Donegal International Rally
Donegal Internationl Rally Accommodation
Since it's launch in 1972, Letterkenny is home to the Donegal Internationally Rally. This annual sporting event, organised by The Donegal Motor Club in the early 1970’s, was originally called the Circuit of Donegal Internationally Rally.
The Rally covered the whole of Co. Donegal during this time. Today the rally stages covers approximately 300 kilometres of adventurous world famous stages through some of the most breath taking scenery Donegal has too offer. Downings Atlantic Drive, Glen, Knockalla, Fanad Head Muckish, Cashenagor, Dungloe Lake, Doochary, Trentagh, Gweebarra, Rosbeg, and Lough Eske to name but a few.
The Donegal Internationally Rally attracts approximately 50,000 spectators each year which takes place over three days in June. The rally attracts some of the great Irish, British and World famous drivers and teams to compete over the years. The Donegal Rally has something for every car enthusiast, such as Escorts MK 2, Mini coopers, Vintage. Porsches and many more
The first winner of the Donegal Internationally Rally winner back in 1972 was Cathal Curley.
In 2006 the youngest ever female participant in the Donegal International Rally, was local woman Toni Kelly, Toni was 17 at the time of the event and a fifth-year student at Loreto Convent in Letterkenny.
Toni finished 2nd in her class and 31st overall Toni was driving a type R Civic
Toni Kelly Driving Academy Toni was youngest ever female participant in the Donegal International Rally.when she was just 17 in 2006
Toni who is a fully qualified and RSA approved driving instructor (ADI no 37658), runs her own driving school in Letterkenny
The Toni Kelly Driving Academy.
Toni also works with the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and Motorsport Ireland as Safety Ambassador
Toni is also one of the presenters of RPM Motorsport on UTV
All this from the girl who at six years of age began racing quad bikes and began competing at 10
World champion French Rally driver Sebastien Loeb competed in the 2007 rally and had one of the most impressive wins ever in the history of the Donegal International rally. He is the most successful driver in WRC history, having won the world championship a record nine times in a row
Topaz has announced that it will not be renewing its sponsorship of the Donegal International Rally after this year’s event, which takes place on June 21st – 23rd.
Topaz has sponsored the event for the past six years. The Chairman of the Donegal Motor Club, Mr Damian Crawford, said they were now ‘in contact with interested parties for the future’ to secure a major sponsor for the rally which takes place from June 21 to 23.
“We’re happy that the Donegal International Rally has played its part in establishing the Topaz brand, and that Topaz chose the Rally as part of that process. We’ve learned a lot, in particular the commercial opportunities the Rally provides, and their flexibility on the branding of this year’s Rally is greatly appreciated.”
“We are now in contact with interested parties for the future, and everyone in Donegal Motor Club, and all who enjoy the Donegal Rally, will want to join me in thanking Topaz for their sponsorship and enthusiasm. They’ve been a joy to work with,” Mr Crawford said.
Mr Paul Candon, Marketing and Corporate Services Director at Topaz, said the company’s sponsorship of the event had been of tremendous benefit to the Topaz brand and indeed the Rally.
“We have enjoyed a very fruitful relationship with the Rally and the Donegal Motor Club over the last six years. As an Irish owned and managed Company we were delighted to support an event which enjoys huge support from the people of Donegal and the rallying community all over Ireland.
“The dponsorship of the Donegal International Rally played a huge part in assisting us with establishing our brand in the North West and Northern Ireland. I would like to thank the DMC, the drivers and their support teams, the thousands of volunteers who help out with the Rally every year and the people of Donegal for their tremendous support for the Rally and Topaz over the years. As well as seeing some fantastic rallying, we also made many friends and visited some beautiful parts of the country,” Mr Candon said.
He also pointed out that in order to facilitate the Donegal Motor Club in its search for a replacement sponsor it would not be insisting on branding of the event this year.