History was made on Sunday as Carlow’s David Condell claimed the 2017 Carlow Stages Rally in his Ford Escort MK2 with Kilkenny man Michael Coady on board as navigator.
The pairing of Condell and Coady ensured a local win for the first time in some time while also being the first Carlow Car Club members to take the MK2 Challenge.
The final stage saw just ten seconds between Condell and Tyrone’s Adrian Hetherington after a day-long battle. Check out the video below with Condell’s start around the 1’40 mark.
“A special moment (the win) is an understatement”, said Condell in speaking to KCLR’s Kevin Regan following Sunday’s final stage.
“We’re the first Carlow Car Club members to win the MK2 Challenge which is a lifetime coming, but it’s here now thank God. Words can’t describe how I feel. It’s fantastic. It’s the same as Carlow winning an All-Ireland to me.”
“Stay calm in all the chaos and keep pushing, keep pushing. Last year we got fluffed a bit thinking we had it won on the last stage and it got turned upside down on us so (this year) we fought to the end. On the last stage, we could have thrown it away in a few places but I didn’t over drive the car.”
Navigator Michael Coady of Castlecomer was on cloud nine on the ramp following Sunday’s victory.
“It’s a dream come true”, said Coady in chatting post-rally.
“To win my own rally, it’s just a brilliant, brilliant feeling. You can’t be nervous. We were calm both of us, made the notes yesterday morning, made a plan and stuck to it. To be fair to David, he drove impeccably.”
“Adrian (Hetherington) shoved us all the way, Enda (O’Brien) was there as well in the mix. Going into the last one there was only a handful of seconds between us all but it was enjoyable, a great days racing.”
Listen to the full interview with David Condell and Michael Coady below.