The 1966 Mini Cooper S which Paddy Hopkirk will drive on Déjà vu Donagh Day.

Paddy Hopkirk, the Belfast boy who became a world rallying name, will head a  parade of eighty historic rally cars on Déjà vu Donagh Day from Donegal Town on Sunday 24th, October.


The legendary driver will be in a Mini Cooper S, identical in every detail, including a period packet of cigarettes on the dashboard, to the car with which he won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964. And the nostalgia doesn’t stop there as his co-driver, Rory Kennedy, will be guiding him past the spot on the Lough Eske stage where Paddy had the biggest accident of his career. ‘The Lough Eske Incident’, as it has become known, changed the rallying world.  Paddy and his co-driver Terry Harryman, on the Circuit of Ireland Rally in 1966, were fortunate to emerge from their multiple roll on that Good Friday evening, without serious injuries. Their survival prompted the authorities to adopt the lead set by the racing saloon fraternity, and introduced roll bars in all rally cars.


Behind the ‘Monte’ hero will be the seven-time Circuit of Ireland Rally winner Jimmy McRae in the 1991 Subaru Legacy that his son Colin used to win the Circuit and the British Rally Championship in ’91. The car is generously on loan from the McCluskey family and Trevor Agnew will be reading the tulip diagrams that will guide the cavalcade on their twenty-five mile journey to The Stables Motorsports Centre in the Frosses.


Also look out for John Coyne in his 1977 Talbot Sunbeam Lotus that he used to win the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship in 1982. John will be returning from California to be reunited with his car and his co-driver of the period, Christie Farrell.


The historic cavalcade is sprinkled with interesting cars and drivers. Ollie O’Donovan for example, in a 1993 Michelin Pilot Escort Cosworth. The Limerick man who now lives in London and has won multiple rallycross events in the UK and on the continent.


Jonathon and John Radley are bringing their 1982 Audi Quattro A2, the car that pioneered four-wheel-drive in the heady Group B Supercar days in the 1980s. And there are two Group B Metro 6R4s, owned by John Anderson from Lisburn and Barry Foley from Sligo.


And there are other rarities such as Adrian Mulholland’s Nissan 240 RS and Sean Tracey’s recently restored Lancia Fulvia 1600, which will be making its debut on Déjà vu Donagh Day.

Sean Tracey’s recently restored Lancia Fulvia 1600

Not surprisingly, the Mk I and MK II Escorts numerically top the entries with twenty- one of these ever popular Fords. Look out for well known drivers such as Seamus O’Connell from Dungiven; John Farrell from Navan; Seamus McCusker from Swatragh, and Dan Kelleher from Millstreet.


And the Mini men are not numerically far behind with fourteen Coopers and other variants. You will spot people like Ken Colbert, Mervyn Johnston and Dessie Nutt in their ranks.


The entrants will gather at The Quay Car Park in Donegal Town from 9.00am. on Sunday 24th October. The set out from the same location at 12.00 noon travelling via the Diamond, the Letterkenny Road, Lough Eske and the Bluestack Mountains to the Stables Motorsports Centre.


Please note that due to site and Covid restrictions only the entrants will be admitted to The Stables Motorsports centre on this occasion.


For further information contact:

Dr. Beatty Crawford – dbeatty5@hotmail.com or Alan Tyndall – alan@rpm-motorsport.com

Tel. 0044 7887827150