Manus Kelly and Donall Barrett
Manus Kelly and Donall Barrett, the reigning champions, in a Subaru S12, lead the Joule Donegal International Rally at the end of a drama filled day one.
The Kelly/Barrett combination, who are chasing a three in-a-row, will take a 21.2 second lead into day two of the rally.
They lead another local and former winner Declan Boyle in Ford Fiesta WRC. Boyle, who has James Reilly calling the notes, is in second place with Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy, also in a Subaru, back in third place.
Jennings and Kennedy 1.5 seconds down on Boyle and O’Reilly.
Frosses driver and one of the favourites, Donagh Kelly, with Conor Foley alongside him, was the big casualty of the day. The number two seeds who were leading the rally at the time, had an off in their Focus WRC on SS 2 and crashed out of the Rally.
Kelly and Foley had taken the lead on SS2 after Manus Kelly and Donall Barrett, who had set a sizzling pace on the very first stage, locked up on a right hand bend on SS 2 and the car stalled and they lost time restarting the Subaru S12.
Darren Gass and Enda Sherry, in a Subaru, and Josh Moffett and Andy Hayes in a Fiesta R5, finished in fourth and fifth place respectively.
Joseph McGonigle from Muff and Ciaran McGeaney, in a BMW WRC, completed day one in tenth place.
Damien Tourish and Domhnaill McAlaney, in Escort Mk2, lead the National section of the rally. The Tourish/McAlaney combination hold a slender 0.3 seconds lead over Ian Barrett and Paul McGee, in Darrian T90 GTR.
Kevin Gallagher and Noel O’Sullivan also in a Darrian T90 GTR are in third place in the modified.
The rally resumes in the morning with eight more special stages.