Boyles blitz the Donegal Harvest Rally field

Donegal cousins Declan Boyle and Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC) blitzed the opposition in the Martin Howley Donegal Harvest Rally in Killybegs, the final round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.

Boyles blitz the Donegal Harvest Rally field

Fastest through all eight stages, they finished one minute and 39.4 seconds ahead of the Subaru WRC of another Donegal crew, Manus Kelly/Gareth Doherty. Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC) were 1:37.9 seconds back in third.

The Group N category was won by Aidan Wray/ Kieran McGrath (Mitsubishi Evo X) who netted back-to-back titles in the Motorsport Safety Group N category of the Triton Showers series. Wray finished 12.4 seconds ahead of his rival Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi).

The Junior series went the way of Meath’s Gary McNamee (Honda Civic), co-driven by Cork’s Bernard Foley.

On the first stage, Boyle extricated a 9.1 second lead over the Subaru of Garry Jennings, who lost time with intercom trouble. Manus Kelly (Subaru WRC) was just seven-tenths of a second behind in third.

Another Donegal driver Declan Gallagher (Toyota Starlet) made a stunning start heading the Modified section he also held an impressive fourth overall. Unfortunately, he crashed out on the second stage, luckily and although his car was badly damaged, neither himself or co-driver James NcNulty were injured.

Boyle was untouchable on the stage around the village of Glencolmcille and led by 13.3 seconds. Jennings retained second nine seconds ahead of Manus Kelly whose Subaru WRC had became stuck in a drain that damaged the rear panel.

Following Gallagher’s demise fellow Donegal man Damien Gallagher (Escort) held fourth and pacesetter in the Modified section — albeit a second ahead of Gary Kiernan (Escort). Former triple champion Niall Maguire, who was seventh, spun and stalled on the second stage.

Both stages were repeated as Boyle extended his lead to 24.9 seconds as second placed Jennings acknowledged the pace of the rally leader. Chris Armstrong (Escort) led the two-wheel drive section but he lost time when he clipped a wheel, both Damien Gallagher and Gary Kiernan were within a nine-second time frame.

The switch of terrain for the afternoon stages didn’t deliver any encouragement for the opposition as Boyle sped through Donegal, by S.S. 6 he was 37 seconds clear of Jennings, who departed the fray when his Subaru developed engine woes while Armstrong slid off and out of the rally on the same stage.

Boyle went on to claim his fifth win in the Triton series where he finished runner-up. Kelly netted second and Niall Maguire came through to secure third in both event and championship. Gary Kiernan survived a moment on the final stage to win the Modified section as Gallagher and McGonigle filled the remaining top six places.

In the Junior Championship, there was pre-event drama when Donegal’s Michael Boyle blew the engine of his Honda, however, a sporting gesture from former Junior champion Cormac Phelan to lend him his engine meant Boyle was able to start. However, he crashed on the opening stage as Gary McNamee went on to claim victory and the series.

Meanwhile, Dubliner Ian O’Connell (Hyabusa Special ) clinched the National Grass Surface Autocross Championship with his seventh win of the series at Midleton.

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