DD Motoring: Motoring Review 2016 – Part 1

first_imgHere are some of our reports and photos for 2016 as we share our motoring review for 2016!The Mulroy Woods Hotel MilfordThere wasn’t enough brown envelopes on Saturday night to go around at the briefing for the opening rally event. Donegal Motor Club members turned up in big numbers to give a helping hand and the brown envelopes with the various time points and controls were soon snapped up, as the officials headed off to there start positions.On Saturday 23rd of January, local rallying hero the late and great Eamonn Harvey was remembered in his memorial event. Indeed lots of friends were remembered with memories recalling some great nights of rallying.People like the late Lottie Reid, and the late Mick Henry, to name but a few, it wasn’t long until the yarns were flowing. One such night, when Mick Henry, driving a white RS2000 and my self navigating for him. Our main competition coming from Charlie Reid and his wife, Lottie, navigating a Talbot Sumbean. With both of us navigators in the semi-novice class, the late Lottie Reid had me well beat until we reached the herringbone section of the navigation, then things went from bad to worse when I managed to break the Halda Tripmaster.So with no option but considering retirement we headed for the nearest lights of a town in the distance. Then we accidentally drove through the end control of the section, right approach and everything. The official manning the control informed us were were the only competitor in the rally that came through the control. “Our Big Break” in rallying as Mick called it; ended up with us winning in the semi-novice section class that night.Meanwhile on Saturday night, Letterkenny’s John Crumlish was the Clerk of the Course for the nights event, and at 14 degrees in mid January it was beautiful weather to watch competitors plotting and dashing through the challenging course. Our pictures were taken at Lackagh Bridge not far from Glen Village. They include Daren, son of the late Eamonn Harvey who was navigating for James Grennan in a Nissan and Paul Reid, son of the late Lottie Reid at number 1 in a Subaru Impressa, with Kevin Gallagher in a Subaru.The event was won by Monaghan’s Packie Duffy and Evan Hughs in a Subaru, 1st in the expert section was Martin Tynan and Fintan Clerkin, 1st in the Semi/expert Eoghan Corr and Ruaidri Nash and 1st in the Novice was Aidan Sheery and Oislin Sherlock. The motor club as always were very thankful to everyone in the local area that helped in any way to make the event another great success.Cullen for Donegal?It’s 25 years ago this year since Donegal’s greatest rally driver, Letterkenny’s James Cullen won his home event. For the last five or six weeks a group of fans are recalling his victory on their trip down memory lane. The memory is now becoming a possibility and work is under way to coax the rallying hero back behind the wheel of a rally car for this year’s Donegal Rally.James Cullen, at the wheel of his Ford Transit minibus, and if his fans have their way they hope to have him behind the wheel of a Mark2 Escort for this years Donegal Rally, 25 years after he 1st win the event. Photo Brian McDaidWe caught up with James this week at a Parc Ferme of a different sort at St. Bernadette’s special school in Letterkenny, where his driving skills are used in a different mode.James works for Jim McGlynn’s Buses as a driver where he collects and delivers the children both from St. Bernadette’s and Little Angels, with a fleet of other bus drivers,James was approached to see if he would compete in this year’s Donegal Rally, 25 years after he first won the event. It was hoped that he would do the rally it in a Pink Sierra but finding one to rally proved fruitless, now he hopes to do it in a MK2 Escort like the one he competed on the Donegal Rally in years gone by. Cullen this week said he was amazed of the support coming in, I know what it is like to try and secure sponsorship for events, I have done it all through my rallying career, and people are great to come on board, it’s very special to feel appreciated twenty five years on. This last couple of weeks, I am receiving calls from everywhere, wondering if this is going ahead or not, but if it is, they would love to be involved,Sadly James Cullen’s navigator on both wins in Donegal, Ellen Morgan passed away in 2006, so maybe it would bepossible to run a pink band around this car in her memory and also help promote cancer awareness.So to date things are looking good for Cullen for the comeback for a “one off drive” which will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his 1st outright win, hopefully further developments will work out so an announcement will be made of some of the sponsors that have already expressed an interest, and hopefully it will encourage others to get involved.Famous Escort, reg GVX 489T works Ford RS1800: A brief historyFord built the 1979 monte spec ‘wide track’ Escort RS 1800 for their works driver, Russell Brooks, Bertie Fisher then was the first to drive it in Ireland on the 1980 Galway International Rally. A cut away drawing of the original Ford works RS1800 Escort , with a bit of luck and support, double winner of the Donegal Rally, James Cullen will behind the wheel of an Escort for this year’s Donegal Rally.Vincent Bonner was the next the the wheel of the ex Ford Works MK2 and completely rebuilt the car the Donegal International Rally in 1983 in which he won with Letterkenny’s Seamus McGettigan on the notes.James Cullen was the next at the wheel of this very famous car and changed the car to a Donegal registration. A replica of this famous Escort is the memory that they hoped to create for this years Donegal Rally for Cullen.“Hughie Bill” on the road for 41 yearsHughie McDaid (locally known as Hughie Bill) will be 41 years on the road selling bread this year. Talking to Hughie this week he was just chatting about the change in the bread industry. When he started selling bread for Larkins Bakery back in 1975 there was three big bakeries in Letterkenny; O Donnell’s which was originally on Lr. Main St. in Letterkenny, The Model Bakery which was belonged to Chas Kelly Mills Group, and Larkins Bakery also at Lr. Main St.Hughie McDaid pictured in a familiar setting delivering Gallagher bread to the shop around Letterkenny now celebrating over 4o year in business. Photo Brian Mc DaidHughie worked in Dillion’s Supermarket before he decided to go into business himself, and headed west of Letterkenny to sell Larkin’s Bread in the Glenties and Ardara area. At the same time in Ardara the late Frank Gallagher had his bakery up and running just off the Main St in Ardara, Frank asked Hughie would he consider selling some of his bread in Letterkenny as he was selling Letterkenny Bread in Ardara.For the Glenswilly man it was the start of a life long commitment to selling bread for Ardara Bakery. Gallagher Bread went from strength to strength in Donegal and especially in Letterkenny. At the start Hughie made the trip over Meenaroy every day for a fresh load of Gallagher’s Bread. It wasn’t long before the Gallagher’s had a big delivery truck on the road to deliver to Hughie and other bread agent throughout Co. Donegal, Hughie’s brother Dan joint the team and now Dan looks after the house calls side of the bread run, while Hughie looks after the commercial sales in Letterkenny, to local shops and restaurants. Hughie is and always was a great ambassador for the Ardara Bakery, the late Frank Gallagher gave me a great start in life and helped me to get my business up and running, I am very happy to promote a Donegal business in the Letterkenny area for the last 41 years and will do for years to come.Letterkenny Bakeries had great bread men that delivered the daily crust all over Co Donegal over the years in all sorts of weather, men like Joe Carroll, Joe Doherty, Jackie Hoston, and all of the Bradley’s to name but a few. Sadly the bakeries mention from Letterkenny have all closed down in a very competitive market place, but it still good the see a Donegal company like Gallagher Bread still going strong.Leap of JoyWe were humbled this week to learn that Daniel Kelly and his wife Lisa turned down offers from ‘RSVP’, ‘Ok Weekly’, ‘People En Espranol’, ‘Ireland’s Own’ and also said goodbye to “Hello” in favour of our wee motoring column ‘On the Road Again’ to share their great news of the birth of their baby daughter Ailish.Daniel Kelly over the moon with his daughter Eilish who was born on Leap Year’s day.Proud father Daniel Kelly from the Finn Valley, a rally driver who also prepared and built his own beautiful 1992 Corsa, which was recently captured in mid air as it leaped over the old railway bridge on the back road from Letterkenny to Convoy on the Mini Stages Rally. Daniel might have been happy with his Corsa in his local rally but was overjoyed at the arrival of his baby daughter on leap year.It looks like Ailish is following her fathers footsteps into rallying as she arrived on her life stage with the tightest margins of time. Her Halda trip-master time clock started at 00.03 just three minutes into leap year’s day the 29th of February.Congratulations to Lisa, Daniel and baby Ailish, it looks like the little Corsa could be confined to the workshop.Chairman in the driving seat for great win.Donegal Motor Club Chairman, Brian Brogan won the West Cork National Rally at the weekend in his Mk2 Ford Escort finishing 6.3 seconds ahead of the all new Ford Fiesta R5+ of Alan Ring and Adrian Deasy.Donegal Motor Club Chairman, Brian Brogan with Darren and Andrew HArvey at the Navigation Rally in memory of the their late father Eamon Harvey. Photo Brian McDaidBrian and his navigator didn’t know that the ‘cutting edge’ Ford Fiesta was in their rally to the end of day one.We were so focused on our regulars like Wesley Patterson, Frank Kelly and Adrian Hetherington, all in Mk2 Escorts that it was only when Ring appeared on our leaderboard that we knew we had an extra dimension to deal with.His Fiesta was changed at the start of the rally so it could run in the modified class on the national rally,Brian and Damien were up for the challenge and were ‘full of the pipe’ right from the start. Our car was going really well and the slippery conditions suited us. We hoped to be there, or there about in the top three positions at the end of day one. We were more than happy with our progress until Alan Ring’s Fiesta R5+ appeared on our leader board.On Sunday we had to change our plan of action and dig deep to take on the Fiesta. We were racing against a Corkman on his home event which should have given him the advantage but we were very focused and put in a very good time on the 2nd last stage to give us the win.As chairman of the Donegal Motor Club, Brian was full of praise for the efforts of all the Donegal competitors that made the trip to Cork to compete in the event. What can a say about Donagh Kelly who notched up his third overall win in a row in Cork and is the first rally driver ever to do so.Brian Brogan’s navigator’s cousins Kyle and Dale Mc Gettigan had a great run in their Toyota Corolla GT. Dungloe’s John Bonnar was in the mix in his Escort and Johnny Baird, who navigated for Wesley Patterson were going well until they suffered electrical problems.The Brogan Crew celebrate their great win in CorkThe motor club chairman was also full of praise for the reception that they received from the Cork competitors and motor club. ‘It’s lovely to hear people at the other end of the country saying they can’t wait for June every year to get up to Donegal for our three day event’, Brian said.Don’t miss part two of our motoring review for 2016 next week!Happy Christmas and safe motoring over the holiday season.DD Motoring: Motoring Review 2016 – Part 1 was last modified: December 22nd, 2016 by Brian McDaidShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:2016brian mc daidcarsmotoringrallyreviewlast_img read more