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Austrian hills ready for the sound of rally cars

An interesting mix of some of Ireland’s most experienced co-drivers and rising stars will tackle this weekend’s Rallye Weiz in Austria.

Getting underway on Friday, the two-day rally is the second event in the FIA’s future rally programme Rally Star.

Two of Ireland’s emerging co-driving stars Lorcan Moore and Ronan Comeford have been selected to partner international drivers in the six-round series.

Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy Ronan Comerford from County Armagh is co-driving Abdullah Al Tawqi (Oman) and Mayo’s Lorcan Moore has been selected to call the notes for Max Smart (South Africa).

On offer, at the end of the season, is a fully funded drive in the 2024 FIA Junior World Rally Championship and for Comeford and Moore the chance to showcase their skills in front of a watching global audience.

“I am looking forward to experiencing some European tar again as I have seen what it’s like in Belgium, but Austria will be interesting,” said Comerford

“Of course, taking our experience so far to this rally, our goal is to finish and get as much as possible under our belt. I have completed a full weekend of pacenote training so we will carry that knowledge forward to the rally and again aim for the final control while enhancing our performances”

“For sure it’s good to be back and working with the team again as I continue to push myself to achieve the best possible outcome.”

Moore added: “Looking forward to it, we are expecting to finish. This is Max’s first tarmac rally and second-ever rally. The stages look class.”

The Academy members will compete in the modern section of the rally in M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally 3 cars.

However, the rally also has a historic section two of very experienced co-drivers Cork’s James O’Brien and Dublin-based Andy Bull are entered in this category.

They are both competing in very unusual rally cars.

O’Brien will co-drive for James Calvert in a Volkswagen Bettle 1300s while Bull is alongside Andrew McAlpine in a Ferrari 308 Michelotto.

The rally gets underway on Friday afternoon with a loop of five stages near the Eastern Austrian city of Weiz after which all tarmac rally is named.

The rally concludes with eight tests on Saturday.

Text: Sean Moriarty



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