Donagh Kelly and Conor Foley lead the way after Day One
Donegal’s Donagh Kelly leads the Joule Donegal International Rally after day one and after being fastest in all six stages.
The Frosses man, with Conor Foley calling the notes in their Ford Focus WRC, leads last year’s winners Manus Kelly and Donall Barrett who finished the day in second place.
Kelly and Foley, who have never won the Donegal International, hold a 12.2 second lead over the Kelly/ Barrett combination.
The Fermanagh/ Donegal combination of Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy, in a Subaru Impreza, finished the day in third place.
Jennings and Kennedy who had shaft trouble on Stage 2, are 23 seconds down on Manus Kelly and Donall Barrett.
The leaders were fastest over all six stages after getting off to a flying start on Trentagh first time around.
Fermanagh’s Alaistair Fisher and Gordon Noble in a Fiesta R5 are in fourth place overall and leading a highly competitive R5 Class.
Sam Moffett and Karl Atkinson, in another Fiesta, and the R5 Championship leader, ended the day one place further back in fifth place.
In the National Rally, Kevin Eves from Pettigo with William L ynch in a Corolla, had a ding-dong struggle all afternoon with Damian Gallagher and Mac Walsh in an Escort, and Declan Gallagher and John McCarthy in a Starlet.
Eves and Lynch lead the National with a slender 8.5 seconds lead over the Gallagher/Walsh combination.
Declan Gallagher and John McCarthy finished the day in third place in the National Rally, 5.7 seconds behind Gallagher and Walsh.
One of the rally favourites, Declan and Brian Boyle, did not start the rally due to a family bereavement. Declan’s son Michael Boyle, also withdrew from the rally.
Adrian Wray and Kieran McGrath from Tyrone, in a Mitsubishi Evo10 finished the day in eighth place and lead Group N.
Donegal drivers P J McDermott with Niall Burns on the notes in a Subaru and Gary Cooney and Liam Regan in a Peugeot 208 had good first days
McDermott and Burns finished in 13th place with Cooney and Regan, two places further back in 15th position.
One of the big casualties of day one was the Letterkenny crew of Brian Brogan and Damien McGettigan who rolled their Escort on Stage One, Trentagh. Thankfully driver and co-driver were unhurt.