Young rally stars showing pioneering promise

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best,” reads the famous quote.

In today’s challenging climate it is easy to take a back seat but Ireland’s next generation of rally stars are doing the opposite.

Motorsport Ireland’s Rally Academy members are continuing their development in virtual Zoom classrooms while Jon Armstrong has launched his own Dirt Rally championship with £1000 of Thrustmaster prizes.

They haven’t lost sight of their end goals and are determined to ride out this storm in their own individual way. Whether it’s Callum Devine’s mammoth marathon runs or Josh McErlean’s impressive eBRC Invitational performance.

Donegal’s David Kelly has raised the bar though with his ChefAid charity campaign.

The charity has delivered dinners to those at risk or in need of help in the local area. Volunteers have given up their own time to support the pioneering project and ChefAid was established when the food costs began mounting up.

The 24-year-old offered a lucky prize winner the chance to sit in the passenger seat of his Ford Fiesta R2T or Toyota Starlet during a test day. So far, Kelly’s campaign has raised over €2000.

As the motivated group of rally drivers wait for the chance to return to the stages it is refreshing to see some of them step out and lead by example in their communities.

Armstrong described virtual rallying as a way of keeping sane during lockdown and his link with Thrustmaster has enabled the Northern Irishman to “give something back to the fans.” 

While Armstrong continues to break boundaries between real-life and virtual rallying communities, Kelly has showcased the best of rallying to his local community.

In times when rallying is easily conveyed in a negative light, stories like Kelly’s will do wonders for the sport and will, of course, help those who really need it.

Kudos to Kelly et al for doing their bit – it’s a great example for us all.

Another rally family leading by example is the Moffetts whose Combilift business has been engineering innovative products to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sam Moffett shared a video during the week of a smart Footizer product which releases hand sanitiser without requiring hand contact. The product follows the Combi-Ventilate which featured in the news a few weeks ago.

In times of uncertainty, pain, and troubles for many, it is warming to see the rallying community lead by example.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography

Rally Insight returns on Sunday to look at how the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy continues to guide Ireland’s rallying future despite the current challenges.

Adam Hall

Brought up in the Irish countryside, Adam was never far away from the world of rallying. From following local events like the Circuit of Ireland and the Ulster Rally, Adam now puts the stories from stages all around the world into words through his website Rally Insight.

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