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Deja Vu Donegal - 30-31 Aug 19

Posted: June 2, 2019 4:05 AM - 4387 Hits

Patrick Snijers enters Deja vu Donegal.

Posted: May 30, 2019 10:13 AM

Patrick Snijers, seven times Belgium Rally champion, Dutch Rally Champion in 1992 and European Rally Champion in 1994, will be a celebrity guest at Déjà Vu Donegal, the event that is giving it’s support to the Donegal Hospice.

The debonair Belgium has recorded an astonishing 104 wins in his long rallying career including a runner up spot in the World Rally Championship Rallye Sanremo in 1993. He first caught the attention of the Irish fans in 1988 when he won the Manx International, a counting round of the Irish Tarmac Championship, driving his distinctive BMW M3 in its Bastos/Castrol livery and incidentally on Northern Ireland plates.

Although Patrick never rallied in Donegal he turned many heads and hearts on his five appearances at the Lurgan Park Rally and his one outing on the Toshiba Rally in the Antrim forests.

“Patrick became a resident in Lurgan Park between 1995 and ’99 showing us just what a professional he was as he adapted to that highly specialist event and won it on his third attempt in 1998.” remembers Plum Tyndall who recorded all the Belgium’s drives for RPM Motorsport.

Eugene Donnelly enters Deja vu Donega

Posted: May 20, 2019 6:44 AM

Eugene Donnelly, three times winner of the Donegal International Rally, is the latest of the former winners who will be in Donegal at the end of August for Déjà vu Donegal, the rally reunion that is surpassing all expectations.

Eugene will be accompanied by Paul Kiely who co-drove when he won in a Toyota Corolla WRC in 2004 and 2005. Paddy Toner was alongside ‘The Genie’ in 2008 in a Skoda Fabia WEC when the County Derry driver had his third Donegal win.

“We knew the response in Donegal would be massive but we had no conception of how big. With three months still to go, we already received 135 entries, giving us no option but to start a reserve list. It is not just the numbers, the quality is outstanding. Seven former winners have now signed up and five more have indicated their intention to join us.”

Andrew Nesbitt, six times winner joins Deja vu Donegal.

Posted: May 9, 2019 1:21 PM

Andrew Nesbitt, six-time Donegal International Rally winner, will be in the Parade of Power when the crews leave Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey at 10.00 am on Saturday, 31 August, on a 120 mile trip of nostalgia over many of the famous Donegal stages.

Andrew’s record breaking run started in 1996. In '98 James O'Brien joined him in the co-drivers seat and this highly successful partnership went on to win again that year and four more times. Their last victory was in 2006 when they beat fellow factory Mitsubishi Lancer team driver, Mark Higgins, by 27 seconds.

We have received 130 entries and will soon be starting a reserve list.

Lyons and Nelson join Deja Vu Donegal

Posted: April 12, 2019 5:58 AM

John Lyons and Brian Nelson, both double winners of the Donegal International Rally will join the Déjà Vu Donegal party on the 30-31 August. Almost four months still to go and there are over eighty entries!

?John Lyons will be reunited with a Mk II Escort similar to the car he drove on the 1981 and ’82 events. The former bank official was a hero in Donegal on many occasions before he and Bill Moffett won the big prize in a Downtown Radio sponsored and Sydney Meeke prepared Group 4 Escort in 1981. They went on to repeat that feat the following year.

Brian Nelson is the only person to have won both of Ireland’s premier racing and rallying championships. ?

His first Donegal win was in 1975 in an ex-racing Porsche 911 co driven by the late Malcolm Neill. Rodney Cole was in the hot seat when Brian sprayed the champagne for a second time in 1997 in a David Sutton prepared Group 4 Mk II Escort. ?

Jimmy joins Deja Vu

Posted: March 27, 2019 12:25 PM

Jimmy McRae, the 1980 Donegal International victor and multiple British and Irish rally champion, is the sixth former Donegal winner who will be attending Déjå Vu Donegal, the massive rally reunion which will take place on the 30-31, August 2019.

Jimmy will be reunited with a Vauxhall Chevette HSR, similar to the Group 4 car that he and Mike Nicholson drove to victory thirty-nine years ago. The full time Dealer Team Vauxhall driver, had won his first of seven Circuit of Ireland Rallies that year and his Donegal win eased him on his way to the Irish Tarmac Championship.

The Vauxhall pair finished nine seconds ahead of John Price’s Porsche after early leaders Bertie Fisher (Escort RS) and John Lyons (G2 Opel Kadett) had retired.

Jimmy revisited ‘The Hills’ on many occasions. In 1981 he was second in his Vauxhall Chevette and second again in 1991 in a a Sierra Cosworth. And he appeared in the top ten in 1993 driving a Group N Audi Quattro and in 1995 in a Porsche 911. And of course his World Rally Championship son Colin came to Donegal in 2006 for a ‘fun run’ in a Metro 6R4.

Sixty-five crews have already taken advantage of the ‘Early Bird’ entry fees – Registration - £175 (€195), Gala Dinner - £85 (€95), which have now just a month to run before they increase on the 1st. May to - Registration £200 (€105) and Gala Dinner £95 (€105).

The entries already include Mk I and Mk II Ford Escorts, Minis, Opel Manta 400s, Vauxhall Chevettes, BMW 2002 Ti’s, Hillman Avengers, Porsches, a Metro 6R4 and an Aston Martin, but the car requirements are open to all as you only need to have “something with four wheels that they are proud of”, to quote the organisers, to take part in the tour.

MacHale joins Deja vu Donegal

Posted: March 4, 2019 4:39 PM

Two time winner of the Donegal International Rally, Austin MacHale, will be returning to ‘The Hills’ for Déjà vu Donegal on the 30-31 August. The multiple Irish Rally Champion will be reunited with his Extravision BMW M3, the car that finally brought him success in the north west in 1990.

The Dubliner had encountered cruel luck on his earlier attempts to win in Donegal as three punctures on the penultimate stage robbed him of victory in 1983, Billy Coleman pipped him in 1984 and ’85 and he had an accident while leading in 1986. But perseverance paid when he and Dermot O’Gorman braved the adverse conditions in 1990 to beat Bertie Fisher’s similar M3 by one second.

Brian Murphy sat in with Austin when he took his second Donegal victory in a Toyota Celica ST185 in 1997, the year that the Dubliner secured his fourth Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

Forty-five crews have already taken advantage of the ‘early bird’ entry fees and Austin joins the growing list of former Donegal winners that includes Cathal Curley, John Lyons, and James Cullen.

There will be Mk I and Mk II Escorts, Ascona and Manta 400 Opels, BMW 2002 Ti’s, and Porsche 911’s joining the Chevette on the tour, but the car requirements are open to all as you only need “something with four wheels that they are proud of”, to quote the organisers.


    Friday 31st, August
    2.30 – 5.30pm Registration - Ulster Tyres, Stranrolar.
    8.30 – 10.30pm Welcome Reception - Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey

    Saturday 30th, August
    10.00am Start - Jackson’s Hotel
    Lunch - Singing Pub, Atlantic Drive
    3.00pm The Ramelton Rumble
    7.00pm Gala Dinner & entertainment - Jackson’s Hotel
Register on www.rpm-motorsport.com/tours/donegal.php
Reduced ‘early bird’ rates for both the tour and the gala dinner are available until 1st. May for this charity event from which all the profits will be donated to the Donegal Hospice.


Posted: February 5, 2019 3:28 PM

Antony Warmbold, who like his father is an accomplished rally driver, will pilot the actual car that his dad Achim used to win the Donegal International Rally in 1975, during Dèjà Vu Donegal on 30-31 August.

This rare 2002Ti model, is being brought back to Donegal by its current owner David Wylie, forty-four years after the German became the first foreigner to win the international. It is one of only two BMW 2002 rally cars built by BMW Motorsport with a Formula Two engine and the only one that survives – the sister car having been converted to a racing car and scrapped shortly after winning its class in the 1975 Le Mans 24 hour race. After BMW closed their rally programme, Achim (who won the 1972 TAP Rally Portugal with his regular co-driver Jean Todt, who is now the FIA President), competed in the 1975 season under the KWS banner.

Warmbold and John Davenport won the Sachs Winter Rally in Germany and then came and conquered Donegal. But 1975 wasn’t the last time that Warmbold’s car was seen in Ireland as in 1976 Belfast BMW Dealer David Agnew bought the 2002Ti and competed in various Irish rallies over the next two years.

Over one hundred and thirty crews in their historic, classic, and sporting cars are expected to take part in the two-day retro festival which will be based in Ballybofey, Donegal. Following a welcome reception on Friday evening there will be a 120-mile tour over many of the classic Donegal rally stages on Saturday and a gala dinner that evening where the participants will be able to mingle with many past winners and other rallying personalities.

Registration for Dèjà Vu Donegal is open on www.rpm-motorsport.com/tours/donegal.php with reduced ‘early bird’ rates for the tour and the gala dinner available up to the 1st. May.

Grace Boyle the Donegal Hospice Chairperson, said that Dèjà Vu Donegal will be a highlight in their fund raising year and thanked the organisers for making them the designated charity.

Three former winners, Cathal Curley (1972, ’73, ’74), John Lyons (1981, ’82) and James Cullen (1991, ’99) were present at the launch at the Donegal Oil Company’s premises in Letterkenny with the replica Porsche 911, (similar to Cathal’s 1974 winning car) that was supplied by Elkin Robinson.


Posted: January 15, 2019 2:51 PM

Deja Vu Motorsport is bringing another of its rally reunion extravaganzas to the friendliest of all rally lands – Donegal, and the DONEGAL HOSPICE has been chosen as the designated charity.  

“We are delighted to have been chosen as the beneficiary from this spectacular event which will bring so many former Donegal International Rally winners and competitors and their cars back to The Hills for the parade through the classic Donegal rally stages” said Geraldine Casey the Hospice Chairperson, speaking at today’s launch in Letterkenny.

“Our Dèjà Motorsport events have visited Killarney, Belfast and Sicily and have raised over €100,000 for deserving charities. There is none more deserving than the Donegal Hospice so we are delighted to be bringing this event to the most friendly rallying county in the land.” said Alan (Plum) Tyndall, former Donegal Rally Press Officer and Producer of the RPM television programmes, and Dr. Beatty Crawford, former international rally navigator and Circuit of Ireland winner, who organise the Dèjà Vu Motorsport events.

Cathal Curley and a Porsche 911, similar to the one that the Derryman drove to victory in one of his three wins which kicked off the event in 1972, ‘73 and ’74, was also present to announce the outline format of the two-day event.

An anticipated gathering of over 130 crews will assemble on 30-31 August to reacquaint themselves with their Donegal rallying heroes and many of the fabulous cars that were driven at high speed through ‘The Hills’. However this time will be a more leisurely tour over many of the stages that made the Donegal International Rally a ‘must do’ event over the years.   

Jackson’s Hotel in Ballybofey has been chosen as the event headquarters and the weekend of memories will climax with a Gala Dinner with top level entertainment and personality interviews.

The event will open on Friday evening with Registration and a Welcome Reception. On Saturday the 120-mile route will take in many of the famous special stages including Glen, Knockalla, Atlantic Drive and Ramelton.

Registration will open on the 1st. February 2019 on the RPM website (link below) when participants can take advantage of the ‘Early Bird’ registration rates until 1st. May.


Posted: January 15, 2019 2:51 PM

Posted: January 15, 2019 2:50 PM

Topics: Deja Vu Tours 

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