Corrib Oil Galway International Rally – Preview
2017 Corrib Oil Galway International Rally takes place over the coming weekend, 4th & 5th February inclusive.
Galway Motor Club is delighted to confirm that there is a capacity entry with teams coming from Germany, China and America in addition to numerous UK and Irish crews, over 100 in total. The competing teams, their sponsors and crews, and the thousands of spectators that will line the route will bring a welcome early season boost of visitor numbers to Galway city and county. The event has retained its full weekend format and is expected to generate over 2,000 bed nights for hotels and guest houses. The rally is estimated to generate approximately €5m of revenue for the local economy.
At the recent launch, Clerk of the Course, Kieran Donohue said “Galway Motor Club is indebted to the staff of Galway County and City Councils, An Garda Siochana, Failte Ireland, the Road Safety Authority, the Directors and staff of Corrib Oil, the 300 volunteer marshals from all over Ireland, and most of all the residents along the route for their assistance with temporary road closures to ensure the safe running of the event.”
The rally will get under way with a Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square on Friday the 3rd of February at 8pm, this is following scrutineering of cars at the Galway Race Course from 2pm. These are ideal opportunities to see the rally cars and drivers prior to the start of the competition.
Headquarters for the event is the Clayton Hotel, Ballybrit, Galway. The rally route will cover 9 closed road stages on Saturday 4th February and a further 6 on Sunday 5th February. The Service Park will be in Athenry Mart on Saturday and in the old Sugar facility at Airglooney, Tuam on Sunday, by kind permission of the Mart Committee and the businesses in the Tuam Business Park. Sunday evening will see the ceremonial finish back at Clayton Hotel from approximately 3.30pm. Admission to all events is free over the weekend.
The Corrib Oil Galway International Rally is an event that is sanctioned by the FIA under an official Permit issued by Motorsport Ireland, and supported by the RSA – The Road Safety Authority of Ireland. The ‘Keep the Race in its Place’ campaign is extremely successful in talking to predominantly young people who follow motorsport. The Galway Motor Club is eager to remind everyone of the need to drive safely at all times – hence the message “Keep the Race in its Place’’. All competing cars will carry this logo and message, and extensive signage to promote this road safety message will be visible.
Kieran Donohue, Clerk of the Course, encourages fans travelling to the Corrib Oil Galway International Rally to heed the message from the organisers to ‘Keep the Race in its Place’, to slow down, never drink and drive and to always wear a seatbelt. All spectators on the closed road stages must obey the Marshals at all times, as they will be implementing a comprehensive Safety Plan. A traffic management plan has been put in place with the support of the Gardai.
In order to facilitate the safe running of the event there will be temporary road closures on certain roads in north and east County Galway on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th of February. All road closures will be clearly sign posted and marshalled. All residents have been informed of the times and road closure arrangements, the details have been advertised by Galway County Council. There will also to additional traffic in the Eyre Square area from 7.00pm to 9.00pm on Friday 3rd February to facilitate the Ceremonial Start; in the vicinity of the Race Course on Friday and Sunday afternoons, at the Clayton Hotel, and in Athenry during Saturday and Tuam during Sunday.
Nominated Galway Charity:
Galway Motor Club has chosen Blood Bike West as its charity partner for the rally. Blood Bike West is a charitable organisation established by volunteers to deliver essential urgent medical supplies, out of hours, between hospitals, healthcare sites and laboratories. The volunteers provide the service free of charge. The charity’s volunteers will be promoting awareness at various locations along the rally route and all support will be much appreciated by them.
Rally Programmes:The Official Rally Programme contains full listings of stage times, service area times, detailed Ordnance Survey Route Maps and all of the information required to locate the many spectator access points. The Programme costs €10 and is available from the Clayton Hotel and from various Corrib Oil filling stations, newsagents and outlets in the city and county, listed on the rally website, www.galwayrally.co
Leading Entries :
The entry of more than 100 cars have been seeded by the organisers and the rally winner is likely to come from one of the top 20 seeds.
Seeded number 1 is Garry Jennings from Fermanagh and Rory Kennedy in a Subaru WRC, last years rally winners. Declan Boyle from Donegal, with his cousin Brian Boyle co-driving, is at Number 2 in a Fiesta WRC. The entry also includes 10 of the new generation R5 rally cars. 2016 was the first year for these cars to feature as the lead class in the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally championship, and competition during the year was immense! At the final round of the championship, the Cork 20 Rally, Billy Coleman award winner Josh Moffett took his Ford Fiesta R5 to overall victory. This year he is joined by some of the quickest young talent in the country, Alastair Fisher, Sam Moffett, Robert Barrable, Jonathan Greer and Joe McGonigle any one of these men is very likely to spring a surprise result at the end of the event!
There are over 100 entrants, the Top 10 seeds being:
Number Driver Co-Driver Address Car
1 Garry Jennings Rory Kennedy Enniskillen Subaru WRC
2 Declan Boyle Brian Boyle Donegal Fiesta WRC
3 Alastair Fisher Gordon Noble Enniskillen Fiesta R5
4 Josh Moffett James Fulton Monaghan Fiesta R5
5 Roy White James O Brien Tipperary Fiesta WRC
6 Sam Moffett Karl Atkinson Monaghan Fiesta R5
7 Joseph McGonigle Ciaran Geaney Donegal Skoda R5
8 Jonathan Greer Kirsty Riddick Belfast Citroen DS3 R5
9 Aaron MacHale Darragh Kelly Dublin Citroen DS3 R5
10 Brendan Cumiskey Ronan O Kane Dundalk Citroen DS3 R5
Among the entries from outside of Ireland taking part in this year’s event are number 49, Kai Dieter Kolle from Germany in a Porsche Carrera. He is joined by Andreas Dahms in another Porsche. From Scotland comes yet another Porsche driven by George Gass. The sound of these machines will be glorious as they travel the Galway lanes! From the USA comes Barry McKenna who will pilot an immaculate MK2 Escort and Paul Rowley who will get his first run in his new Citroen DS3 R5. In another R5 is Tomas Davies from Wales and he is joined by fellow Welsh man Gareth Lloyd in a MK2 Escort.
Leading Local Entries:
Members of Galway Motor Club taking part in the event will be seeking to put their name on the prestigious Brian G Thornton Memorial Cup. The top seeded Galway drivers are:
Car Driver Navigator Address Make/Model
12 Eugene Meegan Sarah Whelan Knocknacarra BMW 1M
14 Tom Flaherty Martin Flynn Galway Escort MK2
20 Richard Whelan James Whelan Galway BMW 1M
32 Tommy Cahill Enda O Leary Galway Mitsubishi Evo
34 Stephen Hernon Jeff Case Galway Subaru
35 Jonathan Folan Robbie Ward Galway Subaru
36 Pat Kelly Jonathan Kelly Galway Subaru
Results, regular updates and more detailed information will be available on the rally website: www.galwayrally.com and the events social media channels.
Galway Bay FM will be reporting from all 15 stages throughout the weekend with regular updates and driver interviews.
Galway Motor Club has secured TV coverage on TG4 and Motors TV with one hour programmes to be broadcast in the coming weeks.
2017 Corrib Oil Galway International Rally Timetable:
Friday 3rd February 2pm : Scrutiny at Galway Race Course, Galway.
Friday 3rd February 8pm : Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square, Galway.
Saturday 4th February 9.00am : 9 Special Stages in East Galway.
Saturday 4th February 9.00am;11.00am and 2.00pm: Service Park at Athenry Mart.
Sunday 5th February 8.30am: 6 Special Stages.
Sunday 5th February 12.00noon and 2.00pm: Service Park at Tuam DOE Centre.
Sunday 5th February 3.30pm: Finish at Clayton Hotel,Ballybrit, Galway.
Sunday 5th February 8pm : Prizegiving at Clayton Hotel, Galway.