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Billy Coleman award winner Eamonn Kelly among nine Irish competitors abroad this weekend 

The Motorsport Ireland flag will be flown at three different European rallies this weekend.

Irish competitors are contesting events in Croatia, Belgium, and Portugal.

Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy members Eamonn Kelly and Conor Mohan have entered the Quattro River Rally, a round of the Croatian National Rally Championship in preparation for the second round of the Junior World Rally Championship in the same country in April.

Also on the entry list is British driver Gus Greensmith. He is reunited with his Irish co-driver Chris Patterson for the 12-stage rally which gets underway Saturday afternoon.

Some of the roads that will be used in the rally are identical to the stages on offer in Rally Croatia giving the Irish competitors a unique insight into what to expect next month.

“We found out about this rally in Sweden, a local guy recommended it,” said Billy Coleman Award winner Kelly.

“Paul Nagle told us that the grip levels and stage characteristics are nothing like Ireland, so it is great to get mileage on Croatian tarmac. We found out that three of the stages are identical to the WRC event so it is an accurate experience as you can get. Huge thanks to the Rally Academy for all the support and advice.”

The Rallye des Ardennes starts on Saturday morning and there will be two Motorsport Ireland crews on the start list.

Racing driver Michael Cullen will drive the same BMW M3 he debuted on the Killarney Historic Rally. He will be co-driven by Sean Hasset who is better known as Craig Breen’s social media officer on World Rally Championship events.

Donagh Kelly (Eamonn’s father) and Kevin Flanagan will drive a similar machine in the 12-stage Belgium Rally Championship event.

Meanwhile, in Portugal Breen and his co-driver James Fulton resume their Portuguese Rally Championship campaign on Rallye Casinos do Algarve. The rally starts on Friday night with a town centre Super Special ahead of eight gravel stages on Saturday.

The Hyundai i20 Rally2 crew lead the Portuguese Rally Championship after the opening round in Fafe in March.



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