Callum Devine got his ‘Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Challenge’ back on track with a superb top two wheel drive finish at the recent Cartell.ie Killarney International Rally of the Lakes.
After a troubled run on the Circuit of Ireland Rally, it was a significant result and repays the faith shown in the Claudy driver and his Limerick co-driver Keith Moriarty by the Billy Coleman Award panel.
Driving their ‘Opel Adam R2’, Devine and Moriarty got off to a strong start on the opening Gortnagane stage, taking 24 seconds out of their nearest class rival and by first service they had extended their lead to 44 seconds.
“The first two stages were tricky with changing weather conditions, explained Devine, “Tyre choice was a gamble for everyone and it seems we got it just right.”
Indeed, the changeable weather continued throughout the day with scattered showers rolling over Co. Kerry. Despite this, the Claudy man went on to take fastest times on the rest of the day’s tests to lead the R2 category by well over two and half minutes at the end of Day One.
Day Two of the Killarney based event opened with the world renowned Moll’s Gap and a steady run for Devine saw him take another fastest R2 time to stretch his lead to just over three minutes.
The team took the decision to reduce their pace slightly to preserve the car and safeguard a strong points haul in the Irish Tarmac Championship, the FIA Celtic Cup and the PlasticBags.ie Southern 4 Rally Championship.
Yet despite his pace slightly in the closing stages, Callum finished the event with 14 fastest times from a possible 16, taking the R2 win by almost six minutes.
“It’s a dream result after the disappointment at the Circuit!” added Devine, “It was a fantastic ‘Rally of the Lakes’ for us, Keith has done another brilliant job on the notes, the guys in service ran the car faultlessly all weekend.
“This result has helped us with a good points haul in the Tarmac Championship and leaves us in a great place going to Donegal in June.”
The next round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Championship and FIA Celtic Cup is the Joule Donegal International Rally on June 17th – 19th, based in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.
Keep up to date on Callum’s build up to Donegal on Twitter (@CallumDevine27) and Facebook (callum devine rallying) or at www.callumdevine.com. Callum is competing this season with the support of Fyth.co.uk, Premier Car Parts, Springhill Springs and A. Daly Groundworks.