Manus Kelly and Donal Barrett take on WRC challenge in Carlow

Manus Kelly Donal Barrett
Pic. Brian McDaid / Cristeph Studio

Glenswilly rally driver, Manus Kelly, will compete in his first event of the year this weekend when he travels to the Carlow Stages Rally.

Manus, who won the national event in last year’s Donegal International Rally, will make the move up into the big league on Saturday when he will goes in a Subaru S12B WRC from Melvyn Evans Motorsport based in Wales.

Looking ahead to the event, Manus said he’s looking forward to competing again.

“It’s a big step and I’m just glad we have managed to secure the care for Carlow,” commented Manus, who will have his regular co-driver, Donal Barrett, on the notes.

“We have secured a top quality car and it will come with a full service crew for the one-day event. It’s a really exciting time for us and we are looking forward to testing the car on Friday before Saturday. Our last event was Donegal last year and winning the national championship in the Mk 2 Ford Escort has been the highlight of my career. That was certainly a dream come true,” the Letterkenny-based businessman said.

“This weekend is a big step up and we have to be realistic about our expectations. A top ten finish would be a great result. This is a pre-run for the Donegal International in June and a tidy, hitch-free run in Carlow is what we are looking for. After the weekend, which hopefully goes well, we can reassess things and plan accordingly for Donegal,” Manus added.

The Carlow Stages Rally is sponsored by the Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow and is a counting round of the Triton and South East Stages Rally Championship and MK2 Challenge. The rally will consist of a 3 x 3 loop stages over 110km, with the centralised serviced area based at Carlow IT.