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Clonakilty driver makes move to R5

Monday, 25th February, 2019 1:00pm
Clonakilty driver makes move to R5

Clonakilty’s Cal McCarthy (right) and his long-time co-driver Ballinascarthy’s Eamonn Dullea renew their partnership after some 18 months.

CLONAKILTY’S Cal McCarthy is the latest Irish driver to move to the R5 category following the acquisition of the ex-Aaron MacHale Citroen DS3 R5.  

The 30-year-old has finally managed to achieve a long-held ambition to have a car that allows him compete at the top end of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

Speaking to The Southern Star, he said, ‘It was always an ambition to compete at the top level and the fact that the Irish Tarmac series switched to R5 made the top level more achievable. With the Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally being part of the ITRC and the British Rally Championship we are in the lucky position to make the move now.

‘Looking back in time at the likes of Donal O’Donovan, Liam McCarthy and Frank O’Mahony, I thought it wouldn’t be possible for me to compete at that level but the switch to R5 has given us that opportunity.’

He added: ‘We are getting the car checked over by DGM (David Greer Motorsport) and Donal Healy will run the car for us at the events.’

Linking up with Ballinascarthy’s Eamonn Dullea as his co-driver again, Cal paid tribute to co-drivers Derek O’Brien and Gavin Sheehan.  

‘Over the last 18 months I‘ve had great support from both Gavin and Derek, they were great, I couldn’t fault them. Eamonn just couldn’t stay away and we have a long association.’

McCarthy made his rally debut in a Suzuki Swift at the 2008 Banna Winter Rally (co-driven by Paul Dullea) and he competed in around six events before switching to a Honda Civic for some five years during which time Eamonn Dullea was his co-driver. Their best result was eighth overall in the 2014 West Cork Rally. Unfortunately, the following year didn’t go nearly as well as they crashed heavily on the stage at Ardfield.   

Moving on to a Citroen C2R2, another eighth overall, this time on the 2016 Fastnet Rally, was their most significant result.  

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