Donnelly still searching for first-ever honour in iconic Lurgan Park event

The buzz is building for the iconic Lurgan Park Rally on Saturday, August 10.

The rally, supported by Orchard Motorsport and Craigavon Borough Council, is once again attracting an exciting entry, with the latest addition being five times Tarmac Champion Eugene Donnelly.

Many times over the years Donnelly has come close to winning Lurgan Park, but the ultimate prize has so far eluded the Magherafelt man.

Donnelly will drive the McKinstry Motorsport Impreza WRC S14. He did have an outing in the car a while ago at Enniskillen Motor Club’s St Angelo Rally, and won that, so maybe this will be the year that Eugene will fulfil his Lurgan Park ambition.

He commented from his current base at Lakeland Tyres in Enniskillen: “I found the Impreza S14 a fabulous car to drive. It has very good traction. It won the Donegal International this year with Sam Moffett driving, so it is obviously a good car. Lurgan Park is always a great day out, a bit of fun. I’ve driven every sort of car there – the Mk2 and the Mk3 Escorts, the Celica, a Subaru, the Corolla WRC. I came close to winning in the Corolla, but Kevin Lynch outgunned me in his Subaru, which had that wee bit more grunt. You need loads of power in Lurgan Park.”

Eugene will be co-driven in the Park by Adrian Fraser, who sat with him in St Angelo. The car will be backed by Lakeland Tyres and Yokohama, as well as Protune Remapping.

As ever the rally is attracting lots of interest. Another driver who really wants to win is also a former multiple Tarmac Champion, Derek McGarrity. However it is going to be touch and go if McGarrity can make the line-up, as his Focus WRC blew its engine on the Donegal Rally and it will be close to the deadline before it is returned to his Glengormley base ready for fitting to his Focus.