Stephen Wright will step up to the top table of European rallying this weekend on the Circuit of Ireland Rally, the third round of the European Rally Championship. It will only be Wright’s second outing in his Ford Fiesta R5 but having taken a podium on the car’s debut in West Cork a few weeks ago, he is hopeful of a strong finish on the classic Easter event.
“Having spent most of last year competing abroad I am fully aware of how hard the European Championship regulars will be pushing on the Circuit,” said Stephen ahead of this weekend’s event. “It’s unlikely on just our second event that we’ll be pushing the front runners but it is also not every day that you get an opportunity to race at the top flight of the ERC so hopefully when we get settled in we can punch in some good times. These event require a different level of preparation and everyone has been working really hard so we’re all now looking forward to getting started! I was delighted with how the car performed in West Cork.”
After qualifying and a ceremonial start on Thursday evening, the Circuit of Ireland starts on Good Friday morning where the crews will tackle 18 stages over 2 days with the winners returning eventually to Belfast’s Titantic Quarter at 6.35pm on Saturday. With a number of spectator stages laid on by the organisers it will be great chance for the public to see the stars and their cars up close. It’s something Stephen is keen to point out. “It was really noticeable how the wider public showed an interest in the Circuit of Ireland last year, the crowds were fantastic. Hopefully this year the event can raise the bar even higher.”
You can keep up to date with Stephen and Mikie over the weekend by following them on Twitter @StephenWr1ght and @GalvinMikie while more information on the Wright Rally Team by is available by visiting http://www.wrightrally.com. Stephen is competing this season with the support of the Killyhevlin Hotel and Health Club, Spanwright and Lafarge Tarmac.
Image from Sean Hassett.