Galway’s Aoife Raftery ready for Gravel Rally Challenge

galway daily news aoife raftery rally driver
Aoife Raftery on her way to a class win in the Moonraker Forestry Rally in June. Photo: Cian Donnellan/ Motorsport Ireland Forestry Rally Championship

Aoife Raftery will return to the Sligo Pallets Irish Forestry Rally Championship for the first time since June at this weekend’s Carrick-on-Suir Forestry Rally.

Based in Slieverue, the rally will take place over a challenging route of approximately 70 stage kilometres and will consist of six special stages.

The Craughwell-based driver has spent most of the summer plying her trade in the FIA Junior European Rally Championship but as that campaign has now drawn to a close, she has decided to enter more Irish events in the international off-season.

The Ford Fiesta R2 driver scored her best-ever Irish gravel result, by taking a class win on the Moonraker Forestry Rally in June.

This was her first class win on any Irish rally and came after less than two years of rallying. Her only other Irish gravel outing this year was the Killarney Forestry Rally in February.

Her return to the domestic forest championship will see her face some of Ireland’s top Class 2 exponents It is a challenge she is relishing given her preference for loose surface rallying.

“I am really looking forward to getting back to the Irish Forestry Rally Championship, it has been a long time since the Moonraker Rally in June,” said the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy driver.

“I have competed once before in Carrick-on-Suir and the roads there offer a great challenge.”