DONEGAL HAS plenty of interest in the 2016 Corrib Oil Galway International Rally, which gets underway this evening.
A ceremonial start at 8pm at Eyre Square gets the event started with nine stages tomorrow and a further six on Sunday.
Letterkenny man Rory Kennedy is calling the notes for the number 1 seed, Garry Jennings, in the WRC Impreza. Last June, the pair won the Donegal International Rally and will aim to get 2016 off to a good start this weekend.
The Boyle cousins from Lettermacaward, Declan and Brian, are second off the ramp in the Fiesta WRC.
The Boyles won the Championship in 2014, but swapped the Subaru for the Fiesta last summer. After getting accustomed to the Fiesta in 2015, the Boyles are raring to go again.
The biggest intrigue of the weekend might well centre around the seventh seed.
‘The Milkman’ Declan Gallagher and Ryan Moore have obtained an S8 Impreza from Jennings for this event.
Having won the modified National and Tarmac championships last year in their well-known Starlet, the pair are significantly moving up in terms of machinery this weekend and it will be interesting to see how they fare out.
“I’m looking forward to doing some events in a WRC car, but I’ll see how Galway goes first. I’d love to get a win in a WRC car along the way,” Ardara man Gallagher said recently.
Muff’s Joseph McGonigle, who has Ciaran Geaney from Falcarragh calling the notes in the S2000 Skoda Fabia is another looking to build on a promising 2015.
Last year, Geaney won the navigator’s title while McGonigle was second in the Championship and was first in the R5 class.
Letterkenny native Johnny Baird is co-driver for Wesley Patterson in their Mark 2 Escort in 20th while 26th seeds are Dungloe crew Patrick McHugh and Pauric O’Donnell.
Letterkenny man Marty Gallagher and his trusted sidekick, Dean O’Sullivan, won their class, 11F, in the Border Championship last year, and came second overall, and they go in a Fiesta at number 28.
Kilmacrennan’s Paddy Robinson is calling notes for David Guest in the Evo 9, while Ardara’s John Watters and Shane O’Donnell are at number 42 in an Escort, with Annagry’s Gavin Kelly and Eamonn Gillespie in the Group N Lancer.
Letterkenny brothers Kyle and Dale McGettigan have the Corolla ready for action and will be aiming for a class win this weekend.
The event has retained its full weekend format and gets under way with a Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square this evening, following afternoon scrutineering of cars at the Galway Race Course from 2pm.
Headquarters for the event is the Clayton Hotel, Ballybrit, Galway.
The rally route will cover nine closed road stages on Saturday and a further six on Sunday.Tags: