Halfway point for Aoife Raftery in FIA European Rally Championship

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galway daily news aoife raftery rally driver

This weekend’s Rally Estonia marks the halfway point of Aoife Raftery’s Junior FIA European Rally Championship campaign.

The Galway driver holds fifth place in the Junior FIA European Rally Championship out of 17 contenders after strong performances in Sweden, the Canary Islands, and a fourth-place finish in Hungary.

Estonia is the fourth round of the series and events in Wales and Poland will complete the six-round campaign.

The Craughwell native, who is co-driven by Co. Antrim’s Hannah McKillop, drives a PCRS Rallysport-prepared Peugeot 208 Rally4, and is the first and only female to be selected by Motorsport Ireland’s talent spotting academy.

Raftery’s preferred surface is gravel and following last month’s BAUHAUS Royal of Scandinavia she is looking forward to another fast and flowing loose-surface rally in Estonia this weekend.

As the rally is new for all Junior competitors, she is hopeful for a more level playing field given her lack of experience in the Swedish event compared to her championship rivals.

“Hannah and I are really looking forward to Rally Estonia and to get back into the car again after Sweden,” she said.

“The fast gravel stages do look similar to Sweden. As it is a new championship round for the juniors and new roads for everyone, there is a good chance to see where we are against the other drivers.

“Hopefully, we can build up our pace over the weekend. From reviewing on-board video from the stages, they look challenging and fun, so I am looking forward to that.”

Delfi Rally Estonia 2024 will be held on the roads of Tartu and Southern Estonia from July 5 to 7.

Rally Estonia’s start and finish podium with a unique entertainment programme will be held at Tartu Town Hall Square, and the rally HQ and service park will again be hosted by the Tehvandi Sports Centre in Otepää.