Declan and Michael Boyle will both commence their 2022 rally season on February’s opening round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, the Galway International Rally.
Declan Boyle will continue to pilot his Ford Fiesta WRC after making his rally comeback on October’s Donegal Harvest Rally.
His rally-long battle with Callum Devine in Donegal was one of Irish rallying’s highlights last year. After three stage wins, Boyle had to settle for second, 9.7 seconds behind Devine’s Rally2 Fiesta.
It looks like we will have a few more duels to look forward to in 2022.
“My plan is to do the Tarmac and National Rally Championships this year,” the 2014 Irish Tarmac Champion told Rally Insight.
“I was very happy with my [Donegal Harvest] performance after nearly a three-year layoff. To be back competing and battling with the younger lads was great.
“They are all good lads to be fair. There will be a good race with the seven or eight lads at the front of all the rallies this year.”
While Michael makes the Galway start-line, his focus is on 2022’s National Rally Championship. The 24-year-old will continue in his Group N Mitsubishi Evo.
Like his Father, Michael returned to the driving seat on last year’s Donegal Harvest Rally for the first time since 2019.
“I was delighted to be back on the Harvest last year after being away since 2019’s Donegal International Rally.
“We got the Group N win which was a nice added bonus.
“I have enjoyed Galway in the past but I have always been hampered by mechanical issues.
“We’ve done it twice before but didn’t make it to the finish. Hopefully we can change that this year.”
Declan’s 2014 Galway International Rally win offered a perfect start to his ITRC campaign eight years ago. Starting in his Fiesta WRC, Boyle won’t be able to score championship points this time around.
His last Galway appearance was behind the wheel of an R5 Fiesta in 2019 when he finished seventh overall.
“I’ve plenty of good memories in Galway,” said Declan. “From winning the national section and battling with Tom Flaherty back in 2012 in the Mk2 Escort to winning the event in the Subaru WRC.
“There have been some off-road excursions in the past too but that’s all part of it.
“It is always a great event to kick-start the year and get back into the groove again.”
Photos courtesy of Roger Dawson