Barry honours late and missed Paudie Casey's memory by competing on Donegal Hillclimb
Kerry Motor Club member Pat Barry competed on the Donegal Hillclimb over the weekend as a tribute to his friend, the late Paudie Casey.
Paudie, a popular member of the club, died in June this year after becoming ill in Letterkenny on the Monday morning after the Donegal International Rally. It was his lifetime ambition to tackle the famous Knockalla Stage in the northwest's biggest motorsport event. Knockalla is considered the queen stage of the Donegal Rally in much the same way as Moll's Gap is the most revered stretch of tarmac in Kerry rallying.
Donegal Motor Club use the venue twice each year, during the international rally each summer and again as a counting round of the Motorsport Ireland Hillclimb Championship in early autumn.
Barry, from Lisselton, another long-serving member of Kerry Motor Club, was prompted to tackle the hillclimb event as a tribute to Paudie who is sorely missed in rallying circles throughout the county. He drove his Ford Sierra Saphire Cosworth on the event to mark a rare non-rally outing for the North Kerry man.
Several other members including club secretary Stephen O'Connell and rally driver Mike Kenny, both who were close friends of Paudie, made the trip to Donegal too.
Noel O'Sullivan Jr scored his first major rally victory when he guided Sam Moffatt to the win on Sunday's Triton Showers National Championship counting Sligo Stages.
It was the second time the Killarney/Monaghan crew worked together after finishing fourth on the Rally of the Lakes in May. The Ford Fiesta R5 crew is expected to work together again on the Cork "20" in Macroom at the end of the month. The final round of the Irish Tarmac Series was launched on Friday night. This year's route will feature stages just over the County Bounds making it another relatively local rally for Kerry competitors and fans.
Kerry Motor Club crews: Mike Quinn/Tony Healy, Sean Enright/Kevin Doherty and Ger O'Brien/John Liston all made the finish in Sligo. The trio is chasing Top Part West Coast Championship honours in their Escorts. The points tally had not been finalised at the time of going to press but it looks increasingly likely that Kerry Motor Club could lock-out the podium in this popular regional series with all three crews now in strong positions to take the first three overall awards. The next and final round is the Clare Stages in little over a week's time. There will be full preview in next week's The Kerryman when the championship standings will have been released.
Damien Fleming was the top Kerry co-driver on Saturday's Lakeland Rally in Enniskillen. He guided Limerick's Stephen Bawn to 29th overall in their Escort. Sean Nolan was one place behind alongside Seamus Goodfellow in a Subaru Impreza World Rally Car.