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need for speed: rally licence holders make it a family affair

Meet the mother and daughter living life in the fast lane. The Dungarvan duo of Veronica and Donna Troy are the first in Ireland to get their full rally licences on the same day. They were put through their paces in a 180bhp MKII Escort and sat two exams at a Rallyconnections rally school in January before they were officially named as race-ready pilots.

A delighted Veronica said: "I have gone without holidays to fund the best buzz that money can buy. I can totally recommend this to anyone and can't wait for the next time.

"At the track you can get the speed out of your system in a safe and controlled environment, and have the craic with the very patient and professional instructors."

Donna added: "Rallying is not just for the lads and I would urge any woman to go for it. It really gives you more confidence driving on the road and I can't wait for the next day. I can't explain how good it is; you will just have to try it for yourself."

After years of rally-driving dreams, florist Veronica, of Bonnie's Boutique, Lismore, Co Waterford, finally fulfilled her need for speed when she first visited the Rallyconnection rally school in Millstreet, Cappagh, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, in April 2008.

After a passenger spin with their instructor they took the wheel of a powerful rally car and built up their pace and confidence. Before long they were handbraking and power-sliding around acute hairpins, and carrying lots of speed on flowing corners and flat-out straights.

The bug had bitten and six months later they returned with a larger family group of budding hopefuls, where the competition was fierce, and the craic and banter also flowed amid the high revs and burning rubber. Totally addicted by this point, they returned three more times until Veronica finally admitted that she and Donna wanted to go a step further and sit their rally licence test.

The day of reckoning finally arrived on Friday, January 22, and, after a full day of training at Rallyconnection and two exams -- both with theory and practical elements -- Lismore and Ireland could boast two more fully qualified rally drivers.

This is the first time in Irish rallying history that a mother and daughter have successfully sat and passed a rally licence test together.