Motormouth’s Mutterings- The Winter Break Is Over

Definitely age related this one, but it honestly does not seem that long since the end of the season. This weekend sees the Galway International Rally kick off the Irish Tarmac Series (preview here) as well as the first ever anti-clockwise Rallycross to be held at Mondello Park.

The build up to Galway has been further boosted by a typically late decision by Rob Barrable to throw his hat in the ring, in a Dom Buckley Fiesta R5! Barrable is an enigma in that he can jump into anything and be on the pace- race or rally, so don’t expect him to be rusty when the rally starts! He takes on his buddy Alastair Fisher and the two Moffett brothers, all three also in Fiesta R5s. The R5s are seeded behind the WRC mounted pairing of Garry Jennings (Subaru) and Declan Boyle (Fiesta). Roy White’s Fiesta WRC will be right in the mix too- so plenty of reasons to head west this weekend.

As for the Rallycross, well the IRX organisers have teamed up with Mondello Park recently and the results, in terms of promotion, have been really impressive. The drone filmed promotional video showing the “Left Hand In” layout in particular, is exactly what our sport needs. Mondello are also running a test day next Saturday ahead of the event, something unheard of in Rallycross, but welcomed hugely by competitors. I might even run a lap or two myself- just to help with the commentary you understand!!

My plans to go rallying continue behind the scenes. As a few people have said to me, I have to do it now, having blogged about it! (link HERE) The car was dropped off to double Irish Stock Hatch Rallycross Champion Ciaran Murphy, along with a full service pack and some spares from Clane Motor Factors. The misfire was immediately traced to a dodgy plug lead, a full service was carried out and brakes, wishbones, bushings etc checked. To my relief, the car was given a clean bill of health and is now pretty much ready to rock. I do need to add two extra door bars to the cage as per the latest MI regulations, but that’s pretty much it. I have also sourced a set of original Rallye steel rims, so I need to get them blasted and coated- although they are a lot heavier than the XSi rims it currently sits on. Still no joy sourcing the rare Rallye S1 rear arch, so if you know of one, (passenger side,) please get in touch!

I may have a go at the ALMC Endurance Trial, time permitting, but the Mayo Motorsport Club’s promotional video, below, has tempted me to head west in March, a decision will be made shortly. Poor Art McCarrick must be sick of seeing my name coming up on his phone with another stupid question- but he has been invaluable with advice and pointers thus far! I rang the Motorsport Ireland office last week and requested my “Rally Starter Pack” whcih arrived in the post 24 hours later. I now have to organise a day at a rally school, going through the basics of rallying, including some driving. I’ll sort this out this in the next couple of weeks and having read the bumf that came with the starter pack, I know it means I won’t be going into my first rally completely blind. (Also means less questions for poor Art too!)

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A great image of us tackling The Healy Pass in 2016 from Mark Maguire

In other news, Dad and I are booked in for Deja Vu Killarney 2017 over the Easter weekend. We did it last year in the Merc 350SL and had an absolute ball- driving some of the most famous stages in the country and rubbing shoulders with many of our rally heroes- Dad particularly enjoying a chat with Russell Brookes at dinner on Saturday night. This year, the events celebrates the Group B era and with Jimmy McRae and Saeed Al Hajri already confirmed, there should be a host of other star drivers on the event, and some hugely interesting Group cars too. You don’t have to have a rally car to enter, but a older or interesting car is preferable. More information HERE

From a business point of view, I have been working on number of projects with Leo Nulty Promotions, not all motorsport related. I am currently working on commercial packages for both Nicole Drought and William Kellett. Nicole, who made it onto the front page of the Irish Times last week, will most likely compete in Global GT Lights this year, with most of the races in the UK, as well as testing and possibly racing in the Sprint Serie in France.  I was delighted to be able to do a deal providing 16 year old Kellett with a brand new Fiesta ST for the Mondello Park run series. Kellett Motorsport have just finished the car and testing will commence soon, with Dublin bodyshop JH Autobody as title sponsor. We have also relaunched the hugely successful E Fox Engineers Ltd, Chequered Flag sponsorship scheme. All you have to do, regardless of what discipline of motorsport you compete in, is log on and register- collect your goodie pack (if you are quick) and then you are in with a chance of winning a substantial prize each month. Interested? Just click HERE– it only takes a few minutes!

Until the next time,

Leo

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