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Callum Devine Clinches Back-to-Back Wins at Donegal International Rally

Callum Devine Clinches Back-to-Back Wins at Donegal International Rally

Donegal Derry’s Callum Devine, alongside his Killarney co-driver Noel O’Sullivan, secured a thrilling victory at the Wilton Recycling Donegal International Rally, marking their second consecutive win at the event.

Driving a Skoda Fabia Rally2, the duo finished 17.4 seconds ahead of Welsh driver Meirion Evans and Killarney’s Ger Conway in a Toyota GR Yaris Rally2. Donegal locals David Kelly and Dean O’Sullivan, in a VW Polo GTi R5, completed the podium, finishing just 9 seconds behind Evans.

The rally’s dynamics shifted dramatically during SS16, Atlantic Drive, when the leading Ford Fiesta Rally2 of Matt Edwards and co-driver David Moynihan struck a wall, causing significant steering damage and dropping them to fourth place.

Samdec Securities Irish Tarmac Series Standings

Despite crashing out while leading on Friday, Ballylickey’s Keith Cronin maintains his lead in the Samdec Securities Irish Tarmac series. Edwards and Devine follow closely, with all three drivers still in contention for the title with two rounds remaining.

Rally Highlights

Edwards started Saturday’s stages with a 12-second lead over Devine, while Tyrone’s Cathan McCourt trailed in third. By the end of the Knockalla and Garrygort stages, Edwards had extended his lead to 24 seconds, but a spin by Devine in High Glen allowed Edwards to pull ahead. However, Devine’s strong performance on SS14 reduced the deficit to 16.2 seconds. McCourt’s crash in the final stage of the day allowed Evans to move into third place.

Sunday’s stages were filled with drama, starting with McCourt’s exit from the rally on the Gartan stage, which allowed Evans to inherit third. Devine’s fast pace on the same stage cut Edwards’ lead to 13.1 seconds. The crucial moment came on SS16, Atlantic Drive, where Edwards’ collision with a wall dropped him to fourth place and allowed Devine to take the lead, which he maintained until the end of the rally.

Final Standings and Performances

The rally concluded with Devine holding a 37.5-second lead over Evans. Kelly’s consistent performance saw him finish in third, just ahead of Edwards. Notably, Donegal’s Declan Gallagher, with co-driver John McCarthy in a Toyota Starlet, won the modified category and finished ninth overall.

Wilton Recycling Donegal International Rally Results:

1. C. Devine/N. O’Sullivan (Skoda Fabia Rally2) – 2h18m19.8s

2. M. Evans/G. Conway (Toyota GR Yaris Rally2) +17.4s

3. D. Kelly/D. O’Sullivan (VW Polo GTi R5) +26.4s

4. M. Edwards/D. Moynihan (Ford Fiesta Rally2) +36.8s

5. J. Moffett/A. Hayes (Citroen C3 Rally2) +48.8s

6. M. Boyle/D. McCafferty (VW Polo GTi R5) +4m07.7s

7. G. Jennings/R. Kennedy (Ford Fiesta Rally2) +4m12.3s

8. S. Darcy/JJ Cremin (VW Polo GTi R5) +5m38.3s

9. D. Gallagher/J. McCarthy (Toyota Starlet) +5m59.6s

10. J. McGonigle/C. Geaney (Citroen C3 Rally2) +6m03.9s

Samdec Securities Irish Tarmac Rally Championship (Provisional Standings after Round 5):

1. K. Cronin – 73 points

2. M. Edwards – 71.5 points

3. C. Devine – 63 points

4. J. Moffett – 50 points

5. D. Kelly – 44 points

Gardaí Praise Rally Visitors for Compliance

Gardaí have thanked the majority of visitors to Donegal during the rally weekend for their cooperation and compliance. A large policing operation, supported by additional Gardaí and the PSNI, was in place. Despite some arrests and vehicle seizures for various offences, most visitors were law-abiding, ensuring a successful and safe event.

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