Brian Hoy made it two wins from two events as he navigated Callum Devine to victory in the Donegal Harvest Rally.

In slippery and testing conditions, the pair took the lead on Stage Two of the rally and were never headed as they doubled up on their Cork 20 win.

Garry Jennings’ return to form looked set to continue when he held second overall at the first service, only for a slide into a hedge to end his hopes of a win, while Jody McManus snatched a last-gasp victory in Class Two.

The six-stage rally saw competitors tackle two different stages, covering each test three times, and with a high-quality entry it was predicted to be a closely contested event on tight, twisty, bumpy stages around Donegal Town.

Even before the rally started there was a care for Devine and Hoy as the Fiesta suffered mechanical problems on the pre-rally test.

“It wasn’t straightforward,” revealed Brian. “We tested on Thursday night and the car was missing and spluttering and it wasn’t right.

“We thought we had it sorted, and we went to the first run on the shakedown on Saturday evening and she was doing the same thing again.

“The boys worked at her until late and got it going at last, and she didn’t miss a beat all day on Sunday.”

The rally lived up to expectations with a three-way battle for the top spot developing between Devine, Jennings and Declan Boyle.

Jennings slipped from second to third on stage three, but it was the fourth stage that was to bring an end to his challenge for overall honours.

On a slippery right-hand bend that caught out many on the day, the Kesh driver nosed his Fiesta into the hedge, where it became tangled in wire fencing. By the time the spectators had managed to extricate him from the situation, over three minutes had passed, and Garry had dropped outside the top 30.

A small error from Boyle on the second stage saw him lose his rear spoiler and a few valuable seconds, but he had clawed his way back into contention and started the final stage of the rally only 3.8 seconds adrift of Devine and Hoy.

With Boyle having set the fastest time on the stage on its previous running, Devine and Hoy knew they needed to produce something special if they were to hold on to the rally lead.

“The first stage of the loop probably suited us better because there were no straights in it, and Boyle hadn’t the chance to get the power down as much, but on the second stage there were more straights, and he seemed to have a bit of an edge on us,” admitted Brian.

“We knew that was going to be the last stage, and he had taken 1.2 out of us the previous time over it, so we had a stern talk at the start of the stage.

“At the end of the stage, Callum said that he didn’t think he could go that hard!

“We had a quarter of a spin at a junction but apart from that, you could nearly call it the perfect stage.

“Nothing went wrong, although I wouldn’t like to be going that hard for a full rally.

“It was tense, waiting on Boyle to come out of the stage. We knew we had a mighty stage, but we knew he would be going hard too.”

The pace the pair set proved too much for Boyle to live with, as they took six seconds out of their rival to secure the rally win.

The duo will now be looking for a hat-trick of victories when they contest the Tour of the Sperrins next weekend, before taking on the Ulster Rally in November.

Jody McManus was another local driver who took class honours, winning Class Two in his Fiesta.

Eamon Kelly was the front runner in the class for much of the rally, but he failed to complete the final stage, handing the class win to McManus, who was well clear of the rest of the chasing pack.