Donegal’s Manus Kelly and Donall Barrett went into the final stage of the 2016 Donegal International Rally almost 10 seconds adrift of Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin however an unbelievable run through Fanad Head saw Kelly complete the stage 9.8 seconds faster than the Corkman and by doing so claim the win by 0:00.5, It doesn’t get much closer than that.
It was the fifth round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Championship and it will certainly be remembered as one of the classic events. With no less than six leaders over the course of the rally and the winning margin of just 0.5 seconds meant that it was the most exciting and unpredictable event in years. While Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin eventually had to settle for second they scored maximum points in the championship.
Aaron MacHale & Paul McGee were the top Mayo crew finishing the weekend in 7th place (4th in Class 5) Over from Australia Pauric Duffy & Kevin Glynn put in a fantastic drive to finish in 11th (5th in Class 5)
Darragh Mullen navigated Donegal man, Gary Cooney to 54th & 5th in Class 15, a great recovery after trouble on the first day seen them bottom of the leader board after day 1.
Andrew Grennan’s event finished early on day 1 after an off road excursion put an end to his weekend on the notes for Vivian Hamill.
In the Junior section of the event Justin Ryan & Noel Murphy each put in solid drives in their Honda Civic’s to continue to occupy the top two spots in the overall Junior Championships with two rounds remaining.
Cork’s Kevin Horgan scored maximum points to close the gap to second placed Murphy to just two points.
Its still all to play for once dropped scores are taken into account, but Ryan is still in a good position having a couple of maximum scores this season to date and can still afford to drop a round.