Donegal dominator Kelly in R5 switch for International Rally return
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