Fatality causes cancellation of event for ProSpeed / VSM team
In an unfortunate incident on the second day on the Topaz Donegal International Rally a spectator was hit and killed as he crossed a stage.
The incident happened in the early afternoon and the rally’s organisers took the immediate decision to cancel the rest of the afternoon and the final day of the rally.
At the point when the rally was cancelled the media duo of Sky Sport’s Tony Jardine and Radio 5 Live’s Maurice Hamilton were lying in 28th place with their stage times constantly improving. The pair were set the challenge of driving a World Rally Championship (WRC) Skoda Octavia Three in the Topaz Donegal International rally by rally organiser Damion Crawford and Clerk of the course Danny Gormley.
Having never driven a WRC car before or competed in the Donegal Rally both driver Jardine and co-driver Hamilton were understandably nervous before the start. After a steady first run of the beautiful Knockella stages the pair managed to shave 11 seconds off their time on their second run in their Motorsport Insurance Services supported car.
Driver Tony Jardine said,” I am really coming to terms with the technology in this car and the phenomenal grip of the Kumho tyres, I think the improvement in our stage times is evidence of that. It would be great to see how much more we could improve but regrettably with all Motorsport occasionally accidents happen. Our condolences go out to the family of the spectator.
“It has been a fantastic opportunity for me and Maurice to come out to Ireland and drive such a wonderful car and we are grateful to Richard Hogg and LGC Precision Engineering and Team Donegal for making it possible. We have thoroughly enjoyed the competition and hopefully we will be back for some more Irish Rallying in the not too distant future.”
Commenting on the competition co-driver Hamilton said, “I fully respect the organiser’s decision but I can not begin to say how frustrating it is to not be able to complete the third and final day. I really felt we were getting to know the cat and getting to grips with it and especially when we made out second run on the Knockella stage and improved so much on our previous time. That Skoda is a rocket ship! I just love being in it. All told it has been a truly memorable event and I would like to thank everyone concerned for giving me the opportunity to take part in this classic.”