Done­gal dom­i­na­tor Kelly in R5 switch for In­ter­na­tional Rally re­turn

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Ir­ish­man Manus Kelly will join a host of driv­ers switch­ing to R5 power this sea­son in an at­tempt to suc­cess­fully de­fend both his Kil­lar­ney Rally of the Lakes and Done­gal In­ter­na­tional Rally wins.

Kelly tri­umphed on both sealed sur­face events last year driv­ing a S12B Subaru Im­preza World Rally Car, win­ning the biggest event of the Ir­ish cal­en­dar in Done­gal for the third year in a row.

He joins 2015 and 2013 ITRC cham­pi­ons Don­agh Kelly and De­clan Boyle in em­brac­ing the for­mula re­spec­tively, but hasn’t con­firmed which model car he will drive.

Manus Kelly be­came only the third per­son, af­ter Ca­hal Cur­ley and Billy Cole­man, to win the Done­gal Rally for three con­sec­u­tive years, and now has the chance to be­come the first driver to do it four times.

“Our in­ten­tion is to go back and de­fend both ti­tles in a R5 car,” he said.

“We have won Done­gal for the last three sea­sons and we could po­ten­tially win it again. There’s a lot of fac­tors that would need to go our way in or­der for that to hap­pen be­cause our fel­low com­peti­tors are ca­pa­ble of win­ning it.

“Can we win it again? Of course we can. Is it [four wins in a row] some­thing we are fix­ated on? Not re­ally, no. We are sim­ply look­ing for­ward to get­ting back out again and com­pet­ing in these ral­lies.

“With fam­ily and work pres­sures we re­ally haven’t had the chance to sit down and put a pack­age to­gether to com­pete in the Ir­ish Tar­mac Cham­pi­onship, but we’ll def­i­nitely be do­ing some rounds.”

Mean­while, Don­agh Kelly got to grips with his new Skoda Fabia R5 prior to the Christ­mas break when he or­gan­ised a brief test around a short cir­cuit in the Czech car.

Kelly: tre­ble Done­gal win­ner

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