Donegal International Rally

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Donegal International Rally
Donegal International Rally Logo.JPG
Donegal International Rally logo.
Category Rally
Country County Donegal, Republic of Ireland Ireland
Inaugural season 1972
Drivers' champion Manus Kelly
Official website http://www.donegalrally.ie/
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

The Donegal International Rally is an annual sporting event held in County Donegal, Ireland. It is one of Ireland's oldest annual rally competitions and is a top event in the Irish Rallying calendar.[1] It has a reputation for being one of the country's most challenging rallies.[2] The event begins and concludes in Letterkenny.[3]

History[edit]

The event began in 1972 with Cahal Curley the first winner. The event was postponed for the two consecutive years of 2001 and 2002 due to the Foot-and-mouth disease[4] and a serious accident. The rally was abandoned in 2008 after a spectrator was hit by a driver.

The rally attracts approximately 50,000 spectators each year. The event is estimated to be worth over €20 million to the Donegal economy each year. The event was previously sponsored by Shell. The current sponsors of the Donegal International Rally are Topaz Energy and The Mount Errigal Hotel.[1][not in citation given]

2001 event[edit]

Crowds at the 2008 Rally in Donegal Town.

At the 2002 event two marshals were killed. The two 22-year-old men, one from Moville, the other from Crossmaglen, died when a car crashed into spectators at around 2.00 pm. Three men were also injured. The remaining stages of the event were cancelled after the serious accident on Stage Two.[5] Andrew Nesbitt was announced as winner as he led the rally at the time of the accident.

This led to the Motorsport Commission to inspect safety at all future events.[6]

2008 event[edit]

At the 2008 event an 18-year-old spectator died after being hit by a competing car, at 3.30 pm. The accident happened at Ballyare, about four miles from Letterkenny. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.[7][8][9] The road was closed and did not re-open for some time. Organisors cancelled the rally for the rest of the day and later announced that the 2008 event would be abandoned as a mark of respect[10][11] Eugene Donnelly was announced as winner as he led the rally at the time of the accident.

2010 event[edit]

On Saturday Afternoon 19 June 2010, a co-driver died after the car he was in crashed on the Knockalla stage, south of Portsalon, of the event shortly after 3 pm. Thomas Maguire, Aged 26, from Longwood, County Meath was killed and his driver, Shane Buckley, critically injured. As a result, the final stage of the rally was cancelled. This was the first time in the rally's history that a competitor was killed during the rally.[12]

Winners[edit]

Year Winner Car Notes
1972 Republic of Ireland Cahal Curley BMW 2002
1973 Republic of Ireland Cahal Curley Porsche Carrera
1974 Republic of Ireland Cahal Curley Porsche Carrera
1975 Germany Achim Warmbold BMW 2002
1976 Republic of Ireland Brian Nelson Porsche Carrera
1977 Republic of Ireland Billy Coleman Lancia Stratos HF
1978 Finland Ari Vatanen Ford Escort RS1800
1979 Republic of Ireland Brian Nelson Ford Escort RS1800
1980 Scotland Jimmy McRae Vauxhall Chevette HSR
1981 Republic of Ireland John Lyons Ford Escort RS1800
1982 Republic of Ireland John Lyons Ford Escort RS1800
1983 Republic of Ireland Vincent Bonner Ford Escort RS1800
1984 Republic of Ireland Billy Coleman Opel Manta 400
1985 Republic of Ireland Billy Coleman Porsche 911 SCRS
1986 Republic of Ireland Billy Coleman MG Metro 6R4
1987 Northern Ireland Bertie Fisher Opel Manta 400
1988 United Kingdom Mark Lovell Ford Sierra RS Cosworth
1989 United Kingdom David Llewellin Toyota Celica
1990 Republic of Ireland Austin McHale BMW M3
1991 Republic of Ireland James Cullen Ford Sierra Cosworth
1992 Northern Ireland Bertie Fisher Subaru Legacy
1993 Northern Ireland Bertie Fisher Subaru Legacy RS
1994 United Kingdom Stephen Finlay Ford Escort RS Cosworth
1995 Northern Ireland Bertie Fisher Subaru Legacy RS
1996 Northern Ireland Andrew Nesbitt Toyota Celica
1997 Republic of Ireland Austin McHale Toyota Celica
1998 Northern Ireland Andrew Nesbitt Toyota Celica
1999 Republic of Ireland James Cullen Subaru Impreza 555
2000 Northern Ireland Andrew Nesbitt Subaru Impreza WRC
2001 Event did not run (Foot-and-mouth disease) [1]
2002 Event Cancelled Northern Ireland Andrew Nesbitt Subaru Impreza WRC [2][permanent dead link]
2003 Northern Ireland Andrew Nesbitt Subaru Impreza WRC
2004 Republic of Ireland Eugene Donnelly Toyota Corolla WRC [3]
2005 Republic of Ireland Eugene Donnelly Toyota Corolla WRC [4]
2006 Northern Ireland Andrew Nesbitt Mitsubishi Lancer WRC [5] [6]
2007 France Sébastien Loeb Citroën C4 WRC [7] [8]
2008 Event Cancelled Republic of Ireland Eugene Donnelly [9][permanent dead link]
2009 Republic of Ireland Gareth McHale Ford Focus [10]
2010 Republic of Ireland Gareth McHale Ford Focus [11]
2011 Republic of Ireland Tim McNulty Subaru WRC [12]
2012 Northern Ireland Garry Jennings Subaru WRC [13]
2013 Republic of Ireland Sam Moffett Subaru S14 WRC [14]
2014 Republic of Ireland Declan Boyle Subaru Impreza S12 WRC [15]
2015 Northern Ireland Garry Jennings Subaru Impreza S12 WRC [16]
2016 Republic of Ireland Manus Kelly Subaru Impreza S12 WRC [17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Donegal International Rally – Topaz Sponsorship Secures Future of Donegal International Rally[not in citation given] Archived 10 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Jardine attempts vertical climb on Donegal. | Rally UK News
  3. ^ Donegal geared up for International Rally – RTE News
  4. ^ Shell Donegal International rally postponed – RTE News Archived 20 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Two marshals killed at Donegal Rally – RTE News[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Governing body to inspect safety at rally events – RTE News
  7. ^ Spectator dies in rally collision – RTE News
  8. ^ Tragedy halts Donegal Rally – RTE News
  9. ^ Spectator dies in rally accident BBC News
  10. ^ Rally ended as a mark of respect to deceased spectator – Highland Radio[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Donegal Rally cancelled after 18-year-old man killed – Irish Independent
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-20. 

External links[edit]