Local Pair takes honours at the Topaz Donegal International Rally

Declan Boyle would be best known as owner of The Limelight Nightclub in the town. As many of you know Declan is involved in motorsport from seeing articles about his in the Donegal Post and indeed seeing his Ford Escort MK2 Rally Car in the floats at the Harvest Fair. This happened to be Declan’s 4th Donegal International rally and he entered with his cousin Brian Boyle sitting alongside him in the navigation seat. The rally was over a time period of three days, starting Friday 15th and ending on Sunday 17th.

Day one started with Daniel McKenna (Ford Escort MK2) and David Bogie (Metro 6R4) dominating the first lock of stages, Declan was closely following sitting in 3rd place. As disaster hit for McKenna with axel problems and Bogie dropped out due to a wheel falling of the car while rallying this left Declan in the lead over Glenswilly man Manus Kelly (Ford Escort MK2).

Day two saw Manus Kelly pull Declan’s lead back to 24 seconds but later on in the day Declan responded to have an overnight lead of 24.8 seconds. Declan’s favourite stage, Knockalla, was cancelled but they shortened the stage to a couple of miles so they would let the drivers get a run at the classic stage.

Day three seen Declan on the pace straight away gaining his lead back up to 30 seconds but worse was to come. On stage 19, Atlantic Drive Declan clipped a rock and got a puncture leaving Manus Kelly to take the lead by 2.7 seconds and only 3 stages left to go. Declan just about clinched the lead back heading into the last stage but it was down to the wire, anything could have happened on the last stage. Declan came out the better of Manus Kelly by 4.8 seconds. This is Declan’s second national win as he won in the Galway International rally earlier this year.

Report by Declan Boyle (DB Pics)

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