BY MARTIN WALSH
DONEGAL’S Donagh Kelly and his Monaghan co-driver Conor Foley in a Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 won the Fastnet Rally in Bantry, the final round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.
They finished 37.1 seconds ahead of the Ford Escort of Donegal’s Damian Tourish/Domhnaill McAlaney with Welsh driver Mel Evans and co-driver Patrick Walsh in a Skoda Fabia R5, 50.8 seconds further behind in third.
Donegal’s Kevin Eves (Toyota Corolla) and co-driven by Chris Melly, who was eighth overall did enough to clinch third overall in the Triton series and also won the rally.ie award (top two-wheel drive) within the eight round series.
Meanwhile, Donegal’s David Kelly (Toyota Starlet) co-driven by Kenny Bustard, won the Junior event and also clinched Class 16A within the Triton series.
Kelly led from the start and, although Tourish was only two seconds shy on the opening stage, Kelly went 15.5 seconds clear after the third stage.
Bandon’s Vincent McSweeney (Mitsubishi Evo) made a great start just 7.6 seconds off the lead and a tenth of a second ahead of Daniel Cronin’s Fiesta R5 that was overheating. Unfortunately, hopes of a local win ended when they both crashed on the second stage.
Kelly went on to win from Tourish and another Fastnet winner Welsh ace Mel Evans.
Barryroe’s Dylan Doolan was the top local co-driver, he guided Cavan’s Chris Armstrong to fourth place.
1 Donagh Kelly-Conor Foley (VW Polo GTi R5) 1h. 1m. 26.2s
2 Damian Tourish-Domhnall McAlaney (Ford Escort) 1h. 02m. 03.3s
3. Melvyn Evans-Patrick Walsh (Skoda Fabia R5) 1h. 02m. 54.1s
4 Chris Armstrong-Dylan Doonan (Ford Escort) 1h. 03m. 12.2s
5 David Moffett-Martin Connolly (Toyota Starlet) 1h. 03m. 58.4s.
6 JF Shovelin-Emmet Brosnan (Ford Escort) 1h. 03m. 58.4s.
7 Aaron McLaughlin-Darren Curran (Ford Fiesta R5) 1h. 03m. 59.8s.
8 Kevin Eves-Chris Melly (Toyota Corolla) 1h. 04m. 06.4s.
9 Daragh O'Riordan-Mikey Walsh (Ford Escort) 1h. 05m. 04.2s.
10 Kevin Barrett-Declan Tumilty (Subaru WRC) 1h. 05m. 57.1s.