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Donegal International Rally - 15-17 Jun 07

Posted: June 28, 2007 4:51 PM - 57772 Hits

Round 5 - 2007 Tarmac Rally Championship
Round 4 - 2007 Irish Fiesta Sporting Trophy

  • Even More Photos!
  • John McGlaughlin has a recipe for success at the Donegal International Rally!
  • More Photos & Video Clips
  • Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena win in Donegal
  • Fiesta's - Fisher/McNulty fly in Donegal…
  • Results
  • Photos
  • Video Clips

Posted: June 28, 2007 4:51 PM

Loeb & Elena in Glen Village
Photo: Roy Dempster

John McGlaughlin has a recipe for success at the Donegal International Rally!
Cookstown's John McGlaughlin is celebrating after last weekend's Shell Donegal International Rally, as he secured 11th overall and fifth in the production category with his McGlaughlin's Bakery and Greenvale Hotel backed Mitsubishi Lancer!

Fisher Foundation winner McGlaughlin, who had Crawford Henderson calling the notes for the first time, also secured third placed Global Group Irish Tarmac Championship points, as he completed the three day event just outside the top ten!

The event, which marked round five of Ireland's premier rally championship, saw thousands of spectators flock to Letterkenny. World Rally Champions, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, also entered the event, leaving John rubbing shoulders and trading times with some exalted company.

Frenchman Loeb was competing in the World Rally Car class, and he went on to take outright victory, while John and Crawford battled for Group N honours. The Cookstown driver has endured much bad luck during recent events but he knew he was capable of a top six result.

"We made our own pace notes for the event," McGlaughlin said. "On Friday, the first day of the rally, I was a bit nervous so I took it steady. As the day went on, we became faster so things were going in the right direction. I lost 10 or 15 seconds with a puncture but other than that, we had no major problems."

Despite their puncture, John and Crawford finished the opening leg with their Hilltop Fuels Lancer just outside the top 20. They also held seventh in Group N and were perfectly positioned to start an attack during Saturday's second leg. Unfortunately, they pushed a bit too much during the opening stage, and lost a handful of seconds with an overshoot.

"I wanted to push hard on Saturday morning," John recalled, "but I went into the first corner like a lunatic and ended up overshooting by about 200 yards! I lost about 10 seconds there, and then I lost a few more when I caught another car during the next stage."

John still pushed hard as he tested the grip levels of his Kumho tyres to the limit, and the tight and twisty afternoon stages brought yet more drama. He lost time with another overshoot and then he was forced to stop at Rodney Wilton's accident. John was awarded a nominal time for the stage, putting another dent in his challenge but nevertheless, he managed to complete Saturday's leg in 17th overall and fifth in Group N!

"With the exception of the overshoots, Saturday was a pretty good day," the Fisher Foundation award winner said. "We had a really good attack on the stages and I really enjoyed it!"

The Sunoco Fuels and Greenvale Hotel sponsored team was in good spirits on Saturday evening, and with six stages on the agenda for Sunday, the crew were on course for a top result. A wrong tyre choice on Sunday saw them struggle for grip through the opening miles, and the Cookstown piloted admitted that he was 'giving himself more work to try and keep the car in a straight line'!

That allowed rival Willie Fannin to challenge John for fifth in category, and entering the final stage, the two crews were separated by 15 seconds. Determined not to let Fannin to move in front, John pulled out all the stops and a super quick time through the closing miles allowed him to seal 11th overall and fifth in Group N!

"I gave it my best shot through the final stage," John said. "I couldn't have gone any harder but as it turned out, Willie blew his front diff and lost a lot of time anyway! I had a brilliant weekend and I've learned a lot. I was braking a bit too late in some places, which is why we had so many overshoots, but now I'm becoming more accustomed to the new brakes."

With an excellent result under his belt, John's spirits are high and he is already looking forward to the next round of the Irish Tarmac Championship, Armagh's Ulster Rally, in September. He is also hoping to enter the Lough Neagh Stages and Lurgan Park rallies during the interim period, ensuring that he keeps match fit!

The Donegal International Rally was probably one of the most talked about Irish rallies of all time, with three times World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb in his works Citroen C4 heading the field. But Sebastien was up against stiff opposition from Mark Higgins, Andreas Mikkelson and in particular Eugene Donnelly, the man who had given Marcus Gronholm such a race in Galway. But for Eugene in the Reid Motorsport Subaru Impreza S12, it was to prove a weekend filled with drama right from the very start.

“It all started really when I made the wrong decision to choose a cut slick for the first three stages, and we dropped some time. Then on stage four, Breenagh 2, I cut a corner I always cut, but there must have been a rock pulled out and we collected a puncture. Then the gearbox almost quit on the next one, and we had three gears on stage 5, four on stage 6, so our chances of a win were gone really on Friday. What was really special though this weekend was my team. Even though we had no chance of winning they acted like we were still out to win and the result we got in the end is good for our Tarmac Championship aspirations.”

On the second leg of the rally Eugene was a minute behind Andreas Mikkelson and aiming for third when he suffered another puncture on the Fanad stage.

“It nearly put me into a wall, I turned the wheel and the car went straight, but I really don’t understand where I got that puncture. Then Andreas went out so that put me up a spot, and I must admit after Friday’s troubles it was hard to keep pushing all the time. ” Impressive times on some of the wet tests put him back up the running order, and a second fastest time to Sebastien Loeb on High Glen at the start of day three saw him climb ahead of Kevin Lynch, but Lynch replied, and then Eugene replied setting a time equal fastest to Sebastien Loeb on Atlantic Drive, before retaking third from Lynch on High Glen 2. But there was drama on the next stage as the turbo pipe came adrift from the Reid S12 and Eugene dropped over a minute, but at the stage end he knew when Kevin Lynch failed to appear that he had retired on the Port Lake stage, ensuring Eugene of third place, and second placed Irish Tarmac points to Mark Higgins. “Really for us it was a good result considering all the niggles. For me meeting Sebastien Loeb and being in close company with him was just amazing. I didn’t tell him until the end of the rally, when he signed some stuff for my kids, that I’m a really a big fan of his, especially in the way he rose to the top so quickly having only got into a rally car when he was 23. I first met him at the press conference on Thursday night, and we had a great chat, and all weekend he was very receptive to other drivers, a true gentleman and very down to earth, no airs or graces at all. And the Donegal people were just great as always, the spectators were out in their thousands, and a big thanks to them as they gave us so much support at the side of the stages, it really helped keep us motivated. But for the Donegal Rally, and Irish rallying in general it was absolutely fantastic to have Sebastien and Daniel over at the weekend.” It was another excellent result for Donegal legend James Cullen and co driver Allan Harryman in the Reid Motorsport Group N Mitsubishi Evo 9. Ninth overall and third in Group N was an excellent return after their excursion on the Jim Clark Rally.

“The KG Motorsport boys did a great job in getting the car back together. It took me a little while to get my confidence back, and I was unhappy with my set up in the wet at first but really we stuck in there and I’m overjoyed to get a good finish in my home rally.”

For Shaun Reid in his sister Mitsubishi the outcome was not so fortunate, ending with an off road excursion on the penultimate test, but things had gone well before that as he explained.

“We started off the event and we had a little scare on stage two trimming a hedge, We were adapting to the new brakes on the Lancer, but things improved and we had good runs on Fanad and Knockalla, and started day three 23rd overall and tenth in Group N which we were trying to hold over John Gallagher, but a tight right with gravel caught us out and we went off the road and that was it. It was disappointing, and the KG mechanics are already working today to get the car fixed for the Manx, but on the positive side we learnt a lot more with all those miles on the rally.”

Next stop for the Reid Motorsport team will be the Isle of Man Rally, a classic event, over three days, and an event that Eugene Donnelly won last year.

Fiesta's - Fisher/McNulty fly in Donegal…
Alastair Fisher and Barry McNulty, both from Enniskillen took overall victory on the 4th round of the Fiesta SportingTrophy Ireland, the Shell Donegal International Rally yesterday. They took their PPG Marine & Protective Coatings / McElwaine Group car to a 20.9 second victory after a titanic daylong three1way battle.

Such was the level of competition in the event that the lead changed seven times over the course of the ten stages that made up leg 2 of the classic International event. 181 year1old Jonathan Greer from Carryduff and co1driver Jonny Hart took the runner1up spot while local driver Conor Harvey and Joe Friel claimed the final podium position. The weather was the first obstacle for the drivers as torrential overnight rain made the conditions treacherous for all the crews. Standing water on the stages meant tyre choice for the drivers was a lottery with drivers choosing between BF Goodrich N pattern dry tyres with added cuts to clear the rain or intermediate tyres to help clear the water faster.

On the first stage, the 19km, Fanad Head test – the best choice seemed to be cut slicks as Jonathan Greer and co1driver, Jonny Hart set the fastest time, four seconds ahead of Alastair Fisher and eight seconds ahead of Conor Harvey.

However, for the second stage, the classic 19km Knockalla test, it was Conor Harvey, with new co1driver for this event, Joe Friel that took the fastest time, to move ahead of Fisher by just 0.6s as the crews returned to the Milford Mart service area for the first time.

One crew that would not return to service was 18 year old Kyle Orr from Dromore. The former rallycross champion drivers year was proving to be testing as they retired from the event after an accident on the second stage. Orr and his co1driver, Peter O’Toole where uninjured in the crash, but the damage was enough that they could not continue in the event.

Stage three, a repeat of SS1 saw Fisher and McNulty take their first fastest time of the day, six seconds up on Greer and seven on Harvey to establish the pattern for the rest of the day, with all three crews swapping times to compete for the lead. The fourth stage, the second run through Knockalla saw Harvey and Friel once again take the fastest time of the stage, 10:57.3 over the 18.9km to lead the crews into the second service of the day at Milford by a margin of just 1.1 seconds over Fisher.

The first of the next group of 3 stages was the 10km Lough Keel test where Alastair Fisher took fastest time. His stage time of 7:15.3 would have been good enough for 6th fastest in the competitive ‘National’ section of the rally underlining how fast the Fiesta ST crews were driving. His time helped him to re1gain the lead of the event as he took four seconds out of closest challenger Conor Harvey.

Stage six was the 10.5km Carnhill test and here it was Conor Harvey who was fastest, taking four seconds from Fisher to lead the series again by just 0.9s.

The seventh stage, Garrygort, saw Harvey take his second consecutive stage win, the first time that any driver had done this on the event to extend his lead to 3.9s as they came into the final service. Both Fisher and Greer tied three seconds behind over the 10.9km stage.

After a final opportunity for the service crews to check the cars over, the cars went on to complete a repeat of the previous three stages.

Stage eight, Lough Keel saw Fisher win the stage, taking two seconds from Greer and six from Harvey to re1gain the overall lead for the third time. Stage nine, Carnhill saw all three drivers split by only 0.5s over 10.5km to allow Fisher to retain his lead, albeit only by 1.4s as the crews entered the final stage.

As in the Killarney Rally, the previous round of the series, it would be down to the final test as to who would win the event. Drama was to befall local driver, Conor Harvey on the final stage. Just 1.4s off the lead at the start of the 10.9km test, Conor drove as hard as possible to secure a local win, but such was his pace he made a very rare error and skidded off the road, losing 35 seconds as he struggled to get the car back on the stage.

With the problem for Harvey, it was Jonathan Greer and Jonny Hart that took the fastest time, to leap1frog into second position and keep their championship hopes very much alive, Harvey dropped to third overall and arrived back to the Letterkenny finish ramp in a despondent mood but pleased with his performance over the course of the day.

For Alastair Fisher, who has twice finished in second position on the UK version of the series and taken a podium spot on all FST IE rounds so far this season, the win was especially well deserved and demonstrated just how close the championship is. The performance of the Fiesta drivers over the weekend drew praise from all quarters as the times they produced would have given them an equivalent position of 25th in the International event and 10th in the National section, an excellent performance from the 160bhp two wheel drive Gp.N vehicles.

Alastair Fisher and Barry McNulty claimed maximum points for round four and picked up a cheque for €750. However, it is Conor Harvey who retains his overall lead in the series with an eight point advantage over Fisher as the championship moves onto the first gravel event in the 2007 calendar, the Cork Forestry Rally in August.

At the finish, Fisher said: “We didn’t have any problems at all and we were on maximum attack. In the afternoon it was drying but still very slippery. It feels good to take my first win and I needed it going onto the gravel events”. His co1driver Barry McNulty added, “I wanted this win so bad!”

Phil Collins/Derek Brannigan win National Rally
Photo: John Bayly
1 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC) 2h 48m 38s,
2 Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 50m 45s,
3 Eugene Donnelly/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 54m 23s,
4 Paul Harris/Eugene O'Donnell (Toyota Corolla WRC) 2h 59m 14s,
5 Patrick Elliott/Paul Goodman (Subaru Impreza WRC) 3h 01m 34s,
6 Seamus Leonard/Gerry McVeigh (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) GpN 3h 05m 00s,
7 Mike Curran/Fabian McShane (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) GpN 3h 07m 45s,
8 Sean Devine/Paul McLaughlin (Subaru Impreza WRC) 3h 08m 08s,
9 James Cullen/Allan Harryman (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) GpN 3h 08m 38s,
10 Stuart Darcy/Steve Furey (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) GpN 3h 08m 46s.

Group N Production class:
1 Seamus Leonard/Gerry McVeigh,
2 Mike Curran/Fabian McShane,
3 James Cullen/Allan Harryman.

Class winners:
J P Logue/Patrick Durning (Honda Civic),
Eugene Meegan/Stuart Powell (Honda Civic),
Andrew Gamble/Mark Vaughan (Nissan Micra),
Seamus Gallagher/Dan Maguire (Citroen Saxo),
Brian Doherty/Keith Bovaird (Ford Escort Maxi).

Leaders After:
SS1-8 Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS9-22 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)

Stage Winners:
SS1 Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS2 Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS3 Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS4 Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS5 Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS6 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
SS7 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
SS8 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
SS9 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
SS10 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
SS11 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
SS12 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
SS13 Bogey Beaten
SS14 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
SS15 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
SS16 Bogey Beaten
SS17 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
SS18 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
SS19 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
& Eugene Donnelly/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS20 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
SS21 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)
SS22 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC)

1 Phil Collins/Derek Brannigan (Ford Escort) 3h 12m 01s,
2 Damien Gallagher/Mac Walsh (Ford Escort) 3h 14m 23s,
3 Martin McGee/Damian Crawford (Ford Escort) 3h 14m 44s.

1 Mervyn Johnston/Wendy Blackledge (Mini Cooper S) 1h 57m 00s,
2 Niall Creighton/Greg Roberts (Lotus Cortina) 1h 57m 06s,
3 William Todd/Nigel Campbell (Mini Cooper S) 2h 09m 03s.

1 Richard Hall/Sam McMullan (Ford Escort) 1h 51m 28s,
2 Alan Jardine/James McSherry (Ford Escort) 1h 51m 54s,
3 David Craig/Roger Laird (Ford Escort) 1h 53m 17s.

1 Anthony Hand/Rodney Perkins (Ford Escort) 1h 05m 48s,
2 Damien McCauley/Terence Magee (Toyota Corolla) 1h 07m 17s,
3 Peter Wilson/Declan Gallagher (Honda Civic) 1h 07m 19s.

Class winners:
Philip Harte/Niall McCalliog (Vauxhall Nova),
Barry Ryan/Donal Falvey (Ford Escort).

1 Alastair Fisher/Barry McNulty 1h 27m 51s,
2 Jonathan Greer/Jonny Hart 1h 28m 12s,
3 Conor Harvey/Joe Friel 1h 28m 28s.

Group N Winners: Seamus Leonard/Gerry McVeigh (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)

  • Martin Browne - Pre Donegal
  • Sammy Hamill interviews Sebastien Loeb
  • Rally Programmes
  • On The Limit Sports to cover National Section
  • MRallying Donegal Build-up
  • List of Withdrawals as of 11/06/07
  • Get ready for a ‘Fiesta’ in Donegal
  • Entry lists updated daily
  • Entry Lists available!
  • Marshals Required
  • Regulations available
  • Major changes planned for 2007.
  • Regulations to be available soon
  • 2007 Rally Website Launched.

Martin Browne - Pre Donegal
Martin Browne has secured the sponsorship from Esker Bus and Coach, KVC, Shannette Sheds, Elle Clothing, and Sligo Palletts.
They have all given Martin their full backing and support after his superb performance in the 2007 Killarney International Rally of the Lakes, (where he finished 12th overall and 4th in Group N) to compete in the remaining rounds of the Irish Tarmac Championship season.
Martin from Sonna, Slanemore, Co Westmeath was the 2003 runner up in the Billy Coleman award and had not competed in a rally since 2003 due to work commitments, Martin came out of retirment to compete in this years Killarney International Rally in a hired Mitsubishi Evo 7 from James Foley Rallying.
Not only was this Martins first event in 4 years it was also the 25 years olds first time to drive a 4 wheel drive rally car in competition.
Martin had only one goal heading to Killarney and that was to enjoy this once off deal to drive a Group N car against some of the best Class 4 drivers in the Ireland and the UK.

At the finishing ramp outside the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney, Martin was full of praise for his sponsors and team.
“I want to thank all the sponsors, and Navagator John, the James Foley Rally team and anybody no matter how big or small for their help and support in getting John and I to this finish ramp here today.
I would have loved to have finished in third position, but as it was my first time in a Group N Evo, we decided that finishing 12th overall and in fourth place in Group N, only 25 seconds behind third place James Cullen was better than throwing it off the road.
I have to thank Danny McGee of Esker and KVC and all my sponsors today for giving me this wonderful opportunity, I thought finishing runner up to Dessie Keenan in the Billy Coleman award was the highlight of my rallying career but this result here in Killarney tops that hands down”.

The Esker bus and Coach, KVC, Elle Clothing, Shannette Sheds and Sligo Palletts teams next event will be the Dongal International Rally on the 16 June 07.


Rally Programmes
Rally Programmes are available at the Rally HQ, Mount Errigal and all Shell Fuel Stations throughout Donegal

On The Limit Sports to cover National Section On The Limit Sports will be filming a half hour programme on this years Donegal International rally featuring the National section
Note: On the limit sports only excepts on-board footage from micro-cam.

MRallying Donegal Build-up
June is upon us and as sure as showers will hit the Irish Atlantic coastline this weekend, Friday will see the Global Group Irish Tarmac Championship roll into Letterkenny for its fifth round – the Shell Donegal International rally.

The 2007 event sees Colm Murphy’s MRallying team arrive in Donegal in pole position in the GroupN championship – 12 points clear of their nearest rival but still requiring results to consolidate their lead heading into the Manx and Ulster rounds.

Welcoming their latest sponsor ATM Construction Trim to their ranks, the Limerick pairing of Murphy and co-driver Ger Loughrey will face intense competition on the Donegal test – besides the three days of gruelling miles extended since the 2006 event, the REMAX Kenmare and Killarney backed duo will have to battle with a capacity entry, buoyed by the driver signing on at number 1 this weekend; Citroen World Rally team’s Sebastian Loeb.

In a landmark year for Irish rallying, the arrival of the three-time World Rally champion confirms the growing impact of Irish rallying at both a national and international level.

Battle commences for the McKinstry prepared, Hankook shod Impreza on Friday just before midday with the ceremonial finish some 22 stages later on Sunday evening at the Mount Errigal hotel.

Colm and Ger would like to thank all their sponsors and supporters, without whose help none of this would be possible - Hankook tyres, Shell Fuels, Thermia Heat Link, ATM Construction, Trackcare Engineering, The Connemara Gateway Hotel, Advanced Surveys, WoodTown Plant Hire, The Gables Bar, Murray Motorsport for Lico, Mann Construction, Bywell Plant Hire, Remax Kenmare and Killarney, Griffin Bros Contractors Ltd and Hella Ireland.

List of Withdrawals as of 11/06/07

3 Gareth MacHale/Paul Nagle (Ford Focus WRC) [8]
6 Kris Meeke/TBA (Subaru Impreza WRC) [8]
8 Derek McGarrity/Dairmuid Falvey (Subaru Impreza WRC) [8]
12 Gareth Jones/Greg Shinnors (Ford Focus WRC) [8]
14 Steve Perez/Claire Mole (Ford Focus WRC) [8]
18 James Harrison/ (Subaru Impreza WRC) [8]
19 Aaron MacHale/Killian Duffy (Ford Focus WRC) [8]
20 Jon Ingram/Ian Allsop (Subaru Impreza WRC) [8]
25 Shaun Gallagher/Charlie McGinty (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
27 Roy White/Stephen McAuley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
31 James Foley/Paddy Robinson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
34 Barry Johnson/Stewart Merry (Subaru Impreza WRC) [8]
35 George Cullen/ (Subaru Impreza WRC) [8]
44 Richard Cathcart/Killian Duffy (Subaru Impreza) [4]
48 Camillus Bradley/Danny O'Neill (Ford Escort MkII) [13]
116 Timmy England/Eoghan Fogarty (Honda Civic Type R) [3]

Dairmuid Falvey to co-drive for Tim McNulty
Paddy Robinson to Co-Drive Willie Fannin

Get ready for a ‘Fiesta’ in Donegal
Round four of the Fiesta Sporting Trophy IE takes the championship contenders to the Donegal International Rally next Saturday 16th June when the eight crews will compete on the 143kms of classic stages that go to make up the second leg of the International Rally run by the Donegal Motorclub.

Local driver, Conor Harvey, 22 from Letterkenny, will lead the field away from the Mount Errigal start on Saturday morning. With a 16 point cushion at the head of the championship table, Harvey will be looking to build on his lead over the classic Donegal stages including Fanad Head and Knockalla.

Over the first three rounds of the championship, Harvey has twice finished on the top step of the podium and once in second place.

With results like this it would be easy to think that the championship is moving in the direction of the young man from Letterkenny, however, on the previous round of the series in Killarney, the winning margin was just 0.5s from Jonathan Greer / Jonny Hart, indicating the close nature of the series.

Second in the championship is 186year6old Alastair Fisher from Enniskillen with co6driver Barry McNulty. Third in Killarney after bending a steering arm on the last stage Fisher, who is competing in the FST UK series as well, was second on the previous UK round, the Severn Valley Stages and will be coming to Donegal full of confidence.

Third in the championship is 186year6old Jonathan Greer from Carryduff with co6driver Jonny Hart. Second on the previous round of the FST IE series, the Killarney Rally, by the smallest of margins and winner of the FST UK series round on the Isle of Man, shows that Greer will be the man on form.

Fourth, as the championship reaches the half6way point, is round one winner Tadgh Buckley, 25 from Ballyhaunis, with brother Shane co6driving. The preparations for this event have been hectic for this crew as a stage one crash on the Killarney Rally stopped them in their tracks. The car was extensively damaged after the crash on the famous Molls Gap stage, but the team have worked hard to repair the car in time for this crucial event.

With a full entry and over 100 crews on the reserve list, bumper crowds are expected to flock to the north west region to soak up the atmosphere of the event.

The FST drivers who are competing for a prize fund of over €2,700 EUR on the event will be giving 100% commitment and should be able to produce the same excellent stage times that have seen them shine on previous events.

Championship leader, Conor Harvey, 22 from Letterkenny said:
“It is great to be leading the championship coming into my home event and being first FST on the road. We have no choice but to push as I really want to win on my home ground, but I hope everything goes according to plan and we have a good weekend’s craic!"

Entry lists updated daily & Details on Helipcopter Registration available on the Rally Website:
F1 superstar driver David Coulthard, lead driver in the Red Bull Racing Formula One racing team, paid a flying visit to Donegal last weekend. The multiple Grand Prix winner stopped off en route to the Canadian Grand Prix to meet with the Reid Motorsport Rally team and multiple Donegal Rally winner Eugene Donnelly.

Coulthard was also keen to view the famous Atlantic Drive rally stage, which skirts the northern coast of Donegal in a spectacular series of natural twists and turns that have tested the worlds best rally drivers for over 30 years.

Having heard so much about it, he was suitably impressed. As one onlooker put it “He should be – if you go off the road here the next stop IS Canada”. The Shell Donegal Rally will once again use “the Drive” as its finale on Sunday 17th June, where setting fastest time is a special prize between the competitors.

Coulthard also met the Donegal Rally organisers, who briefed him on the event and congratulated him on his strong GP drives this season. Eugene Donnelly and Liam Reid gave him a rundown on the technology of the rally car, and in no time at all the two drivers were under the bonnet - pointing, asking, explaining – just like two drivers anywhere looking over a new car.

Except these are more than just two drivers. One a multiple Grand Prix winner; the other a multiple International Rally winner. Revered in their respective fields and linked in the common quest to be the fastest. And drawn together on the Atlantic drive in the run up to the Donegal Rally. With triple World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb heading the entry for the start on June 15th next, it’s already a month to remember in Donegal.


No Driver/Co-Driver (Car) [Class]

Top 20 International
1 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C4 WRC) [A8]
2 Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC) [A8]
3 Gareth MacHale/Paul Nagle (Ford Focus WRC) [A8]
4 Andrew Nesbitt/James O'Brien (TBA) [A8]
5 Eugene Donnelly/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC) [A8]
6 Kris Meeke/TBA (Subaru Impreza WRC) [A8]
7 Andreas Mikkelson/Ola Floene (Ford Focus WRC) [A8]
8 Derek McGarrity/Dairmuid Falvey (Subaru Impreza WRC) [A8]
9 Tim McNulty/Anthony Nestor (Subaru Impreza WRC) [A8]
10 Eamonn Boland/Francis Regan (Ford Focus WRC) [A8]
11 Kevin Lynch/David Moynihan (Ford Focus WRC) [A8]
12 Gareth Jones/Greg Shinnors (Ford Focus WRC) [A8]
14 Steve Perez/Claire Mole (Ford Focus WRC) [A8]
15 Stephen Murphy/Michael Joe Morrissey (Subaru Impreza WRC) [A8]
16 Paul Harris/Eugene O'Donnell (TBA) [A8]
17 Patrick Elliott/Paul Goodman (Subaru Impreza WRC) [A8]
18 James Harrison/ (Subaru Impreza WRC) [A8]
19 Aaron MacHale/Killian Duffy (Ford Focus WRC) [A8]
20 Jon Ingram/Ian Allsop (Subaru Impreza WRC) [A8]
21 Sean Devine/Paul McLaughlin (Subaru Impreza WRC) [A8]

Top 10 Group N
25 Shaun Gallagher/Charlie McGinty (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [N4]
26 Seamus Leonard/Gerry McVeigh (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [N4]
27 Roy White/Stephen McAuley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [N4]
28 Colm Murphy/Ger Loughrey (Subaru Impreza N12) [N4]
29 Garry Jennings/Damien Connolly (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [N4]
30 James Cullen/Allan Harryman (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [N4]
31 James Foley/Paddy Robinson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [N4]
32 Conor McCloskey/Robbie Durant (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [N4]
33 Willie Fannin/Mark Kane (Subaru Impreza N12) [N4]
37 Cathal Rogers/John McCafferty (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]

Top 20 National
47 Phil Collins/Derek Brannigan (Ford Escort MkII) [14]
48 Camillus Bradley/Danny O'Neill (Ford Escort MkII) [13]
49 Damien Gallagher/Mac Walsh (Ford Escort) [13]
50 Wesley Patterson/Ruth Guest (Ford Escort) [13]
51 Ivan Stewart/Gerard Callaghan (Ford Escort RS Cosworth) [15]
52 Tom Holton/Francis Kenny (Toyota Celica GT-Four) [15]
53 Robbie Peoples/Keith Stewart (Ford Escort) [13]
54 Paul Gallagher/Karl Reid (Toyota Corolla 2.0) [13]
55 Martin McGee/Damian Crawford (Ford Escort) [13]
56 Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan (Ford Escort) [13]
57 Seamus O'Connell/Sean Magee (Ford Escort) [14]
58 Manus Kelly/Donal Barrett (Ford Escort) [13]
59 Conor Curley/Nigel Frazer (Ford Escort) [14]
66 Jer O Donovan/Stephen O Donovan (Ford Escort) [15]
71 Paul Ward/Peter Ward (Subaru Impreza WRX) [16]
73 Glenn Wilson/Paddy Robinson (Ford Escort F2 Maxi) [13]
74 Drew Hunter/Victor Hunter (Ford Escort) [13]
75 Declan McNaughton/Eugene O'Kane (Ford Escort) [14]
76 Calum Duffy/Iain Duffy (Ford Escort MkII) [13]
77 Paul Purtill/David Lyons (Ford Escort MkII) [11]

Top 10 Historics
H1 Adrian Kermode/Maurice Beckett (Porsche 911) [C2]
H2 Francis Tuthill/ (Porsche 911) []
H3 William Todd/Nigel Campbell (Austin Mini Cooper S) [B2]
H4 Nick Whale/Sally Wood (Porsche 911) [C2]
H5 Mervyn Johnstone/Stuart Hyland (Austin Cooper 'S') [B2]
H6 Alan Jardine/James McSherry (Ford Escort) [C2]
H7 Donal Connolly/Danny McLaughlin (Ford Escort) []
H8 Michael Carlin/Robert McDaid (Ford Escort MK1) [C1]
H9 Richard Hall/ (Ford Escort MK1 RS2000) [C2]
H10 Niall Creighton/Gregory Roberts (Ford Cortina MK1 Lotus) [B3]

Top 10 Juniors
J1 Damien McCauley/Terence Magee (Toyota Corolla) [J2]
J2 Peter Wilson/Barry Sheridan (Honda Civic) [J2]
J3 Brendan Friel/Cathal Sharkey (Toyota Corolla) [J2]
J4 Anthony Hand/Rodney Perkins (Ford Escort MKII) [J2]
J5 Barry Ryan/Donal Falvey (Ford Escort) [J2]
J6 Aidan Wray/Kieran McGrath (Honda Civic) [J2]
J7 Darren McKenna/Nicola McKenna (Toyota corolla) [J2]
J8 Mark Wedlock/Adam Kinkade (Ford Escort) [J2]
J9 Paul Fitzgerald/Ger Fahy (Ford Escort MkII) [J2]
J10 Jason O'Mahony/Jonathan O'Mahony (Honda Civic) [J2]

Fiesta Sporting Trophy
FST 1 Connor Harvey/TBA (Ford Fiesta) [FST]
FST 2 Alaistair Fisher/Barry McNulty (Ford Fiesta) [FST]
FST 3 Jonathan Greer/Jonny Harte (Ford Fiesta ST) [FST]
FST 4 Tadhg Buckley/Shane Buckley (Ford Fiesta) [FST]
FST 5 Kyle Orr/Peter O'Toole (Ford Fiesta) [FST]
FST 6 William Mavitty/Mark Ammonds (Ford Fiesta St) [FST]
FST 7 Barry Greer/John Lemon (Ford Fiesta) [FST]
FST 8 Colin Flanaghan/Enda McLaughlin (Ford Fiesta St) [FST]

Full Entry Lists on Rally Website:
The Organisers of the Shell Donegal Rally 2007 have disclosed that Sebastien Loeb’s entry for this year’s event has sparked unprecedented levels of interest. Accomodation bookings have jumped dramatically with many rally fans deciding this is the “must see” rally of the year. Everything within a 20-mile radius of the Mount Errigal Hotel base in Letterkenny Co. Donegal is reportedly booked out already.

“We were more than pleased to see the three time World Champion’s name on a Donegal entry form” said Clerk of the Course Danny Gormley “Some say we should frame it, and it has been a fantastic vote of confidence in the Rally. Rest assured, all the stops will be pulled out to make this a memorable weekend for Sebastien, Daniel Elena and the entire Citroen team”.

The Rally has received a total of 325 entries for its various sections. “We received 244 entries for the main field, which is a record.” Said Mr. Gormley “There are just 150 places for them to fit into. We have full Junior and Historic sections and the Fiesta Trophy runners too. Sorting all this has been not so much difficult as painful – some really good drivers will be on the reserve list.”

“The notices of entry acceptance are being issued this week. The overall quality we are seeing is exceptional – there are at least 40 entrants who have won their class on an International Rally before. That’s remarkable – yet it is just one of the selection categories. No question, rally fans are in for a rare treat on June 15th –17th next.”

Mr. Gormley also appealed for Marshals to contact the Club as a matter of urgency. “We have amended the route quite a bit for 2007” he said “and it won’t be easy to move between the stages.

If you are a trained marshal who was going to come and spectate please contact us on +353-87-285-7247, or e-mail the Rally website at www.donegalrallyireland.com. We can use every marshal we get and I am appealing to them to give us at least one day of the three to ensure that the rally is a success.”

Mr. Gormley went on to say: “Motorsport Ireland has granted us permission to use a Rally Restart procedure (also known as Superally), but this will be limited to FIA priority drivers and FIA Manufacturer team nominees. It means that cars which break down can restart on the next leg and still be classed as a finisher, but not receive any other awards.”

“I should also mention that we have been monitoring our stages for some time. There are a variety of measures in place to detect any illegal reconnaissance. Rest assured that, with over 120 competitors on the reserve lists, we’ll have no difficulty replacing anyone who breaks the rules. And no difficulty detecting them either.”
26/04/07 Regulations available on Rally Website:
Major changes planned for 2007.
The Clerk of the Course for this year’s Shell Donegal Rally, Danny Gormley, has announced that Regulations for the popular June 15th – 17th event will soon be available from the Rally website.

Mr.Gormley commented:
“With the support of Shell and Donegal Oil we are looking forward to June with more excitement than ever. Last year’s Rally ran perfectly and it will be hard to match.”

“For 2007 we’ve decided to add to the challenge. The route is changed, with new stages and some not used for a while. Overall stage mileage is up, and the stages are longer too. This year’s Donegal will be tougher than ever.”

“With the interest we already have, I have no doubt we will need more marshals than ever and I would appeal at this point for anyone who can help us, even on one of the days, to make contact via the Marshals link on the website.”

“It will be ideal preparation for those doing Rally Ireland later in the year. To that end we have asked Motorsport Ireland for help with some Regulation changes, which we think will make a big difference. They’ve been very understanding and we hope to invite entries soon.”

“Enquiries are coming in steadily from drivers who want to enter. Our new entry selection criteria are now on the website, and are well worth a read!”

2007 Rally Website Launched.

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