic cars. There is also a section for modified cars.
Clerk of the Course Kevin Flannery says that although numbers in the rally fluctuated for a number of years after the recession hit, they are now looking as strong as ever, "When it first started off in 1996 the rally had in and around 100 cars.
"But during the boom years we couldn't cope for the demand. We had to turn people away such was the popularity."
"We are the last rally of the year so many people have a low budget coming into it. However, the last few years our numbers have been growing again since the economic collapse and we already have about half of the places filled for this year," he added.
One of the big draws to the Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Stages Rally is the magnificent scenery and challenging roads the rally is set on. This was acknowledged in 2004 when they received the International Stage Rally of the Year Award.
This year's event is set to be hotly contested by the old favourites Englishman Phil Collins, Wesley Patterson from Co Antrim and local man Fergus O'Meara all in the mix.
However, when the lights go green on Saturday, December 7, it's anyone's game.