For the third year, and after a hard 8 special stages close to the fishing port of Killybegs, the winners of the Martin Howley Donegal Harvest rally were double National Rally Champions Declan Boyle and Brian Boyle! The Lettermacaward, Co.Donegal crew, in their Fiesta WRC had a winning margin of 1 minute and 39.4 seconds over second placed crew Manus Kelly and Gareth Doherty, in a Subaru Impreza. This event was the final round of the 2016 Sligo Pallets Border Championship with many valuable points to decide classes for the season.
Thei Boyles’ Fiesta WRC was fastest on every one of the eight stages, finishing almost two minutes clear of the Impreza of runners up Manus Kelly and Gareth Doherty, allowing the Boyles to leapfrog into second position in the National points table.
Kelly and Doherty were equally secure in second place, more than one and a half minutes ahead of three times title holder Niall Maguire and his co-driver Enda Sherry, with the Cavan-Donegal combination of Gary Kiernan and Ryan Moore the winners of the two wheel drive category, in fourth position overall in their Escort.
The Impreza of Garry Jennings was the Boyles’ closest challenger until engine problems forced him out on the seventh of the eight stages.
Top 2 wheel drive crew and 4th overall was Gary Kiernan and Ryan Moore in an Escort followed close behind by the Letterkenny duo of Damien Gallagher and Mac Walsh in another Escort.
The top 10 finishers in the National Rally were as follows:
|1||1||Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle||Ford Fiesta WRC||7||52:48.4|
|2||3||Manus Kelly/Gareth Doherty||Subaru Impreza||7||54:27.8|
|3||4||Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry||Subaru Impreza||7||56:05.7|
|4||8||Gary Kiernan/Ryan Moore||Ford Escort||14||1||56:15.2|
|5||14||Damien Gallagher/Mac Walsh||Ford Escort||14||2||56:33.9|
|6||5||Joseph McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney||Skoda R5||5||1||57:10.6|
|7||19||Ryan Loughran/Brendan McElhinney||Ford Escort||13||1||57:15.2|
|8||12||Damien Toner/Denver Rafferty||Ford Escort||14||3||57:16.1|
|9||24||Columba Heena/Michael McClafferty||Toyota Corolla||13||2||57:28.9|
|10||17||Aidan Wray/Kieran McGrath||Mitsubishi Evo||4||1||57:41.3|
Also competing on the event, were Historic and Junior classes.
The Historic Rally was won by Stephen McFerran and James McKeefry, in a MKII Escort, while the junior classes were hotly contended all day, with eventual winners Gary McNamee and Bernard Foley.
|Donegal Harvest Historic Rally, 2016|
|1||87||Stephen McFerran/James McKeefry||Ford Escort||18||1||42:49.8|
|2||81||Seamus Heron/Gerry McVeigh||Ford Escort||19||1||42:53.3|
|3||112||Iarla Carty/Joe White||Austin Mini||17||1||47:59.9|
|Donegal Harvest Junior Rally, 2016|
|1||J2||Gary McNamee/Bernard Foley||Honda Civic||16||1||39:28.3|
|2||J3||Mark Murphy/Michael Hamilton||Honda Civic||16||2||40:19.5|
|3||J5||Brendan Dunleavey/Shane Dunleavy||Honda Civic||16||3||41:30.1|
|4||J4||Neil Martin Brogan/Ryan Moore||Honda Civic||16||4||41:39.5|
|5||J6||Nicholas Alcorn/Christopher Moffitt||Honda Civic||16||5||41:50.3|
|6||J8||Aaron Hammelmann/Ian Gallagher||Honda Civic||16||6||42:00.3|