Five-in-a-row for Donagh Kelly in West Cork

Donegal driver Donagh Kelly, the former National and Tarmac rally champion, extended his already long list of achievements by becoming the first driver ever to win the Quality Hotel Clonakilty West Cork International five years in a row.

Donagh Kelly & Conor Foley in a Ford Focus WRC extended their long winning run on the Quality Hotel Clonakilty West Cork Rally after a dominant performance which saw the Donegal driver win the event for the fifth year in a row. image by Kevin O’Driscoll

At the finish in Clonakilty on Saturday, he and co-driver Conor Foley had almost two minutes to spare over runners up Josh Moffett and Andy Hayes, who led the R5 challenge to Kelly’s more powerful Ford Focus World Rally Car. The Monaghan-Wexford pair took their Fiesta to maximum points towards the Clonakilty Blackpudding/Michelin Irish Tarmac title, as WRC cars are no longer eligible for the series.

Defending Tarmac title holder Sam Moffett, Josh’s elder brother, had a good day yesterday, as he climbed from fourth place at the end of Saturday’s eight stages, to overtake Declan Boyle, finishing the weekend just nine seconds behind his sibling. Dubliner Rob Barrable, a former West Cork winner, was fifth this time, ten seconds down on Boyle.

Callum Devine from Co Derry had his first event on home soil as Young Rally Driver of the year, and had a great drive to bring his one litre Fiesta R2T into eleventh place overall, beaten only by the much more powerful WRC and R5 cars which scored a clean sweep of the top ten positions. The Billy Coleman Award winner took a comfortable class win.