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Donegal International Rally - 17-19 Jun 16

Posted: March 10, 2017 6:53 AM - 19882 Hits

Round 5 - 2016 Tarmac Championship

Full On The Limit Sports TV Program on Line

Posted: March 10, 2017 6:53 AM



Cronin & Galvin back on track in Donegal

Posted: September 22, 2016 7:35 AM

The fifth round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Championship, the Joule Donegal International Rally saw the closest finish to any Irish International Rally in history. While Manus Kelly took the overall win in a Subaru Impreza WRC, it was tremendous drive by Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin who were pipped by just 0.5 seconds after three days and twenty stages of rallying. The Citroen crew led going into the final stage but had to give way in atrocious conditions, although the maximum points haul has brought them right back into contention for the Tarmac Championship as they now lie third. Third overall in Donegal was Sam Moffett who now moves into the joint lead of the series along with Alastair Fisher who lost time over the weekend with a puncture and a visit to the scenery. Fisher eventually finished sixth behind Josh Moffett & Stephen Wright as the top five in the championship are now only separated by six points with two rounds remaining.

The National Rally saw Frank Kelly take maximum points and his first score of the season while David Armstrong extended his championship advantage over Ross Marshall to four points after five rounds. The Historic Rally saw Seamus O’Connell win the category and take maximum points while Frank Cunningham extended his overall lead from David Goose and Brendan McAree. Kevin Horgan from Cork finished third in the Junior Rally and this gave him maximum points although Justin Ryan and Noel Murphy continue to stay in first and second overall respectively.

Manus Kelly and Donal Barrett win!

Posted: September 22, 2016 7:32 AM

After the thrills and spills of the weekend Manus Kelly and Donal Barrett in the Melvyn Evans prepared Subaru S12b have taken a historic win in this year’s Joule Donegal International rally. They will now go into the record books as the first crew to win the International and National Rally in consecutive years. Having spent over a minute in a field yesterday, to battle back has shown a tremendous spirit on behalf of the two guys.

However, commiserations must go out to Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin who had their share of drama but to lose the victory by 0.5 seconds on the last stage must be heart breaking, consolation comes in taking maximum points in the Clonakility Irish Tarmac Championship to help bring him back into the contention for the championship title. Overnight leaders Sam Moffett and Karl Atkinson finished in a very creditable third overall.

In the National rally, regular Scottish visitor David Bogie has fulfilled a long held ambition by taking the win. David who admitted to building Ford Escort MKII to help realise his ambition had a titanic battle with Frank Kelly and Michael Coady and at the finish only 21.3secs separated the two crews. Damien Gallagher and Mac Walsh claimed third in this category just over 50secs behind Kelly.

From overall battles and class battles being settled by tenths of seconds this year’s Joule Donegal International rally will no doubt be regarded as an absolute classic.

A big thanks to everyone who has made the event happen over the past three days, competitors, officials, marshals, residents, spectators and to everyone else involved. Another chapter to the ‘Donegal Experience’ has been added to this fantastic story and we can’t wait for 2017 to start the next chapter. You can guarantee that the countdown will start as soon as we get the party over for this one.


Posted: September 22, 2016 7:24 AM


Posted: September 22, 2016 7:23 AM

1 Manus Kelly/Donall Barrett (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 26m 53.1s,
2 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Citroen DS3 R5) 2h 26m 53.6s,
3 Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson (Ford Fiesta R5) 2h 27m 32s,
4 Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Ford Fiesta R5) 2h 28m 49s,
5 Stephen Wright/Arthur Kierans (Ford Fiesta R5) 2h 30m 01s,
6 Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Ford Fiesta R5) 2h 31m 30s,
7 Aaron MacHale/Paul McGee (Skoda Fabia S2000) 2h 35m 26s,
8 Aidan Wray/Kieran McGrath (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 Gp N) 2h 37m 47s,
9 David Guest/Paddy Robinson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 2h 38m 42s,
10 Callum Devine/Keith Moriarty (Opel Adam R2) 2h 38m 45s.

Class winners:
Callum Devine/Keith Moriarty,
Christopher Boyce/Pascal Dillon (Honda Civic),
Aidan Wray/Kieran McGrath,
Josh Moffett/John Rowan,
Tony Quinn/Anthony Nestor (Subaru Impreza WRC).

1 David Bogie/Enda Sherry (Ford Escort MkII) 2h 32m 04s,
2 Frank Kelly/Michael Coady (Ford Escort MkII) 2h 32m 25s,
3 Damien Gallagher/Mac Walsh (Ford Escort MkII) 2h 33m 16s,
4 Damien Tourish/Domhnall McAlaney (Ford Escort MkII) 2h 33m 29s,
5 Declan Gallagher/James McNulty (Toyota Starlet) 2h 33m 56s,
6 Frank Wray/Joe McNulty (Subaru Impreza) 2h 36m 06s.

1 Seamus O'Connell/Sean Magee (Ford Escort MkII) 2h 04m 39s,
2 Andy Johnson/Jim McSherry (Vauxhall Chevette) 2h 07m 23s,
3 Frank Cunningham/Ross Forde (Ford Escort MkII) 2h 07m 26s,
4 John Coyne/Christy Farrell (Sunbeam Lotus) 2h 10m 19s.

1 Michael Boyle/Dermot McCafferty (Honda Civic) 50m 43s,
2 Paul Creamer/Patrick Durning (Honda Civic) 50m 46s,
3 Kevin Horgan/Stephen Horgan (Honda Civic) 53m 06s.

Leaders After
SS1 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
SS2 Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Ford Focus WRC)
SS3-13 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
SS14 Sam Moffett/James Fulton (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS15 Seamus Leonard/Paul McLaughlin (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS16-19 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Citroen DS3 R5)
SS20 Manus Kelly/Donall Barrett (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Stage Winners
SS1 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
SS2 Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Ford Focus WRC)
SS3 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
SS4 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
SS5 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
SS6 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
SS7 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
SS8 Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Ford Focus WRC)
SS9 Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Ford Focus WRC)
SS10 Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Ford Focus WRC)
SS11 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
SS12 Manus Kelly/Donall Barrett (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS13 Manus Kelly/Donall Barrett (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS14 Manus Kelly/Donall Barrett (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS15 Manus Kelly/Donall Barrett (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS16 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Citroen DS3 R5)
SS17 Manus Kelly/Donall Barrett (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS18 Cancelled
SS19 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Citroen DS3 R5)
SS20 Manus Kelly/Donall Barrett (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Tarmac Championship heads to the North West

Posted: June 15, 2016 2:06 PM

The fifth round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, the Joule Donegal International Rally, promises to be one of the events of the year with all of the championship contenders due to take part. It has been a number of years since Alastair Fisher competed in Donegal, but that 2011 event saw him take a superb second place. He is currently leading the championship after some very good recent results and on current form could well add another maximum score. Fisher is unlikely to have it easy though, with Sam Moffett in another R5 Fiesta starting to show some excellent pace, having come close to taking top points in Killarney along with winning the recent Cavan Rally. Sam of course has also won Donegal in the past, so recent experience of the event will stand to him this year.

Josh Moffett blotted his copybook in Killarney with an accident which dropped him from first to fourth in the championship, but he is undeniably quick and will be keen to make up for that mishap. Keith Cronin started the year with two maximum scores but it’s been downhill since as an accident on the Circuit of Ireland and mechanical problems leading to a massive time loss in Killarney dropped him back a little. Another problem for the talented Cork driver is lack of experience of Donegal, having only competed there in 2010, and that only lasted six stages. However when on form there are very few drivers in Ireland capable of staying with him and he will be hoping to have more luck with the car this time around as well.

Stephen Wright has had a very consistent year and has climbed to third overall in the series as his pace increases, he is very familiar with Donegal and could well be in line for another top result this coming weekend. Jonny Greer & Joe McGonigle have also shown a sharp turn of pace this year and will be poised to take advantage if any of the leading crews suffer any mishaps. Greer didn’t compete on Killarney while McGonigle was forced out after damaging a radiator having also lost a lot of time before that with a puncture. In Group N David Guest the championship leader and Gus Kearney will be looking to pull away from the chasing pack by getting among the points in their respective Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9s.

The Class 2 battle has been very competitive all year long and this event should be no different as Callum Devine in his extremely rapid and well driven Opel Adam leads the class after three maximum scores to date. He has been pushed all year by William Creighton in a Peugeot 208 with Marty Gallagher and Fraser Mulholland also performing very well during the year. An interesting switch is that of 2015 Junior Champion John O’Sullivan from Mallow who has moved from a Honda Civic to a Class 2 Fiesta. It may take some time for him to acclimatise but it will be interesting to see where he slots in over the course of the event.

The Modified championship is being led by Davy Armstrong in his Escort and he has had a very consistent run this year, scoring on all rounds to date. Ross Marshall from Scotland had led going into Killarney but he retired on that event to drop back to second place. Two drivers who will expect to be in the final shakeup are Brian Brogan who took maximum points on his only championship outing to date in West Cork, while Eugene Meegan ended his run of bad luck with a fine result in Killarney. A good result for either or both of these drivers will bring them back into championship contention.

The Historic Championship is being led by Florida based Galway driver Frank Cunningham who switched from a Sierra after Galway to an Escort in West Cork. Since the switch he has racked up three excellent results to open up a twelve point lead in the series. His closest rival is English driver David Goose in an Escort who took top points in Galway and was second to Cunningham in Killarney as he attempts to stay in touch. Other registered drives looking to improve their position include Andy Johnson in his Chevette while Brendan McAree brings his fabulous Porsche to the hills after scoring in two rounds to date. Jimmy McRae makes a welcome return to Donegal in a Vauxhall Firenza, while John Coyne is another to make the long trip from the U.S. to compete in his Sunbeam Lotus.

The Junior Championship is currently being led by Justin Ryan from Noel Murphy with Kevin Horgan in third place and all three have entered Donegal. Ryan currently holds a twelve point advantage after the three rounds so far, and another good result here could make him extremely difficult to catch. Christy McCarthy from Cork is another driver who has the potential to score well in Donegal while Kieran O’Donoghue from Kerry scored maximum points on the last round but is currently on reserve for Donegal.

The three day twenty stage event gets underway at lunchtime on Friday with six stages on the opening day, eight on the second day and six more on the final day in what promises to be one of the toughest and most exciting events of the year. You can keep up to date on Twitter (@irishtarmactroa), and Facebook (Irish Tarmac Rally Championship) and the championship website at www.irishtarmac.com.

Press Release Seven - Are we there yet?

Posted: June 12, 2016 11:24 AM

With the Joule Donegal International Rally just under a week away, the excitement continues to build. Final prep of man (woman) and machine is continuing at a frantic pace. This weekend sees the start of the recce for all the crews. This is where the crews drive the stages at normal speeds in their road cars making pacenotes which will allow them to drive at their maximum on the weekend of the 17th-19th of June. With crews normally taking two days to complete the recce, hotel and Bed and Breakfast rooms are at a premium. Also restaurants, cafes and shops along the route will benefit as drivers and co-drivers need to be refuelled.

This year’s route has a familiar look to it, with crews assembling at the An Grianan Theatre for a safety briefing. They are then ready to tackle the Friday stages, which are located in the Letterkenny/ Ballybofey area with centralised service at the rear of the Clanree Hotel.

Saturday kicks off with awesome Knockalla stage which sees the crews start alongside Ballymastocker Bay and climb and weave along the coast road towards Rathmullan before turning inland to complete a loop of tighter twisting roads. Then on to the Garrygort stage which brings the crews into service, they then repeat these two stages. In the afternoon the crews tackle stages in the Gartan Lake and Carnhill area, again these stages are repeated. Centralised service for both Saturday and Sunday is the Mart in Milford.

Sunday has three of the most famous stage names in Irish Rallying, with crews tackling Glen, Atlantic Drive and Fanad, these stages will be completed twice. These roads are part of the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way, but drivers and co-drivers will not have time to enjoy the views. They will be battling for every second as it will decide the overall order and class positions.

When the crews arrive back at the Mount Errigal Hotel on Sunday evening, celebrations will commence and the party has been known to continue for days!!!! Others will have had a difficult weekend, but no doubt will have a story to tell. This is what makes the ‘Donegal Experience’ so special, everyone has a story, so come along and write your own chapter.

MINI Hopes for Donnelly in Donegal with Lakeland Tyres WRC!

Posted: June 10, 2016 9:25 AM

Eugene Donnelly has had a brief test in the Lakeland Tyres backed Mini WRC before next weekend’s Donegal International Rally and the five times Irish Tarmac Rally Champion is now very much looking forward to the event. The Maghera man with co-driver Paddy Toner in the McGeehan Motorsport run left-hand drive 01C specification Mini WRC is seeded number four amongst a magnificent line-up for this classic three day event, which starts from Letterkenny next Friday.

It’s been eighteen months since Eugene has sat behind the wheel of a competitive rally car, but he was impressed with the Mini after a short test run this week.
“I wasn’t sure how I would settle in after so many months away, but I felt happy, and got into the groove again with the car reasonably quickly. We only made some very minor setting changes with Derek McGeehan to the high-speed suspension damping, but I was delighted that I still had a good feel for it” said Eugene. “I’m not sure how we will go next weekend though. There are so many drivers, who will be going very quickly, and I’m not too concerned, I really want to go and enjoy the rally.”

Co-driver Paddy Toner from Draperstown who lifted the Irish Tarmac title with Eugene in 2009 is very much looking forward to it.
“It’s nice to be back” said Paddy. “It will take a bit of getting used to the speed again- focusing on the notes, and maybe we are seeded a bit too high! There is a magic to Donegal however and I have great memories in the Fabia in 2009, despite a few wee problems that year. It was all part of a great year, and of course with McGeehan Motorsport as well, who very much a home team, as they are based right beside my house! The brief run went well and Eugene seems happy so I’m very much looking forward to getting out on the recce and seeing what the stages are like.”

The McGeehan Motorsport team, so much a part of the extraordinary Donnelly Motorsport success, and led by technical guru Derek McGeehan has turned out the ex Dani Sordo 01C Mini WRC in immaculate condition.
“This car was the last one rallied by Prodrive and the 01C has some of the weight transferred lower down in the car compared to the previous version, but the differences are quite minor” said Derek. “It’s nice to have Eugene back out again, and he certainly seemed to switch on to it quickly again. Still he hasn’t had much seat time, and that could be important next weekend on the stages. Most of the competition have been out a lot lately. We will just have to wait and see.”

Not only are Lakeland Tyres and McGeehan Motorsport behind “the Genies“ Donegal return, but other sponsors such as Protune Remapping, Sligo Pallets, PPP Group, McPartland Fuels- Coal Merchants, Rally Cover Insurance and Rallysales.eu have all come on board to assist. Now it’s up to Lakeland Tyres- Group Manager- Eugene and co-driver Paddy Toner to make detailed pace-notes in the pre-event recce and join a star cast of tarmac rally chargers for what promises to be an epic weekend in the West.

Press Release Six - TV Times for Documentary "Donegal Has It All ….."

Posted: June 10, 2016 3:49 AM

As many of you know the countdown to the Joule Donegal International Rally 2016 is well underway. With the event taking place in under two weeks many of you out there are itching for the greatest weekend in the rally calendar to take place. Every year the number of people attending the rally increases and we expect this year to be no different, as a little taster of what to expect, Donegal Motor Club in association with Donegal Tourism are bringing you a 30 minute documentary ‘Donegal Has It All…".
This exciting documentary will include interviews with past and current Donegal drivers and winners, including current champions Gary Jennings and Rory Kennedy. Current and archived footage from the event will be featured in the documentary for everyone to enjoy. It will also highlight the many attractions that Donegal has to offer along the Wild Atlantic Way and more. Whether you are a Donegal native or a visitor to the county or rally.. tune in and find out that.... Donegal really does have it all.

The documentary ‘Donegal has it all…’ broadcast schedule:

    Setanta Ireland:
    Friday 10th June @ 9:15pm

    Friday 10th June @ 10 pm
    Saturday 11th June @ 11am
    Sunday 12th June @ 11pm
    Monday 13th June @ 12:30am

    Saturday 11th June @ 2pm
    Sunday 12th June @ 4pm

    Friday 10th June 7:30pm

    UTV Ireland
    Friday 10th June 10:30 pm

Press Release Five - Donegal It’s a World Apart

Posted: June 3, 2016 8:22 AM

Revs are building with just over three weeks to go until the start of this year’s Joule Donegal International Rally. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the glorious weather continues for everyone to enjoy.

The entry list reads like a travel guide with competitors travelling from all ends of the globe to sample the delights that Donegal has to offer.

The Historic Entry alone has entries from Florida and California in the form of Frank Cunningham and John Coyne. The Legend Jimmy McRae is also making the trip across from Scotland to once again grace our stages. Jimmy competed here many times throughout the years, including 1980 when he took victory in his works Chevette HSR.

In the International field the geographical spread is mind blowing as Paul Rowley and Liam Egan make the trip from New York. A very interesting entry is Tony Quinn from Queensland, New Zealand. Tony was born in Scotland but his family roots are in Donegal, he has chosen the Joule Donegal International Rally to make his return home. He has enjoyed numerous successes whilst competing across New Zealand and Australia. Lately he announced an ambition programme to support aspiring competitors in New Zealand which will allow them to further their careers internationally. He has hired a Kenny McKinstry prepared Subaru S14 WRC and is looking forward to seeing what the Donegal roads have in store for him.

With other competitors and their service crews making the journey from all across Ireland and the United Kingdom why not make Donegal your destination of choice from the 17th to the 19th of June. We would love to welcome you in person but if you can’t make it why not watch it via the live streaming, it will be as good as being here………. Well almost……….

Press Release Four - Live with King of the Hills

Posted: June 1, 2016 7:48 AM

With the Joule Donegal International Rally fast approaching excitement is ramping up. This Friday sees the launch in the Aura Leisure Complex in Letterkenny. Eamon McGee and his team look forward to welcoming you all to hear all the latest news, information and no doubt some famous Donegal Banter.

If you can’t make it to the Aura, never fear as in association with Donegal Sports Hub all will be live streamed on the night and the team will also be there for the whole weekend as Chris McNulty explains;

“Donegal Sport Hub will stream coverage of the 2016 Joule Donegal International Rally on their website, www.donegalsporthub.com Links viawww.donegalrally.ie for the streams and podcast will also be available on the weekend of the event.
Rally fans at home and abroad can keep up to date with all the action, with uninterrupted coverage on each of the three days of the event.
The Donegal Sport Hub team will be live at the end of each of the stages and in the service area with the latest breaking news and stage times.
Via www.donegalsporthub.com and www.donegalrally.ie rally enthusiasts will be able to hear the views from the competitors throughout the event with stage soundbites and service interviews. The audio streaming service will run throughout the three days as the event is progressing and the various bulletins will be accessible afterwards to download in podcast format.
Donegal Sport Hub will also stream some interviews and the start and finish ramps via Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/donegalsporthub
Donegal Sport Hub’s coverage of the 2016 Joule Donegal International Rally will be spearheaded by Charlie Collins, who will anchor the rolling news from a base at Full Tilt Studios in Letterkenny. Charlie is well known in the motorsport fraternity having covered the Donegal International Rally as a broadcaster for 20 years. The field reporting will be led by Chris McNulty, who has covered rallying in Donegal for the last 11 years. The complete Donegal Sport Hub team for the 2016 Joule Donegal International Rally will be confirmed shortly.”

Don’t forget after the launch the marshals appreciation night in Sister Saras, this will be a rally themed night and with brilliant giveaways throughout the night.

Further Exciting News
A new feature this year is the inclusion of the ultimate Ford Escort MKII prize! Beatsons Building Supplies, Den Motorsport, Donald Brown, Calum Duffy and James MacGillivray in association with the Mull Rally are offering the leading Irish crewed Escort MKII the opportunity to compete in the Mull Rally in October.
Ross Marshall, Director of Beatsons Building Supplies said “when we wanted to attract the fastest Escort MKII crews to come to Mull, Ireland was the only destination to be considered and Donegal always attracts the cream of the crop”. Ross went on to say” The Mull Rally like Donegal, once you compete you get the bug and need to return year after year”. He looks forward to welcoming to the winner and other Irish crews to Mull.

Mull Rally Clerk of the Course Andy Jardine explains
“Mull has provided a unique tarmac challenge for the last 46 years and this initiative between the organisers of the Donegal Rally, Beatson’s Building Supplies and others will mean that the challenge of the island can be introduced across to the other side of the Irish Sea. The Escort has won the rally more times than any other car so to have this going to the quickest Irish Escort pilot in Donegal is very fitting. We look forward to welcoming the winning crew to the island in October.”

Eamon McGee Clerk of the Course for the Joule Donegal International Rally said
“our rally always attracts a strong Escort entry and this added dimension will certainly give the crews something to focus on. We are delighted to have struck up this relationship with the Mull Rally”.

Camping available at St Eunan's GAA Club in Letterkenny

Posted: May 30, 2016 7:17 AM

St Eunan's GAA club Letterkenny and the Donegal Motor club have teamed up to provide a solution for the hundreds of rally fans who are finding it so hard to get accommodation for the 3 day event in June.
In the past St Eunan's grounds at the O'Donnell Park was the main camp site for the All Ireland Fleadh and when the idea was mentioned by Brian Brogan chairman of the Motor club the club was happy to help out. Niall Doherty the popular Treassure of St Eunan's said the club have all the facilities on site. We have toilets, showers, plenty of space for tents and camper vans all in a safe and secure venue right in the heart of Letterkennny. The site will be supervised 24/7 over the 3 days to insure safety . We are hoping that all the rally fans out there who are looking for accommodation can now avail of this cheaper option.
Doherty added that anyone looking to book should call 0879499614 or 0861660357 (+353 87 9499614 or +353 86 1660357)

Rally Launch - (Fri) 3 Jun 16

Posted: May 26, 2016 3:20 PM

The organising committee of the Joule Donegal International Rally together with Donegal Motor Club wish to invite you to the Launch of the Joule Donegal International Rally 2016:

The launch will take place on Friday the 3rd of June in the Aura Leisure Complex Letterkenny starting at 7.30pm.

This is your chance to meet the some the drivers and co-drivers and get up close to the cars that will be powering through the stages the weekend of the rally. In association with Donegal Sports Hub, the launch will be streamed live and is set to be a night filled with fun, excitement and no doubt some crazy stories.

Big shout out to all marshals, after the launch you are invited to Sister Saras for a fun filled rally themed evening. This evening is Donegal Motor Clubs way of saying thank you to all marshals and officials who give their time, ensuring that all our events are run to the highest possible standards. This event could not be held without your help, so please come along and enjoy the night!

Donnelly for Donegal in Lakeland Tyres MINI!

Posted: May 26, 2016 3:17 PM

Five times Irish Tarmac Rally Champion- Eugene Donnelly will make a long awaited return to the Donegal stages, with a Lakeland Tyres backed Mini WRC. It was in 2009 that the Maghera driver last competed on the Donegal International, and his co-driver from that Tarmac title winning season- Paddy Toner will once again join him. Not surprisingly McGeehan Motorsport, who helped Eugene to those Tarmac titles and three Donegal International victories in 2004, 2005 and 2008 will be running the 1600cc Mini WRC on this tough three day event.

“I really wanted to do Donegal” said Eugene. “It’s been quite a few years since I’ve competed on it, and this year’s entry is shaping up magnificently. I haven’t done any rallying in about eighteen months. I’ve no high expectations, no big testing or anything planned before the rally- I just want to get out there.” With additional support from Sligo Pallets, Pro-Tune re-mapping and Rally Cover insurance, it will enable “the Genie” to have a go. “We got a great deal on the insurance cover and that gives me piece of mind starting the rally, but I expect a lot of people will be going very quickly. You have Garry Jennings, Donagh Kelly and Declan Boyle in WRC’s and I think it could be Declan’s year. Then there is Manus Kelly who has took to an S12 Subaru and the R5 runners such as Alastair Fisher the Moffett brothers and Keith Cronin. A top ten place at the end could even be a real challenge!”

Lakeland Tyres Managing Director Adrian Frazer’s on-going support for motorsport continues in 2016. “The Circuit of Ireland with Craig Breen was brilliant, but it will be good to see Eugene out again in Donegal. Donegal always has a special magic.” Lakeland Tyres has long been established in Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh with its four year old Enniskillen branch currently undergoing a re-vamp. Like motorsport the company has been moving forwards fast with two depots now established in Mallusk near Belfast, and Carn Industrial Estate in Portadown.

It will be interesting to see if Lakeland Tyres- Group Manager- Eugene can re-group after his short lay-off and still match the pace of the latest hot-shoes, in a car which is slightly behind in the technology race. Shades of the Corolla days perhaps? This is one thing for sure. Donegal on June 17th-19th is going to give all the answers!

Craig Breen will not be in Donegal

Posted: May 25, 2016 5:15 PM

Seeded Entry Lists

Posted: May 25, 2016 5:07 PM

1 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC S12B) [7]
2 Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Ford Focus WRC) [7]
3 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC) [7]
4 Eugene Donnelly/Paddy Toner (Mini WRC) [7]
5 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C4 WRC) [7]
6 Alaistair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Ford Fiesta R5) [5]
7 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Citroen DS3 R5) [5]
8 Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson (Ford Fiesta R5) [5]
9 Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Ford Fiesta R5) [5]
10 Manus Kelly/Donall Barrett (Subaru Impreza WRC S12B) [7]
11 Seamus Leonard/Paul McLaughlin (Subaru Impreza WRC S14) [7]
12 Tommy Doyle/Liam Moynihan (Subaru Impreza WRC S10) [7]
14 Stephen Wright/Fintan Sherry (Ford Fiesta R5) [5]
15 Joseph McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney (Skoda Fabia S2000) [5]
16 Jonathan Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroen DS3 R5) [5]
17 Jonathan Pringle/Alan Keena (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
18 Declan Gallagher/James McNulty (Toyota Starlet RWD) [13]
19 David Bogie/Enda Sherry (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
20 Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
21 Frank Kelly/Michael Coady (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
22 Damien Gallagher/Mac Walsh (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
23 Adrian Hethrington/Gary Nolan (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
24 Damien Tourish/Domhnall McAlaney (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
25 James Cullen/Damien Connolly (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
26 Vivian Hamill/Andrew Greenan (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
27 Gary Kiernan/Niall Tierney (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
28 Conor Harvey/Arthur Kierans (Toyota GT86) [14]
29 Aaron McHale/Paul McGee (Skoda Fabia S2000) [5]
30 Frank Wray/Joe McNulty (Subaru Impreza WRC) [15]
31 Stephen McCann/Damien Fleming (Subaru Impreza WRC) [15]
32 Tony Quinn/Anthony Nestor (Subaru Impreza WRC) [7]
33 PJ McDermott/Niall Burns (Subaru Impreza WRC) [7]
34 Aidan Wray/Kieran McGrath (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) [4]
35 Eugene Meegan/Sarah Whelan (BMW 1M) [14]
36 Pat Kirk/John McElhinney (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) [5]
37 David Guest/Paddy Robinson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
38 Jason McSweeney/Denis O Mahoney (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [20]
39 Robbie Peoples/Keith Stewart (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
40 David Armstrong/Martin McGarrity (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
41 Brendan McDaid/Karl Reid (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
42 Martin Doherty/Damien McCauley (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
43 John Bonner/Leon Jordan (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
44 Daniel Conaghan/Terence Magee (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
45 Richard Moffett/Martin Connolly (Toyota Starlet RWD) [14]
46 Declan McNaughton/Ronan O Neill (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
47 David Moffett/Johnny Baird (Toyota Starlet RWD) [13]
48 Conor Curley/Nigel Frazer (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
49 Michael Carbin/Darragh Kelly (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4) [20]
50 John McQuaid/Stephen Hagan (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
51 Patrick McHugh/Pauric O Donnell (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
52 William McFadden/David Gordon (Ford Escort G3) [13]
53 Peter Wilson/Brendan McElhinney (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
54 Michael Dunlop/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
55 John Ross Marshall/Dave Robson (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
56 Callum Devine/TBA (Opel Adam R2) [2]
57 Paul Rowley/Patrick Brides (Skoda Fabia S2000) [5]
58 Pauric Duffy/Kevin Glynn (Ford Fiesta R5) [5]
59 Gary Cairns/Justin Coyle (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
60 Lee Hastings/Julie McGuire (Subaru Impreza WRX) [20]
61 Brian O Keefe/Sean Hayde (Subaru Impreza N16) [4]
62 Ashley Dickson/Ryan McCloskey (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [2]
63 Gus Kearney/Tommy Hayes (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
64 Joseph Connolly/Richard Connolly (Ford Fiesta R5) [5]
65 Marty Gallagher/Dean O Sullivan (Peugeot 208 R2) [2]
66 William Creighton/Liam Regan (Peugeot 208 R2) [2]
67 Robert Woodside/Alan Harryman (Toyota GT86) [3]
68 Patrick Kearney/Alaistar Wyllie (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
69 Ian Barrett/Eoin O Flaherty (Darrian GTR T90+) [14]
70 Mark Boyle/Charles Gallagher (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
71 Kieron Graffin/Paddy Robinson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) [16]
72 JP Logue/James Logue (Honda Civic) [11F]
73 John O Sullivan/TBA (Honda Civic) [11F]
74 Gavin Kelly/Elaine Ní Shé (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
75 Jason Roache/John McCarthy (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
76 Andrew McLoone/Conal Doherty (Vauxhall Chevette) [13]
77 Patrick Boyle/Donal McCole (Toyota Corolla) [13]
78 Kevin Eves/Chris Melly (Toyota Corolla) [14]
79 John Dolan/John McGinley (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
80 Thomas O Connell/Emmett Sherry (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
81 Thomas Keyes/Kelvin Keyes (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
82 Liam Doherty/Dermot McGettigan (Ford Escort Mk2) [11]
83 Jim McDowall/Charlotte McDowall (Subaru Impreza N10) [15]
84 Conor Watters/John Boyle (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
85 Gerard McQuaid/Thomas Treanor (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
86 Gary McElhinney/Emmet Brosnan (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
87 Stewart Morrison/Alexander Corrigan (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
88 Liam Egan/Raymond Coppinger (Subaru Impreza STI) []
89 John Reddington/Paddy McCrudden (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
90 Brendan Friel/JP Boyle (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
91 Leonard Craig/Conal McNulty (Toyota Starlet) [11R]
92 Christy Gallagher/Letterkenny (Toyota Starlet) [11R]
93 Barry McGill/Derek Heena (Ford Escort Mk2) [9]
94 Gene McDonald/Emmett Kelly (Ford Escort Mk2) [9]
95 John Mulholland/Jeff Case (Skoda Fabia S2000) [5]
96 Adrian Sweeney/Shane Buckley (Peugeot 207) [11F]
97 Kyle McGettigan/Dale McGettigan (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
98 Declan Hall/Christy Corr (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
99 Damian Campbell/Declan McGarrity (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
100 Dermot Cannon/Bobby Trimble (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
101 Paul Doherty/Hugh Coll (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
102 James McCarville/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [11R]
103 James McDermott/Paul McDermott (Vauxhall Chevette) [12]
104 Vincent Collins/Fintan Kilroe (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
105 Darrel Quinn/Michael Laverty (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
106 Donal Kelly/Chris McKenna (Honda Civic) [11F]
107 Victor Beamish/Susan Beamish (Vauxhall Nova) [10]
108 Kieran McGinley/Danny McCloskey (Honda Civic) [11F]
109 Simon Michael/Connor Dunlop (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
110 Quentin Park/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
111 Shaun Callaghan/Paddy McBride (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
112 Peter O Kane/TBA (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) [4]
113 Cathan McCourt/Brian Hoy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
114 Declan Gallagher/Columba Heena (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
115 Mark Ewing/Danny Cannon (Honda Civic) [1]
116 Eamonn Russell/Gavin O Donnell (Honda Civic) [11F]
117 Darragh Kelly/Eamonn Doherty (Ford Escort Mk2) [11R]
118 Darragh Doherty/James McDermott (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
119 Roy Baldrick/Stacey McNutt (Sunbeam) [13]
120 Fraser Mulholland/Geoff Patterson (Ford Fiesta R2) [2]
121 Roy Jarvis/Adam Milner (Ford Fiesta) [11F]
122 Kevin Bradley/Danny McMenamin (Subaru Impreza) [15]
123 Ciaran Brogan/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
124 Martin McLaughlin/Martin Jr McLaughlin (Toyota Corolla) [13]
125 Andrew Hegarty/Eoin Kelly (Ford Puma) [11F]
126 Padraig Coll/Aidan Sweeney (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
127 Charlie Heraghty/Barry McBride (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
128 Dermot McGroary/Joseph Timoney (Sunbeam) [11R]
129 Donal McGrath/Finbarr Fogarty (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
130 David Smyth/Lorrtta Kelly (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
131 Brian Muldoon/Patsy Corr (Toyota Corolla) [11R]
132 Shane Carr/Ciaran Carr (Vauxhall Nova) [10]
133 James Greenan/TBA (Corsa) [9]
134 Brian Quigley/Ryan Bradley (Honda Civic) [11F]
135 Christopher Boyce/Pascal Dillon (Honda Civic) [3]
136 Odhran McLaughlin/Seamus McTigue (VW Golf) [20]
137 Lee McLaughlin/Aaron McLaughlin (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5) [20]
138 Declan McCrory/TBA (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [20]
139 David Kelly/James Conwell (Honda Civic) [1]
140 Alistair Glenn/Gavin Doherty (Peugeot 206 R2) [2]
141 Johnny Wilhare/Cahor Wilhare (Honda Civic) [11F]
142 Andrew Stewart/Keith Harris (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4) [15]
143 Nick Barnett/Martin Brady (Honda Civic) [17]
144 Guil Nascimento/Robbie Ward (Honda Civic) [17]
145 Shane McLaughlin/Fiona Devlin (Ford Escort Mk2) [10]
146 Gerard Seaman/Daniel Hanratty (Honda Civic) [17]
147 Glenda Boyle/Jasmine Boyle (Honda Civic) []
148 Michael Nutt/Desmond Nutt (Honda Civic) [2]
149 Eamon McLaughlin/Steven Boyle (Vauxhall Nova) [10]
150 Mark Glackin/Michael Glackin (Honda Civic) [11]
151 Stephen Gallinagh/Sean Doherty (Corsa) [9]
152 Alan Browne/Michael Donnellan (Subaru Impreza) [20]

Reserve List Main Field
R1 Jonathan Stewart/Rory McBride (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
R2 Stuart Darcy/Gerry McVeigh (Skoda Fabia S2000) [5]
R3 Michael Black/Pauric McGinley (Ford Fiesta R2) [11F]
R4 Ivan Stewart/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [20]
R5 Rodney Stewart/Charlie McGinty (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
R6 William Vance/Billy Vance (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) [15]
R7 Peter McCarry/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
R8 David Ward/Pauric Keeney (Sunbeam) [11R]
R9 Danny McBride/Daniel McBride (Honda Civic) [11F]
R10 Kieran O Kane/John Frew (Opel Ascona) [14]
R11 Alaistar Hethrington/Dermott Friel (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
R12 Dara Leonard/Keith Gorrell (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
R13 Gerard McGivney/Gavin McGivney (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
R14 Daniel McCanny/Martin Gallogley (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
R15 Patrick Bradley/Sean McCullagh (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
R16 Gary Cooney/Andrew Harvey (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
R17 Gabriel Delargy/Jimmy Graham (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) [20]
R18 Vincent McAree/Andrew Speares (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
R19 Seamus Hegarty/Niall McDaid (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
R20 Ambrose Given/Karl Egan (Honda Civic) [1]
R21 Barry McLaughlin/Aodhan Gallagher (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
R22 Gerard Gibbons/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
R23 Andrew McTaggart/Shane McTaggart (Toyota Corolla) [11R]

H1 Seamus O Connell/Sean Magee (Ford Escort RS 1800) []
H2 David Goose/Richard Wardle (Ford Escort RS 1800) [D5]
H3 Andy Johnson/TBA (Vauxhall Chevette HSR) [K]
H4 Frank Cunningham/Ross Forde (Ford Escort RS 1800) [K]
H5 Brendan McAree/JP McAree (Porsche 911) [K]
H6 Stephen McFerran/James McKeefrey (Ford Escort RS 1800) [D5]
H7 Jimmy McRae/Pauline Gullick (Vauxhall Firenza) [C5]
H8 Dave Pritchard/Emyr Hall (Ford Escort RS 1800) [K]
H9 Robert Adamson/Jane Nicol (Ford Escort) [D3]
H10 John Coyne/Christy Farrell (Talbot Sunbeam Lotus) [K]
H11 Iarla Carty/Joe Whyte (Mini Cooper S) [C1]
H12 Philip McKibbin/Lynn McKibbin (Ford Escort Mk1) [C3]
H14 Niall Creighton/Gregory Roberets (Ford Cortina) [B3]
H15 Patrick Brennan/Damien Doherty (Ford Escort) [D3]
H16 Harry Browne/Martin McGrath (Hillman Avenger) [C2]
H17 Ivan Warwick/Evelyn Warwick (Audi Quattro) [K]
H18 PJ Wilhare/Darren Shiels (Ford Escort) []

J1 Kevin McLaughlin/Patrick Gallagher (Honda Civic) [J2]
J2 Michael Boyle/Dermot McCafferty (Honda Civic) [J2]
J3 Paul Creamer/Patrick Durning (Honda Civic) [J2]
J4 Justin Ryan/Stephen Monaghan (Honda Civic) [J2]
J5 Christy McCarthy/Cathal Quill (Honda Civic) [J2]
J6 Cathal McCarthy/Gavin Sheehan (Ford Escort Mk2) [J2]
J7 Chris McLaughlin/Niall O Donnell (Toyota Corolla) [J2]
J8 Stephen McDonagh/Damien Whoirskey (Toyota Corolla) [J2]
J9 Sean Heraghty/Gary Lockhart (Toyota Corolla) [J2]
J10 Neil Martin Brogan/Ryan Moore (Honda Civic) [J2]
J11 Declan Greene/Stephen Doogan (Corolla) [J2]
J12 Stephen Peoples/Kieran Burke (Escort Mk2) [J2]
J14 Kevin Horgan/Stephen Horgan (Honda Civic) [J2]
J15 Connor Woods/Christopher Corry (Honda Civic) [J2]
J16 Colin McFadden/Christopher Moffitt (Honda Civic) [J2]
J17 Shaun Doherty/Oisin McTaggart (Escort Mk2) [J2]
J18 Noel Murphy/John Burke (Honda Civic) [J2]
J19 Darren Barrett/TBA (Honda Civic) [J2]
J20 Aaron Hammelmann/Gary Byrne (Honda Civic) [J2]
J21 Philip Wasson/Niall Campbell (Peugeot 206) [J2]

Junior Reserve List
JR1 Nicholas Alcorn/TBA (Honda Civic) [J2]
JR2 Enda McBride/Mark mcLaughlin (Honda Civic) [J2]
JR3 Jonathan Treanor/Stephen McElroy (Honda Civic) [J2]
JR4 Gary McKenna/TBA (Toyota Corolla) [J2]
JR5 Darren O Brien/John McCabe (Honda Civic) [J2]
JR6 Kieran O Donaghue/Timmy Kelly (Honda Civic) [J2]

Press Release Two.........The Countdown is ON

Posted: May 18, 2016 6:20 AM

With entries due to close on Friday the 13th of May, demand for places on the starting line are as high as ever, with the title of Joule Donegal International Winner 2016 being one of the most sought after titles in Irish rallying.

The competition is sure to be as fierce as previous years with Garry Jennings unlikely to give up his crown without a fight, Donagh Kelly & Declan Boyle will be only too aware of this, as they will attempt to wrestle it from his grasp. Letterkenny man Manus Kelly has agreed a deal with Melvyn Evans to hire a Subaru S12b and judging by his pace on this weekend’s Carlow Stages Rally, he’ll be looking to be the first driver to complete the National and International rally winning double in consecutive years.

The main category in this year’s Clonakilty Irish Tarmac Championship is R5 and S2000 class. This has re-energized the series and led to a closer and more exciting competition. Alastair Fisher comes to Donegal on the crest of a wave, having scored maximum points on the last two rounds. With the success that Alastair has enjoyed in Donegal previously, he along with co-driver Gordon Noble, in the Dom Buckley prepped Ford Fiesta R5, are expected to be among the leading point scorers. Other championship regulars will no doubt want to have their say where maximum points are awarded on Sunday evening. So who will take the points over the weekend? Expect Keith Cronin, Sam or Josh Moffett, Stephen Wright or Joe McGonigle to be amongst the front runners.

This year the Joule Donegal International Rally is also a round of the FIA sanctioned Celtic Rally Trophy. This is open to all crews competing in homologated cars that are eligible for championship points, and this will add an extra dimension to the 3 days’ competition.

Last years’ National winner Manus Kelly has stepped up to the WRC class, so who will be in the running to win it this year? Last year David Bogie debuted his Millington powered Ford Escort and got faster as the event progressed. Frank Kelly finished second last year, can he go one better this year? Donegal Motor Club Chairman Brian Brogan suffered bad luck last year when he experienced electrical gremlins on Sunday morning as he was in the fight for victory. Damien Gallagher like many others has been busy working away to get more power from his Escort over the winter so he will no doubt be on a charge. However, one name that can’t be discounted is Declan Gallagher AKA The Milkman. Unfortunately Declan hasn’t competed as much as he would have liked this year, but it would be foolish to discount the flying Toyota.

Lastly, one interesting name on the entry list is James Cullen. James, a twice winner, is making a ‘one off’ comeback drive to commemorate 25 years since Ellen Morgan and himself took their first win in the famous Pink Panther Ford Sierra. He has been overwhelmed by the generosity and support he has received and is looking forward to pulling on the race suit and helmet one more time.

If you wish to get your name on the entry list log on to; www.donegalrally.ie or www.donegalmotorclub.com and go to the downloads section and get the form filled in. We look forward to giving each and every competitor, a warm Donegal welcome.

Regulations / Entry Form

Posted: May 5, 2016 11:11 AM

Available from:

Press Release One: Happiness in the Hills

Posted: April 28, 2016 9:07 AM

With June fast approaching preparations for the Joule Donegal International Rally are in full swing. This year's event takes place on the weekend of the 17th-19th of June and there is no doubt there will be 'Happiness in the Hills' that weekend. This is the second year of Joule sponsorship; they are Irelands leading manufacturers and designers of energy efficient hot water cylinders and solar heating systems.

Over 180 crews from Ireland, the UK and beyond will participate on the stages over the weekend. It is the only International Rally on the Irish calendar to maintain the three day format. It has been calculated by research that it annually brings approximately ?25million to the local economy, making it the largest sporting event in the Northern half of the country.

With the assistance of Joule, plans are being put in place to make this year's event even bigger. Clerk of the course Eamon McGee said "Joule has added an extra dimension to preparations. They are fantastic to work with and have fantastic promotional ideas which the team are looking forward to putting in place".

The rally will follow its traditional format with scrutiny on the afternoon of Thursday the 16th of June. The action will get underway on Friday for the main field, and 20 special stages will be completed before the winners roll over the finish ramp on Sunday evening, where the winners will be crowned and the legendary Donegal prize giving will take place. With almost 300km of competitive stages and very compact road sections, crews will be kept on their toes all weekend. Historic crews will compete all day Saturday and Sunday, with the Junior competitors contesting the Sunday Stages. This is the 45th year of the Joule Donegal International Rally and Eamon McGee has assured all competitors, service crews, marshals and spectators of a warm Donegal welcome.

Joule Chief Executive Ian Barret said "They have been delighted by the feedback from last year's event and look forward to building an even stronger relationship with the team in 2016. The Joule Donegal International Rally was one of the Irish Sporting highlights of 2015 and we see the sponsorship of this event as an excellent way of promoting our brand. The excellent coverage on terrestrial Television, European wide satellite broadcast and in the print media meant the Joule name was seen by millions of people".

Regulations are due out over the weekend and entries are expected to fill rapidly. The closing date for entries is the 13th of May. All information will be published on www.donegalrally.ie www.donegalmotorclub.com or on the official Facebook page www.facebook.com/donegalrally.ie

Rally and Club Websites

Posted: April 28, 2016 9:05 AM

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