17 Sep Devine Survives Tough Turkish Test
Even a broken driveshaft and a roll couldn’t stop Callum Devine getting to the end of a grueling Rally Turkey, the final round of the 2018 Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC). Devine and co-driver Brian Hoy managed to bring their battered and bruised Ford Fiesta R2T home in 4th place and in the process secured 4th place in the championship.
Speaking after the weekend, the talented 24 year old, who is the current Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year, was more than pleased with his result. “I’ve never drove a rally like Turkey before, the roughness of the stages was unbelievable and to finish was an achievement in itself. I’m slightly disappointed that we missed out on the podium because it was well within our reach but we gave our all and you can’t really do more than that.” A fastest time on stage 5 mixed with some clever driving saw Devine close to within 15 seconds of the rally lead after stage 6 but trouble was just around the corner. “We hit a big rock on stage 6 and it damaged the front arm and rear axle of the car. We knew the damage would put pressure on the driveshaft so we tried to coax the car through stage 7 and into service but unfortunately the shaft failed. That dropped us down to 7th. We started Saturday afresh but we rolled on stage 9, thankfully the damage was only cosmetic, but it dropped us another place before the M-Sport guys could patch the car up!”
With running repairs made which included replacing the windscreen and both doors, Devine finished the Saturday loop with another fastest time before a strong performance on Sunday saw him climb all the way back up to 4th overall by the end of the rally. Summing his rally, and indeed season up, Callum concluded; “It was certainly our most dramatic rally of the championship but it was great to end it by setting some fastest times. I’m delighted for Emil (Bergkvist) on taking the JWRC title, he deserved it and drove brilliantly all year. It’s a season I’ll never forget and I have to thank so many people for making it possible, my family and friends, sponsors, Motorsport Ireland, M-Sport and a special thanks to Brian and Keith for all their efforts throughout the year. I hope I did the Billy Coleman Award justice, without it I certainly wouldn’t have been able to make the step up to the JWRC this year. We’ll have a think over the off season about what to do next but it would be great to try and return to the JWRC because we know we can fight at this level now.”
Callum’s debut season in the JWRC was supported by Motorsport Ireland, Sport Ireland, the Team Ireland Foundation, Fyth and Premier Car Parts.