Fresh from winning four races on the Isle of Man last week, TT champion Michael Dunlop has switched two wheels for four, with the Northern Irishman confirming his entry in the Donegal International Rally, one of the Irish rally circuit’s blue riband events.
Dunlop will make the switch from his BMW Motorrad S1000RR to a Mark II Ford Escort, lining up at the hugely successful event. Estimated to bring 50,000 spectators and €25 million to the North West of Ireland, past winners include Sebastian Loeb and Jimmy McCrae.
Speaking after the announcement, Donegal Motor Club chairman Brian Brogan said: “We’ve hoped for a long time this would come off. We can’t wait to see Michael tackle the classic stages like Knockalla and Atlantic Drive. Mind you, he’ll be going a lot slower than he usually travels but we think he’ll enjoy it as much as we’ll enjoy having him here. Donegal is absolutely buzzing about it, and Irish rallying is in for a real treat.”
Irish Tarmac Champion and Donegal Rally winner Garry Jennings added: “I am really thrilled that Michael will be on the start line in Donegal. While we won’t be in the same category I’ll be looking for his stage times just like everybody else. He is untouchable in road racing and a hero to so many of us. Rallying will be new to him so I just hope he enjoys himself. He has nothing to prove about speed and so much to adjust to in a very different sport – I don’t think he carries a passenger on the bike -but boy will it add to the crack in Donegal!”
The rally kicks off next Friday 20th June in Letterkenny, and runs for three days.