Killarney Historic Rally’s top Irish Tarmac points scorer, Neil Williams, is back for the championship’s third round, West Cork Rally.
Williams and co-driver Anthony O’Sullivan are West Cork’s top Historic seed after winning the category in Clonakilty three years ago. They will open the road ahead of Alan Ring’s intimidating Subaru Legacy.
“I’m really looking forward to West Cork,” said the Welsh driver. “It is one of the great classic rallies and it is always a pleasure to come back over to do it.
“I missed Galway due to work commitments and some health issues. I didn’t feel great in Killarney so we struggled a bit there.
“Hopefully with another operation due soon, things will get sorted, and I will be able to compete at the level I am used to again.”
After missing Galway, Williams has slipped to fourth in the Historic Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. English rival, Duncan Williams, leads the way ahead of Maurice Meskell and Luke McCarthy.
But Wales’ Ford Escort Mk2 pilot has some good history on the stages around Clonakilty and is hoping that can help his fight for top points.
“I’ve done West Cork a few times since we first came over in 2007,” said Williams.
“We had a great battle with James Stafford and Wesley Paterson for the two-litre modified class, finishing second to Wesley.
“We were leading the class in 2008, eighth overall, but made a mistake on the penultimate stage. That was maybe my best drive, but unfortunately I didn’t make it count.
“I returned to Ireland in 2018 after doing British Historic events and won the 2019 West Cork Historic Rally.
“Hopefully we can finish as high as possible in West Cork this year. We’ll always enjoy the atmosphere and craic in Clonakilty as well.”
Williams has a tough task on his hands to finish ahead of over 20 Historic rivals heading to West Cork. The Historic Rally commences on Saturday’s fifth stage with the battle set to run until Sunday afternoon’s Stage 14 finale.
Photos by Adam Hall