Jun 04, 2016
The 2015 Circuit of Ireland Rally has won Best Event/Festival Experience at this year’s NI Tourism Awards which took place at St Columb’s Hall in Derry on 26 May.
Event Director Bobby Willis said he was absolutely thrilled and delighted for the whole Circuit management team, the event’s 700 plus volunteers , the fans and visitors and all the competitors and teams who helped make the 2015 Circuit such a huge success.
“I would particularly like to wholeheartedly thank everyone who voted for the Circuit of Ireland Rally as this category was all down to a public online vote and the Circuit was up against several fantastic top quality cultural and sporting events.
“It’s a wonderful accolade for the Circuit organisers and I’m really proud to receive this award on behalf of such an incredible team of people who look after the many and varied elements of the event and ensure the Circuit gets ‘on the road’ each and every year. It really is a team award and it’s amazing for the Circuit of Ireland to reach the top of the podium at these hugely prestigious awards.
“Our Award relates to the 2015 event which was Waterford driver Craig Breen’s debut win and we were delighted to see Craig and co-driver Scott Martin back on the number one podium this April collecting the historic Circuit trophy for the second consecutive year. We were really pleased with the 2016 event and planning is now underway for 2017. This event has grown hugely in the last six years and this Tourism NI Award is testament to all the hard work of everyone involved.
“Thanks must also go to all our partners who each year help make the Circuit such an excellent event. From regional councils, where the stages, qualifying and Ceremonial Start are located, – to government departments and Ministers who have wholeheartedly supported the event as well as Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland whose advice and contribution has been vital.”
2015 and 2016 winner Craig Breen has described the Circuit of Ireland as ‘one of the best rallies in the world’ and this year’s event showcased a record entry line-up boasting an extraordinary number of new generation R5 and S2000 cars and included participants from as far afield as China and Australia. In total competitors from 20 different countries took part.
New for 2016 was live Internet TV coverage of the event streamed through the Circuit’s website. The thrilling images were watched by 100,000 viewers in 130 countries for just short of an amazing two million minutes.
Edited highlights of this year’s Circuit of Ireland International Rally can be viewed on www.circuitofireland.net. Follow on www.facebook.com/circuitofireland or www.twitter.com/CircuitIreland.
Other recent awards presented to the Circuit of Ireland include the 2015 UTV Business Eye Awards Tourism/Hospitality Project of the Year and a Sparks Contribution to Motorsport Award for event director Bobby Willis in December 2015.
Regional Councils supporting the Circuit of Ireland Rally in 2016 are: Belfast City Council; Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon; Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council; Newry, Mourne and Down District; Ards and North Down; Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council; Antrim and Newtownabbey; Mid and East Antrim Council.
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