Mayo Co-drivers head for Qatar
January 23, 2013 by Andy Walsh
Amid wintry showers and the promise of snow in the west of Ireland, two Mayo lads have headed for the Middle East.
Killian Duffy from Crossmolina and John Higgins from Kiltimagh, both members of Mayo & District Motorsport Club, left Ireland in the last few days to compete in next weekend’s Qatar International Rally.
Killian is co-driving again this year for Qatari driver Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari in a Seashore Group sponsored Ford Fiesta RRC. Last year, they narrowly missed out on winning the Middle East Rally Championship in a Mini JCW RRC.
This year, they are contesting the full Middle East Rally Championship, and also the WRC-2 Championship. The first of six rounds of the Middle East Championship kicks off with Qatar. Then it’s off to Kuwait in March, Jordan in May, Lebanon in September, Cyprus in October and Dubai in November. The Middle East car is brand new and is prepared by Motortune in Lebanon.
They are also competing in three warm-up local rallies, in Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon. In WRC 2, which is the new title for the super 2000 World Rally Championships, Duffy and Abdulaziz are contesting at least six WRC events, starting with Mexico in March, Portugal in April, Greece in May, Sardinia in June, Germany in August and Spain in October. Their car will be run by the Ford M-Sport World Rally Team for the WRC 2 campaign.
It will be a busy year also on the home front for Killian as he hopes to develop further the Ultimate Rally News website, and Ultimate Rally News TV shows, and his own www.onthepacenote.com commercial pacenote business requires a lot of time and work, where he is Ireland’s leading supplier of commercial rally pacenotes for every rally in Ireland.
John Higgins, who holds the prestigious, 2012 Dunlop Irish National Rally Co-driver Champion title, is swapping Irish tarmac for the challenge of the Middle East desert. He is joining Majed Al Shamsi as part of the Abu Dhabi Racing team, in an N15 Subaru Impreza. He is looking forward to the opening round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, and hopes that a good solid performance will lead to more rounds on the 2013 campaign.
John, who was recently heard use the phrase that Killian Duffy coined a few years ago “Have gear — will travel” readily acknowledges Killians’s support and the help that www.onthepacenote.com will give him in helping him get acquainted with his new surroundings, and teaching him on how to deal with the huge differences between rallying in deserts, and rallying on the Irish stages which he is more used to.
To keep up to date on how the two local lads get on over the coming weekend, follow @mayomotorclub on twitter and facebook, or check out www.mayomotorsportclub.com