Backroads and lanes around Creagh, Co Kildare reverberated to the deep-throated roars of powerful, high octane, performance cars this morning, as the three-day Cannonball run 2013 gets underway from Mondello Park.
An unapologetic, testosterone and fume-filled gathering of 150 plus super-slick power machines - and wannabes – the event will see the cars cross the country from noon today, travelling to Cork, Kerry and finishing up at Tullamore in Co Offaly on Sunday.
Funds raised by the event are in aid of the children’s hospice charity LauraLynn.
This year’s rally or Cannonball 2013 as it is called, features an American theme with ‘muscle cars’ and cars emblazoned with NYPD logos as well as a range of fire officers and characters such as cowboys and ‘show girls’ in fancy dress.
This morning heavily stickered family saloons competed for space with some of the world’s most iconic cars including the world’s top marks: McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls Royce and Bentley.
Participants also include a star-studded line up including Ryan Tubridy, Shane Lynch, and Wes and Andy Quirke among many others.
The cars are due to arrive in Abbeyleix in Co Laois for a food stop around from lunchtime.
The next pitstop is Ballymaloe House outside Midleton before the convoy arrives in an expected cacophony of toots and revving engines in Cork at about 6.45pm.
It will make its way through Patrick Sreett, which will be closed for the event, to the port of Cork with a reception at Gatley’s Boardwalk Bar.
On Saturday the convoy leaves Cork at 10.30am to take in a scenic drive through Kenmare and Killarney and arrives into Limerick, again in another expected cacophony of horns and revs, at 5:30pm.
On Sunday morning the cars will travel to Killaloe, Co Clare for a ‘Gathering of the Men of the Water’, after which they will move on to Cashel in Tipperary at 1:30pm where they will close a Cannonball festiva before descending on Tullamore at 6pm for the finish line.
A crowd of more then 10,000 people is expected in Tullamore on Sunday.
According to the organisers more then 100,000 people are expected to line out to see the “four-wheeled masterpieces and their roaring melody”.
“The convoy stretches for about 2 kilometres,” said orgainser Alan Bannon. “There is a huge festival feel to it and it is a free event.”