Corrib Oil Galway International Rally Preview – Motorsport.ie
The 2016 Corrib Oil Galway International Rally takes place over the coming weekend, 5h to 7th February inclusive.
Galway Motor Club is delighted to confirm that there is a capacity entry with teams coming from Germany, Australia and America in addition to numerous UK and Irish crews., over 100 in total. The competing teams, their sponsors and crews, and the thousands of spectators that will line the route will bring a welcome early season boost to visitor numbers to Galway city and county. The event has retained its full weekend format and is expected to generate over 2,000 bed nights for hotels and guest houses. The rally is estimated to bring approximately €5m spending to the local economy.
At the recent launch, Clerk of the Course, Kieran Donohue said “Galway Motor Club is indebted to the staff of Galway County and City Councils, An Garda Siochana, Failte Ireland, the Road Safety Authority, the Directors and staff of Corrib Oil, the 300 volunteer marshals from all over Ireland, and most of all the residents along the route for their assistance with temporary road closures to ensure the safe running of the event.”
The rally will get under way with a Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square on Friday 5th February at 8pm, following afternoon scrutineering of cars at the Galway Race Course from 2pm. These are ideal opportunities to see the rally cars and drivers prior to the start of the competition.
Headquarters for the event is the Clayton Hotel, Ballybrit, Galway. The rally route will cover 9 closed road stages on Saturday 76h February and a further 6 on Sunday 7th February. The rally Service Park will be in Portumna Mart on Saturday and in Gort Mart on Sunday, by kind permission of the Mart Committees. Sunday evening will see the Ceremonial Finish back at Clayton Hotel from approximately 3.30pm. Admission to all events is free over the weekend.
The Corrib Oil Galway International Rally is an event that is sanctioned by the FIA under an official Permit issued by Motorsport Ireland, and supported by the RSA – The Road Safety Authority of Ireland. The ‘Keep the Race in its Place’ campaign is extremely successful in talking to predominantly young people who follow motorsport. The Galway Motor Club is eager to remind everyone of the need to drive safely at all times – hence the message “Keep the Race in its Place’’. All competing cars will carry this logo and message, and extensive signage to promote this road safety message will be visible.
Kieran Donohue, Clerk of the Course, encourages fans travelling to the Corrib Oil Galway International Rally to heed the message from the organisers to ‘Keep the Race in its Place’, to slow down, never drink and drive and to always wear a seatbelt. All spectators on the closed road stages must obey the Marshals at all times, as they will be implementing a comprehensive Safety Plan. A traffic management plan has been put in place with the support of the Gardai.
In order to facilitate the safe running of the event there will be temporary Road Closures on certain roads in south and east County Galway on Saturday 6th February and Sunday 7th February. All will be clearly sign posted and marshalled. All residents have been informed of the times and road closure arrangements and the details have been advertised by Galway County Council. There will also to additional traffic in the Eyre Square area from 7.00pm to 9.00pm on Friday 5th February to facilitate the Ceremonial Start; in the vicinity of the Race Course on Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, at the Clayton Hotel, and in Portumna during Saturday and Gort during Sunday.
Nominated Galway Charity:
Galway Motor Club has chosen Blood Bike West as its charity partner for the rally. Blood Bike West is a charitable organisation established by volunteers to deliver essential urgent medical supplies, out of hours, between hospitals, healthcare sites and laboratories. The volunteers provide the service free of charge. The charity’s volunteers will be promoting awareness at various locations along the rally route and all support will be much appreciated by them.
The Official Rally Programme contains full listings of stage times, service area times, detailed Ordnance Survey Route Maps and all of the information required to locate the many spectator access points. The Programme costs €10 and is available from the Clayton Hotel and from various Corrib Oil filling stations, newsagents and outlets in the city and county, listed on the rally website, www.galwayinternationalrally.com
Leading Entries :
The entry of more than 100 cars have been seeded by the organisers and the rally winner is likely to come from one of the top 20 seeds.
Seeded number 1 is Garry Jennings from Fermanagh and Rory Kennedy in a Subaru WRC. Declan Boyle from Donegal, with his cousin Brian Boyle co-driving, is at Number 2 in a Fiesta WRC. The number 6 seed is top local driver Dean Raftery from Craughwell, winner of the Motorsport Ireland Young Driver of the Year award in 2014. The entry also includes no less than 14 of the new generation R5 rally cars. 2016 is the first year for these cars to feature as the lead class in the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally championship, and competition is going to be intense. The talented young drivers who drive these cars are very likely to spring a surprise result at the end of the event!
There are over 100 entrants, the Top 10 seeds being:
Number Driver Co-Driver Address Car
1 Garry Jennings Rory Kennedy Fermanagh Subaru WRC
2 Declan Boyle Brian Boyle Donegal Fiesta WRC
3 Derek McGarrity Diarmuid Falvey Antrim Fiesta WRC
4 Roy White James O Brien Tipperary Fiesta WRC
5 Tim McNulty Paul Kiely Meath MINI WRC
6 Dean Raftery Mark Kane Craughwell Subaru WRC
7 Declan Gallagher Ryan Moore Donegal Subaru WRC
8 Keith Cronin Mikey Galvin Cork Citroen DS3 R5
9. Josh Moffett Jason McKenna Monaghan Fiesta R5
10 Alastair Fisher Gordon Noble Fermanagh Fiesta R5
Among the entries from outside of Ireland taking part in this year’s event, are number 50, Kai Dieter Kolle from Germany in a Porsche Carrera. John Coyne makes the trip from Canada to take part in the Historic event in a Talbot Sunbeam and Tomas Davies travels from the Wales in his new Fiesta R5.
Leading Local Entries:
Members of Galway Motor Club taking part in the event will be seeking to put their name on the prestigious Brian G Thornton Memorial Cup. The top seeded Galway drivers are:
Car Driver Navigator Address Make/Model
6 Dean Raftery Mark Kane Craughwell Subaru WRC
24 Stephen Greaney Kieran Feeney Galway Escort Mk2
25 Tom Flaherty Patrick Curley Circular Road Escort Mk2
32 Pat Kelly Jonathan Kelly Galway Subaru STI
33 Tommy Cahill Enda O Leary Galway Mitsubishi Evo
34 Justin Comer Adrian Comer Galway Mitsubishi Evo
44 Jonathan Folan Ross Forde Galway Citroen DS3
45 Richard Whelan James Whelan Galway Citroen DS3
Results, regular updates and more detailed information will be available on the rally website: www.galwayinternationalrally.com and also links on www.rally.ie. and www.rallynews.com .
Galway Bay FM will be reporting from all 15 stages throughout the weekend with regular updates and driver interviews.
Galway Motor Club has secured TV coverage on TG4, UTV Ireland, and Motors TV with one hour programmes to be broadcast in the coming weeks.
2016 Corrib Oil Galway International Rally Timetable:
Friday 5th February 2pm: Scrutiny at Galway Race Course, Galway.
Friday 5th February 8pm: Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square, Galway.
Saturday 6th February 9.00am: 9 Special Stages in East Galway.
Saturday 6th February 10.30am and 1.00pm: Service Park at Portumna Mart.
Sunday 7th February 8.30am: 6 Special Stages in South Galway.
Sunday 7th February 10.00am and 12.30pm: Service Park at Gort Mart.
Sunday 7th February 3.30pm: Finish at Clayton Hotel,Ballybrit, Galway.
Sunday 7th February 8pm: Prizegiving at Clayton Hotel, Galway.