DD Motoring: A look under the hood at the Harvest Rally

first_imgThis week Donegal Daily’s motoring columnist Brian McDaid gives us an insight into what’s under the hood of some of the competitor’s cars as they geared up for the Martin Howley Memorial Harvest Rally at the weekend.I was chatting to a Glenswilly man this week. I asked him what he thought of Kilcar. With out a hesitation he replied ‘brilliant – just brilliant’. The hairs were standing on the back of my neck, he said. That’s the first time I was ever there!The Glenswilly man was rallying ace Damien Gallagher and both him and his navigator where still buzzing on Monday evening after they finished 5th overall on the Martin Howley Harvest Memorial Rally which included a special town stage through the village of Kilcar twice on Saturday morning. Tony Jardine with winner of the Harvest Rally Declan and Brian BoyleThe crew were one out of 160 who competed on one of the best rallies that the Donegal Motor Club have organised in years.Damien Gallagher, a motor mechanic by trade was trying to catch up with a backlog in his workshop on Monday evening as he worked on a Honda Jazz. His navigator Mac Walsh had called into see him. Both were reliving every stage mile of the weekends rally. Damien finished 2nd over all in the modified section and 5th overall in a outright position.His dropped dead gorgeous red escort is now parked on the back of a car transporter and backed in among his customers cars. Damien would have been in second class in Glenswilly National School when his Ford Escort, LZP 651 was first registered in the late 70s.On Saturday morning last the Glenswilly man had nothing to learn and no one from Kilcar could keep with his pace as Damien Gallagher powered his Escort through the town. His engine built by Kevin Gallagher in Rathmullen KGP Motorsport never missed a beat and the sweet sound of the 2.5 unit echoed as his red Escort blasted through the special town stage in Kilcar. KGP Motorsport is the David in ‘David and Goliath’, which his locally developed engines beating the famous Millighton engines to 1st and 2nd in the national section. Secret weapon, “Egg over Bumpy”Kevin Gallagher is affectionally known in the modified rallying circles as “The Egg”; his engines are developed from Vauxhall like the unit that is fitted in Damien Gallagher’s Escort. He also develops Toyota and Honda units, his units are both fast and reliable.Damien Gallagher had another development fitted to his escort. And its code-name in Sweden is “Bumpy (Irish) Tar” which is made by a Suspension Specialist, Ohlins, which Rally specialist Case Rallysport in Glenswilly at Newmills are the official distributor and specialist fitter. Philip Case and Kevin Gallagher have produced the perfect mix in suspension and engine development in Donegal for Rallying.Ohlins Bumpy (Irish) tar Ford Escort Mk2 Dampers is as follows;Front: Ohlins TPX (twin piston) plus PDS (progressive bump stop), High speed bump, low speed bump and rebound adjustment, 198mm of stroke with high spec Ohlins steel strut casing, Ohlins or Eibach springs with alloy top mount.Rear: Ohlins TTX (twin tube) plus PDS (progressive bump stop) and Ohlins CSC valve (chassis stability control) 4 way adjustment, CSC, fine rebound, low speed bump and high speed bump. light weight Ohlins alloy casing with Ohlins or Eibach springs. I was wondering if some of Damien’s fellow Glenmen might get their team fitted with this system as they head like Damien did to do battle with Kilcar in the Co Championship this weekend, just a thought!I have to say it was just pure luck that I came across this state of the art suspension set up at the weekend. Covering the Harvest Rally in Killybegs the corner that I decided to take my pictures from had a old thatched cottage at the corner.I got chatting to Joseph Gallagher who was raised in the 300 year old house as a boy. The house was at the end of a big long straight so I had the benefit of watching the cars for nearly a mile before they arrived at my junction.On that long straight there were two bumps and a dip, listening to drivers lifting off the gas and watching how the cars were landing after the bumps drew my attention to Damien Gallagher’s Escort. In his cars set up the bumps seem to disappear as did the car’s reaction to the dip and when his Escort landed at the bend that I was at his car seemed to be on rails, no typical Mk2 Escort inside wheel up in the air craic. All four tyres were on the ground and gripping the tar which I am sure left it easier for Gallagher to push his escort to the limit .And finally… What a rallyA bit like Damien Gallagher’s escort there are days when everything goes right. The Martin Howley Memorial Harvest Rally hit every positive note about the possibilities of what happens when a community like Killybegs and Kilcar and surrounding area put in an all out effort to support an event , not just on the day of the rally but in the run up to it .Mattie Smyth Local Photographer in Killybegs pictured with winner of the Harvest Stages Rally, Declan Boyle at the final on Saturday evening on the Pier Photo Brian McDaidOn Saturday I saw mile after mile of stages grass verges cut in preparation to welcome competitors and supporters to Donegal. Killybegs felt like Monte Carlo with the crowds and the presentation of the town.Someone said Martin Howley done a lot for Killybegs in his short life. His positivity has brushed off on to the people that knew him, both in fishing, area development and Rallying.We have the best locations in a Donegal to host events like this, Clerk Of the Course Karl Reid and his team produced a WRC type event, with crews complementing them on the way they run the event and how professional things like the service area was.Winner of the Harvest Rally, Declan and Brian Boyle pictured as they power past the 300 year cottage of the Gallagher family on Saturday photo Brian McDaidAll this didn’t happen by chance, months of planning paid off for this motorsport event with the only ones complaining was the competitors that decided not to compete at the weekend.Happy Motoring FolksDD Motoring: A look under the hood at the Harvest Rally was last modified: October 13th, 2016 by Brian McDaidShare 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)last_img

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