Donegal and North West crews dominated the top positions in the Galway International two day rally over the weekend.
Declan and Brian Boyle, in their Subaru WRC S12 B, won the rally while last year’s Dunlop National Tarmac Champion Garry Jennings, with Rory Kennedy from Letterkenny calling the notes, also in a Subaru WRC S12 B came second. The Boyle combination had 25 seconds to spare over Jennings and Kennedy who suffered a bad spin in one of yesterday morning’s stages.
Frosses driver Donagh Kelly, with Derryman Kevin Flanagan on board, came third in their Ford Focus WRC while last year’s Donegal International winner Sam Moffett and James O’Reilly, in a Mitsubishi EVO 9, finished in fourth place.
Ballybofey driver Martin Doherty and Conor Foley, in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9, also had a good rally and finished in eighth place overall to complete a very good weekend for Donegal crews.
“It is great to win and it’s a good start to the year. We were third here last year and it is good now to win in what was a very competitive field and in difficult driving conditions,” said Declan Boyle, afterwards.
“It was close between myself and Garry all the way and right to the finish. On Saturday, it was a case where in one stage I would take two seconds off him and then he would take them back in the next stage. Luckily we led overnight and it was nip and tuck between us again on Sunday morning until he had a big spin and lost something like 40 seconds on us.
“But even at that, he clawed us back and we had to go flat out to the finish to maintain our advantage. It is a great start to the year and sets us up nicely for Mayo, which is next month.”
Donegal enjoyed success in the National section of the rally too, with Ardara driver Declan Gallagher and his co-driver Ryan Moore, from Letterkenny, in their Toyota Starlet winning Class 13. This result also heralded a good start to the new season for last year’s Dunlop National Two Wheel champion.