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Donegal International Rally - 15-17 Jun 12

Posted: June 10, 2016 3:43 AM - 40965 Hits

Topaz Donegal International Rally Ireland - 15-17 June 2012
Round 4 - 2012 Tarmac Rally Championship

Video Clips

Posted: June 4, 2016 5:10 AM

Photos

Posted: June 4, 2016 5:10 AM

Results

Posted: June 4, 2016 4:57 AM

1 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 25m 06s,
2 Seamus Leonard/John McCafferty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 26m 27s,
3 Derek McGarrity/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 28m 01s,
4 Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 28m 17s,
5 Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 29m 03s,
6 Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 2h 34m 05s,
7 Josh Moffett/Jason McKenna (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 2h 34m 22s,
8 Martin Doherty/Damien McCauley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 2h 37m 52s,
9 Kevin O’Connor/Gerard Conway (Citroen C2R2 Max) 2h 42m 35s,
10 P J McDermott/Paul Goodman (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 2h 42m 53s.

Group N Production class:
1 Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly,
2 Josh Moffett/Jason McKenna,
3 Martin Doherty/Damien McCauley.
Class winners:

Stephen Bradley/Sarah Whelan (Honda Civic),
Kevin O’Connor/Gerard Conway,
Joe McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney (Renault Clio),
Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan.
 
NATIONAL RALLY:
1 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Escort) 2h 32m 21s,
2 Manus Kelly/Donal Barrett (Ford Escort) 2h 32m 26s,
3 Martin McGee/Denis O’Mahony (Ford Escort) 2h 34m 48s,
4 Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan (Ford Escort) 2h 37m 06s,
5 Paul Barrett/John McElhinney (Ford Escort) 2h 37m 38s,
6 Ed O’Callaghan/Raymond Scott (Ford Escort) 2h 38m 20s.
Class winners:

Barry McGill/Derek Heena (Ford Escort),
David Baird/Chris Baird (Opel Astra),
Kevin Bradley/Siobhan Bradley (Ford Escort),
Oran Donnelly/Paul Hughes (Ford Escort),
Ed O’Callaghan/Raymond Scott (Ford Escort),
Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan,
Martin Howley/Sean Lafferty (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9),
Joe Gallagher/Gerard Mullan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9).
 
HISTORIC RALLY:
1 Andy Johnson/Jim McSherry (Vauxhall Chevette) 2h 03m 54s,
2 John Keatley/James McKeefrey (Ford Escort) 2h 04m 01s,
3 Stephen McFerran/Ellen McFerran (Ford Escort) 2h 08m 34s.
Class winners:

James McDermott/Paul McDermott (Vauxhall Chevette),
Alan Courtney/Paul Soutar (Porsche 928),
Alan Jardine/Raymond Knox (Ford Escort),
James Harkin/Patrick Gallagher (Talbot Sunbeam),
William Todd/Aaron Johnston (Mini Cooper S),
Declan Jackson/Barry McCarney (Ford Escort).
 
JUNIOR RALLY:
1 Damien Whoriskey/Michael McClafferty (Ford Escort) 56m 03s,
2 Barry McLaughlin/Aodhan Gallagher (Toyota Corolla) 56m 28s,
3 Christopher McLaughlin/Niall O’Donnell (Toyota Corolla) 58m 03s.
Class winners:

Conal McNulty/Danny McCloskey (Suzuki Swift).

Leaders
SS1-22 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Stage Winners
SS1 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 
SS2 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 
SS3 Darragh O'Riordan/Tony McDaid (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS4 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 
SS5 Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS6 Darragh O'Riordan/Tony McDaid (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS7 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 
SS8 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 
SS9 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 
SS10 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 
SS11 Darragh O'Riordan/Tony McDaid (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS12 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 
SS13 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 
SS14 Cancelled
SS15 Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS16 Seamus Leonard/John McCafferty (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS17 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 
SS18 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC) 
SS19 Derek McGarrity/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS20 Seamus Leonard/John McCafferty (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS21 Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC)
SS22 Derek McGarrity/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)

Moffett will still push in Donegal

Posted: June 12, 2012 3:23 PM

2012 Billy Coleman award winner Sam Moffett will compete this weekend on round four of the Irish Tarmac rally championship, on the Donegal international Rally, seeded at number 17 and running first group N car on the road, Sam is aiming to gain experience on the specialised stages in Donegal, following a non finish in 2011 and the rally being shortened in 2010, Speaking at recce sign on Sam remarked:
"I have no doubt Donegal will be a tough weekend for us,the stages here are very unique and have been used over the years in various different formats ,and although we can do a very good recce you still need the experience of having rallied on these stages to gain those last few vital seconds, it was the same scenario in Killarney , where we struggled on the likes of molls gap the first time, but by the third run we were only 4seconds off the pace , It is vital for us to finish these rallies for experience, and to fine tune our notes and study our In car for the future...

Gary Jennings has without a doubt been the benchmark in Group N this year with a clean sweep of wins ,he is really on top of his game at the minute, therefore I am disappointed that he won't be out in a Group Ncar this weekend ,although I know we would struggle to beat him but he is the fastest and I want to try to raise my game to his level..., but it will still be a tough weekend with Conor Harvey and the Bustard brothers ,as well as my own brother Josh all gunning for the Group N win, so it s definitely going to be interesting."

Speaking about his plans for the remainder of the year Sam commented
"We plan to finish of the rest of the Tarmac championship as well as taking in a couple of European events , unfortunately Ypres rally ,which would of been an ideal event to compete on , in terms of high profile ,and travel logistics , falls too soon after Donegal to be a realistic option, So we are planning on competing on the Tour of Flanders in September and possibly Rally du Var in November ,
Also with such a busy schedule I have been unable to compete on a gravel rally yet, and I realise that this is another aspect of my driving I need to develop further, so I hope to try a few local gravel events too, So we will have a busy schedule ahead of us. but it should be good fun....

O’ Connor heads to Daunting Donegal

Posted: June 12, 2012 2:04 PM

The next challenge for O’Connor Motorsport is the prestigious Donegal International Rally this weekend. This will be Kevin’s first attempt at the world famous Donegal stages and is once again playing down his chances of extending his lead in the Citroen Racing Trophy.

“Steve Wood and I are the only two C2 drivers who haven’t done Donegal before so it will be hard to keep up with the other guys, Kieran Daly proved in Killarney he is still quick and of course David Carney is always there to make it hard on us too”.

Kevin who was awarded the March/April nominee for the 2012 Billy Coleman award went onto talk about the preparations O’Connor Motorsport are taking before Donegal,
“The car is down at Liam Ryan’s getting rebuilt since our off in Killarney and we plan to test it on Tuesday before we head off to Letterkenny”. There is also a different co-driver on board for this weekend,
“Unfortunately Shane my regular navigator can’t do Donegal so Gerard Conway is sitting in for this one, Ger sat with me last year for a forestry rally and we worked well so there should be no issues there”.

The lads start the recce later this week and as always you can keep up to date with the progress of the team through thier Facebook page over the weekend.

The Donegal Hills Welcome Round Four of the 2012 Citroen Racing Trophy Ireland

Posted: June 12, 2012 2:02 PM

This weekend, the fourth round of the Citroen Racing Trophy Ireland takes place in Donegal, for the Donegal International Rally, the legendary event in the North West, which started back in 1972. Starting on Friday in Letterkenny, this three day event, will provide a tough challenge for the Citroen C2 R2 Max’s which contest the CRT Ireland series, but the Citroen Racing developed cars are now well tried and tested, with the four way BOS suspension soaking up the bumps on the Irish tarmac.

On his first attempt at the Citroen Racing Trophy, Limerick’s Kevin O’Connor leads the Irish series, after wins on the West Cork and Circuit of Ireland events. He had led the third round in Killarney, before a spin on the Caragh Lake stage and contact with a bridge, meant that he dropped back. Donegal is a big challenge however, and with quite a few new stages on the menu this year, it will require not only outright speed, but consistency and stamina. Kevin’s achievements however have been recognised by Motorsport Ireland as he has been short-listed for the Billy Coleman award to be decided at the end of the season.
“That was another good boost, and we have a new sponsor for Donegal also. It’s going to be a tough rally, and there is a long way to go in this championship, especially with the double points in Cork. We are looking forward to it however, it should be good. ” commented Kevin. Kevin’s co-driver is the young Killarney man Shane Buckley who has previously guided Adrian McElhinney to overall Trophy honours.

Second in the standings is David Carney, who is still very much in the title race, with this round, the Ulster International and Cork 20 International, which will award double points still to go. David and co-driver Ray Fitzpatrick scored a great victory in Killarney, and also led in West Cork for a time. They have had a niggling brake problem however in their C2 Max, and hopefully will find a cure for this issue before the Friday morning start.
“We have tried so many things at this stage, new calipers, discs, hubs, bells and bearings, but we will work at it more this week and see if we can pin-point the issue. It’s going to be three hard days, and we plan to try and do more of the same as Killarney, try to be smooth and steady and keep the pressure on Kevin.”

Steve Wood has Donegal co-driver Johnny Baird on the pace-notes, and this combination could be one to watch. Steve has had his engine re-built by John McKillop, after his Killarney dramas and Scott McElhinney and his enthusiastic team will be running the car on the event. Co-driver Johnny Baird has also been busy organising a charity football match in honour of Citroen Trophy co-driver Thomas Maguire, who tragically lost his life on this event in 2010, and many of the Citroen Trophy runners will be kicking off their Donegal Rally with that on Wednesday evening.

Cork’s Kieran Daly could be one of them, as he and co-driver Keith Moriarty head to the North West. Kieran debuted a new car in Killarney after the previous one was written off in an accident on a testing event. After a steady start, he climbed into the lead on day two, battling with David Carney, but a jammed gear-box ended his challenge. Kieran who lies sixth in the points standings has nothing to lose and will be out to record a top result.

Dublin’s Peter Barrable is a late entry, and his C2 R2 Max is also up for sale, but he is still expected to take the start. Peter set some excellent times on this event last year, and indeed on the opening West Cork round was flying until an unfortunate excursion. He tested his rebuilt car as zero car on the Carlow Stages, whilst brother Robert also took it for a blast last weekend in Portlaoise as zero car, so the C2 Max should be well run in before this event. Armagh’s Sean Agnew had to withdraw from the third Killarney round late in the day, but he is all set to take on the Donegal challenge. His pace has picked up too, with his C2 recently being upgraded to Max specification. A newcomer to the series on this round will be Galway’s Stephen Greaney with co-driver Kieran Feeney. Relative newcomers to the sport, their pace with the C2 R2 Max on some National Championship rounds has been startling, but the inevitable accidents have prevented them from finishing. They are welcome new additions to the Trophy, and don’t be surprised if they set to odd eye-opening time, with the C2 they purchased from Dereck Jobb.

With 3000€ awarded to the CRT Ireland winner this weekend, 1800€ for second and 1000€ for third place, they are the only crews on this event competing for generous prize money, so the competition in the Citroen Trophy will be as fierce as at the very front. It’s thanks to Total oils, Pirelli, Citroen Racing and Charles Hurst Citroen that this level of reward is possible, and with a stunning junior award at the end of the season, this championship is offering competitors a lot in return, in these recessed times. To keep up to date with the latest news during the weekend, check www.citroenracingtrophy.com or type Citroen Racing Trophy into Face-book for more details.

Citroen Racing Trophy Ireland after Round Three 1 Kevin O’Connor 693 Pts
2 David Carney 645
3 Steve Wood 494
4 Joe McGonigle 311
5 Paul Manton 179
6 Kieran Daly 96
7 Andrew Hockridge 43
8 Peter Barrable 39
9 Sean Agnew 30

Jennings gets WRC car for Donegal

Posted: June 10, 2012 9:12 PM

Garry Jennings will next week get the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream. Having so successfully campaigned production category (Group N) cars over the last number of years, Garry, co driven by Neil Doherty will take to the wheel of a Prodrive built Subaru Impreza S14 World Rally Car for the Donegal International Rally.

‘To get this opportunity is surreal, I don’t think it will hit me till I see the car sitting with my name on the window. I tried very hard to get a WRC car for the same event in 2011 but it never materialized due to the car being damaged on a national rally within weeks of Donegal leaving no time to have it repaired.’

Garry is not a complete stranger to the WRC category cars, He competed on the Ulster International in 2006 in a Subaru S9 taking a fabulous 3rd overall in treacherous conditions, this was followed by a run in an S8 machine when McKinstry Motorsport put a deal together for Garry to compete on the Donegal Harvest rally in 2010 where he triumphed ahead of many of the regular National WRC competitors.

The Topaz sponsored Donegal International Rally next weekend will be a totally different challenge however, The S14 model Subaru is not a regular visitor to the Irish roads and to find a suitable setup for the suspension will be critical to cope with the high speed bumpy characteristics the Donegal stages have in store. A brief test with the car supplied by the Welsh Melvyn Evans Motorsport team will be crucial and Garry hopes the vastly experienced team along with the Prodrive engineers will manage to find a suitable setup before the action begins in Letterkenny on Friday morning.

The Donegal organizers have attracted a top quality entry and Garry has been landed in the deep end running at number three just behind the recent Killarney International rally winner Darragh O’ Riordan and just ahead of multiple British rally champion Mark Higgins.

‘The seeding brings that extra bit of pressure as you only run thirty seconds apart and given Mark’s experience in these cars he will be on the pace from the start line of stage one while I plan to settle myself in and build my pace over the three day event. Still I have run ahead of WRC cars previously in my GpN Mitsubishi without problems so we’ll not worry too much about that. I just can’t wait to get out in the car and find my feet before I push to try and set some respectable stage times’

Garry would like to thank his 2012 sponsors & partners:
Jennings Fuels & Lubricants, Kumho Tyres, Stockhouse Furniture, Millers Oils, The Mayfly Inn, Donegal Bay Fuels, Shell Racing Fuels, Sligo Pallets, OMP

Seeded Entry Lists

Posted: June 7, 2012 4:28 PM

Provisional Top Entries

Posted: June 6, 2012 11:29 AM

1 Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC S10)
2 Darragh O’Riordan/Tony McDaid (Subaru Impreza WRC S12C)
3 Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru Impreza WRC S14)
4 Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy (JCW Mini WRC)
5 Derek McGarrity/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC S12B)
6 Niall Maguire/TBA (Subaru Impreza WRC S11)
7 Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Subaru Impreza WRC S11)
8 Seamus Leonard/John McCafferty (Subaru mpreza WRC S9)
9 Aaron MacHale/Brian Daniels (Ford Focus WRC)
10 Daniel McKenna/Andrew Grennan (Ford Escort MkII)
11 David Bogie/Paul Beaton (MG Metro 6R4)
12 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Escort MkII)
14 Manus Kelly/Donal Barrett (Ford Escort MkII)
15 Wesley Patterson/Martin McGarrity (Ford Escort MkII)
16 Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan (Ford Escort MkII)
17 Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 GpN)
18 Conor Harvey/Gerard Callaghan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 GpN)
19 Simon Maugher/TBA (Ford Escort MkII)
20 Rodney Wilton/Conor McMahon (Ford Escort MkII)

Provisional Top 6 Junior Seeds
J1 Damien Whoriskey/Michael McClafferty (Escort)
J2 Kevin McLaughlin/Kieran McGinley (Civic)
J3 Cathal McCarthy/Declan Buttimer (Civic)
J4 Glen Alcorn/Gavin O’Donnell (Corolla)
J5 Shane Carr/Stephen Peoples (Nova)
J6 Christopher McLaughlin/Niall O’Donnell (Corolla)

Provisional Historic Top 6 Seeds
H1 Donal Connolly/Danny McLaughlin (Escort)
H2 John Keatley/James McKeefry (Escort)
H3 Andy Johnson/TBA (Chevette HSR)
H4 Brendan McAree/JP McAree (Porsche 911)
H5 Alan Jardine/Raymond Knox (Escort)
H6 Gary Owens/Denver Rafferty (Escort)

Rally Launched

Posted: June 6, 2012 11:26 AM

This Topaz Donegal International Rally Ireland has attracted a top class entry, with around 150 cars entered. Drivers and rally crews from all over Ireland and further afield will converge on Letterkenny for the 15th/16th/17th June annual motorsport excitement of this Donegal Rally, which began back in 1972.

Darren Gass, Darragh O’Riordan, Garry Jennings, Derek McGarrity, Niall Maguire, Donagh Kelly and Seamus Leonard are the leading seeds in Subaru WRC’s. Joining them in the top ten will hopefully be former British Champion Mark Higgins in a Mini WRC, as well as Aaron MacHale in a Focus WRC and top Mk2 Escort exponent Daniel McKenna. At 11 is Scottish Champion David Bogie in his Metro 6R4. David is a superb driver in a legendary car, and both are firm favourites for the expected huge numbers of Donegal Rally spectators.

Talk of favourites and Monaghan man Daniel McKenna springs to mind as well. His giant beating exploits in his Mk2 Escort is becoming one of the notable Donegal Rally chapters. There is certainly no shortage of ‘Mk 2 Escort men’ who will be out in Donegal to beat the flying McKenna. Declan Boyle, Manus Kelly and Brian Brogan are just some who will be out to challenge McKenna. Scotsman Callum Duffy is also likely to be in the fray. We even have PJ McDermott, normally seen in a World Rally Car in previous years, joining the Mk2 Escort ranks this time.

Once again the event is a round of the prestigious Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. Top points scorers from the previous three rounds are Darren Gass, Garry Jennings, Eugene Donnelly, Daragh O’Riordan, Derek McGarrity, Sam Moffett and Derek McGarrity, in that order. Darren Gass has two wins under his belt this year, Galway and the Circuit of Ireland. He admits that he will be up against it in Donegal, as he has never competed over the classic stages such as Knockalla, Kindrum and Atlantic Drive.

However Clerk of the Course Eamonn McGee has laid on some new tests this year, employing roads that have not been used for many years, so that may create a more level playing field for former British Junior Rally Champion Gass. Speaking from his Armagh base, Darren commented.
“It looks like being a long tough rally, but I guess it’s the same for everyone. I’ve never competed in Donegal before. My Subaru is as right as it can be. I was getting it tight on the last rally in Killarney. The engine wouldn’t even get me into parc ferme at the end. It’s all been rebuilt and I’m ready to go for this one.”

Second on the list of Tarmac points is Garry Jennings. What a remarkable driver the Fermanagh man is. All his points have been achieved in a GpN Lancer, supposedly underrated in comparison to a WRC machine. In Garry’s hands, that can never be taken for granted. He switches to a state of the art Impreza WRC S14 for Donegal, and an outright win is certainly a strong possibility. There has been a perception that the S14, the last and most powerful of the Impreza WRC’s built, isn’t suited to bumpy Irish tarmac roads. Well, this Peter Lloyd car has had extensive work in that department, and in any case, in typical Jenning’s humorous manner, he remarked. “I’ve never had much in the way of suspension, so I’ll not know any difference. I’ll just get in and drive the thing!”

Currently 3rd in the Tarmac points is former multiple Tarmac Champion and Donegal winner Eugene Donnelly. The engine of Eugene’s Corolla WRC gave up on it’s last outing on the Killarney Lakes, and at the moment it is touch and go if he can make the Donegal start line-up.

It was a different story for Cork man Darragh O’Riordan. His stunning victory in Killarney catapulted him up to 4th in the points. Co-driven by Derry’s Tony McDaid, it would be a dream come true if they could take their Subaru to victory in Donegal.

Fifth in the points is Co. Antrim man Derek McGarrity. He has won most things in Irish rallying; including 5 Circuit of Ireland rallies, but a Donegal victory has always eluded him. This time he will drive outgoing Tarmac Champion Tim McNulty’s Impreza WRC. Derek must surely be in with a great chance of setting his personal Donegal record straight.

Our final name in the Tarmac Championship top six is Sam Moffett. The young Monaghan man, this year’s Billy Coleman Award winner, may only have the slimmest chance of outright podium honours as he drives a GpN Lancer against the plethora of World Rally Car machinery. However the 22-year-old is a very talented driver who keeps his brain in gear as well as his car, belying his age with a mature approach and great speed when necessary. Sam is the highest seeded GpN driver at No.17, and will have the very rapid Letterkenny man Conor Harvey in a similar Lancer hot on his heels at 18.

The wild card in the whole equation of whom is likely to do the winning in Donegal rests with entry No.4 – Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy in a Mini WRC. Rory has competed in almost 30 Donegal Rallies, has been the winning co-driver 3 times, second 5 times and third 3 times. Former British Rally Champion Mark has been runner up twice, having led on both occasions. He reckons he has unfinished business here. Mark has been driving various exotic cars for the last three months in the making of the latest James Bond film, mostly in Turkey but also in Shanghai and London. He is busting to get back to the Donegal stages. The pair’s appearance still hangs in the balance, the required budget not complete. Hopefully they will be on the Letterkenny start ramp at 11.20 on the morning of Friday 15th June.

The above is just a taster of the action and excitement in store over the 22 stages of this Topaz Donegal Rally, including two passes over the very special Buncrana town stage just after 5 o’clock on the Friday afternoon. The rally also encompasses Junior and Historic categories, the top seeds for these is listed below.

The final point to be emphasised here is that all the Donegal Motor Club team, under the direction of Clerk of the Course Eamonn McGee, will be working extremely hard, more than ever before, to ensure the safety of all involved in the rally, competitors, spectators, road users, residents. Everyone must play their part, particularly in the light of the recent tragic Cavan rally accident. At the press conference McGee also paid great thanks to all those, too many to mention here, who have promised their help and support for the forthcoming rally.

The outline schedule is:

    Friday 15th: - Start at 11.20 from Letterkenny, 6 special stages with service in Buncrana, finishing with two runs over the Buncrana spectator stage. The return to Letterkenny for the overnight halt is at 18.36.

    Saturday 16th; Leave Letterkenny at 09.00 for 8 special stages. Service in Milford. Return to Letterkenny at 19.03.

    Sunday 17th: Leave Letterkenny at 10.00 for 6 special stages, service Downings. Champagne finish at the Mt Errigal Hotel, 17.

SPORTS JOURNALISTS ENTER 2012 TOPAZ DONEGAL RALLY IRELAND

Posted: June 6, 2012 11:25 AM

Sky Sports News’ F1 analyst Tony Jardine and BBC Radio 5 Live’s Maurice Hamilton will compete in the 2012 Topaz Donegal Rally Ireland

Finishing 23rd on the recent Circuit of Ireland, the pair have decided to return to these shores again ,

Jardine and Hamilton have previously claimed numerous class wins and podium places together on national rallies, along with other notable finishes including a 28th overall on the 2008 Topaz Donegal Rally Ireland, in a Skoda WRC car.

Their return is welcome boost for the Donegal Motor Club’s efforts to attract competitors to their prestige event, as this high profile media pairing attend events recognised as ‘something special!’

For Hamilton, this will be his third rallying endeavour on home soil co-driving for Jardine, the voice of Radio 5 Live being originally from Bangor.

TOPAZ DONEGAL RALLY PROGRAMMES GO ON SALE.

Posted: June 5, 2012 5:11 PM

The organisers of the Topaz Donegal International Rally have confirmed that the programme for the Rally on the 15th - 17th June next have now gone on sale. In addition to the list of retailers who will stock the programme, it is also available to order on the event website.

The programme, over sixty pages long, includes a separate rally map, entry list and stickers and is priced at €10/£9 Stg. It is available from the following outlets:

LIST OF OUTLETS SELLING DONEGAL RALLY PROGRAMMES 2012

    INISHOWEN
    Bradley's Service Station (Topaz) Fahan
    Burnfoot Service Station (Topaz) Burnfoot
    Callaghan's Service Station (Topaz) Burt
    Canny & Doherty Centra Service Station Moville
    Carn Auto Parts Carndonagh
    Farran's Service Station (Topaz) Buncrana
    G&S Supermarket Carndonagh
    Go Filling Station Culdaff
    Kelly's Service Station (Topaz) Carndonagh
    Kernans' Eurospar & Diner Newtowncunnigham
    McLaughlin Motor Factors Buncrana
    Point Service Station Quigley's Point

    LETTERKENNY
    C&M Embroidery Letterkenny
    Bord Failte Tourist Office Letterkenny
    Dry Arch Filling Station Letterkenny
    Glencar Service Station Letterkenny
    Harris' Mace Shop Letterkenny
    Mountain Top Service Station (Topaz) Letterkenny
    One Stop Motor Shop Letterkenny
    Sweeney's Top Service Station Letterkenny
    Thomas Keys Service Station Letterkenny
    Tobin's Service Station (Topaz) Letterkenny

    NORTH DONEGAL
    Daly's Service Station (Topaz) Lifford
    Barnes View Spar Express Ballybofey
    Gallagher's Foodstores (Topaz) Derrybeg
    Gallaghers Topaz Garage Ballybofey
    Gap Filling Station Carrigart
    Harris' Service Station Convoy
    Kernans' Eurospar Ramelton
    Kernans' Eurospar & Diner Stranorlar
    Lafferty's Stop & Shop Creeslough
    Lagg Service Station Milford
    McGeever's Service Station Carrigart
    Parkside Service Station Drumkeen
    Spar Kilmacrennan
    Ton-Up Service Station Kerrykeel
    Whoriskey's Spar Ramelton

    SOUTH DONEGAL
    McTaggart's Gala (Topaz) Donegal Town
    Abbey Garage (Topaz) Ballyshannon
    Cannon's Service Station Glenties

    NORTHERN IRELAND
    Glenshane Texaco Service Station Glenshane
    Broomheadge Service Station Lisburn
    Dolan's Service Station Strabane
    Foreglen Road Service Station Derry
    O'Kanes Cars Castledawson

Entries Still being taken

Posted: June 2, 2012 10:02 AM

The Organisers of the Topaz Donegal International Rally 2012 have released advance details of entrants to the 2012 Rally, which takes place on the weekend of 15th – 17th June. A spokesman said:
“We have learned that some competitors had technical difficulties with our online entry system and were unaware that their entry had not been received. We will accommodate anyone whose name does not appear on our list and entries are still being taken for the Rally.”

Entries Received 1/6/12

Posted: June 1, 2012 10:48 PM

Driver/Co Driver (Car) [Class]

Main Field Aaron McHale/Brian Daniels (Ford Focus WRC) [8]
Adrian Hethrington/Gary Nolan (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Alan Nesbitt/Quentin Park (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Alistar Glenn/Niall McDaid (Peugeot 206) []
Andrew Connor/TBA (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [16]
Andrew Hegarty/Loretta Kelly (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
Andrew Stewart/Tony Gallagher (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4) [15]
Barry 'Wash' McGill/Derek 'Tae' Heena (Ford Escort Mk2) [9]
Bernard McGinley/TBA (Toyota Starlet) [11]
Brendan Friel/John Paul Boyle (Toyota Corolla) [11]
Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Brian O Donnell/Peter O Donnell (Corsa) [9]
Brian Quigley/TBA (Honda Civic) [2]
Callum Duffy/Iain Duffy (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Caolan Gaffney/Keith Gorell (Vaux Nova) [9]
Columba Heena/Declan Big Francie (Toyota Corolla) [13]
Conor Harvey/Geard Callaghan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
Damian O Reilly/Damien McCabe (Ford Escort Mk2) [9]
Daniel Conaghan/Terence Magee (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Daniel Doherty/Michael Doherty (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Daniel Lucey/Derry Healy (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Daniel McKenna/Andrew Grennan (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Danny Cannon/Eamonn Russell (Honda Civic) [11]
Danny Gillespie/TBA (Honda Civic) [1]
Dara Leonard/TBA (Ford Fiesta) [3]
Darragh Doherty/Damian McElhinney (Toyota Corolla) [11]
Darragh Kelly/Gerry Hughes (Ford Fiesta) [1]
Darragh O Riordan/Tony McDaid (Subaru) [6]
Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Subaru) [6]
David Baird/Chris Baird (Astra) [10]
David Bogie/Paul Beaton (MG Metro) [15]
David Carney/Ray Fitzpatrick (Citroen C2) [2]
David Graham/Robert McDaid (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) [15]
David Smyth/TBA (Toyota Corolla) [11]
David Ward/Pauric Keeney (Sunbeam) [9]
Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Declan Hall/Chris Corr (Toyota Corolla) [11]
Declan Leonard/Dermot McCafferty (Ford Fiesta) [3]
Declan McGettigan/Jonathan Gallagher (Honda Civic) [11]
Derek McGarrity/Paul Kiely (Subaru) [6]
Dermot Cannon/TBA (Toyota Corolla) [13]
Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Subaru) [6]
Eamonn Gallagher/Paul Brogan (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
Eamonn McLaughlin/Sean Topping (Vaux Nova) [9]
Eugene O Donnell/Sean Harris (Honda Civic) [1]
Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Ford Ford Escort) [14]
Garry Gallagher/Lee Cullen (Toyota Corolla) [11]
Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Subaru) [6]
Gary Cooney/Rory McBride (Ford Escort Mk2) [8]
Gary McElhinney/Paddy McCrudden (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Gavin Kelly/Shaun Boyle (Honda Civic) [3]
Gavin McMenamin/Kevin Friel (Toyota Corolla) [11]
Geard McQuaid/Gareth Quinlan (Ford Escort Mk2 ) [13]
Geoffrey Dolan/Conor Murphy (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
George Baskin/Trevor Graham (Golf) [15]
Glenda Boyle/Kylie Boyle (Honda Civic) [1]
Graham Kelly /Fergal Kelly (Ford Escort G4) [13]
Hugh Martin Toye/Breeda Toye (Honda Civic) [13]
Ivan Warwick/Evelyn Warwick (Audi Coupe) [15]
J Browne/Brendan McElhinney (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
James Greenan/TBA (Corsa) [9]
Jim McKenna/Thomas Treanor (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
JJ Fleming / (Ford Focus WRC) [6]
Joe Gallagher/Geard Mullan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [16]
John Bonner/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [11]
John Dolan/Joe Dolan (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
John McQuaid/Seamus O Connor (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
John O Donnell/Aidan Friel (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [6]
Johnny Wilhare/Cahir Wilhare (Honda Civic) [2]
Joseph McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney (Clio) [3]
Josh Moffett/Domhnall Lennon (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
Jp Logue/James Logue (Honda Civic) [13]
JP Quigley/Emmett Kelly (Honda Civic) [1]
Kelvin Keys/Kevin Gallinagh (Ford Escort Mk2) [11]
Kevin Bradley/Siobhan Bradley (Ford Escort Mk2) [11]
Kevin Gallagher/Gavin Gallagher (MG) [11]
Kevin Kelly/Paul Hegarty (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Kevin McHugh/TBA () []
Kevin O Connor/Shane Buckley (Citroen C2) [2]
Kieran Brogan/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [11]
Kieran Daly/Keith Moriarty (Citroen C2) [2]
Kieran Roarty/James Doherty (Honda Civic) [1]
Manus Kelly/Donal Barrett (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Mark Glackin/Micheal Glackin (Toyota Corolla) [11]
Mark Higgins/Rory Kennedy (Mini WRC) [6]
Martin Howley/Shaun Lafferty (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [15]
Martin McGee/Denis O Mahony (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Martin O Donnell/John O Donnell (Honda Civic) [3]
Michael Peoples/Stephen Gallinagh (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Niall Maguire/TBA (Subaru) [6]
Noreen McShea/Kerry McCarter (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) [4]
Oran Donnelly/Paul Hughes (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
Paddy McDaid/Oliver Doherty (Honda Civic) [1]
Paddy Walker/John Sweeney (Peugeot 206) []
Pat Kirk/Peter Ward (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
Patrick Boyle /Donal McCole (Toyota Corolla) [11]
Patrick McHugh/Pauric O Donnell (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Paul Barrett/John McElhinney (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Paul Carron/Andrew Browne (Toyota Corolla) [11]
Paul Corcoran/Liam McIntyre (Ford Escort Mk2) [12]
Peter Greene/Conor Comack (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Peter McCarry/Andy Hayes (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Peter O Kane/Mark O Connor (Honda Civic) [1]
PJ Bonner/Jonathan Treanor (Ford Ford Focus) [14]
PJ McDermott/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Rob Alderman/Paula Alderman (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Robbie Peoples/Keith Stewart (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Rodney Wilton/Conor McMahon (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Rory Byrne/Jeremy Patterson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
Russell Woods/Gary Gallagher (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Sam Moffett/James O Reilly (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
Samuel Kelso/Mac Walsh (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Seamus Doherty/Peter Byrne (Ford Escort Mk2) [11]
Seamus Leonard/John McCafferty (Subaru) [6]
Sean Agnew/Peter Deery (Citroen C2) [2]
Sean Heraghty/Jonathan Edwards (Vaux Nova) [9]
Shane Orr/Kevin Connors (Honda Civic ) [1]
Shaun Callaghan/Patrick McBride (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Shaun Murphy/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Simon Mauger/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Stanley Ballantine/Wendy Blackledge (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
Stephan Bradley/TBA (Honda Civic ) [1]
Stephen Greeney/Kieran Feeney (Citroen C2) [6]
Steve Wood/Johnny Baird (Citroen C2) [2]
Stewart Rankin/William Coyle (Honda Civic) [3]
Terence Diver/Evin Henderson (Ford Escort Mk2) [11]
Thomas Keys/TBA (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Thomas McGlinchey/Tony Curran (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Thomas McCreesh/TBA (Toyota Starlet) [11]
Tommy O Connell/Sean Magee (Ford Escort Mk2) [13]
Tony Jardine/Maurice Hamilton (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
Trevor Bustard/Kenny Bustard (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) [4]
Vivian Hamill/Greame Henderson (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
Wesley Patterson/Martin McGarrity (Ford Escort Mk2) [14]
William Kenneally/Finbar Fogarty (Ford Escort Mk2) [11]
William McFadden /TBA (Ford Escort G3) [13]
William Vance/TBA (Ford Ford Escort) [12]

Juniors
Barry Gallagher/Mark Gallagher (Honda Civic) [J2]
Barry McLaughlin/Aodhan Gallagher (Toyota Corolla) [J2]
Cathal McCarthy/Declan Buttimer (Honda Civic) [J2]
Christopher McLaughlin/Niall O Donnell (Toyota Corolla) [J2]
Conal McNulty/Danny McCloskey (Suzuki Swift) [J1]
Damien Whoriskey/Michael McClafferty (Ford Ford Escort) [J2]
Glenn Alcorn/Gavin O Donnell (Toyota Corolla) [J2]
Kevin McLaughlin/Kieran McGinley (Honda Civic) [J2]
Lee Jacob/Jonathan Jacob (Suzuki Swift) [J1]
Michael Brennan/TBA (Honda Civic) [J2]
Ryan McKenna/TBA (Toyota Corolla) [J2]
Shane Carr/Stephen Peoples (Vauxhall Nova) [J2]
Thomas J Melia/Sean Bradley (Peugeot 205) [J1]

Historics
Driver/Co-Driver (Car) [Class]
Aidan O Connor/Ian Regan (Ford Ford Escort) [C3]
Alan Courtney/Paul Soutar (Porsche 911) [D4]
Alan Jardine/Raymond Knox (Ford Ford Escort) [C3]
Andrew Harvey/Darren Harvey (Sunbeam) [D2]
Andy Johnson/TBA (Chevette) [D5]
Brendan McAree/JP McAree (Porsche 911) [K]
Brian Crawford/Finian Hannigan (Sunbeam) [D2]
Declan Jackson/Barry McCarney (Ford Ford Escort) [D3]
Donal Connolly/Danny McLaughlin (Ford Ford Escort) [D3]
Gary Owens/Denver Rafferty (Ford Ford Escort) [D3]
Harry Brown/Martin McGrath (Avenger) [C2]
Joe Breslin/Stephen Lyons (Mini Cooper) [B2]
John Keatley/James McKeefrey (Ford Ford Escort) [K]
Stephen McFerron/Ellen McFerron (Ford Ford Escort) []
William Todd/Arron Johnson (Mini Cooper) [B2]

DETAILS OF FOOTBALL MATCH AND NEW MERCHANDISE WEBSITE ANNOUNCED.

Posted: May 15, 2012 1:55 PM

The Organisers of the Topaz Donegal International Rally Ireland 2012 have released more information about the activities in the run up to this years Rally, which runs from 15th – 17th June next.

On Wednesday 13th June the annual Drivers -v- Co-Drivers football match, for the Thomas Maguire Memorial Cup, will be held in Letterkenny. As many of the competitors will be in Donegal making their preparations for the event, the match attracts a good turnout of rally stars and spectators.

Team Player/Managers are Conor Curley for the Drivers and Rory Kennedy for the Co-Drivers. As Rory puts it:
“Everyone is welcome for what should be an incredible display of silky skill” which Conor says he takes as a lovely compliment: “seeing that Rory has lost the match for the last three years!”

In other news Donegal Motor Club’s merchandise website goes live later this week with access to all Topaz Donegal Rally clothing and accessories available to buy through the internet. Spectators will also be able to pre-order their Rally programmes on the site.

Clerk of the Course Eamon McGee said:
“Every year we try to update facilities for spectators and visitors to the County. Our Rally Guide is already on the Website, with accommodation and other information about the Rally, and will be updated in the coming weeks. We would also appreciate it if any intending marshals would get in touch as we have a great package available for them”

TOPAZ DONEGAL INTERNATIONAL RALLY ENTRIES CLOSING.

Posted: May 15, 2012 1:47 PM

Donegal Motor Club has just issued a reminder to competitors that entries for the 2012 Topaz Donegal International Rally Ireland are about to close.

The event is now just over 4 weeks away, and with plans at an advanced stage, the organisers will be shortly drawing up the entry list for the event which is planned for the week-end of June 15th – 17th.

Eamon McGee, Clerk of the Course spoke at the week-end saying,
“We are just putting the event Safety Plan in its final formation and we are working closely with Motorsport Ireland to ensure the safety of competitors, spectators and officials alike. This is something that happens before all events, and while we are finalising route details, the office staff are busy with entries, which I believe is filling up well. However, there are always some competitors who forget about the closing date, and with it being slightly earlier this year, I want to remind everyone to act now and get your name on the list and don't leave it too late.”

Eamon continued,
”I want competitors to remember that there is a class for everyone in this rally, there is the International Rally for the latest modern equipment, the National Rally for modified cars, the Historic section for older cars and the Junior Rally for the up and coming young drivers.

Like our sponsor Topaz, I am looking forward to the event in June, and we will have some special features organised which will be publicised before the event.”

The Rally Regulations/Entry Form with Rally Accommodation details are now available on

TOPAZ DONEGAL INTERNATIONAL RALLY REGULATIONS NOW AVAILABLE

Posted: April 30, 2012 3:17 PM

Donegal Motor Club has released the Regulations and Entry Forms for the 2012 Topaz Donegal International Rally Ireland.

The event will take place over the week-end of June 15th – 17th.

Once again the 3-day rally is a pivotal round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, and incorporating an International Rally for the latest modern equipment, while the National Rally is for modified cars. There is a section for older cars, the Historic section, over the Saturday and Sunday, while the Junior Rally, for up and coming drivers, takes place on Sunday.

Eamon McGee, Clerk of the Course said
“I am delighted with the response by competitors and followers of the rally, who have overwhelmingly supported us in our plan to bring a three day event to the county again for the 2012 event. There had been many calls from people in the county who wanted to know if the rally was being reduced to 2 days, but with the publication of our RallyGuide, firmly indicated our intention to maintain the 3-day format. This is important for the local tourism, and this matched with Topaz’s continued support of the Rally, gives the boost needed particularly in the current economic climate. As was said before, Topaz have brought new thinking to the event and have helped us open up the sport to a much wider audience. Topaz is a wholly Irish owned company and their commitment has been fantastic. They understand the significance of the Rally for the region, as well as being a major sporting event.”

The Rally Regulations/Entry Form with Rally Accommodation details are now available on our website at:

Topaz Donegal Rally Ireland 2012 announces new Clerk of the Course.

Posted: April 13, 2012 4:10 PM

As the 2012 Rally season comes alive, Ireland’s largest Motor Club has made a provisional announcement that for 2012, top International event the Topaz Donegal Rally will have a new Clerk of the Course on the mid-summers weekend of June 15th– 17th. Stepping into the hot seat this year is one of the Donegal Motor Club’s longest-serving members, Eamon McGee from Bunaman, Annagry in “the O’Donnell county”.

Eamon has been the Chief Marshal and a timing co-ordinator with the Club for years, and this season has been prompted to move up the ladder to the highly demanding role of Clerk of the Course, taking over from 2011 Clerk Danny Gormley.

Speaking this week from his home in Gweedore Eamon said,
“I am busy at present putting the final touches to the route for the June event, and there will be some important news regarding the format and layout of the 2012 Topaz Donegal International available very soon for all intending competitors.”

“The support from Topaz as title sponsor makes this Rally possible in the first place and the standards they set have helped us confirm the Topaz Donegal Rally as the biggest draw in the Irish Motorsport calendar.”

“I have made some fairly big changes to the layout, but all the important Donegal features will still be there. There has been some speculation recently about the Rally being shortened, which is surprising given our feedback from competitors.”

“It is important for the Rally to promote the County and the region, and we carried out a survey of competitors last year specifically on the question of the three-day format. The result was a massive majority to stay at the full weekend. Competitors see it as a special challenge and I can confirm that this year’s Donegal won’t disappoint them.”

Eamon continued,
“Considering our close association with National and local Tourism providers we also feel it is important now, maybe more than ever, to maximise the opportunities for everyone who has supported us over the past 40 years.”

He added,
“We are only a non-profit making Motor Club, who provides a sport not just for National and International competitors, but most importantly for it’s Club members – the backbone of any sporting club. A key aim will be to keep costs to a minimum and deliver a value for money event for all competitors”.

“The Topaz Donegal Rally has grown to be a major fixture in the cultural and sporting calendar of County Donegal and the North West region. Our first goal is to ensure the safe running of the rally and we are inviting anyone who can assist with the marshalling of the Rally, or in any other capacity, to contact us via the Club website or the Club office at Port House, Port Road Letterkenny (+353-74-91-26681).”

The Topaz Donegal Rally Ireland will take place on the week-end of 15th – 17th June 2012.

Website

Posted: April 13, 2012 4:05 PM

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