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Donegal International Rally - 18-20 Jun 10

Posted: July 6, 2010 3:44 PM - 44768 Hits

Round 4 - 2010 Tarmac Rally Championship
Round 4 - 2010 Citroen Racing Trophy Ireland
Round 4 - 2010 Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland

In-Car

Posted: July 6, 2010 3:44 PM

Damien McCarthy and Eamon Hayes - SS4 Malin Head


Manus Kelly & Donal Barrett - SS10 Fanad


Sam Moffett / James O Reilly - Fanad Head

Gene McDonald & Mark Hamill - SS4 Malin Head


John O'Donnell & Raymond Scott - SS4 Malin Head

FANTASTIC DEBUT BY DESI HENRY ON TRAGIC CITROEN RACING TROPHY ENCOUNTER

Posted: July 6, 2010 2:05 PM

The Donegal International Rally marked the third event for Portglenone’s Desi Henry and co-driver John Rowan in their Citroen C2 R2 Max, and the first time they contested a round of the Citroen Racing Trophy Ireland. The rally was cut short however following a tragic accident on stage 11, which claimed the life of Citroen Trophy co-driver Thomas Maguire, and seriously injured driver Shane Buckley.
“It was a terrible end to the event, and very sad” commented Desi. “We had spoken to them just before that stage, and they were going well in the event. I really sympathise Thomas’s family at this difficult time, and hope that Shane makes a full recovery.”

Up to that point however the Citroen Racing Trophy crews had really been enjoying their Donegal Rally, with bright sunshine and high temperatures making the runs over the classic Donegal stages more enjoyable. For Desi and John the PRH Construction C2 had been fettled at John McKillop’s workshops before the event, and they were hoping for a clean run after fuel tank issues on the previous Mourne Rally outing.
“The car ran faultlessly all weekend, and John was there to help us improve the set up for the conditions at the weekend. I really enjoyed the C2 again, and it was the first event where we felt ready to try changing a few things.”

Indeed Desi and John weren’t only enjoying the event but surprising themselves with some very competitive stage times on their first Citroen Trophy outing.
“Our aim when we started was to try and finish the event. At the end of the first stage we checked our time and I didn’t think we would be as close to some of the other C2 guys as we were. We had a good run on the Malin stage, and on the Coolcross test and we ended the day fifth C2 which we were more than delighted with.” Indeed they finished the first day just 35 seconds behind fourth placed Mark Sheahan and 7 seconds in front of Kieran Daly, a good prelude for day two.

Desi consolidated that fifth position on the early morning stages, and moved into fourth C2 when Mark Sheahan retired with gearbox failure. Further tweaks to the set up also helped and on the second run over the famous Fanad Head stage Mark and John found themselves less than half a second per kilometre off the top C2 pace. With the rally results declared after stage 10 Desi ended up finishing an impressive 14th overall and 3rd in the Citroen Racing Trophy which entitles him to €2500 of the generous Citroen prize money.

Next on the agenda for the PRH Construction team is the ALMC Stages rally in Dundalk on July 18th, the Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally on August 8th, all in preparation for the next Citroen Trophy round the Ulster International on August 20th.

Tragedy on Citroen Racing Trophy Ireland Round Four

Posted: July 6, 2010 12:38 PM

Round four of the 2010 Citroën Racing Trophy (CRT) Ireland, the Donegal International Rally was sadly marred by the fatal accident which claimed the life of co-driver Thomas Maguire after an accident on special stage 11- Knockalla. The 26 year old, from Longwood, Enfield, Co.Meath was co-driving for Shane Buckley, who is now in a serious condition in Letterkenny hospital.

All associated with the Citroën Racing Trophy would like to convey their deepest sympathy to the Maguire family and friends at this time and also hope that Shane can pull through. Thomas was very popular amongst the Citroën Trophy competitors and he will be sorely missed. The Donegal Motor Club, organisers of the event cancelled the final day of the rally as a mark of respect.

The crew were lying third in the Citroën Trophy at the time of the incident, and Thomas had proven to be a very competent co-driver. He recently returned from Rally Barbados where he co-drove for Glen Campbell in a Micra Kit Car. He also contested British Championship events with Stefan Davis in a Super 1600 Puma, and started a successful partnership with Shane Buckley in 2009 in the Fiesta ST series. On the last round of the Citroën Racing Trophy in Killarney he guided Shane to third place. A popular and amiable young man, who loved his rallying, he will be greatly missed, by his many friends from the close knit rally community in Ireland.

Funeral arrangements for Thomas start with a wake at the family home in Moneymore, Longwood (1 1/2 miles from the village) from 5pm on Tuesday evening. Removal from the house will be at 11.30am Wednesday morning to the church in Longwood for funeral mass at 12 noon and burial in the adjoining cemetery afterwards.

Finally everyone from Citroën Racing, Citroën UK, Charles Hurst and all his fellow Citroën competitors would like to express their deep condolences to the Maguire family. We would also like to express our feelings for the family of Shane Buckley, and we all hope that Shane can pull through from his serious injuries.

Baxter wins, while Wright wraps up FST Ireland title

Posted: July 6, 2010 12:31 PM

Stephen Wright wrapped up the 2010 Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland (FST IE) championship with two rounds to spare last weekend on the Donegal International Rally. Wright, 20 from Monaghan, and co-driver Paul McGee only needed a second place finish to put the title out of reach of closest challenger Dara Leonard. They duly delivered with a measured drive to do just enough to claim their maiden championship victory. The Letterkenny based event was won by 28-year-old Stephen Baxter, who claimed not only claimed his debut victory but also the first win for the Fiesta R2 in the FST Ireland championship.

Baxter made a flying start to the event, winning the opening test by 19 seconds ahead of Wright. Partnering Baxter was the experienced Martin Brady who had recently joined Baxter in the co-drivers seat. The pair had clearly gelled well together having won their class on Cavan Stages rally a few weeks earlier and making an impressive start to this event. Having suffered a roll two weeks previously on the Modern Tyre Services Newry Rally, Stephen Wright’s DGM mechanics had had a race against time to get the car ready for the Letterkenny based event. Wright made a steady start to the event to avoid a repeat of his Newry ‘off’ and ruin his title aspirations. 18-year-old Dara Leonard was third on opening test of his home event. Leonard, from Omagh, and co-driver Vinnie Boyd were making a welcome return to the series having been forced to skip the previous round of the championship. Leonard was less than five seconds behind Wright but knew he had to win to keep his title hopes alive. FST IE welcomed a new addition to the field in Letterkenny, Niamh Neville making her championship debut in her ex Mark Donnelly Ford Fiesta ST. The 24-year-old from Wexford is latest of the Neville clan to take up rallying, alongside brother Anthony and father Pat.

Baxter was once again fastest through Stage 2, extending his lead over Wright by a further 28 seconds. Baxter was the only FST IE competitor to break the twelve-minute mark over the 19-kilometre stage. Wright was doing exactly what he needed to in order to claim the championship victory again posting the second fastest stage time just over two seconds quicker than Leonard. Neville and co-driver Andy Hayes were making steady progress in only their second event in the Fiesta ST and posted the fourth fastest time.

As the crews returned to service for first time, Baxter was pleased with the mixture of pace and consistency he had found with Brady alongside to lead the event. In second, 47 seconds behind Baxter, Wright was happy with his pace, not wanting push too hard with one hand already on the championship. Leonard had survived an early encounter with a wire fence to lie third just seven seconds behind Wright. Newcomer Neville was enjoying her FST debut and was looking to improve on her times from the morning on the second loop of stages.

SS3 was due to be a repeat of the days opening test, however problems with spectators meant the stage had to be cancelled leaving competitors just a repeat of SS2 before returning to service. Baxter improved on his earlier time by just over five seconds to post his third fastest stage time of the event. Wright was once again second also improving on his earlier time by five seconds to further cement his second place overall. Leonard finished the stage just one and quarter seconds behind Wright to trail him by eight and a half seconds heading into second service. Neville made the biggest improvement over the 19-kilometre stage. She shaved 20 seconds off of her previous effort as she continued to grow ever more confident with her Fiesta ST.

The event was halted during SS11 of the International event. A competing car left the road and crashed heavily. The results were declared as they stood at the end of SS4, SS10 of the International event. This meant that Stephen Baxter and Martin Brady claimed their first win of the season in their Ford Fiesta R2. Stephen Wright and Paul McGee finished second to claim the 2010 Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland championship victory with two rounds still remaining. Dara Leonard and Vinnie Boyd were third less than nine seconds behind Wright. Neville and Andy Hayes finished their FST Ireland debut in fourth.

The inaugural Muc-Off best presented car award was presented to Stephen Wright, the late nights endured by the DGM mechanics after his crash in Newry clearly paid off as his car was voted best prepared prior to the start of the event.

The Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland organisers would like to extend their condolences to the family and friends of Thomas McGuire, who was tragically killed in the accident on SS10 of the Donegal International Rally.

Pos Driver/Co-Driver Time Behind
1 Stephen Baxter/ Martin Brady 30:44.9 -
2 Stephen Wright/Paul McGee 32:00.6 1:15.7
3 Dara Leonard/Vinnie Boyd 32:09.0 1:24.1
4 Niamh Neville/Andy Hayes 35:21.6 4:36.7

Topaz Donegal International Rally ends in tragedy

Posted: July 6, 2010 12:29 PM

Last weekend's Topaz Donegal International Rally, round four of the Citroën Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, ended prematurely in what were tragic circumstances.

Championship competitor, Thomas Maguire, from Longwood, County Meath, lost his life in an accident during the second leg of the event on Saturday 19 June.

Bobby Clinton, Chairman of the Tarmac Rally Organisers Association, said:
"On behalf of all competitors and officials involved with the Citroën Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, we offer our deepest, heartfelt sympathies to Thomas's family."

"We also wish the driver of the car, Shane Buckley, one of the leading competitors in the Citroën Racing Trophy, a speedy recovery from his injuries."

Donegal Motor Club cancelled the remainder of the event in a mark of respect to the Maguire family. A memorial service for Thomas was held at the Mount Errigal Hotel on Sunday 20 June, which approximately 1,000 people attended.

Event results were declared final after stage 10, with Gareth MacHale and Brian Murphy claiming maximum championship points in their Ford Focus WRC.

MacHale finished just over one minute ahead of Tim McNulty and Paul Kiely, with Daragh O'Riordan and Tony McDaid third.

Aaron MacHale and Eugene O'Donnell were next in line ahead of Seamus Leonard and John McCafferty, while sixth for Alastair Fisher and Rory Kennedy was enough to maintain their slender championship advantage.

Fisher leads the Citroën backed series by one point, with Gareth MacHale holding second, two points ahead of his brother, Aaron. Craig Breen, who crashed out of the rally during the opening leg, is fourth ahead of Daragh O'Riordan.

Robert Barrable and Damien Connolly headed home the Citroën Racing Trophy crews, with Mark Donnelly and Aidan Friel in second.

Finally, the Modified Trophy leaderboard was topped by David Bogie, Enda Sherry, followed by Daniel McKenna and Andrew Grennan, with Rodney Wilton and Connor McMahon third.

However, competitors were unanimous in that there were no winners in these tragic circumstances. The thoughts of all competitors, officials, spectators and the Tarmac Rally Organisers Association are with the friends and family of both crew members.

Results

Posted: July 6, 2010 12:10 PM

INTERNATIONAL
1 Gareth MacHale/Brian Murphy (Ford Focus WRC) 1h 02m 36s 2 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h 03m 37s
3 Daragh O’Riordan/Tony McDaid (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h 04m 48s
4 Aaron MacHale/Eugene O’Donnell (Ford Focus WRC) 1h 05m 37s
5 Seamus Leonard/John McCafferty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h 05m 38s
6 Alastair Fisher/Rory Kennedy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 1h 06m 20s
7 P J McDermott/Paul Goodman (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h 06m 24s
8 Damien Tourish/Domhnall McAlaney (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 1h 06m 47s
9 Tommy Doyle/Liam Moynihan (Renault Clio R3) 1h 08m 58s
10 Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly (Citroen C2R2 Max) 1h 09m 09s

Class winners:
Liam McMullan/John Coll (Honda Civic)
Stephen Wright/Paul McGee (Ford Fiesta ST),
Robert Barrable/Damien Connolly,
John Paul Quigley/Emmet Kelly (Honda Civic),
Tommy Doyle/Liam Moynihan,
Alastair Fisher/Rory Kennedy,
Aaron MacHale/Eugene O’Donnell.

NATIONAL EVENT:
1 David Bogie/Enda Sherry (MG Metro 6R4) 1h 06m 27s
2 Daniel McKenna/Andrew Grennan (Ford Escort) 1h 06m 33s
3 Rodney Wilton/Conor McMahon (Ford Escort) 1h 07m 05s

Class winners:
James Greenan/Barry Garvey (Opel Corsa)
Patrick Bradley/Niall McDaid (Vauxhall Nova)
Damien McCarthy/Eamon Hayes (Honda Civic)
Arthur Kierans/James Culliney (Ford Escort)
Samuel Kelso/Gareth Doherty (Ford Escort)
Gary McPhillips/Paul Sheridan (Ford Escort)
Ciaran Brogan/Johnny Baird (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5)
David Carney/Ray Fitzpatrick (Citroen C2R2 Max)

Leaders After
SS1-10 Gareth MacHale/Brian Murphy (Ford Focus WRC)

Stage Winners: SS1 Gareth MacHale/Brian Murphy (Ford Focus WRC)
SS2 Gareth MacHale/Brian Murphy (Ford Focus WRC)
SS3 Gareth MacHale/Brian Murphy (Ford Focus WRC)
SS4 Gareth MacHale/Brian Murphy (Ford Focus WRC)
SS5 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS6 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS7 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS8 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS9 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS10 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Full Results:

"At least 1,500 attend memorial service in Co Donegal" RTE NEWS REPORT

Posted: June 20, 2010 7:56 PM

STATEMENT BY DONEGAL MOTOR CLUB - 22:45 19th June

Posted: June 20, 2010 7:00 AM

"The Donegal Motor Club has expressed its deep regret at the death of a competitor in this year’s Rally.

Thomas Maguire, of Longwood County Meath, died when the car he was co-driving, went off the road during the Knockalla Stage south of Port Salon just after 3pm this afternoon.

The driver of the car is in a critical condition at Letterkenny General Hospital.

The Rally’s emergency services and the rescue services attended the scene within minutes.
In a statement the Donegal Motor Club said that in light of today’s tragic events and as a mark of respect to the Maguire family, the remainder of this year’s Rally would be cancelled.

Clerk of the Course Danny Gormley, said he and everyone in the Donegal Motor Club would like to convey their deepest sympathy to the Maguire family and to all of Thomas’s many many friends

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the Maguire family and the family of the competitor who was injured at this very difficult time. Thomas loved rallying and his loss has deeply affected everyone involved in the Rally. His loss will be felt by rallying fans all over the country. It was the view of everyone in the DMC that the remainder of this year’s Rally should be cancelled as a mark of respect ‘ Gormley said.

Competitors and club officials will attend a memorial service for Thomas at the Mount Errigal Hotel tomorrow morning at 11am."

STATEMENT BY DONEGAL MOTOR CLUB - 19:47 19th June

Posted: June 19, 2010 8:21 PM

"Donegal Motor Club deeply regret to confirm that a competitor in the 2010
Donegal International Rally has died following a serious accident.
The competitor was killed when the car he was co-driving in, went off the road during the Knockalla Stage south of Portsalon just after 3pm this afternoon.

A second competitor, the driver of the car, was taken to Letterkenny Hospital where his condition is described as serious but stable.

Rally organisers are in the process of contacting the families of those involved.

Senior officials are returning from the scene to Rally headquarters in Letterkenny where a decision on the remainder of the competition will be made.

A further statement will issue following that meeting."

"Co-driver killed at Donegal rally" - RTE News

Posted: June 19, 2010 6:44 PM


Donegal International Rally suspended following serious crash
"The Donegal Motor club has confirmed that competition has been suspended for the rest of Saturday after what is being described as a serious incident.

It is understood a man suffered serious injuries when the rally car in which he was in crashed during stage 12 of the competition.

Emergency services are at the scene as are senior rally officials.

A further statement on the incident is expected later. A decision on whether the rally will continue tomorrow is also expected later."

Live Results: results.shannonsportsit.ie (Angus Sealy)
Rallynews (by Brian & Liz Patterson)
Radio updates: Highland Radio
SS1 Friday 12:00 Noon (SS5/6 Buncrana Town Stage)

Video Clips - Day 1

Posted: June 19, 2010 8:15 AM

CITROEN RACING TROPHY IRELAND HEADS FOR THE HILLS OF DONEGAL!

Posted: June 17, 2010 4:50 AM

This weekend round four of the 2010 Citroen Racing Trophy (CRT) Ireland heads to the North West for the Donegal International Rally. Once again there is an impressive line-up of eight Citroen C2 R2 Max’s for what is also the fourth round of the Citroen Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

First C2 seed is Dublin car trader Robert Barrable. Robert lies second in the CRT Ireland standings, and leads the CRT UK series after finishing an impressive 9th overall and top 2wd on the all tarmac Jim Clark International Rally in Scotland. He has two wins a piece in the UK and Irish C2 series, having won the Circuit of Ireland and Killarney rounds of the CRT Ireland series, finishing an equally impressive 8th overall in Killarney. This certainly bodes well for improving his number 49 seeding in Donegal, and bodes well for his championship, as leader Martin McCormack has elected to miss this fourth round, heading instead to the European Championship Ypres Rally in two weeks time. Robert has won 9000€ so far this season from the Irish series alone!

Third in the CRT Ireland points and second C2 on the road will be Donegal’s Adrian McElhinney. The Donegal town driver, last year’s Irish champion, is really looking forward to his home International.
“Although it’s close to home, I haven’t actually done this rally that often. I did it in 2008, when it was cancelled, and three or four years before that, and we broke a drive-shaft. Indeed I think I broke a drive-shaft on it before that too, so it hasn’t been the luckiest of events to date, but hopefully we can change that this year.” Adrian was busy starting the three day intensive recce of the stages, and is making his own pace-notes from scratch. “It’s about the third or fourth time I’ve made my own notes and they are getting better all the time. They are hard stages to make notes for, as you can be on very narrow twisty sections, then turn onto wide flat out sections were the racing lines are important. If it stays hot and dry it will be fantastic, but very hard on the transmissions and the car in general for three days over the Donegal roads.”
At the time of writing Adrian was reccing the Atlantic Drive test, one of the all time Donegal classics. Knockalla, Port Lake, Fanad are just some of the other classics on this twenty stage event, which also has a new spectator stage in Buncrana town at 5pm on Friday evening. The C2’s will be watched by thousands screaming through the streets, on a stage that was last used in 1981.

Shane Buckley is at number 51 behind Adrian and he is fourth in the championship. Two third places on the Galway and Killarney events, have shown that the young driver has good promise, and he set some very fast stage times when the leaders were having their frantic race in Killarney.

At 53, Limerick’s Mark Sheehan, comes to Donegal on the back of an excellent showing on the Irish National, Circuit of Munster event. Mark lay 8th overall and lead the two wheel runners, including the much more powerful MK2 Escort brigade in the 1600 C2 R2 Max on the event, until a fractured wiring loom caused his retirement on the final stages. He debuted his Citroen Racing built Max in Killarney with a fine fifth place, and with co-driver Anthony O’Connail could be one to watch in Donegal.

There is a large gap in the seeding until the next bunch of C2’s starting at number 96 with Donegal’s Joe McGonigle, followed by Kieran Daly, Desi Henry and David Carney. Several of these drivers will be applying for re-seeding as they don’t want issues with other cars to affect the results of the CRT Ireland race. Joe finished third C2 on the recent CRT UK Jim Clark International, and with his suspension also rebuilt he’s very much looking forward to this event with co-driver Niall Burns. Cork’s Kieran Daly was another driver to impress on the Circuit of Munster, with some fast stage times. He actually retired after the first test with a broken suspension joint, but re-joined as zero car to record some fast times, and with Limerick co-driver Frank Curtin is looking forward to having a real attack at this event. He’s found the C2 R2 Max a welcome change from his old S1600 Puma.

For 20 year old Portglenone driver Desi Henry it’s his first outing in the CRT Ireland with his ex Jason Pritchard C2 R2 Max, having changed from the Fiesta series. Desi has already contested two Northern Ireland Rally Championship rounds in the car, finishing third in class on the Tour of the Sperrins, and seventh in class after some niggling troubles on the Mourne Rally.
“I really have enjoyed the car so far, but I have a bit to learn with it, and left hand drive into the bargain. Things were going well for us on the Mourne Rally, we were setting faster times, but a fuel pipe blockage dropped us many minutes. We are looking forward to this event for sure and our first experience in the Citroen Racing Trophy.”
Desi will be co-driven by John Rowan. Finally David Carney is the final C2 R2 Max, and he is getting faster by the event in his immaculate C2 Max.

On the reserve list however is Circuit of Ireland winner, 19 year old Omagh charger Mark Donnelly. Mark is fresh from a second place finish on the CRT UK Jim Clark event, and will be hoping to get a run in this weekend’s fourth round. With 70,000 spectators expected to flock to Donegal to watch the event, it will be a magnificent fourth round for Citroen Irish Tarmac Championship, as over 150 cars start from Letterkenny at Friday lunchtime.

Rally Programmes

Posted: June 17, 2010 4:46 AM

Details on Rally Programme outlets:

.

Posted: June 17, 2010 4:44 AM

Topaz Donegal International Rally does have scrutineers. The International, National and other associated categories which form part of the event are all going ahead without any issues.

Updated Entry List

Posted: June 17, 2010 2:41 AM

Withdrawls from Top 20:
3 Derek Mc Garrity James McKee
5 Sean Devine Robert Mc Daid

Updated Entry List and Reseve List available on:

Craig Breen Rallying Event Preview

Posted: June 16, 2010 2:14 PM

This weekend sees the ITC round the corner of the 2010 season as the championship heads to the north of the Country for round four, the Donegal International. The three day event starts on Friday with four stages based in near Malin Head and on Friday evening the showcase of the rally takes place as the town stage of Buncrana is run twice. Saturday’s action is based between Rathmelton and Fanad Head as the crews take in 8 stages, then the rally draws to a close on Sunday with a further 6 stages, including the famous Atlantic Drive.

This season to date Craig has been on the finish podium twice and has finished the top Non WRC competitor on both occasions. Scooping a 15 points haul in Galway and in Killarney at the Rally of the Lakes. His last competitive event was the Jim Clark, round three of the BRC. Craig suffered hard luck on stage 10 when the engine in his Kick Energy Ford S2000 expired. The Waterford driver held a 52 lead in the rally and had set six fastest stage times along the way but victory was cruelly taken from him with the mechanical failure. The Waterford driver was rewarded for his efforts by claiming the Pirelli Star Award and the speed he showed on some of the fastest tarmac stages in both the UK and Ireland.

Craig’s views
“Our last outing in the ITC (Rally of the Lakes) saw us jump back into contention and I now hold third in the drivers standings, Donegal is one of the toughest events of the season, being the only three day event of the season. My last competitive outing at the Jim Clark (BRC) proved fruitless as the engine in my car expired on stage 10 but before our exit the car proved it has a huge amount of potential and I was very happy with that. Donegal will be another stern examination but with the car is now repaired I’m fully committed for a good result.”

Keith Cronin prepares for Donegal drive in JRM Evo X

Posted: June 16, 2010 1:47 PM

The next phase in JRM’s promotional and technical development programme for its Group N Mitsubishi Evolution X takes place this weekend, when reigning British Rally Champion Keith Cronin contests the Topaz Donegal International Rally, round four of the Irish Tarmac Championship.

This season has seen JRM embark on a series of events that highlight the performance of its cars and, at the same time, increase exposure towards potential customers in the UK and overseas. Having already recorded three outright international event victories this year, on snow in Scandinavia and then on both gravel and asphalt in the UK, the team is now looking to strengthen its position in Ireland.

To achieve this JRM has selected one of the country's most prestigious events and one of its top drivers, Cork's Keith Cronin piloting the Group N Mitsubishi Evolution that was previously used by Gwyndaf Evans to win last month's Jim Clark Rally.

Over its 38-year history, the Donegal Rally has regularly enjoyed a full entry list and this year is no exception, with 151 cars scheduled to start the event - Cronin and his co-driver Barry McNulty seeded at number four and first of the Group N cars.

Based in Letterkenny, the event gets underway at 10.15 on Friday morning and sees six stages during the day. Saturday features eight more, with a further six stages on Sunday, the total providing crews with an overall competitive distance of 264 kilometres.

Quotes
Keith Cronin "I enjoy competing in Ireland and I'm very grateful to everyone involved for putting this opportunity together for me. Donegal is always a tough and competitive rally, which I like, and therefore I see no reason why we shouldn’t get a good result."

John Barnes - Team Manager
"We are looking forward to this event as Keith is at the top of his game at the moment. We had a similar situation on the gravel of Sardinia last week, when PG Andersson drove one of our cars and, although he didn't finish, his impressive performance proved that ours was the fastest Group N car out there."

James Rumsey - Team Principle
"Rallying is a difficult market at the moment, so it's important to do the right events with the right drivers. We are therefore grateful to Pirelli and TEG Sport for temporarily releasing Keith from his contract for this one-off drive with us."

70,000 spectators expected to attend round four of the Citroën Irish Tarmac Rally Championship!

Posted: June 16, 2010 1:44 PM

An impressive 70,000 spectators are expected to attend this weekend's Topaz Donegal International Rally, round four of the Citroën Irish Tarmac Rally Championship!

The three-day event, which starts from Letterkenny on Friday morning, has attracted a full capacity entry of more than 150 crews, including many of the leading Citroën Irish Tarmac Rally Championship contenders.

After three rounds, a mere seven points separate the leading four championship drivers, with County Fermanagh's Alastair Fisher topping the tables in his production category Mitsubishi Lancer. The 21-year-old driver is seeded at number seven this weekend ahead of Craig Breen, who lies third in the championship standings with his Ford Fiesta S2000.

In the championship stakes, Fisher leads Dubliner Aaron MacHale with a slender one point advantage. MacHale propelled himself into second in the series standings after claiming maximum points at round three. The Ford Focus WRC pilot will be aiming to build on that success this weekend in a bid to overhaul Fisher.

But MacHale will face some stiff opposition, not least from his brother, Gareth, who also has a Ford Focus WRC at his disposal. Donegal was the scene of Gareth's maiden Irish Tarmac Championship victory in 2009, and he will be fighting for the spoils once again.

Gareth had led this year's championship until mechanical problems abruptly halted his progress at round three. His retirement dropped him to fourth in the Citroën ITRC standings, although he starts this weekend's event with number one on his doors.

Tim McNulty will start at number two with his Subaru Impreza WRC. Navigated by Paul Kiely, the crew have endured a difficult season, having failed to score points on each of the opening three rounds.

Meanwhile, Circuit of Ireland Rally winner Derek McGarrity starts the event at number three ahead of reigning British Rally Champion, Keith Cronin.

The Topaz Donegal International Rally also marks round four of the Citroën Racing Trophy. Martin McCormack leads the series and has already won an impressive €11k in prize money. Robert Barrable is only four points adrift, with Adrian McElhinney third.

There is also a strong entry in the Modified Trophy, although current category leader, Mervyn Wedlock, has not entered the event. His absence will give his rivals the perfect opportunity to play catch-up in the championship stakes, with second placed Barry Meade determined to close the 10 point gap.

And the battle among the Citroën Irish Tarmac Historic Championship competitors will be equally intense, with no less than 14 crews entered in the rally.

Action starts this Friday morning when competitors leave the Letterkenny start ramp, located outside the An Grianan Theatre, at 10.15am. Crews will tackle 20 stages throughout the course of the three day event, including a spectacular town stage around Buncrana.

The winners are crowned at the Mount Errigal Hotel finish ramp on Sunday afternoon.

FST Ireland title within Wright's grasp in Donegal

Posted: June 12, 2010 1:21 PM

Round 4 of the 2010 Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland (FST IE) championship takes place next weekend, 18 -20 June, on the Topaz Donegal International Rally.

The 38th running of the event marks the start of the second half of the championship with current leader Stephen Wright holding a significant advantage after winning all three rounds of the 2010 series. The FST IE event takes place on Day 2 of the main International event with competitors tackling eight stages and 125 stage kilometres.

Having won all three rounds of the 2010 championship so far, championship leader Stephen Wright (20) from County Monaghan, heads into the event favorite to take another victory in his DGM Motorsport prepared GpN Fiesta ST. Wright and co-driver Paul McGee hold a commanding 65-point lead in the standings and will start the Letterkenny based event in the knowledge that another win will secure them the title with two rounds still to run.

In contrast to Wright's success this year, 27-year-old Stephen Baxter's debut season in the FST IE championship has been plagued by bad luck, having crashed out on all three events so far. Baxter has a new co-driver for the Donegal International rally, with the experienced Martin Brady taking to the co-drivers seat for the remainder of the season. The pair recently competed on the Cavan Stages rally in preparation for Donegal where they won their class convincingly in their Fiesta R2.

Having been forced to miss the Killarney International Rally due to the damage caused at the previous round, youngster Dara Leonard makes a welcome return to the championship in his Fiesta ST. After a promising debut on the Galway International Rally, where he finished second, the 18-year-old from Omagh and co-driver Vinnie Boyd are the only crew with a realistic chance of catching Wright; they would need to win all three remaining rounds and rely on Wright making at least one mistake.

Niamh vNeville (24) from Wexford and co-driver Andy Hayes join the championship in Donegal in their ex-Mark Donnelly Fiesta ST. Neville comes from a strong rallying pedigree: both father Pat and brother Anthony will also tackle the event in Group N cars. Neville only started competing in 2009 making her debut on the Baltinglass Mini stages event. She has since competed in three events including finishing 25th overall on the Killarney National Rally in May.

As well as the €2,500 Kick Energy prize fund, FST IE competitors on the Donegal International Rally will also be eligible for the new Muc-Off sponsored Best-Presented Car Award. Prior to the start of the event, the FST IE technical representative will judge the award and the winner will receive a Muc-Off goody bag with a selection of cleaning products.

TOP CLASS ENTRY FOR TOPAZ DONEGAL RALLY

Posted: June 9, 2010 7:44 PM

Last year’s winner Gareth MacHale and his co-driver Brian Murphy in their Focus WRC head a star studded entry on this 18th – 20th June Topaz Donegal International Rally. With drivers such as Tim McNulty and Derek McGarrity in their Subaru Impreza WRC’s seeded just behind Gareth, there promises to be quite a rally in store.

Perhaps just as heartening is the presence of several brilliant young drivers in the top ten, up and coming stars who will give the ‘old hands’ a real run for their money over the course of the promised three days of high speed competition on this Topaz Donegal Rally.

The rally is about more than the top drivers of course. 151 cars plus reserves are entered in the main field. Also there are over 20 juniors as well as 14 historic crews. Once again the rally, in this it’s 38th year, promises to be a huge and enjoyable event for locals and visitors alike.

This year the inclusion of a town special stage, a blast through the streets of Buncrana just after 5 o’clock on Friday afternoon of the 18th should prove an extra attraction. This adds to the burden of organisation of course, but the Donegal Motor Club under the direction of Clerk of the Course Danny Gormley, along with the hundreds of experienced volunteers who make the rally happen, are well up to the job.

Detailed plans have been drawn up as regards the safety and comfort of spectators and competitors alike, not just regarding the new Buncrana town stage, but for all of the 20 special stages.

Safety is very much on the mind of sponsors Topaz also, and as well emphasising the importance of the rally to the region, Topaz CEO Eddie O’Brien, who is from Buncrana, commented, “A huge amount of work goes into making this rally run smoothly every year and great credit is due to the club and all the volunteers for their commitment. For example I know the club puts a huge emphasis on safety every year and works in close co-operation with An Garda Siochana and the other emergency services. Ensuring the safety of the drivers and spectators is our number one priority. Driver safety is also a priority for Topaz and the company is working closely with the Road Safety Authority on a number of initiatives. Topaz is delighted to support this fantastic event and we are looking forward to another highly successful rally again this year.”

For all the drivers on the rally success is the key. For the top seeds especially the chance of going into the history books as a Donegal Rally winner is a huge driving force, while for the class contestants, winning an award is just as important.

There will be a special flair to the rally this year as legendary Monte Carlo Rally winner Paddy Hopkirk and world famous song writer and musician Phil Coulter will help to flag the cars over the start ramp outside Letterkenny’s An Grianan Theatre at 10.15 on Friday morning the 18th.

All the cars will go over the ramp and the first 10 seeds are:-

  1. Gareth MacHale/Brian Murphy (Ford Focus WRC)
  2. Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
  3. Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC)
  4. Keith Cronin/Barry McNulty (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10)
  5. Sean Devine/Robert McDaid (Subaru Impreza WRC)
  6. Aaron MacHale/Eugene O’Donnell (Ford Focus WRC)
  7. Alastair Fisher/Rory Kennedy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
  8. Craig Breen/Gareth Roberts (Ford Fiesta S2000)
  9. Daragh O’Riordan/Tony McDaid (Subaru Impreza WRC)
  10. PJ McDermott/Francis Regan (Subaru Impreza WRC)
Since winning the Topaz Donegal International this time last year Gareth MacHale has had some great rally success. However a dominant start for Gareth this season with a win in Galway has been tempered by an electrical gremlin in his Focus on the Circuit of Ireland and then a blown engine on the Killarney Rally of the Lakes.

As Gareth prepares for this Donegal Rally he commented, “I’m looking forward to it. The engine in my Focus is all sorted. I think Donegal is raising the bar again with a town stage and the strength of the entry shows the popularity of the event.”

Tim McNulty has also had mechanical disappointments with his car this season and although he has had wins in West Cork and Cavan this year, the No.2 seed is trebling his efforts and determination to win in Donegal. Derek McGarrity at No.3 seems to have found his second wind this season as witnessed by his performance in winning the Circuit of Ireland, and he would dearly love to put his name on the Topaz Donegal winner’s Trophy.

British Rally Champion Keith Cronin starts at 4 in a GpN Lancer Evo 10. This will be his first run in this Lancer, so Keith will be in at the deep end a little, but this young West Cork man is just so talented, so world class, that he could surprise many of the established stars.

Sean Devine is at 5 in his Impreza WRC, and Sean doesn’t exactly hang around either when he gets behind the wheel of his Subaru. Interestingly Sean has former Donegal Rally Results Officer, Robert McDaid, co-driving, while Robert’s son Tony is co-driving for Cork man Daragh O’Riordan, also in an Impreza WRC, at 9. That little needle match should make for some interesting light conversation in the McDaid household! Aaron MacHale, in an older model Focus WRC to his brother Gareth, starts at 6 just one place on the road ahead of Alastair Fisher.

Now there’s a name – the Fisher name – synonymous with the legendary annals of this Donegal Rally. Alastair even has Rory Kennedy, the most successful co-driver in Donegal, reading the notes. Alastair will be driving his usual GpN Lancer and leads the Citroen backed Tarmac Championship points table, so will be anxious both to get to the finish on Sunday evening, as well as score as many points as he can. It probably really is too much to expect that Alastair, in a GpN car, could possibly emulate his uncle, the late Bertie Fisher, with a win. But then in Donegal, you never know.

Another driver who could really shake the Donegal equation is young Craig Breen. In his Fiesta Super 2000 Craig led the recent Jim Clark International Rally until his Fiesta’s engine gave up. The car handles superbly, will have a new engine fitted for Donegal, and Craig now has great experience with this new breed of rally car. He has a great opportunity here. Daragh O’Riordan at 9 has been a breath of fresh air this year as he has settled in to ‘WRC motoring’ with his Subaru, and PJ McDermott at 10 is the local man with the knowledge and experience of the Donegal roads and has fantastic motivation to do well here.

That’s just a taster of the expected competition on rally weekend. A big part of the event as well will be the fight for modified honours, under the National banner. Scottish Champion David Bogie is seeded at No.18 in his Metro 6R4, sandwiched between the Escorts of Wesley Patterson and Manus Kelly with the Mk2 Escort of Phil Collins in close attendance. There are so many top Mk2 Escort drivers in the line-up they could make a brilliant rally all of their own!

The rally HQ hotel is the Mount Errigal and the start is from Letterkenny on Friday morning. The rally returns to Letterkenny after 6 stages for an overnight halt with the first car back at 19.57. Saturday restarts at 08.30 for 8 stages out towards Milford returning to Letterkenny at 19.08. The Sunday leg has 6 stages in the Downings region and the first cars leave parc ferme at 10.00 hrs, returning to the Mount Errigal Hotel finish ramp at 17.14.

The Historic cars will slot in behind the main field on the Saturday morning and then the Juniors on the Sunday morning. The top seed in the Historics is John Keatley/James McKeefry in their Porsche 911. The top seed in the Juniors is Anthony Hand/Aidan Boyle (Escort). The rally is also a round of the Citroen Racing Trophy and Michael Barrable/Damien Connolly in their C2R2 Max are the top Citroen seeds and start at No.49. The Citroens compete over all the stages.

At the press reception in Letterkenny’s Hegarty’s Ford Garage Clerk of the Course Danny Gormley made special mention of the huge number of volunteers, public and private bodies, the press, and many organisations who lend their weight and support to the event. The rally just couldn’t happen without all of their assistance.

Even on the day of the press conference the Garda Siochana were on hand to help with a special bit of filming by an RTE outside broadcast crew as four of the young star drivers - the ‘Four Musketeers’ – Keith Cronin, Alastair Fisher, Craig Breen and Jonny Greer, put on a show for the cameras as a rally preview. It was typical of the goodwill behind the rally that John Wolseley of Pro Motion even made a special trip from Dungannon to fit on-board cameras simply as a goodwill gesture.

Unlucky Wright Switches Attention to Donegal

Posted: June 9, 2010 11:06 AM

An ambitious pace note on a left-hander put an end to Stephen Wright’s Modern Tyre Service Mourne Rally on stage one. The Monaghan native rolled his Fiesta ST, but luckily both Stephen and co-driver Paul McGee walked away unhurt and the car suffered only light damage. A disappointed Stephen commented after the accident:

"We were having a good run at the stage, although we hadn't been taking any chances with Donegal in mind. I'd made the note slightly too ambitious and we ran wide, hitting a rock and the car rolled. It was a pity as the stages were excellent and it would have been a great shakedown for Donegal."

The crew’s attentions now switches to the Topaz Donegal International Rally where finishing the event will now take top priority. After victory on the opening three rounds, the pair will look to improve on last years fourth place finish.

"We don't have much of a break now as we're recceing for Donegal this weekend with the rally starting the following Friday which is probably a good thing. It will take a bit of time to get my confidence back but I'm looking forward to getting back behind the wheel."

The Donegal International gets underway next Friday 18th of June and the DGM crew are hard at work repairing the Killyhevlin Hotel, Spanwright Flooring and Lafarge cement backed fiesta.

TOPAZ DONEGAL RALLY – RALLY GUIDE LAUNCH

Posted: June 9, 2010 10:58 AM

Donegal Motor Club and its premier Topaz Donegal International Rally Ireland tonight launched it’s Rally Guide 1, available for the first time on it webpage, www.donegalinternationalrally.com

Donegal Motor Club PRO, Darragh Kelly announced the new guide, a valuable source of information for all competitors, officials and other interested parties.

“This is the first time we have produced such a guide, and I am pleased that we have produced it in time for the competitors to plan for their participation in the 2010 event. Valuable time/distance information is available, allowing crews to calculate fuel, and work out service times for support crews who form part of the important task of getting the car and crew back on the road, especially if there is a problem.”

Darragh went on to illustrate how simple it was to navigate round the webpage, along with information for crews who are on reserve and want to see their progress towards the entry list over the next number of days before TOPAZ sponsored event starts on Friday 18th June.

He added,
“Competitors, spectators and Press have been looking at a rate of almost 4500 page views per day since the week-end and we are expecting a high download traffic flow for the remainder of the week.”

Clerk of the Course for the event, Danny Gormley, said he was pleased that the Rally Guide was another important milestone in the development of the Topaz Donegal Rally Ireland, and he hoped it would be seen as a great aid for the competitor, spectator and press alike. In addition to the information provided directly for the competitors, important local contact information for business providers in Letterkenny is also available in the guide, and he hopes that it will provide an important economic stimulus for the local economy, during the reconnaissance this week-end and on the weekend of the event itself, 18th – 20th June.

Rally Guide including Time and Distance Schedule available

Posted: June 8, 2010 2:42 PM

BUNCRANA TOWN STAGE THE HEADLINE ACT OF THE TOPAZ DONEGAL INTERNATIONAL RALLY 2010 - TWO PART BBC TV SERIES TO FOCUS ON RALLY AS DONEGAL MOTOR CLUB CELEBRATES 40TH BIRTHDAY

Posted: May 19, 2010 11:08 AM


Pictured at the launch of the Rally at the ancient ring fort of Grianán an Aileach near Buncrana is Clerk of the course Danny Gormley, driver PJ McDermott and his wife Natasha Nic Gairbheith who will feature in a two part BBC documentary series about the Rally, the CEO of Topaz Eddie O'Brien and the Mayor of Buncrana Lee Tedstone.


Organisers of next month’s Topaz Donegal International Rally have confirmed that this year’s rally will feature a stage around the town of Buncrana.

It’s the first time in nearly 30 years that the Topaz Donegal International Rally has had a town stage and it’s expected the move will draw record crowds to the opening day of the event.

Organisers expect the spectacle of the town stage to push overall spectator numbers up by another 20,000 thousand to 70,000.

The 39th Topaz Donegal International Rally, the only remaining three day rally in the country and a key part of the Citroen Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, takes place from Friday the 18th of June to Sunday the 20th .

Over 150 drivers will do battle for the title – which was won last year by Gareth MacHale - over the 275 kilometre long course. The event will also incorporate a Historic Rally competition and the Fiesta Challenge on Saturday the 19th followed by a Junior Rally on Sunday the 20th.

Evidence of the higher profile that the Rally is gaining is recognised by the decision of the BBC to commission a two part series about the event. The documentaries will focus on the preparations and organisation of the Rally while they will also follow the journey of the rally drivers, safety marshals, hotel staff and the supporters throughout the event.

Produced for the BBC by The Picturehouse Belfast, the producers of the programme Gavin Halpin and Gráinne McGuinness said they knew the passion which existed for the sport in the region and wanted to capture that on film.
‘‘Being from Letterkenny ourselves, and with the director Sonia Nic Giolla Easbuig a native of Gaoth Dobhair, we know how important the Rally is to people across the region. This is a huge annual sporting occasion and we want to show what this event means to the drivers, the organisers, and the fans, who support it in such huge numbers.’’
The documentaries are due to be aired this autumn.

The Clerk of the Course, Danny Gormley believes the excitement generated by the spectacle of the Buncrana stage will ensure this year’s rally gets off to a flying start.

“We are very excited by this move and I really believe this stage will make for a truly memorable opening day to this year’s event. But this is a tough three day event and the winner will be the one who negotiates the particular challenges this rally throws up over the three days. I want to thank Topaz for their very generous sponsorship of this event and all the people – including some 500 stewards - who help organize it. I’d also like to give a special word of thanks to the authorities in Buncrana for making the town stage possible. Organising a town stage requires a huge amount of work, co-operation not to mention good will from so many people and organizations and we are extremely grateful for all that’ Gormley said.

The Chief Executive of Topaz, Eddie O’Brien, who is from Buncrana said the organizers and the local authorities deserved praise for the innovative move.

“Bringing the thrills of rallying to the people in this way will raise the profile of the sport and indeed of this lovely town. As a local, I’m probably a little bit biased but I know from firsthand experience the importance of the Rally to the region and the support it enjoys from the people of the county. The Donegal Motor Club is 40 years old this year and the organization deserves great credit for all it has achieved in that time. This is the third year of our sponsorship arrangement and as a fully Irish owned and managed company, Topaz is delighted to support this fantastic event and we are looking forward to another highly successful rally again this year’ O’Brien concluded.

The Mayor of Buncrana, Lee Tedstone said the Rally had a huge economic significance for the whole region and he was delighted that Buncrana would host a special stage of this year’s rally.

‘This rally attracts 50,000 spectators every year and this year we hope to push that on by another 20,000. So we are issuing an open invitation to people to come along and enjoy the rally and everything else that Buncrana and Donegal has to offer. In the current economic climate the importance of the Rally to the economy of Donegal and the northwest region as a whole is more important than ever. It is worth up to €25 million to the local economy and we believe this year Buncrana will reap the benefits of playing a central role in the Rally’ Tedstone concluded.

TOPAZ DONEGAL INTERNATIONAL RALLY 2010: THAT’S BETTER!

Posted: May 6, 2010 11:58 AM

The Clerk of the Course of the Topaz Donegal International Rally today released the Regulations and outline details of the 2010 Rally, and said that major developments will be announced in the coming weeks. Donegal is a crucial round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, which is now finely balanced between the WRC and new-generation Group N cars, and it includes a National Rally for modified cars, the sheer spectacle of which is unrivalled.

With separate competitions for the Ford Fiesta Challenge, the evergreen Historics and the Junior Rally for up and coming talent, as well as being a counting round of the hugely popular Citroen C2R2 Championship, the weekend of June 18th – 20th promises another mouth-watering array of the best cars and drivers in Irish motorsport.

Danny Gormley, Clerk of the Course said:
“Thanks to the fantastic support from Topaz we will have major innovations in place for 2010 to boost the Rally’s profile and underpin its importance to Donegal. The County is a major sports tourism destination and our stages include the daunting coast roads that make it such a special driving challenge, and form the backdrop for so many other sporting events. Topaz have supported the Rally at so many levels and, being an Irish company, understands exactly what the rally means to the region, the local economy and local communities.”

“2010 is the 40th Anniversary of the foundation of Donegal Motor Club and this will be reflected in the Topaz Donegal International Rally as we salute those who formed the Club, and who continue to push it forward. We try every year to match the standards they set and to deliver the “Donegal Experience” they invented to a new audience.”

“There are a number of route changes planned and I am confident that whoever wins the Rally, or any of the classes, will have earned it. Our first priority is always safety for competitor and spectator alike, but the challenge of winning in Donegal is undiminished. “

“I say a particular thanks to Motorsport Ireland who, through it’s Rallies Committee has engaged with us on a number of proposals, whether to keep costs down for competitors, or increase the spectacle for spectators. “Rally Restart” will feature once again so that, circumstances permitting, competitors who break down may be allowed return to the rally the following day. Other developments will be announced in due course.”

“I would appeal to competitors to study the entry selection criteria in the Regulations carefully and to provide full results and information. We would invite all available Marshals to make contact with us as early as possible through the Chief Marshal Eamonn McGee, or via our website.”

“Once again we have provided secure accomodation, for competitors only, beside Rally HQ. This has proven to be very popular with competitors and sells out early. The contact details for our Accomodation Officer are also on the website.”

“Entry Forms and Regulations for the Topaz Donegal International Rally, the Topaz National Rally, the Topaz Historic and Junior Rallies, the Ford Fiesta Challenge and Rally Competitor Accomodation details are now available on the Rally website at:

Regulations & Entry Form available

Posted: May 6, 2010 11:56 AM

JRM confirms Keith Cronin for Donegal Rally

Posted: May 4, 2010 11:49 AM

JRM is pleased to announce that the 2009 British Rally Champion Keith Cronin will drive one of its Group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Xs in this year’s Donegal International Rally, the fourth round of the Irish Tarmac Championship which takes place from 18–20 June.

Aiming to further promote its profile in rallying, JRM has embarked on a programme of events that will highlight the performance of its cars and at the same time increase its exposure towards potential customers, both in the UK and overseas.

Earlier this year, JRM entered one of its Group N Evo Xs on the second round of the Finnish Rally Championship, where Jari Ketomaa gave JRM its first international victory. The team then entered Gwyndaf Evans on the opening rounds of the British Rally Championship, with the experienced Welshman winning the Pirelli Rally in April.

JRM is now looking to expand on its success and has asked the reigning British Rally Champion Keith Cronin, from Ireland, to drive the car in the forthcoming Donegal Rally.

JRM’s Operations Manager John Barnes explained:
“We were delighted when Keith agreed to join us for this one-off event. We wanted to showcase our cars in Ireland with an Irish driver who has a high profile, so who better than Keith.”

Cronin is currently contracted by Pirelli to drive for the TEG Sport Subaru team and JRM is grateful that both companies have agreed to release the talented Irishman from his prior commitments for this event.

Both Pirelli and TEG Sport believe that it is important for a young driver to grasp every opportunity available and as the drive in Donegal does not conflict with his current programme, they are both happy for Cronin to drive for JRM on this occasion and wish him the best of luck.

"Although I haven’t driven an Evo X before, I won my British title in a Mitsubishi, so it will be interesting to see how good the new car is against the older version”, said Cronin. “I’m looking forward to competing in Ireland with a different car and I must thank JRM, TEG Sport and Pirelli for allowing me this great opportunity."

STATEMENT BY DONEGAL MOTOR CLUB AND THE TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP OF MOTORSPORT IRELAND.

Posted: April 30, 2010 9:20 PM

"Representatives of Donegal Motor Club and the Technical Advisory Group of Motorsport Ireland met recently in Sligo at the invitation of the President of the Commission of Motorsport Ireland Mr. Joe Corcoran, and discussed the issues arising from the 2009 running of the Topaz Donegal International Rally.

New protocols for co-operation were agreed and Donegal Motor Club expressed its happiness that all outstanding matters were resolved and said it regretted that the scrutineers involved felt slighted by Donegal Motor Club’s correspondence with Motorsport Ireland arising from the 2009 Rally.

The Technical Advisory Group expressed its support and respect for Donegal Motor Club, in particular Clerk of the Course Danny Gormley, and said it looked forward to working with the Club in future at all its events."

    Derek Heena - Donegal Motor Club
    Joe Corcoran – Motorsport Ireland
    James O’Brien – TAG MI
    Brecan McBreen – TAG MI

Rally & Club Website

Posted: January 1, 2010 12:01 AM

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