Donagh Kelly and Josh Moffett to debut Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 in Donegal

Tomorrow’s Donegal Harvest Rally in Redcastle will mark the Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 debut for former Irish Tarmac and National champions Donegal’s Donagh Kelly and Monaghan’s Josh Moffett.

Donagh Kelly and Josh Moffett to debut Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 in Donegal

Tomorrow’s Donegal Harvest Rally in Redcastle will mark the Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 debut for former Irish Tarmac and National champions Donegal’s Donagh Kelly and Monaghan’s Josh Moffett.

It’s the second Irish event in succession for a debut of the Polo R5; on the recent Cork “20” International Rally Derry’s Marty McCormack gave the car its winning Irish debut. But Kelly dismisses the notion that he will follow suit and highlights the tried and tested Ford Fiesta R5 of Derry’s Callum Devine as the chief challenge to overcome.

Kelly said: “The car is good, it feels nice, while it’s the same engine as the Skoda, it seems a nicer overall package. I wouldn’t expect to be on Callum’s pace but at the same time he is a good benchmark and Josh (Moffett) and Seamus Leonard (Ford Focus WRC) are there as well so there’s plenty of racing.”

Kelly revealed he has no plans at present in terms of next season. “Not a thing, we need 33 days off work to do the Tarmac Championship and Conor (his co-driver) can’t really do that, but we will see what happens.”

Moffett is a late entry and although listed to drive a Fiesta WRC he has hired the Dom Buckley Motorsport Polo R5. Devine is viewed as the favourite given his form this season.

Joe McGonigle (Ford Fiesta WRC) will be on home ground for the nine-stage rally.

Omagh’s Seamus Leonard (Ford Focus WRC) can always be relied upon to give a good account of himself while with the exception of Donegal’s Aaron McLaughlin (Ford Fiesta R5), the rest of the top ten is occupied by the rear wheel drive cars of Donegal trio Kevin Eves (Toyota Corolla), Kevin Gallagher (Darrian T90) and Damien Gallagher (Ford Escort) along with the Ford Escorts of Armagh’s Damien Toner and Derry’s Camillus Bradley.

A new season of the National Navigation Trial Championship begins tomorrow night with the Cork Startrek Navigation Trial which is based at the Community Centre, Inchigeelagh. The race also marks the start of the Munster Navigation Trial Championship. Last year’s national series runners-up and event winners Mogeely’s James Fitzgerald and Ballincollig’s Ken Carmody are the number one crew.

They face fellow Cork crews - Ovens ace Owen Murphy and his Togher navigator Daire Hayes and Mallow’s Derek Butler and Drinagh’s Denis O’Donovan - over the 120-mile route that includes a petrol-halt. The first car away is at 10.50pm.

A total of 20 Motorsport Ireland karters will participate in the Iame world finals at Le Mans that begins Sunday and will continue until Saturday week.

This year will see the introduction of a Cadet (9-12-year-olds) class that includes Kildare’s Jack and Tadgh Buckley (grandsons of Banteer rally driver Ger Buckley). Other classes are Iame X30, Junior, Senior and Masters with Charleville’s Shane Daly offering the best hope of Irish success on what is the fifth year of Motorsport Ireland representation.

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