Donegal Int and WRC Poland 2009

Locals On Form On Donegal Rally

Last week-end’s Donegal International Rally saw some strong performances from a number of Mayo competitors. In the National section of the rally James Culliney from Bekan and his Knock co-driver Eddie McLoughlin recorded a highly commendable 3rd in class 12 in their Ford Escort Mark 2. Gearbox problems on the opening day left them in a lowly 16th in class but thanks to some excellent work from their service team headed up by Colm Loughney and Niall Morley, the Mayo crew put in an excellent fightback to recover to 8th in class by the end of the day. They continued to progress through the field over the remaining two days to bring the Escort back to Letterkenny in 24th position overall.

Meanwhile Shane Buckley from Ballyhaunis recorded his best result of the season taking second in round 4 of the Fiesta SportTrophy Challenge. This highly competitive one-make series has attracted some of the most promising up and coming competitors in Ireland and abroad. Having suffered some bad luck on earlier rounds, Buckley and co-driver Thomas Maguire didn’t put a wheel wrong in Donegal. Despite a slow time on the opening test where they dropped over twenty seconds to eventual winner Craig Breen, they were quickly in their stride setting two fastest times on their way to the runner’s up spot. Also recording a good result was Paul McGee from Carrowmore-Lacken who co-drove Stephen Wright to fourth in Donegal.

With two rounds of the Fiesta SportTrophy remaining, Shane Buckley has moved into third place overall in the series, and will be hopeful of catching second placed competitor Mark Donnelly on the next round on the Ulster International Rally in August.

Duffy Flies Mayo Flag on Rally Poland

Top Mayo co-driver Killian Duffy was in action at the week-end on the inaugural Rally Poand, round 8 of the 2009 World Rally Championship. Navigating once again for up and coming UAE driver Ahmed Al Mansoori in a Ford Fiesta ST, the pair were under strict instructions from Ford bosses to record a finish following an accident on the previous round in Sardinia. Broken power steering on the opening day meant they had to compete under SupeRally rules, but the Crossmolina man duly navigated his young charge home safely in 30th position, scoring a fastest stage time along the way.