Ulster based rising rally star Philip Allen embarks on his biggest rallying challenge to date when he tackles next weekend’s Galway International Rally, the opening round of Ireland’s premier rally championship, the TROA Irish Tarmac Series.
It is a big step for the 26-year-old Tyrone driver and Galway will mark only his tenth rally start. Having competed in his first rally in 2017, Allen has made an impressive impact since his debut. Defining convention, he chose a high specification car to begin with, a GpN machine, in which he won the category on his very first event. By his third event, Philip took his first overall rally win.
For 2019, Philip has committed to a full Irish Championship campaign. Over the past few months, time has been spent planning and building a team designed for the job. A new co-driver in the form of Stephen McAuley has been secured, and the Co Down based co-driver brings his vast range of experience and knowledge to the team. A new state of the art Skoda Fabia R5 has been acquired, technically known as a Zero K car, which means it has been built with everything new. The car will be engineered and run by the multiple Tarmac Championship winning team, Derek McGeehan Motorsport.
The primary sponsor for the season is the Cookstown based Glenn Allen Accident Repair Centre where Philip is now the Managing Director. From his office Phillip said “I have worked hard to build a new team, and I know that I am possibly going about this a bit differently. Not picking a smaller car and learning the rallies, building up to a big championship”. Phillip continued “I think we proved on the Ulster Rally last year that the performance was good, as I am 26 now, I am going to give it a go now, lets see if we can achieve a top ten in Galway, then we can build on it from there”. The team will also receive assistance from Dickson & Co Insurance Brokers and Auto Assist.
In the week leading up to the Galway International Rally, the team will conduct a final test with the stunning looking Skoda Fabia. Philip and Stephen will do a one day reconnaissance of the special stages for the rally before the Start in Galway City on Sunday the 10th February. The crew will then face a challenging 120 Km route, comprising of nine competitive stages on closed public roads in the Athenry area of County Galway.