The Joule Donegal International Rally will celebrate its half-century next month as one of Ireland’s most decorated sporting events makes its much-anticipated return for the first time since 2019.
Organizers of the three-day event, which takes place over the weekend of June 17-19, have devised an itinerary that includes “some of the most challenging stages in all of Europe”.
Featuring one round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship and also the European Rally Trophy, the 161-car peloton will complete 20 closed-road tests totaling almost 190 competitive miles.
Some of the classic stages are An Grianan, Carnhill, Fanad Head, Knockalla, High Glen and Atlantic Drive. Most of the action takes place on Saturday, with the two longest stages taking place on that day.
In homage to the late Manus Kelly – a three-time International Section Champion who lost his life competing in 2019 – the overall winners will receive the Manus Kelly Memorial Award.
Donegal Motor Club Chairman Brian Brogan believes the Donegal International Rally continues to be a torchbearer for the sport.
“It sets the standard that other rallies in Ireland aspire to,” he explained.
“Thanks to the team involved and the warm welcome from the local community.
“It brings at least 25 million euros into the local economy. The rally is still a month away, but all the hotels and guesthouses are already fully booked. The excitement is rising.”
Donegal is the penultimate round of the Irish Tarmac Championship title race currently led by Josh Moffett. His lead over recent Rally of the Lakes winner Callum Devine is 21 points.