Garry Jennings, last year’s winner; Declan Boyle and Donagh Kelly are the lead contenders for the Joule Donegal International Rally, which takes place on 17-19th June.
That is the opinion of Brian Brogan, chairman of the Donegal Motor Club, organisers of the three day rally, speaking to the Democrat/People's Press at Friday night’s launch of the 43rd Donegal International Rally in the Aura Leisure Centre.
“It is hard to pick one from that three, but I expect one of them to be first on the ramp at the Mount Errigal on Sunday evening,” said the chairman.
“It is all about getting a trouble free run and having no mishaps,” the chairman added.
Another former winner, Eugene Donnelly from Derry, and local favourite, Manus Kelly, last year’s Donegal National winner, have moved up to the international and will drive a Subaru WRC car, are also believed to be in the reckoning.
Kelly, with Donal Barrett calling the notes, was an impressive winner of the recent Carlow Stages Rally in his first outing in the new car.
The rally has once again attracted a huge entry and is over subscribed with a reserve of 20 cars. And between the main field of 151 along with the junior and the historic section, over 200 cars will be taking part.
“We have drivers from all over Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales and we have crews from Australia and America. The Joule Donegal Rally is the one they all want to compete in.
“It is also a popular rally with rally followers and we are expecting up to 70,000 spectators to watch the rally over the three days.”
The chairman also paid tribute to Clerk of the Course, Eamonn McGee, and his team for all their hard work, commitment and planning that goes into making sure that the rally runs smoothly year in year out.
Charlie Collins was the MC for the launch, which was also attended by leading drivers, Garry Jennings, Declan Boyle and Eugene Donnelly, also a former winner and who is seeded at number four.
“The Joule Donegal International Rally is the biggest in Ireland, if not the world,” said Daniel Ryan of main sponsors, Joule.
“We are delighted to be associated with the Donegal International. We received great feedback from last year’s rally which was our first and we are looking forward to this year’s rally.”
The Joule Donegal International runs from Friday 17th June through to Sunday, 19th June.