Donegal's Manus Kelly and Donall Barrett have made history today as they won the Joule Donegal International Rally

They became the first crew from the county to win the title three years in a row.

Kelly, from Glenswilly, and Barrett, from Milford, set the pace from early on in this three day event.

And one by one, their biggest rivals dropped out.

They were crowned champions again as they came off the final 20th stage just after 5.00 pm.

It was a wonderful achievement.

"We are very lucky it worked out for us, it's unbelievable," Kelly told Highland Radio just moments after they finished the Fanad Head stage.

"It's hard to believe, it's hard to put it in words," a delighted Barrett added.

Sam Moffett and Karl Atkinson in a Fiesta R5 pipped Josh Moffett and Andy Hates for second spot in a real battle.

Donagh Kelly and Conor Foley in the Ford Focus WRC went out on day one.

The other fancied WRC crews, Declan Boyle and James O'Reilly in their Fiesta WRC, and Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy, in their Subaru S12, excited the rally on day two.

Ian Barrett and Paul McGee in the Darrian T90 won the National Rally ahead of fellow Darrian T90 competitors Kevin Gallagher and Noel O'Sullivan.

Kelly and Barrett are now among an elite group with a trio of Donegal wins.

Billy Coleman and Ronan Morgan are the only other people to have won three in a row as driver and co-driver, and that was back in 1984,  1985 and 1986.

Bertie Fisher and Rory Kennedy won it three times in four years, in 1992, 1993 and 1995. Kennedy was also on the podium alongside Garry Jennings in 2012.

Photo: Clive Wasson

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