AFFORDABLE MOTORSPORT AT ALMC ENDURANCE TRIAL

Are you thinking about competing in Motorsport but finances mean that you are not quite ready to order that new R5 Fiesta from Malcolm Wilson? Maybe you are looking for a cheap and fun single-day event with minimal pre-event preparation and free of the dreaded 2016 insurance levy?

Endurance Trials were introduced to Ireland by the ALMC Motor Club in 2011 and are designed to be a cost-effective formula for standard road cars up to 1400cc. Some basic modifications are required – such as the fitting of 3-point “clubman” type belts and the addition of a first aid kit, hi-vis jackets and an OK board – all of which can be easily sourced and fitted. Competitors are also required to have a competition licence and are permitted to add a sump guard, spot lights, tripmeter and roll cage if desired however, the addition of a roll cage will introduce the necessity for crash helmets to be worn.

Typically, competitors’ chariot of choice has been the Toyota Starlet however, all vehicles are eligible with navigation cars having their own separate class, catering for the over 1400cc vehicles. In recent times, many of the Northern Ireland “Lanes” competitors have ventured South, taking advantage of the favourable exchange rate and introducing the nimble Mazda MX5 to the discipline.

In terms of the competition, events usually consist of around 20 “selectives” usually held in quarries, farm tracks or private estates. There is no recce involved and each crew is issued with a road book on the morning of the event which contains “tulip” route instructions, diagrams of selectives and time cards. Throughout the selectives crews can be required to negotiate chicanes, demonstrate some autotest skills around poles and collect data from code-boards (keeping the average speeds down). As well as being an enjoyable event with a great social side, Endurance trials are a great opportunity for budding Stage Rally or Navigation Rally crews to hone their skills before jumping in at the deep end (some crews have been known to plot the route on Ordnance Survey maps to practice for night-navs).

The formula has proven very successful to date with the ALMC, Monaghan and Birr events attracting large entries and close competition in 2015. Last year’s championship saw crews tackle the tricky lanes of Luttrellstown, the curves of Latton Circuit and the gravelly forests of Coolrain in Laois.

The ALMC Spring Endurance Trial takes place on Saturday March 5th at Luttrellstown Golf Club, Dublin and entries are now open. Regs can downloaded from the club’s website www.almc.ie. The club have laid out a challenging and compact route with selectives in Luttrellstown Estate (including a 15km test in the dark), Fairyhouse Racecourse and some private grounds in Co. Meath. The first car leaves the HQ at midday with the first car crossing the finish at approximately 7:30pm.

The calendar for 2016 includes ALMC (March 5th), Monaghan (August 14th), Birr (October 9th) and Donegal (November 5th). Further information is available from the ALMC Website (www.almc.ie) or

from the ALMC Club PRO (pro@almc.ie).