Wexford Stages Rally has released its entry list for the much anticipated south-east event. As well as the regular front-end challengers, Craig Breen and Paul Nagle are a surprise addition albeit in the reserve list.
2019 rally winner James Stafford leads the 140-car field in his Darrian T90. Although seeded first, Stafford’s rear-wheel-drive Darrian is unlikely to match the pace of Josh Moffett, Meirion Evans, and Daniel Cronin behind.
The three R5 drivers finished in Cork 20’s top five, four weeks ago. Evans’ Volkswagen Polo R5 was only beaten by Callum Devine that time around and will be gunning for his maiden Irish win in Wexford.
Enda O’Brien, Steve Wood, Paul Barrett, and David Condell complete the R5 and World Rally Car entries inside the top ten. Stuart Darcy is another top four-wheel-drive entry in his S2500 Proton.
Gary Kiernan has been getting back up to speed in his Ford Escort Mk2 on the Cork 20 and Donegal Harvest rallies. He’ll be hoping his upward trend of results, from third in Class 14 in Cork to second in Donegal, can continue in Wexford. Although the Cavan driver will know he’ll have to be at his very best to beat Stafford in his backyard.
Richard Moore, Pat Donegan, and Ed O’Callaghan are also in the Class 14 mix along with Welsh drivers Tomas Davies and Adrian Evans.
It is really noticeable how many Welsh crews plan to tackle Sunday’s Wexford Stages Rally. In fact, organisers ensured preference was given to previous Wexford Stages competitors and club members. A system that meant each clubman got a slot on the oversubscribed entry.
Alan Ring’s immaculate Subaru Legacy, seeded at number thirty, is a special car to look out for on the closed-road event. The Legacy is the latest car to have been restored by Prodrive Legends. The Group A car ”K555 BAT” was originally driven by Ari Vatanen on the 1993 Acropolis Rally.
Jack Brunton’s Honda Civic leads a five-car Junior field while Casey Jay Coleman and Aoife Raftery exhibit R2 and Rally4 Fiestas.
Breen and Nagle stand out in the reserve list with details of their car yet to be revealed. Jason Mitchell and David Kelly would be welcome additions to the Rally2/R5 battle if they find a space in the main field.
Similarly, David Moffett, Mickey Conlon, and John Warren would certainly spice the modified mix up if numbers drop out ahead of Sunday.
Wexford Motor Club will run two stages three times to complete the six-stage rally. The 10-kilometre “The Leap” stage will kick off the Wexford Stages Rally before crews face the 14-kilometre “Donard” test.
Photos courtesy of Hyundai Motorsport and Barronpix