ON THE ROAD AGAIN – RALLY SPECIAL with BRIAN McDAID

first_imgOn The Road Again, By Brian McDaid: The Donegal Rally is here again and this week we look at two Donegal Teams and how they journey through the rallying world. Sister Act: In car No. 147 the Boyle Sisters from Manorcunningham will start the Donegal Rally in a two- litre civic. For one of them, the navigator, eighteen-year-old Jasmine it will be her first ever rally.In fact Jasmine is in her final year at Holy Cross Secondary School in Strabane and is presently sitting her A levels and will have the final exam to do on Tuesday morning following the rally.She is not the first to do a Donegal in the middle of her final exams, Rory Kennedy made the same journey in 1979 when he got excused while sitting his leaving Cert at St. Eunan’s Collage to do his 1st Donegal Rally with James Cullen.Jasmine got the call up from her big sister Glenda to do this Donegal because her other older sister Kylie, a teacher in London can’t make it home this year to navigate for the event. The girls car punches out a healthy 230 bhp, but Glenda reckons that only 195 bhp of that is getting to the road. Even at that, the car is sore on gearboxes, which Glenda explains is a Honda problem, and has caused them retirements over the last couple of events.As the girls were completing their recce this week they were still awaiting the arrival of a reconditioned box for the car for the rally.Glenda Boyle is a talented rally driver and made her mark in the UK in 2007 where she won her rallying scholarship and also won a Peugeot Rally Car. She then competed in 6 rounds of the British rally championship in 2008 winning the ladies award.Glenda and Jasmine’s uncles Liam and the late John Boyle where competitors over the years in the rally and their parents Martin and Carol would take the girls to watch them compete, so its easy to see why the girls are hooked on rallying.Asking Glenda about her favourite stage on the Donegal, it has to be the Fanad Head stage, great road surface and very fast and a long stage which all are a great challenge to any driver.Ask about her favourite driver, and her response is instant, Kris Meeke with out a doubt, Glenda thinks he is in a great position at the moment in his career, she is so much looking forward to him completing his year of development and can’t wait to see him in his new Citroen next season in the World Rally Championship. This year the girls Donegal rally is all about introducing another member of the Boyle’s to rallying, Jasmine is in at the deep end this weekend and the girls are so focused on getting the car over the finishing ramp on Sunday evening.Brothers in arms:This week we meet up with the man who signs off on the spoiler of his rally car as “The Big Lad”.Mark Glackin and his brother Michael will give last years’ winner Gary Jennings and Rory Kennedy a good hour and 15 minutes of a head start before they fire up their civic on their home event. Seeded in car number 150, the glen men will let the entire field of the rally start at 30 second intervals before they get their countdown to go.Football Football Football: I can’t really start to describe what it was like to interview Michael Glackin this week, As he said himself it was football, football, football in our house, morning noon and night, and to be honest, I had no time for it, When I started working in Joe Bonner’s Engineering years ago on the Pearse Rd. in Letterkenny.I was allowed time off to head out to the Mt. Errigal Hotel just to see the rally cars heading off. I am a life time fan of Austin Mc Hale and was so into the cars that he drove, Chevette’s Manta’s M3’s and Toyotas.I still even have the wing mirror from a Corolla that Mc Hale rolled at the end of the Knockalla Stage one year.Michael mainly rebuilds Mk2 Escorts in his business called “Glackin Fabrications” in Glenfin. Two escort shells are at two different levels of completing and another two are sitting ready to start.Most of Michael’s business comes from Dublin and the Co.Louth area, Michael explains that all the parts can be got new for escorts now. Michael works on rally cars and classic cars for a wide circle of customers. He prepared Manus Kelly’s Mk 2 Escort and made the car unique by building a round tunnel in the car to house the round gearbox which was fitted to the car.So as the Donegal Rally comes around Michael will take the weekend off from building rally cars to enjoying their home event and will be so happy to put their civic over the finishing ramp at the front door of the Mt. Errigal Hotel on Sunday evening.Wheel Rims to wedding rings:Mark Glackin is going to the Donegal Rally since he was 10 years old, his older brother Michael brought him to watch the event, now it’s Mark that’s doing the driving and Michael is sitting on as navigator, Michael also navigated for Manus Kelly at the start of his rallying career.Mark took a year out from rallying last year as he prepared for a big day of a difference, and he married his sweet heart, Ashling Scott.Even when Mark went to buy wheel rims from the son of a local Letterkenny Jewellers, Patrick Mc Callion, He ended up talking with Patrick who then decided to sponsor Mark on the Donegal.Then this year Mark and his wife to be, Ashling were happy to return the good will to Patrick when they bought their engagement and wedding rings and accessories from McCallion Jewellers in Letterkenny.Mark is very thankfull of his sponsors, that make it possible for him to compete on the Donegal Rally , People like Browne’s Autos, Larkin’s of New Mills, Kernan’s Filling Station, Tullygay, The Station House and his own employer Tesco and as the saying goes, every little helps.We’re Hiring: This year Mark is moving from Toyota to Honda, and hiring for the first time. Working with DL Car Hire from Crolly and Michael Bonner, Mark will take delivery of his 180 BHP 1.6 litre civic two days before the Donegal which will give him time to get his sponsors on the car and also get a chance to get a drive in the car before the rally starts.Asking Mark how will two brothers manage stuck in a civic for three days. Ah he said it will be Michael who will loss the temper, but it will be me that caused him to do so.Michael always says on events he ends up as my personal assistant. I don’t want anything sitting loose on my side of the car in case it would fall to the floor and get jammed in between the paddles on the stage.So when I get to the end of a stage I call over to Michael, Hi sir gon and give me over my fags, my phone and my water.Its all in a weekends rallying Mark says and for him its all about taking part in the Donegal rally, I look forward so much to this June weekend, love all the stages, except Knockalla, love the hill climb section but when I get to the top and all I can see out my passenger’s side window is a blue sea down below, I just be glad to see the finishing boards and can get a Silk Cut Purple fired up to relax. This year Knockalla is first thing on Saturday morning, so that will definitely wake me up.Deja Vu:It’s a sure sign that you are getting old when interviewing these rally crews this week I can see the generations that went before them in their eyes.Listening to Jasmine talking about school and interviewing the girl’s uncle, the late John Boyle before the Donegal Rally a couple of years ago in his famous Ford Escort It all brings memories back to me.I also remember my first day at St. Eunan’s College and in particular when I got home.I was interviewed by the Late Manus Boyle the girls grandfather who was digging spuds in Willie Crawford’s fields at the back of my home in Wolfe Tone Place.Manus told me he too was once a student at the same college when he was young. He was a boarder at the college and sat beside my uncle Charlie Coyle. who was a “day boy” which meant Charlie could go home every evening.Manus told me he could see the fields of his home in Manor and wished he could be out working in them and not stuck at the college with all the other scholars.Both Manus Boyle and Finbarr Glackin followed their dream in life in doing what the loved to do.Manus spent his life as a very productive farmer in the Lagan. Glenda Boyle might not remember her grandfather Manus but she has the same drive to follow her dreams, and her success in rallying in England has already brought her driving talent to the surface.Finbarr Glackin had the great belief that Glenswilly could have a great football club and he was lucky enough to see the fruits of his toil producing the best of All Ireland winning players.Michael Glackin may not have the same interest in football that his late father Finbarr had, but Michael is similar in that he is so focused on his life long dream of building and the preservation of beautiful old Ford Escorts and other classic road cars, at his engineering workshop in Glenfin.Here is wishing Glenda and Jasmine and Mark and Michael all the best of Donegal Luck on their home event this weekend.Fuel Watch: Best prices this week for fuel are at Tinney’s in Bonagee with Diesel 114,9 and Petrol 130.9. happy motoring folks!ON THE ROAD AGAIN – RALLY SPECIAL with BRIAN McDAID was last modified: June 16th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Brian McDaidcolumndonegal rallynewsOn The Road AgainSportlast_img read more