The 2021 Modern Tyres Ulster International Rally might be less than two weeks away but organisers and officials from Northern Ireland Motor Club who make it happen have had one eye on the following year’s instalment for some considerable time now.
Planning for the Ulster International Rally is an all-year-round affair and 2021 Event Director Richard Swanston has confirmed that Northern Ireland Motor Club intends to move the rally back to its traditional late summer slot in 2022. In fact, that is the date inscribed in the 2022 motorsport calendars.
The Ulster International Rally is being held later than normal this year due to government guidance, organisational restrictions on the stages, and uncertainty around COVID restrictions. An agreement between the World Rally Championship (WRC) Promoter, Rally Northern Ireland promoter and FIA for a Rally Northern Ireland in 2022 has still to be reached, but one of the proposed dates would conflict with the date for the Ulster International Rally.
So, until the outcome of that is known, the motor club’s 2022 team will continue to work towards a date of August 19th/20th for the 2022 Ulster International Rally. “It is the only possible direction at present and quite simply it makes perfect sense to do that,” said Richard Swanston.
Richard added: “The Northern Ireland Motor Club fully supports the on-going efforts by many parties to bring the FIA World Rally Championship to Northern Ireland in 2022. It would be a massive boost for the sport. We would love to see it happen but it would have an enormous impact on all local rally events, not just the Ulster International Rally. And if the FIA World Rally Championship does visit the province in 2022, then there are contingency plans in place that will allow us to push ahead with the Ulster International Rally on a different date.”