Frank Kelly has revealed his intentions to rally predominantly in Ireland throughout 2022. The popular Ford Escort Mk2 driver confirmed on Krunching Gears’ latest podcast that he won’t rally outside Ireland until later in the year.
This weekend’s West Cork Rally is set to be Kelly’s first asphalt rally in Ireland since 2019. With daughter Lauren continuing as Kelly’s co-driver, it will be her first time competing in West Cork.
“Lauren is going to do all the rallies with me this year,” Kelly explained. “As a family we sat down and talked about what we would do this season.
“We made a very conscious decision to stay at home for the first two-thirds of this year.
“We had a couple of offers to go abroad. But with rallying kicking off here again and everybody trying to get into some way of normality, we thought we would stay at home and do as many rallies as we can.
“I think we have 11 or 12 rallies on the calendar so far; if all goes well and I don’t make a mess of anything.
“West Cork was the natural first dip into tarmac to get back in there and sample the madness.”
Kelly has seven West Cork Rally starts to his name and is hoping to break a run of five retirements tracing back to 2014. The man from Moy finished sixth overall in 2009 and 2013.
Like many, he’s just looking forward to getting down and enjoying the event which takes place in and around Clonakilty.
“West Cork is one of those places that you keep coming back expecting to have as good a time as you had the first time. It never disappoints.
“There is a great welcome down in West Cork, there is a great club, and they put in an awful effort to make it a competitor friendly event.”
Listen to Kelly’s full interview with Krunching Gears’ Kevin Glendinning here. The podcast will be released on Wednesday 16th March.
Photos by Adam Hall