RTE did a one off insight into the Sport of Rallying back in 1976 and sent Reporter Liam Nolan along to follow the 1976 Circuit of Ireland Rally and in particular to follow the exploits of Millstreet Man Billy Coleman the 1975 Circuit Winner,the Footage here is of particular interest to the locals around here in Millstreet as a lot of familiar Faces are featured in this rare and most interesting documentary.
This Rare Footage is Courtesy of Pat Sullivan Carrignavar,Enjoy.
Highlights of the Shell Donegal International Rally 1985, which was won by Billy Coleman and Ronan Morgan in a Porsche 911 SC RS in dramatic circumstances. Before the last stage they were nine seconds down, but they stormed through to win by one second from Austin McHale, to take the honours. [f]
Billy Coleman the three times Circuit of Ireland Rally winner was reunited with a Rothmans 911 during Circuit Deja Vu in Killarney over the Easter Weekend, the Porsche 911 he drove is now owned and beautifully restored by John Mulholland, a County Antrim motor trader, the Porsche was a genuine Porsche 911 similar to the car that Billy drove for the Rothmans Team in the 1985 season. Billy’s first Circuit win was in 1975 in an Escort RS1600. He repeated the win a year later in an RS1800 but it was another eight years before Billy, this time at the wheel of an Opel Manta 400 and with Ronan Morgan as his co-driver sprayed the champagne again at the finish of the five-day marathon, for the Circuit De Ja Vu Run last Sunday Ronan was back in the hot seat again to accompany Billy.
The Circuit De ja Vu is the brainchild of both Alan Tyndall of RPM Motorsport and Beatty Crawford who was a former Circuit of Ireland winning Co-Driver back in 1971,the Event was established to Celebrate the Glory Years of Rallying in the 70s and 80s and this Event without doubt captured that with some great Cars and Drivers from the that Period coming from near and far to be part of the Celebration,this was the second year that the Event was Ran and like last years Event which was also based in Killarney it was an outstanding Success.
Billy Coleman was not the only Millstreet Native to take part in the Circuit De Je Vu over the weekend,Conor Falvey had French Champion Bernard Beguin behind the wheel of his beautiful Porsche for the Run while his Brother Todd Falvey had Saeed Al-Hajri who is a former winner of the 1989 Cork 20 driving his Car which was also a Porsche along the Route as well, both Al-Hajri and Beguin are former Rothmans Teamates to Coleman so it was fitting that they all got together along with another former Rothmans driver from the same Era Jimmy McRae who was driving a Vauxhall Chevette,Former World Champion Stig Blomqvist was another famous driver to do the Run in an Audi Quattro while Donagh Kelly and Denis Biggerstaff each wheeled out a Metro 6R4 for the day,the other Millstreet Drivers that completed the Course included Kevin Hickey with co-driver Matthew Twomey in there beautifully turned out Replica of Billy Colemans 1979 Circuit of Ireland Ford Escort,and Ballydalys Denis Moynihan also completed the Course in his immaculate Mark 1 Escort, the Run which was based at the Malton Hotel departed at 10 am on Easter Sunday to tackle some famous Rally Stages along the way such as Molls Gap, Healy Pass, Cods Head, Ardgroom, and Killmackillogue and finished back in the Malton Hotel at around 4.30pm,the Event was a great Success and was enjoyed by both Competitors and Spectators who turned out in quite large numbers.
Below are the Local Crews who took part along with some Famous Stars as well and in Order they are
Kevin Hickey/ Matthew Twomey Motorcraft Mark 2Ecort
In the history of rallying in Ireland, one name stands out above all others for the respect in which he is held and the ability he demonstrated behind the wheel of the cars — predominantly Fords — that he drove.
Team Ireland Rally Car International Ambassador and Irish American businessman, a renowned rally enthusiast John Campion and his wife Suzanne Campion, hosted a panel discussion with Irish Rally Car legends at his private rally car shop, including Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, and our own Billy Coleman. Watch the video below:
Came across some Photos of Millstreet Rally Legend Billy Coleman recently and thought it would be nice to share some of them here.
Billy was Irelands Top Rally Driver back in the 70`s and 80`s and amongst his best achievements was winning The British Rally Championship in 1974, Billy also scored victory on The Circuit of Ireland 3 times in 1975,1976,and 1984 as well as finishing 4th overall in the 1985 World Championship Rally Tour De Corse.
Billy was also Irish Tarmac Champion in 1984 and finished 3rd in The European Rally Championship in 1979 and has won many Irish Rallies over the years including the Cork 20 and Killarney Rally of the Lakes, so lets look back at some memorable Photographic moments throughout his illustrious career. [read more …] “Billy Coleman-Millstreet Rallying Legend”
“Coleman Is The Name Rallying Is The Game“. Cork Man Billy Coleman Rally Driver / Farmer. The Millstreet Maestro is a 30 min documentary film on Billy Coleman aka The Millstreet Maestro who is recognised as Ireland’s greatest ever rally driver. The show was produced for RTE as part of their Townlands strand and aired in 2003.
There’s a short interview with the late mother Peg, his brother John and lots of familiar local faces.
Millstreets Billy Coleman gave one of his best ever performances at World Rally Championship level on the 1985 Cosica Rally and went on to finish a fine 4th overall on what was a very tough event, we take a look back at a great video which was made at the time following the adventures of Billy and his Team on this famous event.
As we look forward to current #BillyColemanAward winner Callum Devine heading to Tour de Corse next weekend (April 5th to 8th) lets remember when Billy Coleman gave one of his best ever performances at World Rally Championship level on… https://t.co/Qn2zm0grp4
For those going to the Killarney Rally of the Lakes which will be in Millstreet this Saturday (May 1st), here’s a couple of Billy Coleman videos of in-car footage from the 1986 Circuit of Ireland rally, and also one of Colin McRae on Molls Gap to get you in the mood:
Billy Coleman was Irelands most successful rally driver ever. He first came to province in 1969 in rather tatty self-prepared green Mark I Escort (TIU 250) on the Circuit of Ireland when he took special stage time off the works Escort of Rodger Clark which was almost unheard of at the time. Billy was born in 1948 in Millstreet. From an early age he developed an interest in motor cars, confessing for the bug when he sat up on his fathers knee to drive the car when he was five years old. His father owned a garage in Milstreet and was the Ford Main Dealer which helped nurture Billy’s interest in cars.
Billy is famous in rallying circles all over Ireland for his exploits in the 70s and 80s, in Ireland, Britain, and even as far away as Poland, Corsica and Monte Carlo.
A DVD on Billy’s exploits in the Irish Tarmac Championship is available to buy from Murray Motorsport amongst others.
Also added below are loads photos of the cars that he drove.