Donegal driver Donagh Kelly and his Derry co-driver Kevin Flanagan in their Ford Focus WRC have clinched the Triton Showers National Rally Championship courtesy of second place on the McCormack Opel/Sligo Park Hotel Rally, round six of the eight round series.
Outgoing champion, Declan Boyle and his co-driver Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC) won the event – 30.6 seconds ahead of new champions, who were presented with the Vard Memorial Trophy at the finish ramp in Sligo.
It is the first time since the inception of the championship that two drivers from the same county have won the national title, Cork drivers Mick O’Connell and Ger Buckley were the respective winners in 1978 and 1979. Former champion Niall Maguire and his co-driver Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC) were some two minutes further behind in third.
There was a frenetic battle in Group N, Aidan Wray (Mitsubishi EvoX) led the way albeit 1.7 seconds ahead of EvoIX versions of Trevor Bustard with Paul Kiely a further 1.4 seconds further behind.
Aidan Wray (Mitsubishi) won Group N where Carrick on Shannon’s Sean Gallagher (Mitsubishi) was third; the Triton Drive of the Day was won by Owen Neville/Tommy Hayes (Honda Civic.
In the Junior category Roscommon’s Cormac Phelan/Katja Auhl (Citroen C2R2) took an emphatic victory and Donegal’s Iarla Carty/Anthony Scanlon (Mini) won the Historic section. Dominic McLoughlin and his nephew Brian were the top Connacht Motor Club crew in 28th.