Irish Motorsport News

As we settle in to a new year and things return to normality after all the festivities, the snow and the hazardous driving conditions, the hardship and the return to work, the trees and the decorations packed away in the attic, and wave goodbye to Santy with promises of being much better this year, it is time to look forward to the start of the rally season. After all, we have to get our priorities in order! The drinks coaster on my desk says it simply; “ Life is a game, but rallying is serious.”

First up is the Galway International Rally, once again sponsored by Safety Direct, which is due to take place on the 5th & 6th of February, three weeks away. I say due to take place because as of yet no-one knows what effect the current economic climate will have on motorsport this year. Already, just last week, the kart race meeting scheduled to take place in Collon, Co. Louth was cancelled due to a lack of entries. Is this a sign of things to come? Keep in mind that last year Galway Motor Club cancelled both of the sprints they had planned to run in Tynagh racetrack when they had a small entry ten days before the event. Hype and publicity about this year’s Galway International is very noticeable by its absence. Hopefully it will get the green light.

The Galway International is the first round of the Irish Tarmac Championship, and it should be noted that the absence of a main sponsor of the championship is in itself a cause for concern. Maybe the name of this years sponsor is just about to be announced, but if so it is very late in the day. Last year Citroen sponsored the series, but no name has been added to the title for this years rounds. This will not help either with funding or publicity and shows how tight budgets are overall. Lets just hope we will get to see the cream of Irish Rallying battle it out in the coming months. The winners last year were Gareth McHale & Brian Murphy in the Ford Focus wrc.

The 2011 dates of The Irish Tarmac Championship are:

Galway International Rally:                           February 5/6

Circuit of Ireland Rally:                                 April 23/24

Killarney International Rally of the Lakes:   April 30/May 1

Jim Clark International Rally:                        May 27/28

Donegal International Rally:                          June17/18/19

Ulster International Rally:                             August 19/20

Cork International Rally:                               October 1/2


What’s happening Where?

January 15, Saturday: Co Monaghan Motor Club Night Navigation Trial, The Community                                         Centre, Tydavnet, Co. Monaghan. Start time: 9.00pm. Event Contact: Cora Maguire: 086 3627000.

January 16, Sunday:  Trials Driver Club Multi-venue Autotest, Mondello Park, Donore, Naas, Co Kildare. Start time: 9.30am. Event Contact: Paul Phelan, 086 2514193

Compiled by Kieran Reid.