Colin O’Donoghue makes rally history in Belgium

Colin O’Donoghue drove himself into the record books on Sunday as he became the first son of a winning rally driver and Killarney and District Motor Club member to win an event.

 Colin scored the biggest win of his career after he and his co-driver Kieran O’Donoghue won the Escort Rally Special in Belgium on Sunday.

It was the first overseas event , as a driver, for the former winner of the modified section of the Killarney Historic Rally.

His father Kevin won the Kerry Winter Rally in 2006 making the O’Donoghues the first father and son from KDMC to win events outright.

Colin and several other Irish drivers decided to enter the rally based at the famous Chimay motor-racing circuit near the French border due to uncertainty on the resumption of the sport in Ireland.

“It was a class experience,” said Colin. “I will have to go back and defend the title. It was a lot more-bumpier than I expected, the roads were very like roads on the Galway Summer Rally.”

His run was not without problems, a broken gear selector, a readout board fell off and landed near the peddles and a broken right rear shock absorber were just some of his tribulations.

Field results were confusing too and with one stage to go he wasn’t sure if it was himself or Belgian rival Pieter-Jan Maeyaert who was leading the event.

“One website said he was leading, another said we had 22 seconds advantage, the results were slow uploading,” added Colin. “We went into the last two stages, and went as hard as we could, even with the broken shock and came out 28 seconds up.”

He was co-driven by Kieran O’Donoghue, the Glenflesk man is no relation but is well-known for his skills behind the wheel of a Honda Civic on local Junior rallies.

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