19 June 2017

Motorsport Ireland Weekend Roundup

For the second year in succession, local crew Manus Kelly and Donall Barrett in a Subaru Impreza snatched a last minute victory in the Joule Donegal International Rally. Starting the final day of the three day event, they were seven seconds behind longtime leaders, Donegal's Donagh Kelly and his Monaghan co-driver Conor Foley, with six stages to come.

On the first of two runs over Atlantic Drive, Manus went ahead for the first time all weekend, but namesake Donagh regained top place on the following stage, High Glen, leaving himself a 4.7 second lead as they set out to repeat the same three stages.

Fanad 2, Donagh lost a disastrous 17 seconds, leaving him five seconds behind with two stages left, and in a final all out effort to take victory on a rally which he has never won, his Focus hit a bank just two corners from the stage finish, and the damage was too much to continue.

Manus, now with a large lead, was able to cruise through the last stage and still come home with a margin of almost two minutes over runners up Alastair Fisher and Gordon Noble, who only got ahead of Garry Jennings and Gordon Noble on the action packed final stage, claiming maximum points in the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Championship for R5 cars. The Moffett brothers from Monaghan, Sam and Josh, finished fourth and fifth in their Fiestas.

Photos: Ruaidhri Nash