Declan Boyle will drive a Volkswagen Polo R5 on the Cork 20 International Rally and Donegal Harvest Rally this year.
The 2014 Irish Tarmac Rally Champion has secured a deal to hire one of Melvyn Evans Motorsport’s Polos for Ireland’s first two rallies of 2021.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Boyle. “I can’t wait to get back at it.
“We’re going to do a few events this year and then a championship or two next year.”
While he did sample a Ford Fiesta R5 for three events in 2019, Boyle is more familiar behind the wheel of a World Rally Car. He’s hoping a small pre-event test before Cork will help him get accustomed to the Volkswagen.
“I think the newer generation R5s are getting closer to the WRCs all the time. But I know the Polo will need a different style of driving by me.
“I have only done Cork two or three times before. It’s a great event and fair play to Munster Car Club for running it this year.”
It is Boyle’s first visit to Cork 20 since 2013. An event he led by 40 seconds before his Subaru Impreza WRC went off the road on the fifth stage.
Declan’s son Michael Boyle will compete on the same two events in September and October. Driving a Mitsubishi Evo for the first time in over two years, Michael is excited to return but admits he could be a bit rusty.
“I can’t wait to get going,” said the 23-year-old. “I will be rusty for sure but hopefully the recce and a small test will help that.
“I’m really looking forward to Donegal Harvest as well. I haven’t done it in a few years so it will be good to be back.
“It’s only 30 minutes from where we live so fingers crossed it will be a good weekend.”
Michael’s Father is a three time Donegal Harvest winner and is also keen to tackle his local stages again.
“The Harvest is a great rally,” said Declan. “It has been very good to us in the past which is great.
“It is local to us this year, based in Donegal Town. If you’re there, make sure to call into McCafferty’s Bar, we will have the kettle on!”
Photos by Adam Hall