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  • Writer's pictureDrew Bentham

Episode 1 Eamonn Kelly Podcast

Updated: Sep 20, 2023


Eamonn Kelly joins us to chat about a life in rallying.
2019 Irish National Champion, 2022 JBRC Champion and current JWRC driver Eamonn Kelly.

 
 

2019 Irish National Champion, 2022 JBRC Champion and current JWRC driver Eamonn Kelly talks about his life in rallying.


He may only be 24, but already Eamonn Kelly has made some decent progress and made a name for himself both at home and on the world stage. Joined by his regular co-driver, Conor Mohan, the pair have already scored their first JWRC win recently in Croatia and they're only 7 months into a 2 year assault on the championship. This week on the show, I was lucky enough to be able to sit down and chat with him about his life in Rallying, his background and plans for the near future.


Chapter 1 - Early beginnings

With so much to go through, I wasted no time and asked Eamonn about how it all started. Did he remember his Genesis point, what were his early experiences of motorsport, first with his dad, Donagh Kelly and also personally?


Chapter 2 - Your road to success

From the humble car he started in to the latest R5 machinery, Eamonn discusses how he got started in rallying and on through his early years in both the Irish National and Junior British Rally Championships. We learn of his struggles, sponsorship opportunities, comparing himself against Irish household names and the Irish Motorsport Rally Academy. We also talked about how he met with his now long time co-driver, Conor Mohan which ended up including his sleeping habits!


"I learnt early on not to share a room with him when travelling...."

Chapter 3 - Reaping the rewards

2021 saw a purposeful move upwards with a move to a much more modern car and sights set on success in the JBRC. Into 2022 and what a busy year competing on both the Junior British Rally Championship and on selected Irish National and Tarmac events. The year ended well, though with some good results and a very special acknowledgement with a special award.


Chapter 4 - Flat to the square left

The previous years results has gifted him the fortune of a cash prize. A substantial contribution to 2023's efforts. In 2023, Eamonn began a 2-year campaign on the Junior World Rally Championship, pitting himself against some of the best crews in the world, on extra special events, a dream drive.


I asked how the partnership with Matt Edwards came about and the disappointment of Sweden.


2023 has obviously made headlines in the rallying family for a tragic reason. We of course referenced the untimely passings of both Ken Block (January) and more recently fellow Irishman and academy member Craig Breen. We remembered Craig for the wonderful attitude he brought to the sport, how it affected his preparations for his own entry and how he fought to the end on what was a very sombre event.


Chapter 5 - A wider view

In this last section we discussed a more general view of British and World rallying, how we need more characters in the sport and how the current regs stand up against the current needs of the championship.


 

"This is well worth checking out - Drew Bentham has done a great job with his new podcast ‘The Motorsport Files’."

Paul Woodford (Special Stage Presenter) 2023


Eamonn's Links


Instagram - @eamonnkelly1

Twitter - @EKellyRallying

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