Aoife Raftery achieves a career-high fourth place in the Junior category at the European Rally Championship in Rally Hungary.

Aoife Raftery and Hannah McKillop Photo by Adam O’Brien

Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy driver Aoife Raftery delivered her most impressive performance yet in an FIA European Rally Championship event, securing fourth place overall.

This achievement marks a significant improvement from her previous seventh-place finish in the Czech Republic last season.

In her second season competing in the Junior ERC, Raftery, based in Craughwell, alongside her co-driver Hannah McKillop from Antrim, clinched a remarkable fourth place in the Junior category during the inaugural round of the 2024 European Rally Championship.

The event kicked off on Friday night, with Raftery tackling six challenging stages on loose surfaces near Veszprem on Saturday. Despite their Peugeot bearing battle scars from their relentless efforts, Raftery and McKillop remained determined to excel.

The rugged road conditions and scorching ambient heat posed additional challenges for the crews, yet Raftery consistently surpassed her pre-event targets.

Sunday proved equally demanding, with the rally presenting a series of obstacles, including a front-right puncture that inflicted damage on both the power steering and the car’s cooling system.

Aoife Raftery and Hannah McKillop Photo by Adam O’Brien

Her team of PCRS Rallysport mechanics worked miracles to have all the offending parts either repaired or replaced within the allocated 15-minute service time.

Heading into the final stage, Raftery held third place, but her position was closely contested by teammate Jack Brennan, with just 18 seconds separating the two Irish drivers and three challenging stages remaining.

Swedish driver Mille Johnason also emerged as a contender, ultimately surpassing both Irish drivers to claim third place in the final test.

Despite the intense competition, Raftery narrowly missed out on her first podium finish, ending the event just 6.1 seconds shy of the milestone

“I would have taken fourth [out of 17 starters} on Friday, we were very close to third and hopefully we can see that again this year. Thanks to Hannah who did an incredible job and to all at the Rally Academy for their help.”

Aoife Raftery Racing 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

Author: wheelsforwomen

Ireland's only website for women on wheels - cars, motorbikes, bikes. Video/ reviews, driving tips - written by women for women.

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