Callum Devine has confirmed that he will compete on the Donegal Harvest Rally next Sunday. The six-stage rally takes place on 3 October with tests based around Donegal Town.
The European Rally Championship driver wants to build on his maiden international rally win at the Cork 20 last weekend. Devine expects to stick to asphalt events for the rest of the year with a return to ERC planned after his trip to Donegal.
“What’s next,” teased Devine. “It’s going to be the Harvest. We’ll go back out to the ERC at some point but we’ll probably stick to tarmac now that we have missed Azores. It means we don’t need to change the car into gravel trim again.
“We want to go back to the Harvest with it being my first win two years ago. It’s an event I want to do after Cork to try to push on from that.”
Devine’s Cork 20 result means he has won his last two asphalt rallies in Ireland, albeit with a near two-year gap between them. His Donegal Harvest win in 2019 was the perfect antidote to a tough turn of events in Cork a few weeks earlier. Devine had looked set to win the Cork 20 two years ago only for driveshaft failure to drop him down the leaderboard.
This year’s Cork 20 International Rally was the first win for M-Sport’s latest Ford Fiesta Rally2 on Irish soil. Devine, who used M-Sport’s older model R5 in 2019, was pleased with the Rally2 Fiesta’s performance last weekend.
“The car is definitely an improvement [from the R5 Fiesta], the handling is a bit more rigid than the old car. It definitely handles well and the braking is really good.
“The old Fiesta is still a great car in Ireland. Its handling seems to suit the bumpy stuff and set a high standard in that department.
“But the new Fiesta is definitely an improvement in braking areas and probably can hold a better corner speed as well.”
Rally Hungary will likely be the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy driver’s next ERC event. For now, he’s enjoying the friendly rivalries on offer in Ireland.
“A second win on the Harvest would be great but it will not be easy because the pace is strong.
“The rally runs in Donagh Kelly’s area as well so I expect those guys to go hard.
“Even with the guys getting their seat-time in Cork, they’re only going to get faster.”
While Cork 20 runner-up Meirion Evans is unable to do the Donegal Harvest Rally, third and fourth placed Sam and Josh Moffett are expected in Donegal next weekend. Declan Boyle is also expected to join the list of local challengers along with Donagh Kelly.
Photos by Adam Hall and Roger Dawson