Big Donegal challenge for Galway Rally

Big Donegal challenge for Galway Rally
Donegal’s most decorated co-driver, Rory Kennedy, will partner Garry Jennings in this weekend’s Galway International Rally.

Donegal’s most decorated co-driver, Rory Kennedy, will partner Garry Jennings in this weekend’s Galway International Rally.

The pair have been installed as the number one crew in their Subaru WRC for the 13-stage rally which gets underway on Saturday morning. Five stages will be held on day one, with eight stages scheduled for Sunday.

Looking ahead to the action, Rory says he’s up the event.

“This event is the first round of the championship and everyone will be jockeying for positions in this one,” he told the Donegal Democrat.

“Galway offers everything in terms of a tough challenge. It’s going to be a full winter rally and looking at the pictures on television in recent days, there are going to be a lot of wet roads. The weather has been really shocking,” he said.

“There’s a real top quality field set to compete in Galway. Eugene Donnelly is back from the wilderness, while Derek McGarrity, Donagh Kelly and Sam Moffatt who won Donegal last year are all confirmed,” Rory added.

It’s 19 years since the Letterkenny co-driver first tasted victory in the Galway International with the late Bertie Fisher. They pair claimed the crown for a second time in 1999 and Rory won the title for a third time with Mark Higgins in 2008.

“Garry and myself are all set to go. We are using the same car that won the Rally of the Lakes and the Ulster Rally. We’re mad for tar again,” he enthused.

Eugene Donnelly and Derek McGarrity have been slotted in as second and third seeds respectively, with Declan Boyle and Brian Boyle rolling off the ramp as the number four seed and Donagh Kelly, who will have Kevin Flanagan on the notes, running at number five.

Other Donegal crews among the list of 99 include Declan Gallagher and Ryan Moore (16), Brian Brogan and Mac Walsh (24), Kevin Eves and Chris Melly (34) and John Dolan and John (Jack) McGinley (74).

Paul Creamer and Danny McCloskey are the only Donegal crew entered in the junior section.