LOCAL rallying legend Eugene Donnelly is making a return to the sport when he competes at the Galway International Rally next month.
Donnelly has been enticed back behind the wheel with the lure of driving a McGeehan Motorsport owned Mini World Rally Car.
This will be the first Mini WRC to see action on the Irish tarmac and Donnelly admitted he cannot wait to get behind the wheel.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to make a comeback with this fantastic car. I am privileged to have been given the chance to drive this fabulous car. It is the first of its kind in the UK and Ireland and there has been a lot of hype around it.”
The news has already created quite a stir within the rallying community and there will be a lot of interest in the Mini WRC at the Galway meeting.
“We were keen to get the car ready for the Galway Rally as it is the first stage of the Irish Tarmac Championships and you get extra points for starting with this stage and continuing on. The car may be down on power but with all the technological advances we are confident it can have a successful start.”
“The Galway Rally will give us the chance to see how the car fares on the tarmac and gauge what needs done and how we can improve. After the Rally we will sit down with the sponsors and the entire team and analyse how the weekend went.”
Donnelly will be hoping for a successful season behind the wheel of this exciting car and he has his sights set on rewriting the history books.
“Personally I would love to win another Championship. At the moment I am the joint record holder sitting on 5 Championships and would dearly love to add another one to that.
Obviously I would love this to be a long term project but we need to take one step at a time. Ideally we would love a full season at it and see how the car fares.”
The rallying legend was quick to point out that none of this would have been possible without the assistance of several parties. McGeehan Motorsport in Draperstown and Colm Quinn, Athlone have came on board to provide their own expert advice and support.
“None of this would have been possible at all without the support of all of our sponsors and in particular McGeehan Motorsport, Draperstown, who have worked around the clock to make this all possible.”
Donnelly will make his return to action on the 4th and 5th February and he has sights set on a record sixth championship win.