The locals representing us at the FIA World Rallycross event at the Killarney International Raceway this last weekend sure did us proud.
Consisting of two-litre front-wheel drive Rally Class and three-litre rear-wheel drive E36 Cup racers, the cars arrived looking smart for the occasion, at least at the start of the weekend.
Kicking off with six closely contested qualifying races, packed with thrills and spills, the locals showed the world that Rallycross is alive and kicking in our hometown.
In the two-litre class, Shawn Cope in his VW Golf topped the timesheets after the first round of qualifying races on Saturday, a little more than a second ahead of Steve Humble’s Opel Kadett.
However, after two rounds Humble led the points standings with 95 points, 11 ahead of Cope with Abdurgamaan Amlay a close third in a Toyota Conquest. Humble took the third qualifying race on Sunday, but it was Cope who came through to win when it counted, beating Humble by 1.843 seconds.
The E36 Cup Races were even closer with Robby Ferroli holding a lead of just 0.060sec from Zack Groenewald after qualifier one, with Ryan Kat third, 2.631sec in arrears.
The second round of qualifying races, however, saw Groenewald up the stakes with the only sub-50 second lap of the day by a local, to lead on Saturday by 2.2 seconds from Kat and another 2.7 seconds from Riaan Smit.
Groenewald, however, pulled out all the stops in the final to win by an emphatic 6.312 seconds from surprise front-runner Clint Rennard, with Kat less than a second further in arrears.
Zack says: “The competition was strong, with Ryan quicker than me on the Friday. So came the final, and I’m not a guy to ride on my mirror, so I just put my head down and got out of there.”