07 May Devine Masters The Gap As He Secures Impressive Killarney Result
Callum Devine delivered on his pre event promise of building on his impressive drives in the 2019 Irish Tarmac Championship, by taking a podium finish on the Rally of the Lakes last weekend. On one of Ireland’s toughest events, the young Derry driver maintained 3rd overall from the second stage of the event in his Curran Gate/FYTH Ford Fiesta R5 and was battling with Alastair Fisher for 2nd overall right up until the very last stage. Devine also scored a hat trick of fastest times over the weekend including the quickest time over the famous Molls Gap stage. Devine’s time of 8 minutes 5.7 seconds, a new record for the stage, meant he and navigator Brian Hoy secured the Bertie Fisher Cup for their efforts.
Naturally, the former Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year was delighted with his weekend and eluded that, had it not been for some small issues, he actually could have been even closer to the front. “We had an issue with the pop-off valve sticking at times on Saturday morning which definitely cost us a few seconds” said Devine reflecting on the weekend. “Once we got into our stride however, things started to click. The rally used a number of stages I hadn’t done before and ran others in a reverse direction so I knew making good pacenotes would be crucial. Myself and Brian worked hard on the recce and it was very satisfying to see it pay off. To take the fastest time over Molls Gap was amazing!” Devine also survived a lurid moment on stage 13 when he momentarily left the road. “We slid wide on a left hand bend near the start and brushed the bank which removed the bumper and filled the rear right wheel with muck which caused a big vibration in the car but thankfully there was no lasting damage.” Devine also referenced his time in the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) in playing a part in last weekend’s result. “In the JWRC we had a 2 pass recce, once to make notes and once to check them. If you want to be fast, you have to concentrate on that. Both Craig (Breen) and Alastair (Fisher) who finished ahead of me, have WRC experience too, so to be in the mix with them on neutral terrain in an equal car was very encouraging.” Indeed the top 3 blazed a trail the rest simply could not follow, with 4th placed Desi Henry finishing over 2 minutes behind Devine.
Next on Callum’s agenda is the Donegal International Rally in June, the event where he made his R5 debut on tarmac last year. Remaining coy about his chances, Devine once again stressed this season is about progress. “Last year we went to Donegal with no idea of what our pace would be like and we came away with 5th place and 1 fastest time. Together, with our performances since, it gives us something to build on for Donegal this year although it’s a rally where everyone ups their game. Our Killarney result has given us plenty confidence but I’m not getting ahead of myself. The car will get a freshen up before Donegal and my aim for the event would be to get solid Irish Tarmac Championship points. Craig Breen only needs 1 more win to secure the title but 2nd place is still up for grabs and after this weekend, I know that’s an achievable goal.” The Joule Donegal International Rally will be based in Letterkenny and takes place over June 21st-23rd and for many, it’s the high point of the Irish motorsport calendar with event regularly attracting a high quality, capacity entry and tens of thousands of spectators.