Donagh Kelly from Donegal capped an excellent year by taking victory on the final round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, the AceSigns Cork 20 International Rally. Kelly who wrapped up the title in August with a win on the Ulster Rally had 1 minute and 45 seconds to spare over Keith Cronin in second place, with the final podium position going to Melvyn Evans from Wales. Daragh O’Riordan who was looking for a fifth consecutive win on the event was Kelly’s closest challenger, the pair were only separated by seconds for most of the event, but he slid off the road and into retirement on the 11th stage. With wins on five of the seven championship rounds this year it was an excellent year for Kelly and his Ford Focus WRC never missed a beat in that time.
The Group N championship was won by Aaron McHale in a Mitsubishi Lancer who edged out Brendan Cumiskeys Subaru after a yearlong battle where there was very little between them on each round they competed on. A dominant performance by Declan Gallagher & Ryan Moore in their Toyota Starlet saw them win the National section of the rally comfortably once closest rival Frank Kelly retired his Escort on the third stage, This win saw the duo retain their Modified Championship title while Eugene Meegan & Sarah Whelan were second in their BMW M1 almost two minutes further back and the Ford Escort of Enda O’Brien & John Butler were third overall.
The Historic Championship was also decided on the last round with Ernie & Will Graham eventually taking the title in their Escort Mk2 after a season long battle with Gareth Lloyd and nine tough rounds. The Junior Champions for 2015 are John O’Sullivan and JJ Cremin in their Honda Civic after a very consistent season where they were never outside the top three on any event.
Photo courtesy of Gary McElhinney