John Lyons and Brian Nelson, both twice winners of the Donegal International Rally will join the Dèjà Vu Donegal party on the 30-31 August. Four months still to go and already we have over seventy five entries!
John Lyons will be reunited with a Mk II Escort similar to the car he drove to victory on the 1981 and ’82 events. The former bank official was a hero in Donegal on many occasions before he and Bill Moffett won the big prize in a Downtown Radio sponsored and Sydney Meeke prepared Group 4 Escort in 1981 (below). They went on to repeat that feat the following year.
Those Donegal wins were the zenith of John’s rallying career, but he would compete in many more events – twice winning the Irish Group N Tarmac Rally Championship.
RALLYING AND RACING
Brian Nelson is the only person to have won both of Ireland’s premier racing and rallying championships. He had earned numerous Sports-racing and Formula trophies in the top Irish and Scottish racing Championships and a national trophy in America before he turned to rallying late in his competition career.
His first Donegal win was in 1975 in an ex-racing Porsche 911 co driven by the late Malcolm Neill. Rodney Cole was in the hot seat when Brian sprayed the champagne for a second time in 1997 in a David Sutton prepared Group 4 Mk II Escort.
Both double winners will be accompanied by their wives on the one hundred and twenty mile parade that leaves Jackson’s Hotel in Ballybofey at 10.00am. on Saturday 31st August.
That parade of power will pass through Ballybofey and Stranrorlar before heading north on the Letterleage stage. The convoy then crosses the Swilly River and heads for the Gartan stage before taking a cross country route to pick up the High Glen road that includes a run through Glen Village, a famous rally vantage point.
Then it’s back through Carrickart and on to the Downings Peninsula for one of Donegal’s gems, – the Atlantic Drive stage. There will be an informal lunch halt at the Singing Pub before the exotic cavalcade heads off around the foreland and crosses onto the Fanad Peninsula for the Fanad and Knockalla stages.
A regroup in Ramelton at 3.00pm. will bring all the crews together again before a parade lap through the famous town stage and then it’s back to Ballybofey in time for the Gala Dinner.
EARLY BIRD FEES TO END
Only two weeks remain to take advantage of the ‘Early Bird’ Registration and Gala Dinner fees. After 1st. May Registration increases to £200 (€205) and £95 (€105) for the Gala Dinner tickets.
Friday 31st, August
2.30 – 5.30pm Registration – Ulster Tyres, Stranrolar.
8.30 – 10.30pm Welcome Reception – Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey
Saturday 30th, August
10.00am Start – Jackson’s Hotel
Lunch – Singing Pub, Atlantic Drive
3.00pm The Ramelton Rumble
7.00pm Gala Dinner & entertainment – Jackson’s Hotel
Déjå Vu Donegal is a charity event which is supported by The Donegal Motor Club,
The Ballybofey and Stranorlar Chamber of Commerce, Bord Failté and the Ramelton Festival Committee. All profits will be donated to the Donegal Hospice.