Round 4 of the 2010 Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland (FST IE) championship takes place next weekend, 18 -20 June, on the Topaz Donegal International Rally.
The 38th running of the event marks the start of the second half of the championship with current leader Stephen Wright holding a significant advantage after winning all three rounds of the 2010 series. The FST IE event takes place on Day 2 of the main International event with competitors tackling eight stages and 125 stage kilometres.
Having won all three rounds of the 2010 championship so far, championship leader Stephen Wright (20) from County Monaghan, heads into the event favorite to take another victory in his DGM Motorsport prepared GpN Fiesta ST. Wright and co-driver Paul McGee hold a commanding 65-point lead in the standings and will start the Letterkenny based event in the knowledge that another win will secure them the title with two rounds still to run.
In contrast to Wright’s success this year, 27-year-old Stephen Baxter’s debut season in the FST IE championship has been plagued by bad luck, having crashed out on all three events so far. Baxter has a new co-driver for the Donegal International rally, with the experienced Martin Brady taking to the co-drivers seat for the remainder of the season. The pair recently competed on the Cavan Stages rally in preparation for Donegal where they won their class convincingly in their Fiesta R2.
Having been forced to miss the Killarney International Rally due to the damage caused at the previous round, youngster Dara Leonard makes a welcome return to the championship in his Fiesta ST. After a promising debut on the Galway International Rally, where he finished second, the 18-year-old from Omagh and co-driver Vinnie Boyd are the only crew with a realistic chance of catching Wright; they would need to win all three remaining rounds and rely on Wright making at least one mistake.
Niamh Neville (24) from Wexford and co-driver Andy Hayes join the championship in Donegal in their ex-Mark Donnelly Fiesta ST. Neville comes from a strong rallying pedigree: both father Pat and brother Anthony will also tackle the event in Group N cars. Neville only started competing in 2009 making her debut on the Baltinglass Mini stages event. She has since competed in three events including finishing 25th overall on the Killarney National Rally in May.
As well as the €2,500 Kick Energy prize fund, FST IE competitors on the Donegal International Rally will also be eligible for the new Muc-Off sponsored Best-Presented Car Award. Prior to the start of the event, the FST IE technical representative will judge the award and the winner will receive a Muc-Off goody bag with a selection of cleaning products.