4 May 2024

~3 minutes read

Aoife Raftery is the leading lady driver after day one at Rally Islas Canarias

Share story:
Aoife Raftery is the leading lady driver after day one at Rally Islas Canarias
Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy driver Aoife Raftery is the leading female driver after the opening full day of Rally Islas Canarias.
Rally Islas Canarias, the second round of the FIA European Rally Championship got underway with a spectator-friendly SuperSpecial in Gran Canaria on Thursday night.
The Craughwell-based driver is in her second year of  FIA European Rally Championship competition and is one of three female drivers competing in the Rally4 class.
The Peugeot 208 Rally4 driver’s competition includes drivers like Cristiana Oprea (Romania – Opel Corsa Rally4) and Ekaterina Stratieva (Bulgaria – Peugeot 208 Rally4).
After the event’s opener on Thursday night  Raftery – who will openly admit she is not a huge fan of SuperSpecial tests – held second place in the Ladies’ category.
Stratieva had the upper hand by a mere 1.3 seconds but the Irish woman had only four seconds to spare over Oprea.
Raftery, who is co-driven by Antrim’s Hannah McKillop, started Friday’s six-stage loop in a determined fashion.
She quickly overhauled the Bulgarian driver and distanced herself from the Romanian pilot.
At the day’s end, and after nearly 100 km of competition, Raftery was nearly two minutes clear of Stratieva and a massive nine minutes in front of Oprea.
The irony of her Saturday performance is that the first and, so far, only female driver to be selected by the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, prefers gravel roads and loose surfaces as opposed to the challenging asphalt on offer in Gran Canaria.
She had to adapt her driving style to cope with the relentless amount of corners on each stage and spent the day learning the nuances of roads that are paved with lava.
“It has been quite a tricky morning, it is a lot different. We are just trying to learn over the weekend and improve stage by stage, it is a big challenge,” she said at the mid-day service halt.
“We are going to try and keep working on it over the weekend, it is a really hard event,  very, very difficult, coming from Ireland [Irish rallies] it is very different.”
A  further six stages and approximately 100 km of competition remain on Saturday before the rally draws to a close around 6 pm local time on Saturday.
Aoife Raftery is supported by Des Lyons Plant | Kenny (Peugeot) Galway | O’Neill O’Malley Architects and Project Managers | Loughrea Auto Parts | Craughwell Tyre Centre | Sean Fleming Motors | Quinn Hardware | Liscon Transport | Kerry Motorsport News

Share story:

Incredible Recent Success for Galway Athletics - A Special Feature

It was announced this evening that Tuam Athletics Club’s Savanagh O’Callaghan had been selected to represent Ireland in Barcelona on June 8th. The...

Defending Champions drawn at home in Quarter Finals of All-Island Cup

Defending All-Island Cup Holders Galway United have been given a home Quarter Final and will face Treaty United. The draw for the Quarter Finals of the co...

Galway v Dublin Camogie Championship Preview - The Manager's Thoughts

The Galway Camogie team face Dublin in their opening game of the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Championship on Saturday. Galway has five games in the gr...

Women's Four book their tickets to Paris 2024

Another boat from Ireland is secured for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games as the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta comes to a close in Lucerne, Switzerland....